Home > Science > Autism Speaks Vice President Testifies to Congress about its Pioneering Open-Access Policy

Autism Speaks Vice President Testifies to Congress about its Pioneering Open-Access Policy

On July 29, Autism Speaks Vice President of Research, Sophia Colamarino, Ph.D., testified to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding the importance of free and open access to publically-funded research literature.  Dr. Colamarino was the architect of Autism Speaks pioneering open-access policy.  This policy, which took effect for grants awarded after December 3, 2008, requires that researchers receiving grant funding from Autism Speaks make a copy of any article resulting from that funding freely accessible in a public database no later than 12 months after publication.  This will allow all potential users – scientists, clinicians, businesses, educators and families – to ultimately have first-hand access to research articles that are typically only available through fee-based journals.  Autism Speaks believes that it is possible to accelerate the pace of discovery, and that open sharing of scientific research is both urgently needed and entirely practical in the internet age.

Autism Speaks is the first U.S.-based non-profit advocacy organization to adopt such a policy.  Along with Dr. Colamarino, other witnesses called to testify in favor of greater public access to peer-reviewed research literature included the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Richard Roberts, Ph.D., and the Director of the National Institutes of Health’ National  Center for Biotechnology Information, David Lipman, M.D.

The hearing and debate over increased access to federally-funded research literature was covered in AAAS Science Insider. Read Dr. Colamarino’s testimony.


  1. Debbie Gillispie
    August 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Maybe he should find out why they are planning to cut respite care from 720 hours to 220 for the coming year. How do we parents keep our Autistic and other handcapped family members at home without some relief. I thought that was the whole point in the attendant and resoite care. We need to band together on this one. Cutting the hourly rate was bad enough

  2. jong de castro
    August 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Way to go Sophia!!! ;-)

  3. Emma
    August 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you for being a voice for the kids. I have a 5 yrs old son who have autism and I just wanted to tell you think you so much.Keep up the good work.

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