National Student Organizations call for Open Access to Research



National Student Organizations call for Open Access to Research

Washington, DC -- A coalition of national and regional college student associations today issued a "Student Statement on the Right to Research," calling on universities, research funders, and researchers to take action in support of Open Access to research. The American Medical Student Association, the Student PIRGs, Students for Free Culture, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, as well as the Trinity University Association of Student Representatives and the California Institute of Technology Graduate Student Council have signed the statement.

Students rely on access to academic journal literature for their research and education. However, even before the recent economic crisis many colleges have struggled with the high costs of journal subscriptions, restricting access for students and scientists alike. The statement reads, in part: "Learning and inquiry are impeded when scholars lack access to fellow researchers' work, and when students lack access to the work of scholars before them.

At the same time, digital technologies have opened new opportunities for research. New tools facilitate faster discoveries, speed the development of new technologies, and accelerate the progress of science. Patients could have access to the latest medical research, citizens could evaluate scientific information on environmental impacts, and developing countries could apply the most recent scholarship to public health and development efforts. But access barriers leave these opportunities under-explored.

Open Access is an alternative to the traditional closed, subscription-access system of scholarly communication. Open Access makes the results of scholarly research available online for free, immediately upon publication, and removes barriers for scholarly and educational re-use. Entire journals can be open-access, or an author can provide

Open Access to an individual article by posting a copy on an openly accessible Web site. All forms of open-access publication depend on rigorous methods of quality control, including peer review."

The full text of the statement is online at http://www.righttoresearch.org

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