Hail Mike Doyle!

February 10, 2012

Tracie Mauriello reports that Mike Doyle has reintroduced his bill to make publicly-funded research available to the public for free:

You paid for it. You shouldn’t have to pay to read it.

That’s Congressman Mike Doyle’s attitude about federally funded research.

Today he introduced legislation that would require reports generated by federally funded research projects to be made available online within six months of publication of articles in scholarly journals.

“Americans have the right to see the results of research funded with taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Doyle, D-Forest Hills said. “Such research too often gets locked away behind a pay-wall, forcing those who want to learn from it to pay expensive subscription fees for access.”

Mike Doyle has consistently been one of the most creative Democratic lawmakers in Congress on information issues. This stuff isn’t ever going to be blaring on the front page of HuffPo, but it’s the kind of thing that, over the long term, is incredibly important for making our economy more productive and innovative. Taxpayers pay to produce a huge amount of research and information. A lot of it has the potential to be really useful for commercial products, or medical research, or just regular people who want to educate themselves in their spare time. By bringing it out from behind the paywall, we increase the chances that the information we all pay for will make us better off, perhaps in revolutionary surprising ways. Or not! The bottom line is that there’s no good reason to keep this publicly-funded information locked away.

By the way, did you also know that Mike Doyle defended Girl Talk and DJ mash-ups at a Congressional hearing? Doyle also got the Local Community Radio Act passed, which was hailed by Pitchfork for helping to level the playing field between smaller low-power indie radio stations and the huge Clear Channel stations, and paving the way for hundreds of new non-profit radio stations to increase their share of the FM dial.