Here’s a petition to the US government to commit to free public access to the published results of federally funded research that I think is worth signing. The NIH, which accounts for about half of all federally funded nonclassified research expenditures, is already doing this. If the petition gets 25,000 signatures within 30 days, the Administration will issue an official response. The campaign’s website is http://access2research.org, also on Facebook and Twitter (@access2research).
Here’s the petition text:
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Require free, timely access over the Internet to 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
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.
If you’re 13 years or older, you can sign the petition by
going to whitehouse.gov,
providing a name and email address, and validating the email address, then
clicking to sign.
Further background from AU’s Michael Carroll:
After years of work on promoting policy change to make
federally-funded research available on the Internet, and after winning the
battle to implement a public access policy at NIH, it has become clear that
being on the right side of the issue is necessary but not sufficient. We've had
the meetings, done the hearings, replied to the requests for information.
If we can all come together to get the word out at once, and
stay behind it for 30 days, we have a real chance to get access to taxpayer
funded research across the entire government, and send a signal that the people
have a voice in this debate, not just publishers and activists.