Launched as SPARC's student initiative in 2009, the Right to Research Coalition (R2RC) is an international alliance of undergraduate and graduate student organizations, which collectively represent nearly 7 million students in over 100 countries, that work to promote Open Access to research through advocacy and education. R2RC members work to educate the next generation of researchers, administrators, and policy makers about the benefits of Open Access and to advocate for policies at the local, national, and international level that require the results of research to be made freely available online with full reuse rights. The coalition also seeks to make students a full partner in establishing Open Access as the default for scholarly communication.
Right to Research Coalition members have already established students as an important catalyst for change by:
- Making the case for strong, national Open Access policies to hundreds of policymakers. In the United States, R2RC members have secured many co-sponsors for federal public access legislation, and in Canada, students have met with over one hundred MPs and policymakers and testified in support of Open Access before Parliament;
- Raising the profile of Open Access in the media by publishing articles and op-eds in support of Open Access in outlets such as the Washington Post;
- Advocating for institutional Open Access policies on approximately a dozen campuses throughout North America, Europe, and Africa, including a recent success at the University of Nairobi where R2RC-affiliated students played a large role in the successful passage of an institutional policy;
- Engaging scholarly societies to urge their support for Open Access. In 2012, R2RC-affiliated students were successful in getting the British Medical Association to pass a resolution formally supporting Open Access as well as the Right to Research Coalition;
- Educating the next generation of researchers, administrators, and policy makers about the importance of Open Access. During Open Access Week 2012, R2RC-affiliated students educated nearly half of all Kenyan medical students about Open Access as well as many faculty and university leaders; and,
- Helping to produce resources to advance Open Access advocacy and awareness raising efforts, including the "Open Access Explained!" video which has seen over 150,000 views and the R2RC Open Publishing Guide for Students.
Learn more about the Right to Research Coalition at www.righttoresearch.org.