Public Responses Received for Request for Information85 FR 9488: Public Access to PeerReviewed Scholarly Publications, Data, and Code Resulting from Federally-Funded Research: February 19, 2020 –May 6, 2020

“This document is a compilation of comments provided in response to a public Request for Information issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The information contained herein does not represent and is not intended to represent any position, recommendation, or views of the White House, OSTP, or any U.S. Government organization.”

Arcadia Fund | Our response to the OSTP’s Request for Information on Open Access – Arcadia Fund

“A significant part of Arcadia’s mission is to protect endangered nature. In order to best protect threatened landscapes and biodiversity, it is vital that the latest research is easily and freely available to everyone engaged in conservation and restoration sciences. Yet recent analysis of a large survey conducted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that half of the 2,285 respondents find it ‘not easy’ or ‘not at all easy’ to access relevant scientific research [1]. This is no surprise, as 85% of all conservation biology papers are not open for public readership [2]. These include many studies funded by US federal agencies. The situation is similar across most disciplines. For instance, in ophthalmology: across medical institutions there is widespread inequality of access to field-relevant research [3]. As these examples show, the traditional subscription journals business model does not provide equitable access to research paid for by public or philanthropic funds. It fails to provide sufficient easy access to discipline-relevant literature even to practitioners of the discipline, be it conservation sciences, ophthalmology or other scientific endeavours.

With easier and cheaper access, both researchers and practitioners would be more effective and productive.

Federal agencies have the power to mandate that federally-funded research should be immediately publicly available online, without a paywall, on publication. The United States has digital research infrastructures that could and would support such a policy. Government scientific research funders in Austria, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and Zambia have all committed to mandating the immediate public availability of government-funded research online, without a paywall. The world is now facing a pandemic that scientific research can help to solve. The United States would show leadership by making immediate public access to government-funded research the new normal. This would maximize the return on investment of US funded research – paywalled research outputs are a misuse and misappropriation of tax dollars.

We also note that academic paywalls harm national security: military consultancies and defense contractors have inadequate access to the latest research, which can deter them from turning concepts into reality [4]. The Department of Defense publishes unclassified research whilst protecting classified material. Open Access as practiced by Federal agencies is not a threat to national, military, or commercial interests….”

Will Trump White House tear down journal paywalls? Many anxiously await a decision | Science | AAAS

“Scientific publishers, universities, librarians, and open-access (OA) advocates are waiting anxiously to see whether the Trump administration will end a long-standing policy and require that every scholarly article produced with U.S. funding be made immediately free to all.

Such a mandate has long been fiercely opposed by some publishers and scientific societies that depend on subscription revenues from journals. But critics of paywalls argue they are expensive and outmoded, and that tearing them down is the best way to advance scientific research.

On 6 May, the deadline passed on a request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for public comments on ways to expand public access to the fruits of federally funded research, including published papers, data, and computer codes. In February, OSTP also asked for input on the benefits and challenges of making the roughly 220,000 papers produced annually by U.S.-funded researchers immediately free on publication, and on “effective approaches” to making that happen….”

Open access: how COVID-19 will change the way research findings are shared | News | Wellcome

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and publishers have pulled together to publish their outputs at an unprecedented rate. So, how have they responded? And how will this change research culture and the way findings are disseminated in future? …

Subscription publishers have stepped up to respond to this global emergency by removing paywalls and allowing content to be reused. But this has also shone a spotlight on the shortcomings of the traditional scholarly publishing system, which is not fit for purpose in the 21st century.   

A business model in which 75% of the research literature is only accessible to paying subscribers(opens in a new tab) is unacceptable, especially as much of that research has been funded by the public purse….”

IP Scholars File Comments with OSTP on Public Access to Scholarly Publications – Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

“A group of intellectual property scholars filed comments yesterday with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), asking it to forgo its plans to make all federally-funded scholarly publications free and open to the public upon initial publication. The comments were submitted in response to a notice of Request for Information (RFI) that was published in the Federal Register seeking recommendations “on approaches for ensuring broad public access to the peer-reviewed scholarly publications, data, and code that result from federally funded scientific research.”

While the RFI did not specifically mention intellectual property rights, it is clear that any proposal to provide free access to federally-funded scholarly publications would have significant ramifications for the copyright owners of those works. The comments argue that any such plan to further lessen the exclusive rights of these owners should be rejected as it “ignores and destroys the resource-intensive review, translation, and commercialization processes required to produce and disseminate these manuscripts” and “confuses the so-called public domain with the public sphere or market.” …”

cOAlition S announces price transparency requirements | Plan S

Adhering to Plan’s S key principle of transparent pricing, cOAlition S publishes today its guidance on implementing price transparency when Open Access (OA) publication fees are applied. Specifically, cOAlition S announces that from July 1st, 2022 only publishers who provide data in line with one of the two endorsed price and service transparency frameworks will be eligible to receive OA publications funds from cOAlition S members. This covers funder contributions to any model of financing open access publications including, but not limited to, non-APC journals or platforms, article processing charges (APCs), transformative agreements, and transformative journals.

Open-access science funders announce price transparency rules for publishers | Science | AAAS

Science journals will have to disclose the costs of publishing articles in order for them to be paid for by a coalition of research funders pushing for open access. The price transparency rules, which will take effect in July 2022, were announced today by cOAlition S, a group of 22 international organizations, European national research agencies, and foundations. In 2018, cOAlition S launched a scheme called Plan S that will require grantees’ work, beginning in January 2021, to be open access, meaning it can be read immediately upon publication, free of charge. One route to accomplish this is for authors to pay journals a fee for each article published this way.

Price and Service Transparency Frameworks | Plan S

“A draft pricing and service framework, developed by Information Power, was published in January 2020 and to help validate this – and ensure that the information sought could be provided – ten publishers (Annual Reviews, Brill, The Company of Biologists, EMBO, European Respiratory Society, F1000 Research, Hindawi, Institute of Physics Publishing, PLOS, and Springer Nature) participated in a pilot. Based on the outcomes of this – and informed by workshops and discussions – the framework has been updated and endorsed by the cOAlition S leadership. It consists of a data collection spreadsheet, an implementation guide, and recommendations.

Independent of this work, the Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) developed a Publication Services and Fees framework which, to date, has been implemented by Frontiers, MIT Press, Copernicus and MPDI.

Both frameworks have been endorsed by cOAlition S….”

CARL Institutional Open Access Policy Template and Toolkit – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“CARL has created this Institutional Open Access Policy Template and Toolkit to help prepare those wishing to engage in this activity on their campus.

The tools included in this toolkit are designed to support first efforts to create an institution-wide policy, but can also be helpful in developing faculty- or department-specific policies, or in expanding an institution’s existing policies….”

CARL Announces Release of its Institutional Open Access Policy Template and Accompanying Toolkit

“The Canadian Association of Research Libraries is pleased to announce the release of its Institutional Open Access Policy Template for Canadian institutions, which is accompanied by a toolkit to help prepare those wishing to develop such a policy on their campus….”