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OA Advocate Jack Andraka to appear on this Wednesday's Colbert Report

Published Oct 28, 2013, 1:01pm

Open Access advocate Jack Andraka will appear on the Colbert Report, this Wednesday October 30th at 11:30pm EDT.

The winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Jack Andraka has captivated the world with his novel diagnostic for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer that, according to Jack's trials, has significantly improved upon tests currently available on the market.  

Jack Andraka is a perfect example of the power of Open Access, the free availability of all academic research articles online with full reuse rights. In his own words, Jack used free online academic journals “religiously” in his research, as well as the National Institute of Health’s online article database, called PubMed Central (PMC).

Jack has become an outspoken advocate for Open Access and a leader among a group of outstanding students who are advancing research, using articles they can find freely online. According to Jack, “there are millions people like [him]” who are trying to tap into the power of the Internet to advance research, but that “paywalls are stopping [them].”    

Earlier this year, the Right to Research Coalition spoke to some of Jack’s fellow Intel International Science and Engineering Fair participants about their difficulties in accessing research articles and the impact Open Access could have in allowing them to make discoveries similar to Jack’s. As Kelsey Barter, a Junior from University High School in Arizona said, “It’s really important to have access to the literature because it’s the foundation of anything that is going to happen in the sciences.”

Students interviewed in the video include:

  • Jack Andraka
    Sophomore, North County High School
    Glen Burnie, Maryland

  • Kelsey Barter
    Junior, University High School
    Tucson, Arizona

  • Thabit Pulak
    Junior, Richardson High School
    Richardson, Texas

  • Swetha Revanur
    Freshman, Evergreen Valley High School
    San Jose, California

  • Brittany Wenger
    Senior, The Out-of-Door Academy
    Sarasota, Florida

  • Catherine Wong
    Senior, Morristown High School
    Morristown, New Jersey

Open Access promises to benefit students of all disciplines by giving them access to the cutting edge research literature immediately, rather than making them wait until they graduate to an institution that can afford subscription bundles that often run into the millions of dollars. As Jack has proven so vividly, innovation can and often does come from unexpected places, and Open Access will help empower many students who are also making significant contributions to scientific and scholarly advancement at an early age.

You can see Jack in the guest sidebar on the Colbert Nation website at

This interview is presented by the Right to Research Coalition, with support from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Society for Science and the Public.

For press inquiries, contact Nick Shockey, Director of the Right to Research Coalition
Phone: 202-296-2296
Email: nick [at] arl [dot] org

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