Student Coalition Forms to Back Open Access

June 15, 2009

Several student groups have issued a statement to jointly back the open access movement in which scholarly research is shared online and free. Some journals and researchers are moving to this model on their own, and others have been forced to do so by federal requirements. Some in Congress, with backing from publishers, are trying to end those requirements. The student statement argues for open access as the best way to share knowledge. "Scholarly knowledge is part of the common wealth of humanity," says the statement. "Unfortunately, not everyone has access to the scholarly literature, despite advances in communications technology. The high cost of academic journals restricts access to knowledge; in some fields, prices can reach $20,000 for a single journal subscription or $30 for an individual article. Despite these high prices, authors of scholarly articles are not paid for their work. The profits from these publications go solely to the publishers of the journals. A vast amount of research is funded from public sources – yet taxpayers are locked out by the cost of access." The statement was endorsed by the American Medical Student Association, Student PIRGs, Students for Free Culture, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, the California Institute of Technology Graduate Student Council and the Trinity University Association of Student Representatives.

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