At The Guardian, University of Bristol researcher Mike Taylor says that a petition in the US to urge President Barack Obama to implement open access for all federally funded research could "tip the scales in favor of open-access publishing." The problem of open access has been a hot topic in the past few months, with researchers, publishers, funding bodies, governments, and much of the scientific community chiming in with their opinions. There have been many calls for more open-access journals and castigations of the publishing industry. Meanwhile, publishers respond that their fees are necessary.
Taylor says mandates from funders are the way to resolve the problem. And now, the issue has caught the attention of Obama's science advisor. "There is a feeling that the administration fully understands the value of open access, and that a strong demonstration of public concern could be all it takes now to goad it into action before the November election," Taylor says.