Research encourages innovation, enriches education, stimulates the economy, and spurs further research and discovery. But what good would research be if you couldn’t access it? Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
This movement has been so successful in the world of peer-reviewed journal articles because researchers are very differently situated from most musicians and moviemakers. First, most scholarly journals do not buy their articles or pay royalties to authors. Second, most journal articles are based on publicly-funded research—that is, funded by taxpayers.
Citizens and policy-makers immediately see the logic of providing public access to the results of publicly-funded research, especially in fields with great potential for public benefit, such as medicine.
Public Knowledge’s Position
In July 2003, Public Knowledge launched its Open Access Project to educate policy-makers and the public about the critical role open access research plays in building America’s future.
PK works with other friends of OA, such as library associations, universities, and non-profit patient advocacy organizations, to enact and strengthen US policies to provide OA to publicly funded research.
What Open Access means to Public Knowledge:
- Public funding agencies in every country should require open access to publicly-funded research, with reasonable exceptions for classified research, patentable discoveries, and research published in royalty-producing forms such as books. The permissible embargo period, or delay after publication, should be no more than six months.
- Universities should deposit copies of all journal articles published by faculty, and all approved dissertations by graduate students, in their own OA repository. (This is compatible with non-OA publication of the same works.)
- Individual researchers should either submit their work to peer-reviewed OA journals or deposit copies in OA repositories.
What you can do to help
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- Give policy makers a piece of your mind: act now .
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