[A2k] Wikimedia Foundation endorses mandates for free access to publicly funded research

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Fri May 25 09:30:32 PDT 2012


Sorry for cross posting but many public health groups and A2K
supporters should also sign on.

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/05/25/wikimedia-foundation-endorses-mandates-for-free-access-to-publicly-funded-research/

To sign:
https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/#!/petition/require-free-access-over-internet-scientific-journal-articles-arising-taxpayer-funded-research/wDX82FLQ

Wikimedia Foundation endorses mandates for free access to publicly
funded research
Posted by Dario Taraborelli on May 25th, 2012

Scholarly information is often too expensive to access. Academic
publishers sell journal subscriptions for thousands of dollars per
journal per year. Typically, only universities and large libraries,
not individuals, are able to pay those fees, which limits access to
researchers and others affiliated with institutions with money.

Are these costs justifiable when the underlying research is publicly
funded and the underlying goal is public knowledge? If you’re a
taxpayer you’ve already paid to fund the research, so why should you
pay essentially another tax to read the findings of that research?

On May 20, a team of longtime advocates for public access to scholarly
information launched a campaign to urge U.S. President Barack Obama to
“require free access over the Internet to journal articles arising
from taxpayer-funded research.” Opening up publicly-funded research
will “provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their
teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for
the research.”

This is consistent with Wikimedia’s non-profit mission “to empower and
engage people around the world to collect and develop educational
content under a free license or in the public domain, and to
disseminate it effectively and globally.”

Click to view a video by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic
Research Coalition about the petition

Wikimedia project volunteers, who are among the taxpayers, should not
be denied free access to this information. They should be empowered to
read it, report on it, and cite it. Wikipedia and its sister projects
depend on the energy and unselfish dedication of this team of
contributors – volunteers, researchers, and amateurs – who read and
investigate sources as they work to compile accurate, up-to-date,
verifiable knowledge. Each month, hundreds of millions of global
readers view, and have the opportunity to evaluate and contribute to
Wikimedia content. Many do not have the means (nor should they be
required) to pay for knowledge, including useful economic, health and
scientific information when their taxes fund the research.

We believe in open access and free licensing as fundamental forces to
disseminate knowledge, support education and accelerate discovery.

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is endorsing this petition, joining
thousands of individuals and organizations expressing support for free
access to taxpayer-funded research articles. We hope you will join us,
too—anyone over age 13 can sign (and you do not need to be a US
citizen).

Please consider signing this petition to mandate that all research
funded by U.S. taxpayers be made freely available to the citizens of
the Web.

Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Analyst, Wikimedia Foundation
Geoff Brigham, General Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation
Kat Walsh, Member of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees

    Copyright notes: "Library Appeal, 1973" by London School of
Economics, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons, Video
by SPARC supporting the petition, under CC-BY


-- 
Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
http://www.keionline.org
manon.ress at keionline.org




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