Open Access Policy |

“We have fought to see Open Access policy enacted for well over a decade, and it’s important to let the White House know that there is deep support for this policy from our community. We hope you will sign this letter to the President along with other patient advocacy groups expressing our strong support for such a policy.

The U.S. government funds more than $60 billion in scientific research each year on behalf of the public. Making sure that the results of this research are readily accessible to all people will speed the pace of scientific discovery, spur innovation, provide fuel for the creation of new jobs across a broad spectrum of the economy – and, importantly, will give patients and their families hope of finding cures to rare and currently untreatable diseases.

We’ve made slow but steady progress towards our goal getting this information into the hands of the public as quickly as possible, starting with a policy requiring all NIH-funded research articles to be made available within one year of publication, and successfully expanding that policy (via legislation and White House memorandums) to cover all federally funded scientific research.

We now have the opportunity to once and for eliminate the current 12 month embargo period and allow the public to have immediate access to not only articles reporting on taxpayer funded research, but also the underlying data supporting those articles.

An immediate open access policy would also bring the U.S. in line with other nations around the world that are increasingly adopting immediate Open Access policies. Last year, more than a dozen national research funders across Europe introduced “Plan S” to make all scientific works freely available as soon as they are published. Support for Open Access has also grown among private research funders, with foundations requiring immediate open access to articles and data. …”

We support Zero Embargo Taxpayer Access

“We the undersigned American scientists, publishers, funders, patient advocates, librarians and members of the public endorse a national policy that would ensure that Americans are no longer denied access to the results of research their tax dollars paid for. We have read recent media reports that the executive branch is considering a zero embargo taxpayer access policy, and we are writing to express our strong support for such a move….”

Students call for open access to publicly funded research | U.S. PIRG

“On behalf of the U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) and the Student PIRGs, nonpartisan organizations representing more than 83,000 citizen members and 600,000 college students nationwide, we write to express our strong support for updating U.S. federal policy to make the results of taxpayer-funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and fully use. 

The U.S. government spends tens of billions of dollars annually on scientific research. As taxpayers, we invest in this research because advancing scientific progress benefits our economy, our quality of life, and our global competitiveness. However, under current policy, this research is often locked behind paywalls where most American taxpayers—including college students and our professors—cannot access it for at least a year after it is published.

Ensuring immediate access to the latest, cutting-edge research provides critical knowledge that we as students should be able to learn while and school and continue to access throughout our careers. Our education should be based on the latest, groundbreaking information and we should get access right away, not just when our campus can afford a journal subscription or after an embargo period expires. Making federally-funded research openly available to everyone—along with the data needed to validate the conclusions and any corresponding computer code—will significantly expand our access to the resources necessary for a complete, up-to-date education….”

COAPI Letter to the White House in Response to Zero-Embargo OA Policy – Google Docs

“The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI), a group of colleges, universities, and research institutions committed to making the results of their researchers accessible to the world, supports providing American taxpayers immediate, free access to the results of scientific research that is publicly funded and supported by Federal agencies. We strongly endorse updating existing U.S. policy to eliminate the current 12-month embargo period on articles that report on publicly funded research, as instituted by the Obama administration, and to ensure that they are made immediately available to the public….”

Federal Register :: Request for Public Comment on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting From Federally Funded Research

“The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking public comments on a draft set of desirable characteristics of data repositories used to locate, manage, share, and use data resulting from Federally funded research. The purpose of this effort is to identify and help Federal agencies provide more consistent information on desirable characteristics of data repositories for data subject to agency Public Access Plans and data management and sharing policies, whether those repositories are operated by government or non-governmental entities. Optimization and improved consistency in agency-provided information for data repositories is expected to reduce the burden for researchers. Feedback obtained through this Request for Comments (RFC) will help to inform coordinated agency action.”

PLOS Joins Other Publishers and Societies in Support of the Proposed White House Policy Regarding Federally Funded Research

Note: PLOS and other prominent organizations delivered the following letter to the Trump Administration on January 17, 2020. We encourage all publishing organizations and scholarly societies who would like to join us in support of OA in the USA to reach out to us at — we can prepare an expanded letter with more signatories as necessary. Please also consider voicing your support on social media with the hashtag #OAintheUSA.

Open Access – Penn State’s Open Access Policy

“On April 23, 2019, the Penn State Faculty Senate voted to endorse the Open Access Policy Recommendations from the University’s Open Access Task Force and the Senate Committee on Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology. The policy, AC02, has been approved by the president of the university and went into effect on January 1, 2020….”

New open access policy expands public accessibility of Penn State research | Penn State University

“Penn State has joined a growing list of major research universities to enact an open access policy to expand the public availability and accessibility of its research.

The new open access policy took effect on Jan. 1 and applies to all University researchers, including faculty and staff, University appointees, graduate and post-doctoral research assistants or fellows, and visiting scholars.


Under the new policy — known officially as AC02 — University researchers automatically grant Penn State a non-exclusive license to make their work available through ScholarSphere, the University’s open access institutional repository designed to help increase the global visibility and impact of Penn State research and scholarship….”

Learned societies turn against scholarship

“In a recent letter to the White House, a group of corporate publishers and scholarly organizations implore the president to leave intact the current arrangements between publicly funded researchers and the publishing industry. Their letter is the latest move in a decades-long struggle between researchers and publishers over who controls the fruits of the researchers’ labor….

At least one learned society is already reconsidering the issue. The Association for Computing Machinery released a statement on January 9, saying that it regretted signing onto the publishers’ letter and reiterating its commitment to open access. We hope that readers of this essay will contact the leaders of their own learned societies to express their support for open science and their opposition to continuing the current publishing model. In order to solve the challenges the world now faces, the public needs reliable, affordable science. Producing it will require scientific institutions — including systems of scientific publishing — that serve science instead of holding it for ransom.”

Coherent Digital Announces Policy Commons to Launch in June 2020

“Toby Green, former Head of Publishing, OECD and now co-founder, Coherent Digital: “It took 60 years for scientific consensus on the dangers of asbestos to change public health policy. It’s been 120 years since researchers gave early warning about the climate, yet policy makers are only just beginning to take action. One of the reasons for the long delay between expert consensus and policy action is because most content from experts in IGOs, NGOs, think tanks and research centers is published informally. This makes discovery hard, cataloguing impossible and preservation a nightmare. Students struggle to learn, too. In reading lists and syllabi, we’ve found that 25% of links to documents are broken. We intend to fix these problems with Policy Commons.”

Policy Commons will be an open platform that makes it easy to find, catalog and preserve reports, working papers, policy briefs and data from a directory of over 5,000 IGOs, NGOs, think tanks and research centers. It will be a comprehensive service that covers born-digital and archival material from IGOs like the OECD, the UN, the World Bank, IMF, FAO and EU, as well as leading NGOs, such as Amnesty International, and smaller influential think tanks.

Anyone will be able to use Policy Commons to find the content they need – full text access will be offered via the original website, if still available. Subscribing institutions will be able to access preservation copies, exclusive content, and benefit from a full range of support services, including catalog data and usage tracking….”