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Student talking points and contact information for letters to HHS Secretary Sebelius

The following talking points are for use in conjunction with the call to action issued March 30, 2011. As always, please adapt and expand as needed to suit your unique voice.

  • April 7th, 2011 will mark the third anniversary of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) highly successful Public Access Policy. 

  • It’s the first U.S. policy to ensure that students and other members of the public – including [the groups you believe benefit from access] – have guaranteed, free, online access to articles reporting on the results of research that their tax dollars support.

  • PMC has made available more than two million full-text articles, which are accessed by nearly half a million users every day from all sectors of the public.

  • On behalf of [describe your organization], we ask that you consider immediately expanding the NIH Public Access Policy to all other Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) agencies.

  • Doing so will ensure students have access to crucial research conducted by the CDC, FDA, AHRQ, and other HHS divisions.  Each of these divisions has a corresponding field of students who would benefit greatly from access to HHS’ full research output.

  • [Why public access is important to your organization and how you have benefited from the success of the NIH policy]

  • Due to the high and increasing cost of many subscriptions, students are often forced to make do with the fraction of journals their institution can afford rather than what they need. Furthermore, educators cannot teach what they cannot read, meaning inaccessible articles don’t find their way into the classes in which they should be taught.

  • Expanding the NIH public access policy to allow students and educators to access the results of all HHS-funded research, regardless of journal subscriptions, will be a significant step forward in affording students in health-related fields the most complete and up-to-date education.

  • [Thanks and invitation to discuss further]


The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 120F
Washington, DC 20201                 
Fax: 202-690-7203 

Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS 

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS

Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, HHS

The Right to Research Coalition has partnered with the Alliance for Taxpayer Access to host our legislative action center. Links on this page will take you to our template letters within the ATA's action center.
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