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Consumer Groups Support Public Access Act

Published Jul 31, 2006

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2006

Contact: 
Jennifer Heffelfinger
jennifer@arl.org
(202) 296-2296 ext.121

Consumer Groups Support Public Access Act
Consumers Union, Consumer Project on Technology and others support bill requiring key federal funders to post research on the Iinternet

WASHINGTON, DC - Eight consumer groups have announced their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (S.2695). The Act was introduced on May 2, 2006 by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and requires federal agencies that fund over $100 million in annual external research to make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles that stem from that research publicly available via the Internet. Consumer groups add their voices to those of universities, libraries, researchers, publishers, and patients - together representing thousands of individuals and institutions - that support the bill.

"It's gratifying to have the support of organizations that represent consumer interests and rights, especially in the realm of information and technology," said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition, an ATA founding member). "We all share a belief in the advancement of science for the public interest."

The Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, and Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech), are joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Essential Action, IP Justice, Public Knowledge, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Union for the Public Domain in pledging their support and applauding the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006.

"Technology has opened the door to the sharing of knowledge," said Manon Ress of the Consumer Project on Technology. "The Public Access Act constitutes a major step toward using the barrier-free potential of the Internet to provide all stakeholders in the scientific enterprise - including the public - access to critical information."

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access encourages taxpayers and discrete stakeholders in the scientific process to add their support for this important legislation. Details are online at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

For more information:

Consumers Union - http://www.hearusnow.org/digitalcontent/

Alliance for Taxpayer Access - publicinterestletter.pdf

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The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing entities that support expanded access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles on taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

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