Monday, May 21, 2012

public access to published federally funded research

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, also on Facebook and Twitter (@access2research). 
Here’s the petition text:
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 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.
If you’re 13 years or older, you can sign the petition by going to, 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.

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