Did you know our federal taxes help fund billions of dollars in scientific research every year? But in order to see the results of that research, publishers often charge significant amounts of money to anyone that wants to read about it. Shouldn’t we be able to see what we’re paying for without having to pay for it twice?
Publicly-funded research saves lives and has transformed the way we learn, live and communicate. There are big barriers to finding that research for everyday people - such as paywalls and complicated search features. Given it's tax season we thought that it would be a great moment for us as taxpayers (the funders of large amounts of scientific research!) to advance a set of principles we’d like to see apply to publicly-funded research:
The public should have full, open access to publicly-funded research, free of cost and available online. Open access to data will help individual entrepreneurs, researchers and consumers build on and use information generated from research. Thanks to publicly funded research made openly available, farmers in Colorado have access to weather data to predict irrigation costs and market cycles for crops.
We don’t know when research will come in handy again so preservation is key! For example, the technology developed for the Hubble space telescope was later used to create a new method of breast cancer screening. That’s why it’s crucial for this work to be preserved and archived rigorously.
You should be able to read studies without having a third party track what you're doing, and without needing expensive software to decipher complicated file formats. It should be easy for professional and citizen scientists alike to search data quickly and efficiently.