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Send a message to the Whitehouse: Show the strength of support for OA

21 May 2012 No Comment
The Whitehouse

The Whitehouse - from Flickr User nancy_t3i

Changing the world is hard. Who knew? Advocating for change can be lonely. It can also be hard. As a scholar, particularly one at the start of a career it is still hard to commit fully to ensuring that research outputs are accessible and re-useable. But we are reaching a point where support for Open Access is mainstream, where there is a growing public interest in greater access to research, and increasingly serious engagement with the policy issues at the highest level.

The time has come to show just how strong that support is. As of today there is a petition on the Whitehouse site calling for the Executive to mandate Open Access to the literature generated from US Federal Funding. If the petition reaches 25,000 signatures within 30 days then the Whitehouse is committed to respond. The Executive has been considering the issues of access to research publications and data and with FRPAA active in both houses there are multiple routes available to enact change. If we can demonstrate widespread and diverse support for Open Access, then we will have made the case for that change. This is a real opportunity for each and everyone of us to make a difference.

So go to the Access2Research Petition on whitehouse.gov and sign up now. Blog and tweet using the hashtag #OAMonday and lets show just how wide the coalition is. Go to the Access2Research Website to learn more. Post the site link to your community to get people involved.

I’ll be honest. The Whitehouse petition site isn’t great – this isn’t a 30 second job. But it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes. You will need to give a real name and an email address and go through a validation process via email. You don’t need to be a US citizen or resident. Obviously if you give a US Zip code it is likely that more weight will be given to your signature but don’t be put off if you are not in the US. Once you have an account signing the petition is a simple matter of clicking a single button. The easiest approach will be to go to the Open Access petition and sign up for an account from there. Once you get the validation link via email you will be taken back to the petition.

The power of Open Access will only be unlocked through networks of people using, re-using, and re-purposing the outputs of research. The time has come to show just how broad and diverse that network is. Please take the time as one single supporter of Open Access to add your voice to the thousands of others who will be signing with you. And connect to your network to tell them how important it is for them to add their voice as well.

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