Today, we're launching an official White House petition at http://access2research.org to extend public access to all scientific articles emerging from taxpayer-funded research. After years of fighting for access to scholarly research, 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, conducted the hearings, and replied to the requests for information.
But we're opposed by a small set of publishers who profit enormously from the existing system. And they can - and do - outspend those of us who have chosen to make a huge part of our daily work the expansion of access to knowledge. We know there is a serious debate about the extension of public access to taxpayer-funded research going on right now in the White House, but we also know that we need more than our current approaches to get that extension made into federal policy.
The best approach that we have yet to try is to make a broad public appeal for support, straight to the people. Thanks to a platform the administration has created, petitions receiving more than 25,000 signatures must be reviewed and integrated into policy. But there's a catch - a petition only has 30 days to gather the required number of signatures to qualify.
We can get 25,000 signatures, and more, if you join with us to spread the word. A blog post, an email to friends, a tweet, a Facebook share, you name it, it helps - something that tells thousands of people "I support this petition, I'm signing this petition, and I thought you should know about it too." Qualified signers must be at least 13 years old and have a valid email address.
We want to show the White House that this issue matters to people and that we all understand how it relates to their own health and the wellbeing of all. 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.
Many thanks for your support of Access2Research.