Making Public Research Public
OK, this one falls way below the radar screen. Much academic research is funded by government grants, including NIH and NSF. NIH requires that articles arising from the research it funds be deposited in a publicly accessible database. Other agencies?
Several times an act to extend this kind of grant requirement to other government agencies that distribute a significant amount of funding for basic research has been introduced in congress, but it has been opposed by publishers, including scholarly societies such as the American Chemical Association and the American Psychological Association which make millions on subscriptions and prefer to keep the articles they publish behind a paywall. Publishers struck back by lobbying for an act to prohibit the NIH and other government agencies from making such grant requirements.
That bill failed but much of government funded research is still available only to those who pay for it. The principle should be simple. If taxpayers fund it, they should have access to it.