Right to Research Coalition


Why Open Access?

Open Access seeks to return scholarly publishing to its original purpose: to spread knowledge and allow that knowledge to be built upon.  Price barriers should not prevent students (or anyone) from getting access to research they need.  Open Access, and the open availability and searchability of scholarly research that it entails, will have a significant positive impact on everything from education to the practice of medicine to the ability of entrepreneurs to innovate.  Explore why Open Access is so important to a number of groups... chances are you probably belong to more than one.

Students Developing Countries
Researchers Entrepreneurs
Doctors The Public
Patients Publishers







Students have an especially large stake in the debate about access to research.  Expanding access will pay great dividends to students in a variety of ways:

In my role as educator, I often find myself teaching my graduate and medical students what I have access to rather than what they most need to know. Just as one example, in a recent lecture I was preparing for our medical students... I was only able to access about two thirds of the articles that I needed in order to make sure that I was providing these budding young doctors with everything they needed to know about the subject. I can tell you that’s extremely frustrating to me as an educator and it’s clearly not in the best interests of my students. This problem isn’t unique to the University of Vermont. Every academic institution faces this problem – from the best-funded private institutions down to the small liberal arts colleges and community colleges. It’s just a question of degree.

- Dr. Gary Ward, Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Co-Director, Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University of Vermont1



Watch researchers explain why they personally support Open Access

Learn more about why researchers support Open Access (ATA)


Watch President Obama address this very problem in his speech to the American Medical Association in June of 2009.

Watch Rick Kulkarni, Director of Medicine for eMedicine.com, explain why Open Access is crucial to doctors' ability to deliver the best care to their patients.


See patient perspectives on Open Access (ATA)

 Developing Countries

Developing countries are home to the same groups that require access to research in order to thrive (students, researchers, doctors, etc), but they often face much steeper access barriers.  While many institutions in the developed world can afford journal budgets of several million or more dollars, institutions in developing countries must make do with a fraction of that budget.

 Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Visit the Alliance for Taxpayer Access for more information on how OA benefits small business.

 The Public



LEARN MORE: Related Issues

[1] Alliance for Taxpayer Access, FRPAA Press Conference, 04/21/10

[2] "The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date," Alma Swan, 04/2010 (accessed 07/25/10)

[3] "Transcript of President Obama's Remarks," American Medical Association, 06/15/09 (accessed 08/02/10)

[4] "Small business captures largest share of renewable energy grants," Renewable Energy Focus, 03/26/10 (accessed 07/25/10)

[5] "Updating Realistic Access," Mike Rossner, Journal of Cell Biology, 05/03/10 (accessed 07/28/10)