For many of us, a guiding principle is that taxpayers and students paid for our research, so they ought to be able to read it. I don’t see any insurmountable obstacles remaining to achieve open access for almost all academic research. But progress toward that goal has been slow. For the reasons given above, the pledge would accelerate progress.
Arriving at this version of the pledge has been a struggle. Every researcher has their own priorities and constraints. I’ve tried to create a pledge that lots can sign onto, while still including a specific concrete commitment rather than just things like I will attempt to… or I will try to… The hoped-for result is a mass of people having made a specific commitment, which might make more of a splash than a vague pledge. So I hope you’ll sign on even if something best for you would be broader or have different emphasis.
There are many ways to support open access. One good step is ensuring that even the content of your closed-journal papers are freely accessible, and on a official website indexed systematically by academic search engines. Deposit the final draft of your articles (this version is owned by you even if you sign away copyright of a journal’s typeset version) in your institution’s repository. Stevan Harnad explains in this presentation.