The issue of public access to the results of federally funded research has recently gained significant traction in Washington. The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) (S. 2096 and H.R. 4004), which AALL strongly supports, has continued to mount support in Congress, gaining 29 cosponsors in the House of Representatives since its introduction in February. Expanding the successful model created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, these bills would require federal agencies with extramural research budgets of more than $100 million to make their research available for free online access by the general public within six months of publication in peer reviewed journals. The Obama administration has also taken an active interest in this issue and there is a sense that the administration understands the value of open access. With so much attention on open access right now, a strong demonstration of public support could prompt the executive branch to take action.
To that end, a “We, the People” Whitehouse.gov petition has been created to urge President Obama to “act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.” Since launching on Monday, May 21, the petition has already gained nearly 15,000 signatures and is well on its way to reaching its goal. If the petition garners 25,000 signatures within 30 days, it will be reviewed by White House staff and considered for action.
Members of the public have a right to access research funded by their taxpayer dollars. We urge you to sign the petition today.
This is a critical opportunity for AALL members to demonstrate that we believe open access to federally funded research should be a high priority for the administration. Demonstrating public support will also strengthen FRPAA’s chances in Congress. With your support, we can influence the White House to act.
Once you have signed the petition, you can also encourage your colleagues, friends and family to do the same. Thank you for all the work that you do to ensure equal and open access!