Protecting Open Access to Taxpayer-Funded Research: The Rise and Defeat of the Research Works Act
The library community has long been an advocate of free access to publicly funded research, yet Congress regularly considers bills that would prevent the public from accessing such information. In an age where bills such as Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are brought forth only to receive heavy criticism from all parts of society, this article investigates the potential impact the Research Works Act (RWA) might have caused on academic publishing. While the RWA was defeated, similar pieces of legislation will rise again. As librarians, we must be aware of such acts to prevent the damage they seek to impose.