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Information Culture


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Take a stand for public access to taxpayer funded research

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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In my first post here at Information Culture, I made the argument that in order for science to progress, the results of scientific studies must be shared with others.

One of the challenges facing scientists in the modern world is that this research is typically published in journals that individuals and libraries must pay to access, sometimes at exorbitant rates.  Unfortunately, the costs associated with these journals  often prevent patients, researchers and other folks from learning about new scientific findings.

However, since modern science is largely funded through taxpayer support (federal research grants, public universities, etc.) it seems logical that taxpayers should be able to access the research results they’ve already paid for.

Currently, research funded by the National Institute of Health must be made publicly available within 12 months of publication.  A current petition at the White House website seeks to expand this requirement to research funded by other federal agencies (the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, etc.)

Click the image to watch the great, quick video. A @FakeElsevier production. Special thanks to @BrideOfFakeElsevier for script assistance. Royalty-free music care of stock20.com. All other content is original and licensed under CC-BY.

And today, you can make a stand for public access to publicly funded research.

From the folks at Access 2 Research comes the “Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research” White House petition.

This excellent video from the folks at the @FakeElsevier twitter account is worth your time (and only 1 minute and 45 seconds).

Go ahead and check out the petition. They are looking for 25,000 signatures by June 19th.

Today, take five minutes of your time to say that yes, cancer patients, researchers, high school students and people around the country should be able to find out what their taxes already paid for.

Go now. Go.  You’ll be glad you did.

Bonnie Swoger About the Author: Bonnie J. M. Swoger is a Science and Technology Librarian at a small public undergraduate institution in upstate New York, SUNY Geneseo. She teaches students about the science literature, helps faculty and students with library research questions and leads library assessment efforts. She has a BS in Geology from St. Lawrence University, an MS in Geology from Kent State University and an MLS from the University at Buffalo. She would love to have some free time in which to indulge in hobbies. She blogs at the Undergraduate Science Librarian. Follow on Twitter @bonnieswoger.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. TTLG 7:53 pm 05/21/2012

    Signed it. I don’t think this is absolutely necessary, but it certainly should help and it seems fair that we should have access to what we are paying for. This is really just one piece in the need to reduce the amount of secrecy that has crept into our government operations.

    Link to this
  2. 2. Postman1 10:32 pm 05/22/2012

    I’m all for this, but, if it is made law, it is the end for present day climatology.

    Link to this

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