The Open Access to Research Articles Act Task Force was created to address the requirements of the Open Access to Research Articles Act (OARAA, IL Public Act 098-0295) which was signed into law by Governor Quinn on August 9, 2013. The full text of the OARAA can be viewed at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=098-0295.
The OARAA stipulates that each public university appoint an Open Access to Research Task Force to “review current practices and design a proposed policy regarding open access to research articles, based on criteria that are specific to each public university's needs”.
The purpose of the OARAA as declared by the General Assembly is as follows:
(1) to maximize the social and economic benefits of research to the public, the published research articles produced by faculty at public universities should be made as widely available as possible, wide availability referring both to the depth of availability of a given research article (including immediate availability where practicable, long-term preservation and free public access, and broad accessibility for reuse and further research) and the breadth of research articles made available;
(2) the public support these employees receive and the increased impact that broad public dissemination of research has is an important public purpose;
(3) many public universities have developed, or are developing, the capacity to provide free access over the Internet to such research through institutional repositories or otherwise; and
(4) a substantial portion of the research currently is not freely available over the Internet because the faculty have entered into publication agreements with terms that restrict public access to the fruits of unclassified research conducted by these State employees.
Charge of the Task Force
As detailed in the OARAA, the work of the Task Force for the 2014 calendar year will be to provide a report detailing their findings regarding open access:
“On or before January 1, 2015, each task force shall adopt a report setting forth its findings and recommendations. These recommendations shall include a detailed description of any open access policy the task force recommends that the public university or State adopt, as well as, in the case of the public university, a plan for implementation. This report must be approved by a majority of the appointed task force voting members. A task force shall also issue minority reports at the request of any member, including a non-voting member. Each report shall be submitted to the board of trustees of the respective public university, the Board of Higher Education, both chambers of the General Assembly, and the Governor. The Board of Higher Education shall publish, on its Internet website, a list of all public universities subject to this Act. The list shall indicate which public universities have submitted the report required pursuant to this subsection.”