we sign it - In the face of COVID-19, let’s make all scientific publications freely accessible

In the face of COVID-19, let’s make all scientific publications freely accessible

The current COVID-19 crisis requires us to change our habits in order to maintain our activities in a difficult situation. This petition calls for free access to a tool crucial for understanding the current situation and thinking about the future: the large bibliographic databases, access to which is usually by subscription only.

Streaming services, adult content and gaming platforms have been made free to boost morale, especially among people in lockdown. Governments are investing massive amounts of money to support their economies. Incomplete access to data is currently hampering the continuity of scientific research; opening these databases may also help decision makers and journalists to understand current issues better.

Many researchers confined at home are actively writing articles, processing data on computers, preparing projects or thinking about the future of their research, for example, on what will happen after the crisis. Many other researchers are actively working on the current virus crisis (thank you!). However, this research is driven not only by funding, but also, and above all, by ideas and by data already acquired. Supporting scientific research, whether the researcher is in confinement or the laboratory, means providing full access to the major bibliographic databases of international publishers. The financial situation of most of them makes this possible. In addition, these databases also contain hard information that can help fight rumours and fake news; political and economic decision makers should be able access data and ideas there to bounce back better after the current crisis.

Some international publishers have already led the way by offering free access to articles on the coronavirus: but who knows the exact scope of the needs for the fight against the coronavirus? It may require data from various fields of research, such as chemistry, anthropology, zoology, sociology and medicine.

Free entertainment for everyone is a citizen-led initiative; science for all is strategic. It also offers a unique opportunity to serve teachers and those interested in science who are in lockdown. We demand free and rapid online access to all the knowledge of humanity for the duration of the crisis. We support and extend the pleas already made in this regard [1] and urge scientists and teachers, but also political leaders and citizens, to share and amplify our call without delay.

(This a citizens' initiative by French researchers).

[1] for example:

https://bib.cnrs.fr/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-APPEL-AUX-E%CC%81DITEURS-DEF-2020-03-19.pdf

https://icolc.net/statement/statement-global-covid-19-pandemic-and-its-impact-library-services-and-resources

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