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How to Get Started: Student Organizations

No matter what issues your student organization focuses on, access to research affects your members. Our coalition’s members are incredibly diverse, from large, national groups that advocate on behalf of an entire country’s students to field-specific groups that focus on areas like medicine or political science. Though they may not have much else in common, they all recognize both their members’ need for access to the latest research as well as the great positive impact expanding access will have on areas ranging from medicine to economic development to innovation in small business.

To get started, read through the steps below, and if you have any questions, feel free to email us at contact [at] righttoresearch [dot] org.
 

STEP ONE: Get Up To Date, Get Connected

Use the Learn section of our Web site to get up to speed on everything from the challenges students and others face getting access to the results of research, to the impact of limited access, to how we can solve this problem.

After you’ve learned what we’re fighting for (and why we're fired up), get connected  by subscribing to our blog or Twitter feed, or by friending us on Facebook. That way you’ll know all the latest news and get our Action Alerts when there are exciting new opportunities for you to make a difference, such as when a bill is introduced.
 

STEP TWO: Join the Coalition 

To become a member, endorse the Student Statement on the Right to Research, the statement of principles around which our coalition is based.  You can read and sign the statement here.
 

STEP THREE: Advocate Nationally

By advocating at the national level for public access policies, you can have a hand in making seismic shifts that will open up billions of dollars in research that are currently locked away behind subscription barriers.  And best of all, it doesn’t have to take much effort on your part.  In our action center, we provide template letters for active legislation, so writing to your representative is as easy as it is effective.  In addition to one writing letter on behalf of all the students in your organization, encourage your individual campus chapters to write in.  It’s an easy process that will take no more than a few minutes, but it will multiply the effect your organization has many times over. 

Visit our Action Center to write your legislators in support of Public Access policies

If your organization organizes national lobbying days, be sure to include Open Access in your issues list.  In our resources section, you can find useful tools such as talking points for active legislation as well as leave behind packets.
 

STEP FOUR: Get Your Chapters Involved

As you know, the real strength of your organization lies in the connection to your members on individual campuses across the country. Your organization can have a tremendous impact by activating your chapters to educate their campuses about Open Access, urge their student governments to join our Coalition, and push their campus administration to establish an open-access policy. Point your chapters to our section for Individual Students for a full list of ideas on how they can get involved.
 

STEP FIVE: Get Others Involved

If your organization belongs to any other organizations, networks, or consortia, encourage other members to join the Right to Research Coalition and support Open Access.  As a peer organization, you are in the best position to convince others to get on board.  The majority of the students in our Coalition have been brought on board by members reaching out to others with whom they regularly interact.

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