Illinois' public universities could have to share more of their research under a new state law. As IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, it's part of a national movement:
Pick a subject. Any subject. And at least two things are likely true: 1-someone at a university is researching it, and
2-the results of that research are getting published, probably in a scholarly journal. There's the journal of "Sewage and Industrial Wastes". "Contemporary European History". "The African Music Society Newsletter." These outlets get information to experts in their respective fields. But if you don't subscribe to, say, the "International Journal of Waterbird Biology" you may never know about the professor's research.
"We believe fundamentally that if public dollars pay for scientific research, then the public inherently has a right to see the results of that research."
That's Heather Johnson, director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition - a Washington, D.C. based alliance that advocates for open access. Johnson applauds the new law intended to make Illinois schools' research more available. Each public university has to create a task force, charged with examining the issue. So far, the only requirement is submitting a report on HOW ... by the end of 2014. But Johnson says her goal is for articles be shared for free online within a year of being published in a scholarly journal
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