The Research Works Act is a very small bill, text-wise. Oh, but the ripples …
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
- This Act may be cited as the `Research Works Act’.
SEC. 2. LIMITATION ON FEDERAL AGENCY ACTION.
- No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that–
- (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or
- (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
- In this Act:
- (1) AUTHOR- The term `author’ means a person who writes a private-sector research work. Such term does not include an officer or employee of the United States Government acting in the regular course of his or her duties.
- (2) NETWORK DISSEMINATION- The term `network dissemination’ means distributing, making available, or otherwise offering or disseminating a private-sector research work through the Internet or by a closed, limited, or other digital or electronic network or arrangement.
- (3) PRIVATE-SECTOR RESEARCH WORK- The term `private-sector research work’ means an article intended to be published in a scholarly or scientific publication, or any version of such an article, that is not a work of the United States Government (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code), describing or interpreting research funded in whole or in part by a Federal agency and to which a commercial or nonprofit publisher has made or has entered into an arrangement to make a value-added contribution, including peer review or editing. Such term does not include progress reports or raw data outputs routinely required to be created for and submitted directly to a funding agency in the course of research.
This shot across the bow appears to be nothing less than an effort to shut down future open access mandates AND kill off PubMed. Simply put, the time to organize against this is now.