Copyright is the exclusive statuatory right of authors, composers, artists, playwrights, publishers, and distributors to publish and dispose of their works for a specified period of time.
This brief video, produced by the Institute on Scholarly Communication in association with SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), explains how researchers can maximize exposure and dissemination for their peer-reviewed article manuscripts
In a memo and official response to the "We The People" petition, the director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) ordered that publicly-funded agencies must share their research results within 12 months of the publication date. This directive applies to federal agencies that spend more than $100 million in research and development, so it will cover most of the major agencies including the Department of Depense, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.
This is a great victory in the Open Access movement and major step toward making scientific research easily and freely available to the public.