Open Access Spreads

Ry Rivard | Inside Higher Ed | April 29, 2013

A bill in the California legislature would require state-funded research to be made public free of charge within a year of its publication.

If it passes, the bill would create an open access policy for California's state-funded research similar to a policy announced earlier this year by the Obama administration. The federal policy, which is not yet finalized, would apply to most federally supported non-defense research. California is not the only state moving to make public the published research it helps to fund; Illinois is weighing a similar proposal.

While it’s unclear how much research California currently pays for each year, it's likely nearly as much as or more than any other state. A 2008 study -- which looked at funding levels in the years before the recession and the state's budget crisis-- found California put roughly $350 million into state-funded research and development. The study by the California Council on Science and Technology found the state was funding research important to the state but not funded at sufficient levels by other sources, including energy research related to climate change. The state's Institute for Regenerative Medicine is also in the seventh year of a decade-long, $3 billion project to fund stem cell research.