Support California's New Open Access Bill

Adi Kamdar | Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) | April 25, 2013

Good news: we are finally seeing real progress toward improving the public's ability to access to the research we pay for. In February, we saw both a White House memorandum and the introduction of bipartisan legislation designed to promote open access to taxpayer-funded research on the federal level. Now California has stepped up to try and secure the same public access rights to state-funded research.

The bill, called the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609), would give the public access to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of research funded in whole or in part by California residents. Many universities and research institutions use state funding to conduct important studies. Too often, however, the entities in charge of publishing the results of that work refuse to make it easily available, choosing instead to block it off behind expensive paywalls, and then sell back access to the universities that conducted the research in the first place. Indeed, even the authors commonly don't have the discretion to give free access to their own students.