WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, PLOS
Open access advocates are declaring a small victory after collecting 25,000 signatures on a petition that urges the federal government to require scientists receiving federal research funds to make their findings available on publicly accessible websites —a policy already adopted by the National Institutes of Health. The petition made its way to the White House a week and a half ago, at which point The Guardian reported that President Obama's science advisor, John Holdren, was meeting with open access advocates to discuss the matter.
"Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet ... would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research," reads the petition, which started circulating last month (May 13). With their stated goal of collecting 25,000 signatures now reached, the petition's backers hope that the White House will respond to the request that other federal agencies adopt open access policies similar to that of the NIH, which requires the researchers it funds to submit manuscripts to the open-access PubMed Central archive within 12 months of publication in a scientific journal.
Hat tip to ScienceInsider.