The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 – the $1.1 billion spending bill passed in January, which is hundreds of pages long – included provisions for public access to published research articles. Section 527 of the legislation directs a number of federal agencies to develop public access policies.

Affected agencies and bureaus are those:

  • within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education,
  • with annual research expenditures over $100 million.

The policies will cover author’s manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals that describe research funded in whole or in part by the relevant government agency. Free online public access to author versions or publisher versions those articles must be provided within 12 months of publication.

The Act expands the existing NIH public access policy to cover a lot more research. Like the White House OSTP public access directive issued last February, it leaves it up to the agencies to actually issue the policies. None of these policies or their effective dates have been announced yet, so for now authors have nothing new to comply with from federal funding agencies.

We’ll post news about these new policies, policies resulting from the OSTP directive, or any updates about new public access legislation as it becomes available.