Following the release of a memorandum by the White House directing federal agencies with research and development budgets of over $100 million to “develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public,” Google today published a short missive praising the decision.
The information, made free inside of a year of its initial publication, will “accelerate” the original intention of funding the research, which in Google’s eyes is to “advance science, accelerate innovation, grow our economy, and improve the lives of all Americans.”
Google itself has been a paragon of openness throughout its life, as its core search function helps to dissemeniate information to any who seek it. So free is Google with this capability it has found itself at odds with various parties the world around for perhaps being too free with content that it has indexed.
Still, the equation here is simple: the more information that exists in the public domain, the more information that Google can index and serve, bettering the service that it can deliver to its users.
Interestingly, the White House directly cited a ‘We The People’ petition as partial impetus for the decision. The initial response to that petition can be found here.
The impact of the policy will take time to accumulate, but the dispersal of more information can’t be anything less than a positive. And, since we taxpayers funded the damn stuff to begin with, having access to the results feels fair in its own right.
Top Image Credit: schindler_project