In a memo last week, John Holdren, the director of the White House office of science and technology policy (OSTP), notified federal agencies that they will have to make the results of studies they fund available on the Internet, 12 months after they appear in a scientific journal.
Separately, Holden wrote about the policy change in an official response to a White House “We the People” petition. That petition, which launched in May 2012 and gathered more than 65,000 signatures, had urged President Barack Obama to require free access to scientific journal articles from publicly funded research.
“The logic behind enhanced public access is plain,” Holdren wrote in the response. “We know that scientific research supported by the Federal Government spurs scientific breakthroughs and economic advances when research results are made available to innovators. Policies that mobilize these intellectual assets for re-use through broader access can accelerate scientific breakthroughs, increase innovation, and promote economic growth.”