PLoS E-Newsletter for Institutional Members

Table of Contents

Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

On April 15, 2010, Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Waxman (D-CA), Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Harper (R-MS), Boucher (D-VA) and Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (HR 5037), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies.

All supporters of public access--universities and colleges, researchers, libraries, campus administrators, patient advocates, publishers, consumers, individuals, and others--are asked to ACT NOW to support this bill. See below for actions you can take.

Now before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, FRPAA would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation

FRPAA reflects the growing trend among funding agencies--and college and university campuses--to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results. It follows the successful path forged by the NIH's Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust and campuses such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas. The bill also reflects the Administration's recent expression of interest in the potential implementation of public access policies across U.S. science and technology agencies--as indicated by the call for public comment issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which closed in January.

Detailed information about the Federal Research Public Access Act can be viewed here.

Here's how you can help support this legislation:

  • Send thanks to the Bill's sponsors, also through the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) Legislative Action Center
  • Contact your representatives in Congress today and ask them to co -sponsor H.R.5037 or S.1373. Act now through the Legislative Action Center
  • Contact Congress now to express your organization's support for public access to taxpayer-funded research and for this bill. Send a copy of your letter to sparc [at] arl [dot] org.
  • Issue a public statement of support from your organization and share it widely with members, colleagues, and the media. Send a copy to sparc [at] arl [dot] org to be featured on the FRPAA Web site.
  • Share news about this bill with friends and colleagues.
  • Post the "I support taxpayer access" banner on your Web site.

See the ATA Web site at for more ways you can support public access to publicly funded research and this bill.

Save the Date—OA Week 2010!

This year's Open Access Week (October 18-24, 2010) will highlight the collaboration and collective action that have heightened the momentum behind open access and showcase a broad range of initiatives around the globe. Participation by hundreds of universities, research facilities, and other sites worldwide will illustrate the depth and breadth of support for open access and demonstrate the real impact of unfettered access on advancing discovery across disciplines.

PLoS News and Information

Institutional Usage Reports

PLoS institutional reports will provide organizations with data on how often individuals within an institution are using (views, downloads, etc.) PLoS journals. The institutional reports presented here deal only with the online usage of an entire journal, from within a single institution.

PLoS has also launched a program of article-level metrics that reports on other metrics (such as citations, blog coverage, social bookmarks, notes, comments, and so on), measured at the article level. These data can be found on individual articles under their Metrics tab.

All institutional reports will be updated on a daily basis and you will able to access your institution's report at any time.

PLoS Medicine iPhone App

Some smart folks at the Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI*, a research center within the Harvard Medical School) have created a PLoS Medicine application for the iPhone.

To give it a test drive, simply visit the iTunes Application store and download it to your iPhone. To launch the application, simply touch the PLoS icon and you are immediately taken to a screen that contains the most recent and most viewed articles, with an option to search for anything else from the current or archive issues using your touch keypad.

Other features include:

  • Clear article layout—with options to view the PDF or view online
  • Favorite and share—straight from your phone
  • Access the full archive&mdashnever be without the content you need again
  • Get further information—about PLoS in general and PLoS Medicine specifically

Now you can have PLoS Medicine in the palm of your hand wherever you go. We hope that you enjoy the experience!

* The CBMI developers welcome feedback on this release. Please send your comments or requests for technical support with the application itself to

PLoS ONE 10,000 papers

PLoS ONE is pleased to announce the publication of 10,000 articles! Since its inception in December 2006, PLoS ONE has proven to be a great success, and this milestone shows that daily open-access publication is a viable model that enjoys wide support within the academic community. Thank you to our authors, community, and colleagues for helping us to reach this exciting goal.

OA News

The Australian Government's National Health and Research Council (NHMRC) Removes Journal Impact Factors from Peer Review of Individual Research Grant and Fellowship Applications (April 2010)

On the advice of Research Committee, NHMRC will no longer request Journal Impact Factors (JIF) as part of any applications for funding nor use these in peer review of individual applications. Journal Impact Factor is not a sound basis upon which to judge the impact of individual papers. The JIF of any journal does not describe the impact, importance or quality of any individual paper. Instead, it describes the average citations for all papers.

An Approach to Open Access Author Payment

In an article published in the March/April 2010 issue of D-Lib Magazine, Professor Donald W. King of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill concludes that a move to "author payment" OA would provide system-wide cost savings in the US and cost no more than about 1% of the total federal research budget. It is interesting that the 1% figure ties in with the figures calculated a few years ago by the Wellcome Trust in the UK and the conclusions on cost savings reflect those of Houghton et al. in the UK, The Netherlands, and Denmark (and about which there has been no little controversy).

OA Resources

OA Fund Downloadables from SPARC

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) guide Campus-Based Open-Access Publishing Funds: A Practical Guide to Design and Implementation, by Greg Tananbaum, is not an advocacy document promoting the launch of Open-access Funds, but a document to help institutions with the decision to launch an Open-access Fund. Establishing a clear understanding of your Fund's goals, the policies that will govern it, how it will be administered, and what tools can be used to evaluate the Fund's results all involve careful deliberation and discussion.

OA Fund Templates

The following downloadable resources may be used by institutions for the development and creation of open-access fund programs:

Campus OA Policies

If you're considering a campus open-access policy, or already have one in development, SPARC is here to help. SPARC has coordinated with open-access policy leaders and experts to develop this new set of resources to support data-driven, community-engaging, and successful open-access policy development at institutions everywhere.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): How to Start an OA Journal

The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing provides practical information and tools to support the efforts of scholars and other small teams producing independent Open Access journals. The guide hasĀ been developed by Co-Action Publishing and Lund University Libraries Head Office with support from the National Library of Sweden and Nordbib.

Feedback or comments?

We would love to hear from our Members! Contact Donna Okubo, Institutional Relations Manager at

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