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This week, open access advocates in the United States and around the world are rallying around a petition that urges public access to publicly funded research. The petition is now live on Whitehouse.gov’s We the People platform:
Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.
We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research.
The highly successful Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process, and we urge President Obama to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.
The Obama Administration has been interested in exploring policy options for ensuring that the public has access to publicly funded research, and recently received nearly 500 comments on its request for information on these issues. Creative Commons recently wrote to the White House asking that taxpayer funded research be made available online to the public immediately, free-of-cost, and ideally under an open license that communicates broad downstream use rights, such as CC BY.
With grassroots petitions like this one, publisher boycotts, updates to funding policies (pdf), and investments in open access, it seems that the “academic spring” has arrived.
The petition can be supported by persons outside of the U.S. You can follow updates from the organizers — Access2Research — on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.Posted 21 May 2012