Update: H.R. 3699 was pulled on February 27, 2012.
For a living, I rely on open access to publicly funded research. Everyone does. It greases the numerous cogs of our economy. It keeps the ball rolling. It lowers costs. It improves the quality of several products, which invariably join to form a large one.
Unfortunately, the Research Works Act (H.R. 3699) would restrict this access, which may actually grind numerous aspects of our economy to a halt. Sound melodramatic? Let me explain by first explaining how open access helps me and the economic process I’m a part of. Links to H.R. 3699, a couple of other articles about it, and what you can do are at this post’s base.
How Public Access Helps Me
I’m an archaeologist, geoarchaeologist and project manager at my job. All these responsibilities require publicly funded information, and fast, free access to it.
I subscribe to a variety of peer-reviewed, scholarly, online journals. In addition, I use clearing houses for scholarly journals. I conduct my fieldwork, research the project both before and after the field visit, and write my report. This needs to be done cheaply and quickly, so that our clients (a variety of people conducting any sort of ground disturbing work – this ground disturbing work includes public works such as infrastructure) can proceed with their work on time and on budget.
I’m sure numerous other cogs in the wheel of our economy rely on open access to information in a similar manner. If so, restricting access to materials would grind projects to a halt, eliminating good jobs.
Below are Links to the Bill Itself, Other Articles, and Sites for Petitions and Writing Congress
Bill at Library of Congress
Sign a Petition or Write Congress
Economic Reason to Oppose the Research Works Act by Shari Maria Silverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.