US Campuses Declare National Day of Action in support of federal OA legislation

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 20:21:05 +0000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 13:38:51 -0600
From: Jennifer McLennan <jennifer --->
To: harnad ---
Subject: [ATA] Students Rally for Access to Publicly Funded Research -
    Campuses declare National Day of Action in support of federal legislation


For immediate release February 1, 2007


Gavin Baker (407) 929-5657

Jennifer McLennan SPARC (202) 296-2296 ext. 121

Students Rally for Access to Publicly Funded Research
Campuses declare "National Day of Action" in support of federal legislation

WASHINGTON, DC - February 1, 2007 -, the international
student movement for free culture, in collaboration with the Alliance
for Taxpayer Access (ATA), today announced that February 15, 2007 will
be a "National Day of Action" for students that support open sharing
of scientific and scholarly research findings on the Internet. Events
nationwide will highlight the importance of taxpayer access to publicly
funded research and rally support for Congressional passage of the Federal
Research Public Access Act. The day also marks the fifth anniversary of
the landmark Budapest Open Access Initiative, when the worldwide open
access movement first took form, and will be supported by the launch of
a new Web resource and petition for public access, produced jointly by and the ATA.

The Federal Research Public Access Act was introduced last year by Senator
John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and is awaiting
reintroduction in the 110th Congress. The bill would require federal
agencies that fund over $100 million in annual external research to make
manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles stemming from that research
publicly available via the Internet. (For further information about the
legislation, see It is estimated
that approximately half of the research conducted at universities is
government funded. and its 36 chapters nationwide joins 72 other members
of the ATA, 132 university and college presidents and provosts, and
thousands of taxpayers, patients, researchers, and librarians that have
voiced support for the legislation.

"Students are researchers, and were among the first
groups to recognize the vast benefits of open access,"
said Gavin Baker, director of's Open Access
project and author of a University of Florida student senate
resolution in support of the Cornyn-Lieberman public access bill
"Since many of their professors, advisors, and colleagues have conducted
their work with the benefit of federal grants, it makes sense that
this work should be freely circulated and built upon. Students have
coordinated their efforts on a national level to formalize their strong
belief that public access to research is the way to move forward."

"Improving access to government-funded research results is critical to
advancing science," said David Minh, a University of California San
Diego graduate student who serves on the coordinating committee for
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. "Public access to research
will not only benefit students and researchers in the United States,
but will also empower scientists in the developing world - who have far
fewer resources available to them - to accelerate the pace of biomedical
research, particularly in neglected diseases."

"Students adding their considerable energy and significant weight to the
momentum behind the issue is yet another sign of the strength and breadth
of support for public access to research results," said Heather Joseph,
Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic
Resources Coalition, founder of the ATA). "We encourage universities,
libraries, researchers, scholarly societies, patient organizations, and
consumer groups to support student researchers in making the National
Day of Action a success."

Campuses nationwide will be announcing individual events and support for
the National Day of Action in the coming weeks. For more information,
please visit the for Taxpayer Access student
resource at


The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic,
research, and publishing entities that support free public access to the
results of federally funded research and advocate passage of the Federal
Research Public Access Act. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that
peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become
fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American
public. Details on the ATA may be found at
Received on Thu Feb 01 2007 - 20:35:38 GMT

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