I want you to sign a petition asking the White House to make research articles supported by government funds freely available online. Even though they have reached the magic 25,000 mark (this guarantees a response from the Administration), they’d like to have as many as possible sign the petition. To help persuade you, I have pulled together recent news stories about Open Access (OA).

1. The UCSF Academic Senate approved a policy that will make research articles freely available online. They join over a hundred other institutions and funders with similar policies.

2. In a recent address to The Publishers Association General Annual Meeting, David Willets, UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, stated that the results of all publicly funded research should be freely available online. The US Congress has a piece of legislation that proposes this, called theĀ Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). FRPAA would apply a public access policy to articles supported by funds from any federal agency with extramural research expenditures over $1 million.

3. In April the Harvard Library Faculty Advisory Committee stated that major journal subscriptions are unsustainable. Their basic argument is that large commercial journal publishers are charging increasing amounts. This means that they have to shift more of their money to the journals and away from other items like books and DVDs.

4. Access2Research started a White House petition to make journal articles resulting from publicly funded research freely available to all. The hope is that freely available articles are read more widely, cited more often, and help research progress more quickly. (Some don’t agree.) If YOU agree, please sign the petition! And enjoy this cool video.

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