Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 13, 2007

More on the US petition for OA

Tracey Caldwell, US petition adds weight to OA campaign, Information World Review, April 10, 2007.  Excerpt:

A US petition for access to publicly funded research has been started, building on the momentum of a similar petition circulating in Europe in support of a European Commission proposal that has already gathered over 24,000 signatures.

The proposal is to guarantee public access to publicly funded research results shortly after publication....

The US petition, open to supporters around the world, comes as US lawmakers consider ways to promote public access with the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), soon to be re-introduced.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), a founding member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, set up the petition.

Heather Joseph, SPARC executive director, said: “We felt that this was a good opportunity to build on the momentum of the thousands of individuals who expressed support for public access to federally funded research results by signing the recent European petition. As policy discussions continue to take place here in the US, it’s important to underscore the continued call for meaningful change coming from a wide variety of stakeholders.

“We’re seeing librarians, researchers and private citizens sign on, from public organisations to private companies. It is a striking illustration of how this issue resonates across not just the scholarly community, but society as a whole.”

Open access champion Stevan Harnad welcomed the US petition as a much needed counter to publisher lobbying: “Open access is in the interests of research, researchers, research institutions, research funders, the R&D industry, students, the developing world, and the tax-paying public in whose interests the research is being done.

“The only conflicting interest is the research journal publishing industry.”

PS:  If you support OA, please sign the US petition as an individual and ask your institution to sign as an institution.  Then spread the word by linking to it from your blog or home page.  We need all the public support we can get as we talk to Congress about mandating OA to publicly-funded research, through FRPAA and a strengthened version of the NIH policy.