John Wilbanks, co-author of the Panton Principles and past OKFN Advisory Board Member, just launched a petition to ask the White House to mandate free access to publicly funded research in the US. Here’s what it says:

We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research. The highly successful Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process, and we urge President Obama to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.

If more than 25,000 people sign it within the 30 day time frame, then the White House is required to consider the proposal and to give an official response. At the end of the first day there have been over 3,000 signatures.

Anyone can sign the petition – you do not need to be a citizen or resident in the US to support the initiative. If you believe in open access to research, please do consider lending your name, and encouraging friends and colleagues to do the same. You can find the petition here.

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

3 thoughts on “Petition the White House to Open Up Publicly Funded Research”

  1. As a researcher funded through the NSF, I fully support this petition. I think it is important the public is aware of all the cool and useful research that is going on throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world which is possible due to public funding.

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