Argentina is nationalizing its science output, following last month’s nationalization of energy company YPF. This time, the benefits should be international. On 23 May the House of Representatives, Argentina’s lower house, approved a bill that would require the results of all scientific research conducted at or funded by the Argentina’s National System for Science and Research to be made freely available in an online depository.
The bill would also require publication of primary data from such studies within five years. The country’s National Digital Repository System, founded in 2009, will create a common system for accessing all data and publications subject to the law. The bill must now pass in Argentina’s senate and executive branch.
Such legislation is still uncommon at a national level, but some governments, including in the United Kingdom, have begun making plans for requiring open-access publishing of science they fund, as Nature reported earlier this month (see ‘Key questions in the UK’s shift to open-access research‘). UK science minister David Willetts told the Publisher’s Association in London that “We need to have far more research material freely available.” In the United States, whose National Institutes of Health already requires researchers to deposit their research papers in an open repository within six months of publication, people are petitioning the White House to expand the programme to include other taxpayer-funded research. The petition had more than 16,000 signatures after two weeks and a target of 25,000 by mid-June.
The European Commission may also be lending its support to open-access publishing, reports the Times Higher Education. Next month, the commission should issue its policy on publishing research funded by its seven-year Horizon 2020 funding programme. With an annual budget of more than €11 billion (US$13.8 billion), Horizon 2020 is one of the largest research funders in the world, and one of the few that operate internationally, so its influence could be important.