The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is committed to increasing America’s return on research investment through barrier-free access to taxpayer-funded research.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is committed to the following four general principles:
American taxpayers are entitled to open access on the Internet to the peer-reviewed research articles and underlying research data funded by the U.S. Government.
Widespread access to these articles and data is an essential, inseparable component of our nation's investment in research and education.
Research articles and data should be shared in cost-effective ways that take advantage of the Internet, stimulate further discovery and innovation, and advance the translation of this knowledge into economic 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 taxpayers' investment.
Research provides the foundation of our modern economy. Research leads to breakthroughs, and communicating the results of research is what allows us to turn breakthroughs into better lives—to provide new treatments for disease, to implement solutions for our most pressing challenges, and to build entire industries around what were once just ideas.
However, our current system for communicating research is crippled by a centuries old model that hasn’t been updated to take advantage of 21st century technology:
- Governments provide most of the funding for research—hundreds of billions of dollars annually—and public institutions employ a large portion of all researchers.
- Researchers publish their findings without the expectation of compensation. Unlike other authors, they hand their work over to publishers without payment, in the interest of advancing human knowledge.
- Through the process of peer review, researchers review each other’s work for free.
- Once published, those that contributed to the research (from taxpayers to the institutions that supported the research itself) have to pay again to access the findings. Though research is produced as a public good, it often isn’t available to the public.
Our current system for communicating research uses a print-based model in the digital age. Even though research is largely produced with public dollars by researchers who share it freely, the results are hidden behind technical, legal, and financial barriers. These artificial barriers are maintained by legacy publishers and restrict access to a small fraction of users, locking out most of the world’s population and preventing the use of new research techniques.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access advocates for the US Government to take a leading role in changing this system and ensuring that the results of publicly-funded research—both articles and data—are made accessible to those who paid for it.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is administered by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.
Become a Member
Your organization is invited to join a diverse and growing coalition of taxpayers, patient advocates, physicians, researchers, and institutions that support making taxpayer-funded research available to the public.Learn More