Public Access to Federally Funded Research PetitionPosted: May 30th, 2012
A petition calling for Public Access to Federally Funded Research Results was posted May 21 on the White House’s “We the People” site – to require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. If the petition garners 25,000 signatures within 30 days, it will be reviewed by White House staff, and considered for action. The response so far has been phenomenal. Qualified signatories may be from inside or outside the United States. Thanks in advance for your support for this effort – it is truly a critical time, and action now *can* make a difference!
Why should Queen’s researchers wish to sign the petition? A number of research initiatives at Queen’s are part of NIH and NSF funding through various partnerships. In any case, American public policy is a formidable force that also has impact beyond its borders.
The petition is available at: http://wh.gov/6TH.
What else can we do to help? To reach the required number of signatures, scholars need to sign the petition and to do all that they can to activate their networks to spread the word. They could consider a blog post, an email to constituencies, a tweet, a Facebook share, an action in their library – anything that tells as many people as possible “I support this petition, I’m signing this petition, and I thought you should know about it too.” This is the kind of action that can have real consequences if they can reach the 25,000 signature goal – the White House takes this petition site very seriously, and is particularly cognizant of public opinion as the Presidential election draws closer.
The Obama Administration has been actively considering the issue of Public Access to the results of Federally Funded research this year. There is a brief, critical window of opportunity to demonstrate the strong commitment, of the research community, to expanding the NIH Public Access Policy across all U.S. Federal Science Agencies. The Administration is currently considering which policy actions are priorities that they will act on before the 2012 Presidential Election season swings into high gear. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that Public Access is one of those priorities.