Latest news on White House 'Open Access' petition

Jocelyn Kaiser | Science Now | June 4, 2012

A petition urging the White House to expand federal policies requiring free access to taxpayer-funded research papers has gotten the 25,000 signatures needed to trigger a response.

The petition was launched on 13 May by a group of open access advocates including Heather Joseph, executive director of Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition in Washington, D.C. "Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet ... would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research," the petition states.

The petition comes amid a flurry of fresh debate in the U.S. Congress and in Europe over public access policies. But while the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is due to issue a report soon on public access at U.S. research agencies, it reportedly will make general recommendations and will not require an NIH-style policy.