Gowers’s weblog: Have you signed the open-access petition?

Quoting from Tim Gowers’s blog today:

Have you signed the open-access petition?

As you may know, there is a system in the US for setting up online petitions. Any petition that reaches 25,000 signatures in 30 days will be considered by White House staff. Recently, a petition was set up asking the Obama administration to require publications resulting from research paid for by the US taxpayer to be freely available. If such a requirement were to be put in place, it would be a huge boost to the campaign to make all academic research easily accessible.

It became possible to sign the petition last Monday, since when there have been (as I write) 14,303 signatures, well over half the number required. Even if the rate of signing goes down, the target of 25,000 by June 19th will probably be reached. However, the organizers want not just to reach the target but to go well beyond it. It is hoped that that, and reported sympathy for the idea within the Obama administration, will give it a real chance of success. So if you can spare two or three minutes (you have to give your email address so that you can receive an email and confirm your identity, and also read a Captcha), then please do the world a service and add your signature. You do not have to be a US citizen to sign. And please pass the message on.

If you want to read a bit more about the petition and the background to it, then this Guardian article is a good start.

PS During the writing of this short post, there were six new signatures, so the tally now stands at 14,309.

[Joel adds: Up to 14350 now! ]


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