April 7, 2011 will mark the third anniversary of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) public access policy, the first such policy enacted by the US Federal Government, which has delivered free and open access to over 2 million full-text articles in just three years. As a result, PubMed Central sees nearly 500,000 unique users every day and has served as an invaluable resource for students in biomedical-related fields.
This milestone is a critical opportunity for students to join other public access advocates in pressing for the expansion of the successful NIH policy to other federal agencies. Please join us in calling on key policy makers to take advantage of this occasion by sending letters to HHS, OSTP, and the NIH (as an individual and/or on behalf of your organization) NO LATER THAN April 14, 2011.
As always, suggested talking points and contact information can be found in our Right to Research Coalition Action Center, and are linked below for your convenience. We’re encouraging advocates to FAX and EMAIL letters to three different offices:
Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, calling for the expansion of the policy to other agencies within HHS.
Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), John Holdren, calling for the expansion of the policy to federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more.
Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, celebrating the success of the policy and encouraging a shorter embargo period.
In addition, please send a copy of your letters to nick [at] arl [dot] org, so we can track responses and highlight your letters in our work with these offices.
Finally, please help us spread the word about this call to action to the rest of the student community by telling your friends and members of your organization, posting on Facebook and Twitter, and forwarding the call to any appropriate email lists.
Thank you, and from all the positive responses we’ve gotten from past student letters in support of public access, I can assure you that your voice will have an impact disproportionate to the short time it will take you to send the letters.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at nick [at] arl [dot] org.