At the moment, many of the studies I write about on this blog are published by journals retain the copyright and charge access. (A notable exception is the PLoS family of journals.) The fee charged by these journals is significant, meaning people are unlikely to have access to this research except via an institute such as a university. This is problematic since much of the research that went into producing those articles was publicly funded: why should the taxpayer have to pay once to support the research and again to access the results? Why should the private publishing companies reap massive profits from publicly funded research? One solution, which I’ve mentioned before, is Open Access, the unrestricted publication of publicly funded research results online. The people at access2research have started a “We the People” petition to get the Obama administration to address this issue. They need to collect about 7,000 more signatures before June 19, so if you agree with the idea of open access to the results of taxpayer-funded research, please head over and sign the petition.
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