Funders invest in research in order to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, encourage innovation, enrich education, and stimulate the economy – to improve the public good. They recognize that broad access to the results of research is an essential component of the research process itself. Research advances only through sharing of results, and the value of an investment in research is only maximized through wide use of its results.
Yet, too often, research results are not available to the broadest community of potential users. The Internet provides a new opportunity to bring information to a wider audience at virtually no marginal cost, and allow them to use it in new, innovative ways. This has resulted in a call for new framework to allow research results to be more easily accessed and used—a call for Open Access.
By Open Access, we mean the free, immediate, availability on the public Internet of those works which scholars give to the world without expectation of payment – permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose.
Who Benefits from Open Access?
“Open access truly expands shared knowledge across scientific fields — it is the best path for accelerating multi-disciplinary breakthroughs in research.”Open Letter to the US Congress signed by Nobel Prize winners
“Governments would boost innovation and get a better return on their investment in publicly funded research by making research findings more widely available… And by doing so, they would maximize social returns on public investments.”
–Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Widespread access to publicly funded research results is an essential, inseparable component of our nation’s investment in science.
Results of publicly funded research should be shared in cost-effective ways in order to stimulate discovery and innovation, and advance the translation of this knowledge into public benefits Enhanced access to and expanded sharing of information will lead to usage by millions of scientists, professionals, and individuals, and will deliver an accelerated return on the public’s investment in this research.