Based on the belief that the Internet can “foster innovation, research, and education,” open access advocates have asked the White House to require taxpayer-funded research to be available free online to the public.
Providing access would mean, according to the petition, that patients, caregivers, teachers, students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and the general public could read studies and findings for free. Access would mean other researchers, students, and members of the public could build on findings and conduct further research, possibly allowing for less time between additional research and findings.
The petition is sponsored by Access2Research, an organization solely devoted to pushing for free access to taxpayer-funded research. According to their site, petitioners feel they are opposed by a small group of publishers who profit from limited access to research.
Petitioners hope to gain 25,000 signatures before passing it along to President Barack Obama and his administration. Any petition gaining 25,000 signatures within 30 days on the White House’s We the People site is given to the president’s Chief of Staff for discussion. After promoting the petition heavily on Twitter on Monday, petitioners plan to promote it again on Twitter May 29.
Follow Anna Schumann on Twitter at @ASchumannCMN.