December 4, 2009

MIT's Graduate Student Council lobbies for open access

Excerpted from MIT's newspaper, The Tech, November 17, 2009:

MIT's Graduate Student Council (GSC) recently added national policy to its otherwise campus-based advocacy agenda, pushing for tax exemption of graduate student stipends, open access to federally funded published research, and higher caps on H1-B visas for advanced-degree holders to members of Congress earlier this fall.


The GSC also felt that the pending Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S. 1373) was worth lobbying for. By making federally funded research over $100 million dollars open access, it would "enhance advanced research access and ensure that taxpayer-funded research is available to those who paid for it."


McComber also pointed out that "one of the big expenses [for MIT libraries] is journal subscriptions," making federally funded research open access appealing to MIT grad students and taxpayers alike.

"Publishers are commanding a very unhealthy sum in this area," said Chan.

Solidifying their platform on these lobbying issues, the GSC signed "The Student Statement on the Right to Research" on the Federal Research Public Access Act and plans to continue lobbying efforts in the spring.

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