The International Society for Computational Biology this week sent a letter to members of the US House of Representative's Oversight and Government Reform Committee opposing the Research Works Act, which, if passed, will prohibit federal agencies from requiring public online access to research as a condition of grant funding.
The letter, available here, argues that the bill’s stipulations will limit the public’s access to the results of scientific research that is funded by taxpayer dollars.
Specifically, ISCB said that the act, known as H.R. 3699, would impact the National Institutes of Health’s public access policy, which provides open access to health care information via PubMed Central. The organization said it would also impede the ability of researchers, physicians, healthcare professionals, and families to access and use health-related information.
Additionally, ISCB pointed out that if the bill is passed, it will hinder research collaborations that are made possible by the open sharing of information and research results as well as “inhibit our ability to exploit scientific discoveries, stifle critical advances in life-saving scientific research, and impede the pace of innovation in all scientific disciplines.”