I just sent the email below to my friends and family. Feel free to send a similar letter to yours.


You know me. I don’t send around chain letters, much less start them. So you know that if I’m sending you an email and asking you to tell your friends, it must be important.

This is important.

As taxpayers, we deserve access to the research that we fund. It’s in everyone’s interest: citizens, researchers, government, everyone. I’ve been working on this issue for years. I recently testified before a House committee about it.

Now we have an opportunity to tell the White House that they need to take action. There is a petition at the White House petition site calling for “President Obama to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.” If we get 25,000 signatures by June 19, 2012, the petition will be placed in the Executive Office of the President for a policy response.

Please sign the petition. I did. I was signatory number 442. Only 24,558 more to go.

Signing the petition is easy. You register at the White House web site verifying your email address, and then click a button. It’ll take five minutes tops. (If you’re already registered, you’re down to ten seconds.)

Please sign the petition, and then tell those of your friends and family who might be interested to do so as well. You can inform people by tweeting them this URL <http://bit.ly/MAbTHG> or posting on your Facebook page or sending them an email or forwarding them this one. If you want, you can point them to a copy of this email that I’ve put up on the web at <http://bit.ly/J8EmyD>.

Since I’ve just requested that you send other people this email (and that they do so as well), I want to make sure that there’s a chain letter disclaimer here: Do not merely spam every email address you can find. Please forward only to those people who you know well enough that it will be appreciated. Do not forward this email after June 19, 2012. The petition drive will be over by then. By all means before forwarding the email check the White House web link showing the petition at whitehouse.gov to verify that this isn’t a hoax. Feel free to modify this letter when you forward it, but please don’t drop the substance of this disclaimer paragraph.

You can find out more about the petition from the wonderful people at Access2Research who initiated it, and you can read more about my own views on open access to the scholarly literature at my blog, the Occasional Pamphlet.

Thank you for your help.

Stuart M. Shieber
Welch Professor of Computer Science
Director, Office for Scholarly Communication
Harvard University

4 Responses to “Open letter on the Access2Research White House petition”

  1. Dear Mom, please sign the petition. #OAMonday « Research Remix Says:

    […] by Stuart Shieber’s open letter to his family and friends asking them to sign the access2research petition, here is the email I just sent to mine.  Please […]

  2. Open Access White House Petition Takes Off! Says:

    […] Stuart M. Shieber – The Occasional Pamphlet on Scholarly Communication: Open letter on the Access2Research White House petition: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/pamphlet/2012/05/21/open-letter-on-the-access2research-white-house-peti… […]

  3. Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property » Open Access White House Petition Takes Off! Says:

    […] Stuart M. Shieber – The Occasional Pamphlet on Scholarly Communication: Open letter on the Access2Research White House petition: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/pamphlet/2012/05/21/open-letter-on-the-access2research-white-house-peti… […]

  4. Weekly Digest for May 24th « May Yan Says:

    […] Shared » Open letter on the Access2Research White House petition The Occasional Pamphlet. […]