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White House petition for open access

Many of you will already know about this, but at present there is an
unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the legislative push for
open access to federally funded research in the USA -- including, but
not limited to, palaeontology.

The White House OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) has
solicited public comments on open access twice in as many years, which
shows its concern.  Now, following a meeting between the president's
Chief Science Advisor John Holdren and open-access advocates including
John Wilbanks and SPARC's Heather Joseph, the administration wants to
gauge public interest in this issue by means of an online petition:

international issue, and international signatures are welcomed.  All
that's required is that you are 13 or older, and have an email address
that they can use for the verification email.

The petition needs to hit 25,000 signatures in 30 days in order to
cross the president's desk; doing so will also help the FRPAA, a bill
which proposes extending the NIH's public access policy to all of the
dozen federal agencies with research budgets exceeding $100M.  I need
hardly explain the huge advantages this would have for palaeontology,
health, education, industry, public interest in science, third-world
development and in many other areas; but anyone who thinks open access
is only of interest to academics is encouraged to look at the "Who
Needs Access?" web-site:

For this reason, please encourage not only your colleagues but also
your friends and family outside of academia to sign.  The faster we
hit the 25,000-signatures target, and the more we can exceed it by,
the stronger the case for the current presidential administration to
tackle the issue before the November election!

Thanks for listening.  The petition URL again: http://wh.gov/6TH

-- Mike.

P.S. to VRTPALEO members: note that I have referred throughout to "the
president" rather than using the incendiary Ob*m* word, so PLEASE do
not turn this in a conservative-vs.-liberal politics thread.  This is
not a partisan issue.  The FRPAA has sponsors on both sides of the