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National Association of Graduate-Professional Students August 2010 Newsletter–Volume 24, Number 2

The Postgraduate Voice

Public Access Hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives The Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the topic of “Public Access to Federally-Funded Research.” The hearing was chaired by the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Congressman Lacy Clay. The hearing was comprised of three panels; the first featured individuals skeptical of public access to federally-funded research policies. This included: Allan Adler from the Association of American Publishers, Steven Breckler from the American Psychological Association and Ralph Oman from the George Washington University Law School. Mr. Adler described publishing of research articles as a “collaborative effort” between the author and the publisher, and expressed his concern that public access would create an “unwarranted” competition from the government for the rest of the research and publishing industry. He described a distinction between peer-reviewed articles which are created as a product of the research and the research itself, stating that the publishers are in charge of the former while the public pays for the latter. He also expressed his concern regarding libraries canceling subscriptions to journals. Dr. Breckler announced that while APA supports open access, they are concerned that the current efforts are “not the best” and may weaken the scientific effort. Professor Oman stated that the proposed legislation promoting public access (Federal Research Public Access Act H.R. 5037) is “unfortunate” for a country that both has a free market and prides itself on intellectual property. After the first panel spoke, Congresswoman Chu from California asked the panel which was more important, the rights of the “publishers or the taxpayers who invest in the research?” Mr. Adler again replied that there is a distinction between the research “and the account of the research.” Congresswoman Maloney from New York stated that she “fears for the future of our country” because “we must hold on to our intellectual property,” echoing the sentiments of the panel. She also stated that she believed researches who peer-review the work of others get paid. This inaccuracy was subsequently addressed and corrected by the next panel.

In This Issue Public Access Hearing – 1,3,4 National Conference 2010 – 1 Graduate-Professional Student Orientation – 2 Collective Advocacy Against Student Taxes – 2 Outreach & Membership Update – 4 The Western Region A Focus on Colorado – 6 The Southeast Region A New Beginning – 6 Health Care Legislation – 8 International Student Issues On The Rise – 9 Join The ISCC – 10 NAGPS Statement on Public Access – 11, 12

Public Access continued on page 3.

NAGPS 2010 National Conference Looking to network with other student leaders? Eager to share best practices with other graduate-professional student organizations? You should attend the NAGPS National Conference! The 24th Annual National NAGPS Conference will be held November 11-14, 2010 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. The theme for this year is "Leadership in Action." With nearly twice as many member

schools as last year, this conference will be a great opportunity for networking and sharing with other Graduate-Professional Student Organizations (GPSOs). And if you are not a member, it's okay, you can still participate!

events. This year, as a special part of the program, we will also offer skill development workshops on managing organizational finances, website design and architecture, how to recruit sponsors/donors, and much more.

The cornerstone NAGPS event, this conference will include student-led presentations and discussions about best practices and current issues in GPSOs, planning for the future of NAGPS, and fun social

The NAGPS National Conference is a great opportunity to hone your leadership skills and gather new ideas for your GPSO - visit www.nagps.org to find out more information and register today!

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Graduate-Professional Student Orientation As the summer draws to a close, it's time to orient a new class of graduateprofessional students to campus. While the task may seem mundane and mechanical to many who have been involved in orientation proceedings in the past, you should remember that orientation (and related activities) will serve as the first impression of your graduateprofessional student organization (GPSO) for first-year students. With this in mind, I offer five things that you may want to think about in preparing your orientation programming: • GPSO Value Proposition: Clearly we would love to have an abundance of volunteers and representatives in each GPSO, and part of the reason that we have orientation programming is to attract new students to be a part of the organization. However, this year focus on the value to the student that the GPSO can deliver - do you do social programming that subsidizes activities, are there travel/research grants available, do you provide training and leadership experiences? Take time to craft a

short blurb about your GPSO's "value proposition" to students - it may end up recruiting many more students than you would think. • Local Involvement: While the center of our lives in graduate school usually revolve around campus, it's important to remember that there is a community surrounding your school as well. As we've seen recently with student taxation battles, student involvement in local organizations and politics is vital! Take the time to encourage your students to join local sports leagues, civic organizations, or volunteer groups... a bit of effort now could make a large difference in connecting your students to the city that they are now a part of. • Civic Engagement: Encourage your students to register to vote locally. Not only will this encourage engagement in elections, but your students will build a connection to the larger community. You should research local and state election laws to determine exactly what the regulations are regarding student voting... however, once you do so you

can hold voter registration drives and civic engagement activities to help promote the cause. • Smaller Orientations: I would bet that most GPSOs have some presence at the large campus-wide orientation, but do you also do smaller events? We provide an intro to our GSO at every department's individual orientation. The talk is usually 15-30 minutes long, but it provides students a more intimate setting to ask questions and get detailed information about our GPSO in a setting customized for their department. • Keep it Fun: Don't forget that one of the best ways to deliver a message is by sneaking it between the laughs... your students will be more engaged and active if you make your programming enjoyable! With that, I hope that your orientation activities are well received and productive. Jon Kowalski NAGPS Director of Finance Carnegie Mellon GSA VP External Affairs

Collective Advocacy Against Student Taxes There is no question about it: as graduate students we share the common experience of living without bounty, mindful of every dollar we are obligated to pay out and aware of the difference between luxury spending and priority spending. As the recent international financial crisis descended – imprinting itself on balance sheets home and afar – fragile budgets were exposed aplenty: cash-strapped governments, defunct businesses, and yes, struggling graduate students everywhere! Many from our cohort, despite our tempered financial resilience, experienced many new challenges as funding sources stagnated, jobs were lost, and hiring of new graduates slowed. It was the perfectly wrong time for new taxes to be imposed on students – but that was the unfortunate fate of many. The Northeast region was – and perhaps still is – a perfect example: students in Pittsburgh, PA, and Providence, RI, were quickly eyed as possible sources of new revenue as city administrators worked to generate funds for dwindling public cof-

fers. Students in both cities – including those in graduate school – contended with the possibility of student taxes that had been devised on the premise that students did not help, and in some cases damaged, the health and financial viability of the places where they lived and studied. In Providence, students at private colleges and universities faced the possibility of a $300 per year student tax; in Pittsburgh, students at all post-secondary institutions faced a tax equal to 1% of the cost of tuition that could amount to as much as $400 per year for some. The common experience of students in both Pittsburgh and Providence, though, underscores the value of quick action and collective effort. After a very public response from students in Providence, the tax has yet to be imposed and students remain hopeful that it never will be. In Pittsburgh, students quickly collaborated to present a comprehensive argument against a premise that failed to recognize all the taxes graduate students paid, including those levied on property, income, parking and amusement. In Pittsburgh,

NAGPS also lent its support. The local government acknowledged the voice of riled students and agreed instead to partner directly with school administrations to evaluate possibilities for generating revenue other than those that would directly target students. In Pittsburgh, though, the outcome has been more profound as the experience unified schools leading to the creation of the Pittsburgh Student Government Council, an advocacy arm ready to be flexed in defense of city’s students. The support given by NAGPS to the students in Pittsburgh were reminiscent of NAGPS early days, as a group to advocate for a return to tax exemptions on graduate student stipends. Taken together, though, these stories reaffirm the value of collective action and show the value of networks and organizations beyond the limits of any single graduate and professional student assembly at any one school. Jason Heustis NAGPS Northeast Region Chair

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Public Access continued from page 1. The second panel was comprised of Richard Roberts from New England Biolabs, who is a Nobel Prize Laureate, Sharon Terry, CEO of the Genetic Alliance, Elliott Maxwell from the Committee for Economic Development, Sophia Colamarino, VP for Research from Autism Speaks, David Shulenburger, VP of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and Catherine Nancarrow, Managing Editor from the Public Library of Science Community Journals. Dr. Roberts stated that “access to literature is key to progress.” He spoke about the lack of access not only in higher education but also as it pertains to high school students who research and participate in science fairs. He said that “most high schools can only dream” of affording access to scientific literature. Ms. Terry provided the point of view of a patient’s advocate and the American public. She is a parent of a child with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) and she and her husband stole access to journals to read over 400 articles on the disease. It was their research which lead to creating PXE International, creating a biobank, cloning the gene, creating a diagnostic test and initiating clinical trials, all of which were made possible by access to literature by non-scientists. Later on in the hearing, Chairman Clay commended her on her statement and her bravery in publicly admitting to accessing this information. Mr. Maxwell said that having a “greater openness is critical for increasing innovation and economic growth” and broadening the impact of science. Dr. Colamarino spoke about the importance of access for patients and families, for scientists and funders. When asked about the ability of patients to understand scientific articles, she stated that while traveling around the country, she found autism patient families “nothing but sophisticated in their understanding,” and desiring to learn more information to find a cure for the disease. Ms. Nancarrow spoke about PLOS journals as an example of open access policy and that the journals are published “to the highest standards” (retaining their respectability and credibility in terms of peer review, submissions, citations, and

NAGPS President Alex Evans, NAGPS Ex-Officio Julia Mortyakova, and The Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee Chairman, Congressman Lacy Clay media presence), that they are economically sustainable and that public access to journal articles “transforms research literature” into a “powerful resource for research and education.” Chairman Clay asked the panel if public access will have a negative effect on the peer-review process. Dr. Roberts answered “not at all.” Mr. Maxwell said he envisions even more review since there will be more readers. Chairman Clay then asked about the impact on students and Dr. Roberts said that students “are the future,” and “we do a disservice to students by denying them access.” Chairman Clay asked if the “reports” published by researchers are “decipherable.” Mrs. Terry said they are analogous to an auto mechanic’s manual – a few words may need to be referenced in a dictionary, but anyone can learn to understand the technical vocabulary if they wanted. The third and final panel was comprised of David Lipman from the National Institutes of Health. He spoke about the NIH policy and PubMed Central repository and the effect it has had. It receives 420,000 unique users per day, houses over 2 million full-text articles, and it only costs about $3.5 to $ 4 million to

maintain out of the overall NIH $30 billion budget. It is estimated that 25% of PubMed Central users are from universities, 40% are private citizens, 17% are from companies, and the remainder are government users or others. This supports the idea that “PubMed Central has become a broad-based repository for researchers, students, clinicians, entrepreneurs, patients and their families.” Chairman Clay asked why it is important to have a government run website as a repository. Dr. Lipman replied that one of the reasons is archiving. Chairman Clay asked what effect PubMed Central has had on research and publishing. Dr. Lipman replied that although there were concerns expressed from publishers, nothing negative has happened thus far to their subscriptions. However, there are now a lot more people reading the articles and a “proportional increase – more articles and more users.” Chairman Clay asked if the NIH was willing to help other agencies establish repositories similar to PubMed Central and Dr. Lipman replied “absolutely.” Dr. Lipman stated that 40% of journals automatically deposit the articles, no extra work for authors, and for the remaining 60% the author uploads the work him or herself, which is an easy process taking no more than 10 minutes time.

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The hearing proved to be a great discourse in airing many possible concerns about open access policies, and demolishing certain inaccurate assumptions about what open access would accomplish. The second and third panels of the hearing spoke as strong advocates for patients, students, and researchers explaining the need for access to research, the willingness to understand technical terminology within the articles, and the contribution of this movement to the overall progress of science. NAGPS has been a strong advocate for open access and for the Federal Research Public Access Act and submitted a statement urging Congress to take action on the matter to be included in the documents of the hearing. President Alex Evans attended the hearing to show NAGPS’s support. Complete statements of all of the members of the panels are available on the subcommittee’s website: http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?opti on=com_content&view=article&id=4449 &Itemid=19

Outreach & Membership Update I am ecstatic to be writing this as my first newsletter article while in the position of Director of Outreach. As part of a concerted effort to improve the representativeness of NAGPS, we have made a major push to recruit more organizational members since the 2009 National Conference last November. It is with great pleasure that I announce that we have achieved major membership growth and continue to improve our numbers. At the 2009 National Conference, our organizational membership totaled 35 graduate-professional student groups. While our members were well-distributed across the United States and represented a diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds, we felt there was a strong need to grow our membership. Not only does a larger membership lend more credence to our advocacy efforts, but it also supplies a

larger base from which we may draw a variety of ideas and talents. As of July 22nd, 2010, our organizational membership totals 52 groups, an increase of nearly 50% since the last national conference. At least five more groups plan to join before or at the 2010 National Conference. It is due to the dedicated work of the regional chairs, the other regional recruiters, and the rest of the Board of Directors that our numbers have increased so dramatically, and I wish to thank all involved for their efforts. I hope our members, new and old, continue to see the strong value inherent in NAGPS, and I look forward to meeting everyone at the 2010 National Conference at MIT! Kevin McComber NAGPS Director of Outreach

Julia Mortyakova NAGPS Ex-Officio

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The Western Region – Focusing On Colorado Universities Making the decision to go to graduate school is never an easy one—leaving a job, changing locations, and getting accustomed to some serious lifestyle changes are only one part of the transition process. The other happens once you actually arrive on campus and find yourself among others having the same experiences. Graduate studies are a rewarding endeavor, but issues of funding, access to student services, stipends, research assistantships, and health insurance remain on the forefront of students’ minds, especially when funding cuts result in changes to school policies. More often than not, there are natural allies not only in your school and on your campus, but in other nearby universities as well. Those who have lived in the west or southwest know that “just down the road” has a very different meaning here than for our east coast friends, with schools scattered all over the state and region. Communica-

tion and collaboration are difficult when you have little free time or resources, but discussing issues affecting graduate students is even more complicated when the distances are measured in terms of hours and hundreds of miles. Despite this, graduate students at a few schools in Colorado began discussing sharing information not only about school policies, but also lecture series, local conferences, and events being hosted at different campuses. Recently, a higher education strategic planning forum was held at the Auraria Campus in Denver and invited other students to attend through their graduate student government contacts. As the flagship campus of the University of Colorado system (and the only legacy member of NAGPS in the region), CU-Boulder has been reaching out to other graduate students through its United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS). Student

leaders are keen to share information, best practices, and ideas and hope that having a better relationship with surrounding universities will begin One step forward has come from NAGPS recruiting, which has recently been focused on predominantly Colorado schools. Though many campuses are small and have developing leadership councils, the prevailing theme has been one of optimism about the role an informal consortium between schools could play in graduate students’ lives here in the state. Moreover, the next member NAGPS hopes to add from the western region is Colorado School of Mines, which has an energetic and engaged graduate student government we hope will only increase Colorado’s visibility within the national organization. Kate Allison NAGPS Western Regional Vice Chair

The Southeast Region – A New Beginning As you all know at the last southeast regional conference the region members voted on a new constitution and board at FIU. For us – the new board – a lot of things are entirely new and we’re trying as best as we can to perform our task. One of the most difficult challenges at hand is that currently the Southeast region (SER) lacks a clear mission statement. Obviously – similar to the other regions – SER adheres and supports the principles defined by the national organization. However, if we want to find something stronger tying SER together than merely being an arbitrary geographic cluster of states with NAGPS members, the question: “what does the Southeast region stand for” requires an answer. As will also be stated in our upcoming first SER newsletter (expected in August), we are very much interested in any feedback SER members have.

diversity therefore seem to be that what characterizes our region; maybe even more than for other NAGPS regions. It is in this spirit that the SER board decided to create a temporary function of an SER social justice chair. The duties of this new position will more or less resemble those of the national social justice function. We appointed someone we believe to be an excellent candidate for this function: Alenette Acuesta Opena from FIU. Alenette is the founder of the Asian American Rainbow Koalition (ARK), a recently naturalized US citizen, a prospective law student, and she has a rich background in working on diversity issues. The board very much hopes we will be able to present some first successes of having this function at the NAGPS conference in Boston. The SER members can then decide if we transform this position a full board function.

Our region stretches from the borders of Maryland to the tip of Florida and Puerto Rico. Regional, cultural, and linguistic

If you are a student at one of our SER member schools, and if you would like to support us, please drop us a line at:

serc@nagps.org. Just like the national organization, the SER works with dedicated volunteers from Florida to Maryland. If you’d like to help, please know: we will never ask the impossible, nor will we ever expect you to ignore your many graduate student duties. Even if you can only support us a little bit it would be a great help to all graduate and professional students of SER. There are many ways in which you could contribute: you could consider putting forward your candidacy for board elections in November, you could write a brief article for our regional newsletter on an issue that may also affect other students, or you may want to assist us by providing us with contact details of potential SER members, etc. In any event, the SER board will always be there for its members to the best our abilities. Fabian Bauwens NAGPS Southeast Regional Chair

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NAGPS offers a health insurance plan* to any students (and postdocs) who do not have access to health insurance. Students are eligible up to 18 months after graduation. Along with access to the injury and sickness insurance program, you can take advantage of value-added benefits not found in most individual health plans. The UnitedHealth Allies速 discount program and Collegiate Assistance Program are included with every policy at no additional cost: x The UnitedHealth Allies速 discount program provides up to 50% savings on a wide range of health-related products and services including dental, vision and wellness. Enjoy additional savings on massage therapy, sports apparel & equipment, fitness club membership and even textbooks. The discount is accepted at thousands of locations nationwide. x The Collegiate Assistance Program (CAP) provides 24/7, toll-free access to a team of nurses and specialists that are there to help you manage common problems and stressors that can detract from academic success. CAP professionals can assist with health, personal, school, legal, financial, and other concerns. For more information or to enroll in this plan, visit www.uhcsr.com/nagps !

*Benefit coverage for the plan is provided through StudentResources, a UnitedHealthcare company specializing in university health programs. !

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Health Care Legislation Recently a broad-ranging health care bill was signed into law by the President after a contentious vote in both the House and Senate. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the reconciliation bill, will have a direct effect on graduate and professional students’ ability to obtain and maintain their health insurance. The legislation strives to provide equitable access to health insurance for all Americans by creating health insurance exchanges, increasing subsidies for individuals and families, expanding Medicare and Medicaid, and enacting insurance reforms. The bill language allows universities to continue offering their student health insurance plans even though these insurance plans are not technically an individual plan or employer offered plan. These provisions in the bill to protect these student health insurance plans were put in

place due to the concerns of the American College Health Association and America Council on Education. The student health care plans will remain but may be reworked due to the insurance reforms in the bill.

the establishment of annual spending caps, imposing a maximum annual deductible for individual and family policies, and prohibiting insurers from charging co-payments or deductibles for certain levels of preventative care.

Key among these reforms is a condition that insurance companies must allow dependent children to stay on their parent’s insurance plans until age 26. Already many insurance companies allow coverage to continue until the dependent’s early twenties but this pushes the age limit out for everybody allowing graduate and professional students who are still technically dependents to have another option besides university-run student health insurance. Other reforms include prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on preexisting medical conditions, abolishing

The timelines for these insurance reforms vary, with a large portion coming into play in late September of 2010 and another significant part in January of 2014. Please reference the House Committee on Education and Labor’s webpage on the health reform bill for more information. The insurance reforms will alter universities’ student health insurance plans thus NAGPS encourages all graduate and professional students to touch base with their insurance provider for clarification on these changes. Chad Foerster NAGPS Legislative Concerns Chair

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International Students Issues On The Rise As an international student gets accepted into a graduate program at a higher educational institution they are required to apply for a visa (type F-1) to be able to enter the United States and attend university. While the contribution of international graduate students to US innovation has been marked for decades in newspaper articles, media headlines, and even in the form of research publications in many education and business journals, they often have to contend with a tremendous amount of bureaucratic requirements to receive the F-1 status that allows them to be legal residents in the United States. The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students works through its International Student Concerns Committee to play a role in supporting the needs of international graduate students on many different levels and has succeeded on many occasions in voicing its strong opinions on critical topics of interest of many international students. While the difficulties related to getting a visa and the regulations that exist after receiving it differ from one nationality to another, for some international students the repercussions of starting a program of study at an American higher education institution are many and require a great deal of compromise. Iranian graduate students have a newly added complication to their already problematical process of being accepted into a graduate program at a US institution. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced in July of 2010 that it will be suspending registrations in Iran for the Test of English as a Foreign Language

commonly known as TOEFL, as a result of new sanctions against Iran adopted by the United Nations and the United States. TOEFL is an essential requirement to being accepted in a major by either the departments offering a major, the graduate studies offices or both. This will require Iranian students to travel to neighboring countries to register and take the exam. Iranian students are only allowed a single-entry visa, hence when they decide to leave the United States while still studying, they need to partake in the lengthy and costly process of applying for and receiving a new visa from a third country. This complicated process frequently prevents Iranian students from being able to participate in or attend an international conference, an international internship opportunity, or other professional development opportunities. Statistically speaking, the impact that international students have on the educational, technological and scientific development is highly notable. The journal, Review of International Economics published an online article in 2008 suggesting that “a 10% increase in the number of foreign graduate students would raise patent applications by 4.5%, university patent grants by 6.8% and non-university patent grants by 5.0%.” The articles stated that reducing the number of foreign graduate students from the visa restriction “could significantly reduce US innovative activity.” A call to ease the restrictions of obtaining a visa for international scholars has been made by many academic organizations. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in 2009 that many organizations urged “the federal government to take more-aggressive steps to speed up the delay-plagued visa-application process for foreign students and scholars,” the Chronicle reported a similar call in 2004 that warned that the existing procedures will hinder international exchange and collaboration. For some nationalities it is very important to understand which points of entry and departure are allowed for them. A security measure known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) also known as Special Registration was in put in place to track over 35 million non-immigrant visas according to the website of US immigration and Customs enforcement. Students that are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria in addition to any nationalities that have been designated by the State Department must register. These procedures are one more complicated addition to certain international students, as they need to leave from specific exit ports, register with the immigration office as they departure and wait for an undefined time that could be hours, at the airport when they return until their entry applications have been processed. NAGPS will continue to work towards supporting international student needs through its board, committees, and with the assistance of its over 50 academic member institutions that always bring to our attention escalating issues, as we look at our options of support. Tareq Daher NAGPS International Student Concerns Committee Chair

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Join The ISCC Dear Members, The International Student Concerns Committee is looking for graduate students to join the committee in its work on following concerns of international students and its support on international student issues as they arise. We are very dedicated to assisting international students as they pursue their studies, as we understand the many difficulties that they might face in their journey. This committee is committed to work on issues regarding international students in the nation. Its goals are to establish connections with national organizations and academic institutions that are concerned with international student issues. We are always committed to work with our members and we ask you to bring up any international student related issues at your institution or that you know of, so that the International Student Concerns Committee can work with you hand in hand as you seek the best for the students at your institution. We firmly believe that graduate students are able to make changes for the benefit of their student bodies. Our organization has been working on several national issues that relate to us as graduate students and will continue to do so with your help. We encourage you to nominate members from your organization to work with us and serve on the International Student Concerns Committee and provide us with input, support and ideas that can help this committee grow as it works to accomplish its goals. The committee will meet on the last Wednesday of every month for an hour, if you are interested in joining our efforts by serving on this committee please contact the committee chair at iscc@nagps.org. We are looking forward to your participation and your valuable input. Sincerely, Tareq Daher NAGPS International Student Concerns Committee Chair

Thank you for reading the NAGPS Newsletter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; August 2010

We are constantly trying to improve the NAGPS Newsletter: if you have any feedback, comments, or questions please contact the Director of Communications at the information found below Volume 24, Number 2

Director of Communications Patrick Gage Kelley communications@nagps.org nagps.org Cover Photo Credit Barbara Piancastelli

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Open Access to Federally-Funded Research and the Impact on the Nation’s Graduate Students Washington, D.C. July 26, 2010 On behalf of graduate and professional students nationwide, the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, Inc. (NAGPS) puts forth the following statements regarding the possibility of open access to research: 1. A primary goal of graduate students is to become professional researchers. Research for most is not a hobby, and not a job, but becomes a lifetime pursuit. Open access would enable their work to be explored free of charge by any interested party. 2. Graduate students working on major research projects need to be aware of related work to properly cite prior art, to assess the direction of the field, and to understand where their own work fits into a larger body of research. Open access would allow for timely access to recent work across the entire academic community. This can prevent graduate students from lacking access to a seminal article, from duplicating a prior conclusion, and can allow them to more efficiently work towards their own potentially groundbreaking findings. 3. In today's difficult job market, students need all the help they can get to market themselves amongst their peers. Open access would allow more people to read graduate students’ publications, which could lead to a greater appreciation of their work, future citations, and publishing opportunities. Cultivating a community of researchers who appreciate their work is a core component of success in the postgraduation market. 4. Graduate students often serve as teaching assistants. Teaching courses which may be outside of their principal research area requires them to quickly and efficiently access a large body of research to perform their course duties. Open access would allow both teaching assistants and their undergraduate students the ability to freely, quickly, and easily access any pertinent academic research.

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, Inc. • PO Box 96503 #36821 • Washington, DC 20090-6503 Office: 202.596.9035 • URL: http://www.nagps.org


5. Finally, as young researchers, graduate students are often involved in innovations on the cutting-edge, such as green energy initiatives, emergency response work, and internet and data policy. Open access could lead these research teams toward the next revolutionary breakthrough. Federally-funded research aims not just to help academics further their careers and publish papers, but to solve real-world problems that advance our country’s science, technology, and policy. Open access facilitates the openness, transparency, dissemination, and accessibility of research results. The potential of open access is to allow research paid for by government issued, taxpayer dollars, to be released from the paywalls that quarantine these results to only elite institutions. Instead, K-12, college, professional and graduate students, scientists, corporations, and the public will be able to freely obtain and share the most current results of the academic community. Graduate students are intimately involved in reading, reviewing, creating, and publishing academic research. However, this pursuit is not only to attain a university professorship or a job at a top research firm, but to enhance humanity’s understanding of science and our world, and to benefit society as a whole. We urge Congress to take action to support open access.

Alex Evans President & CEO, NAGPS president@nagps.org ----The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, Inc. (NAGPS) represents the interests of 2.6 million graduate and professional students nationwide. NAGPS provides resources, support, and connections to member organizations, and advocates on their behalf, both locally and nationally. For more information on NAGPS, visit http://nagps.org Press Contact: Patrick Gage Kelley Director of Communications, NAGPS communications@nagps.org (716) 417.3926

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, Inc. • PO Box 96503 #36821 • Washington, DC 20090-6503 Office: 202.596.9035 • URL: http://www.nagps.org


August 2010