Friday, January 16, 2009

Letter Advocating Public Access Sent to Obama Transition Team

A letter was recently sent to President Elect Obama’a transition team advocating public access to the published results of publicly funded research. The signatories were: Alliance for Taxpayer Access, American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Greater Western Library Alliance, Public Knowledge, Public Library of Science, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition), Special Libraries Association. Extract:

Every year, the federal government funds tens of billions of dollars in basic and applied research with the expectation that the results will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, stimulate innovation, and improve the public good. These research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals. However, the high cost of journal subscriptions and restrictive licensing terms severely limits public access to these articles.

Because U.S. taxpayers underwrite this research, they have a right to expect its dissemination and use will be maximized. The Internet has revolutionized information sharing and has made it possible to make the latest advances promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator, business owner and citizen at his or her home, school, or library. If this information is shared with all potential users via the Internet, it will advance science, spur innovation, and improve the welfare of U.S. citizens. . . .

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