Sign the U.S. Petition to Support Public Access to Publicly Funded Scientific Research

Timothy Vollmer, May 21st, 2012

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’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.

15 Responses to “Sign the U.S. Petition to Support Public Access to Publicly Funded Scientific Research”

  1. Matthew Popke says:

    This is so obvious that it is kind of sad we have sign a petition to make this happen. What a disappointing commentary on our system of government and the ideals of our founders. But we can redeem ourselves if we start changing for the better now.

    Don’t try to counter our reasonable demands with economic fear mongering. Education is the heart of our economy now. Accessible knowledge will empower our economy. Monopolism will destroy it. Do what you know is best for America. Make publicly funded research publicly available.

  2. James Lewin says:

    Any tax-supported research should be made available freely via the Internet.

  3. Debbie Stallard says:

    All research that is paid for by public money, or sets public policy for that matter, should be available, complete, and understandable to the public.

  4. Jerry Alvarez says:

    Provide us with free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.

  5. Kelly Chaidez says:

    People want to know.

  6. Tammy balliet says:

    This research is funded by public dollars and should be public information!

  7. paul says:

    make this information free and simple to access on the internet.

  8. Terrence Weseloski says:

    it`s our money–we have the right to know what is done with it.

  9. Cameron Ganley says:

    give access to what our tax dollars pay for

  10. Ines Alveano says:

    Public Access to Publicly Funded Scientific Research!!!!!

  11. Aaron says:

    Make it public, we paid for it!

  12. Brandy Long says:

    If it’s publicly funded, why shouldn’t the public be allowed to see it? Not allowing that is insane.

  13. Karen Carpenter LMT says:

    Public means PUBLIC!!!

  14. Lisa Travis says:

    Publically funded projects should always publish materials that are freely available for all to see.

  15. Elda Bishop says:

    This doesn’t make sense – WE pay for it WE should be in control over it! More people need to stand up!