In 2013, the White House, through the Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued an executive directive mandating that U.S. Government agencies with annual extramural research and development expenditures over $100 million make the results of taxpayer-funded research—both articles and data—be made freely available to the general public with the goal of accelerating scientific discovery and fueling innovation. Those agencies have begun adopting and issuing plans for the deposit of scholarly articles and data into openly accessible repositories.
Many federal funding agencies have responded to the OSTP memo by implementing open access policies for grant-funded projects. Some funders have been at the forefront of this movement; the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for example, adopted in 2008 a policy requiring all NIH-funded research to be deposited within 12 months of publication into the repository PubMed Central. Others are just now implementing this kind of policy.
Many private funders also have open access requirements for articles and data.
The Open Access movement grew in response to an increasing awareness that the current scholarly publishing system is no longer meeting the needs of scholars and those who could benefit from their research. Making research openly available by bringing articles out from behind publisher paywalls has benefits for individual researchers, the wider research community, and the public at large.
Image CC-BY Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown