US student bodies call for open access

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A coalition of student associations in the USA have signed a statement calling on universities, research funders, and researchers to support open access to research.

Students rely on access to academic journal literature for their research and education, say the associations. However, even before the recent economic crisis many colleges have struggled with the high costs of journal subscriptions, restricting access for students and scientists alike, says the statement.

The American Medical Student Association, the Student PIRGs, Students for Free Culture, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, as well as the Trinity University Association of Student Representatives and the California Institute of Technology Graduate Student Council have signed a statement. Other student organisations are invited to add their support online.

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) helped to coordinate discussions that led to the launch of this statement. It also sponsors the statement website. 'The student voice is growing louder, more clear, and more compelling in the discussion on access to research,' said Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC . 'Financial pressures are driving libraries, universities and colleges, as well as students to more closely examine the return on their investment in resources. Our young colleagues, whose education relies on access to quality scholarship, are absolutely right to make research access a focal cause.'