Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Letter to Congress 41 Nobel Prize Winners Urge Open Access

On 6 November, 2009 forty one Nobel Prize-winning scientists in medicine, physics, and chemistry delivered an open letter to Congress urging open access to federally funded research and requesting support for the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S.1373). Excerpts:
Dear Member of Congress:
As scientists and Nobel Laureates, we write to express our strong support for S. 1373, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). This bi-partisan legislation, sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would enhance access to federally funded, published research articles for scientists, physicians, health care workers, libraries, students, researchers, academic institutions, companies, and patients and consumers.

Broad dissemination of research results is fundamental to the advancement of knowledge. For America to obtain an optimal return on our investment in science, publicly funded research must be shared as broadly as possible. Yet, too often, research results are not available to researchers, scientists, or members of the public. We believe Congress can and must act to ensure that all potential users have free and timely access on the Internet to peer-reviewed federal research findings. This ultimately magnifies the public benefits of research by promoting progress, enhancing economic growth, and improving the public welfare. . . .

The open availability of federally funded research for broad public use in open online archives is a crucial building block in laying a strong national foundation to support accelerated discovery and innovation. It encourages broader participation in the scientific process by providing equitable access to high-quality research results to researchers at higher education institutions of all kinds – from research-intensive universities to community colleges alike. It can empower more members of the public to become engaged in citizen science efforts in areas that pique their imagination. It will equip entrepreneurs and small business owners with the very latest research developments, allowing them to more effectively compete in the development of new technologies and innovations. Open availability of this research will expand the worldwide visibility of the research conducted in the U.S. and increase the impact of our collective investment in research. . . .
The full text of the letter with the names of the forty-one US and foreign Nobel laureates is available here.

4 comments:

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