Could California bill mandate open access to research?

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Champions of open access to publicly funded academic research had something to celebrate last week. Creative Commons is reporting (with just a touch of cautious optimism) the progress of California's Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609, for short), which has successfully moved through the State's Assembly Appropriations Committee and is ready for a vote. If passed, the bill—which requires the final copy of any peer-reviewed research funded by California tax dollars to be made publicly accessible within 12 months of publication—will become a matter for the California State Senate (see the Public Library of Science blog and the Electronic Frontier Foundation for more detail).

This could very well become the first state-level bill to mandate open access to publicly funded academic research.

For years, open access publishing has been a hot topic on To understand why this issue is important to so many people, you might consider reading:

Let's chat as we await the verdict on AB 609. Could this be a watershed moment for academic open access? What would it mean for academic publishing as we know it today?

Bryan Behrenshausen
Bryan formerly managed the Open Organization section of, which features stories about the ways open values and principles are changing how we think about organizational culture and design. He's worked on since 2011. Find him online as semioticrobotic.


In the spirit of open access to final research reports, here is a link to such a report funded by the Computing Community Consortium on the science of open source systems. "Towards a science of open source systems", Final Report, Institute for Software Research, University of California, Irvine, November 2010 (174 pages), The CCC was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

I like the way this report frames open source software: not as merely software, but as a "socio-technical package"—a style of thought, a set of values, a regime of practices, a mode of organization, etc. Very nice ideed. Thanks for sharing. What other value can we draw from this document?

It looks like the bill has hit a small—albeit critical—snag. The EFF <a href="">has a report</a>.

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