Obama to Weigh Open Access

A petition asking for online, readable publication of all government-funded research is making its way to the White House.

By | May 24, 2012

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Advocates of open access have started an online petition that can be signed by US and non-US citizens, urging President Obama to implement policies making all publicly-funded research open access.  With a more than 14,000 signatures to date, the petition is well on its way to meeting its 25,000-name goal.

The Administration’s Office of Science and Technology is taking an interest in open access, having put out two calls for public information on the topic in the past two years. And the president’s science advisor John Holdren— believed to be sympathetic to the cause, according to The Guardian–has already met several times with open access advocates.

The National Institutes of Health already has a policy requiring federally funded research to be made publicly accessible within 12 months of publication, and the United Kingdom is considering similar measures. In addition, a bill called the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) wending its way through Congress would require any publicly funded research to be deposited in open access repositories within 6 months of publication.

“There are good reasons for optimism in this case,” writes Mike Taylor at The Guardian. “Demonstrating public support will strengthen this legislation's chances.”

Hat tip to Genomeweb

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