Rumored 2020 White House Open Access Policy – SPARC

“In December of 2019, rumors surfaced that the White House might be considering a new national, zero-embargo open access policy. SPARC strongly endorses updating current US policy and eliminating the unnecessary 12-month waiting period for the public to gain access to the outputs of scientific research, including data, articles, and the supporting computer code. We will continue to closely monitor this development and urge the administration to take action to bring the US in line with the emerging global consensus around zero-embargo policies.

SPARC has submitted a letter to the administration supporting a strong open access policy for US federally funded research, and many other stakeholder groups—from students to scientists, patients advocates to publishers—have expressed their support. You can find links to letters from these groups below.

We’ve also seen robust conversation around the potential policy on Twitter at the hashtag #OAintheUSA….”

COAPI response to 2020 RFI – Public Access to Scholarly Information – SPARC

“The COAPI Steering Committee encourages the Federal Government to implement a strong national policy that provides immediate, barrier-free access to the full results of taxpayer-funded research. Such a policy would align with efforts at our member institutions. We would welcome Federal policy that has the following characteristics:

Immediate access to published articles without embargoes
Articles should be openly licensed and made available in open and machine-readable formats that fully enable productive reuse including text/data mining and computational analysis
Data (and code, software, etc.) needed to validate/replicate the conclusions of articles should be made immediately available
Other appropriate data should be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)
Free public access to and long-term preservation of these research outputs should be provided via either a digital repository maintained by the funding agency or in an appropriate institutional or disciplinary repository….”

Journal statistics, coping strategy with upcoming scholarly journal publishing environment including Plan-S, and appreciation for reviewers and volunteers

“It is anticipated that the enactment of immediate open access publication without embargo period for articles will soon be supported by the US federal funding agencies including National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health [3,4]. It may be an extension of the public access policy by the above 2 funding institutes, which mandates free access after 1-year embargo period if the articles are supported by these funding agencies. It is a fortifying policy for open access publication. It may be a good chance for the journal to receive research results that had received US federal funding, because it is the diamond or platinum open access one without embargo period nor article processing charge. However, the situation in Europe is not favorable, where “all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in open access journals without embargo from 2021” according to Plan-S [5]. There are basic, mandatory, and recommended requirements to be eligible to receive the manuscripts supported by European funding bodies. Out of them, one basic requirement of “copyright owned by authors or institutes” cannot be fulfilled by the journal, because this journal is owned by the public institute publisher and all publishing cost is supported by the publisher. This year, 20% of the published articles were from Europe, although most of those articles were not supported by research grants. The JEEHP should be prepared for the situation in which manuscripts funded by European funding agencies cannot be accepted. However, at present, there seems to be no way to overcome this obstacle, and this may apply to other public or non-profit organization journals as well. I just anticipate a change in the principle of Plan-S on the ownership of copyright. There is no problem in publishing the journal as open access without embargo nor article processing charge although the copyright is owned by the publisher in Korea. Furthermore, the open access policy which may be enacted by the Korean Government in near future should be followed-up and discussed to evade the situation in Europe like Plan-S principle of copyright ownership….”

Macmillan Abandons Library E-book Embargo

“In a surprise announcement today, Macmillan abandoned its controversial embargo on new release e-books in libraries, effective this week.

“There are times in life when differences should be put aside,” reads a brief memo from Macmillan CEO John Sargent addressed to librarians, authors, illustrators, and agents. “Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some e-book prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.” …

While the Covid-19 outbreak clearly played a role in Macmillan’s decision to abruptly abandon its embargo on new release library e-books, at press time it is unclear whether the move also coincides with conclusions drawn from other data gathered by Macmillan, or whether Macmillan executives will revisit the policy or explore another major terms revision for library e-books in the future….”


Authors Alliance Supports Immediate Access to Federally Funded Research | Authors Alliance

“Media sources report that the Trump Administration is considering a policy to make the results of federally funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and use. Current policy requires results of federally funded research be made available in pre-print form within 12 months of publication. The rumored policy would eliminate the 12-month embargo. As an organization with a mission to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly, Authors Alliance strongly supports such a policy.

Many of our members are authors who rely on taxpayer dollars to fund their research and want the results of that research to be immediately available for potential readers to readily locate and access without being turned away by paywalls. Immediate and free online availability increases their works’ visibility, helping it to reach readers and benefit the public. Absent a federal policy, many authors simply do not have the bargaining power necessary to demand from publishers the level of access they want for their research. …



A policy requiring the outputs of federally funded research be made immediately available would maximize the value of investment in research by ensuring that more readers can access research results than if the works were available through restricted means alone. For these reasons, Authors Alliance supports a policy that would ensure that the public is not made to pay both to create and to read research and would open up opportunities for others to build upon research, accelerating the pace of innovation and discovery.”

Of Mythical Beasts and Zero-Embargo Mandates | Advancing Discovery | Springer Nature

“Springer Nature didn’t sign either letter [for or against the rumored Trump executive order], even though we also had our concerns about the rumored mandate. We’re very proud of the role that Springer Nature, the world’s most comprehensive Open Access publisher, has played – and continues to play – in making research more open, so we wholeheartedly agree with the end goal of immediate open access. But the means to this end has to be carefully thought out, and ultimately structured in a sustainable way. Our concerns about a potential zero-embargo mandate for subscription content from the OSTP were that it might prove counterproductive and unsustainable, by resulting in slower progress towards Gold OA and ultimately hampering the wider ‘open’ agenda – Gold OA being much more than a different business model but the doorway to open science….

Green OA, on the other hand – whether with a zero embargo or not –, is not citable or connected to the scientific record, so researchers can’t build on it. It also doesn’t provide access to the original data and so is neither replicable nor reusable, therefore limiting its usefulness for furthering academic discovery and public or commercial R&D initiatives. Moreover, it doesn’t give the general public access to many of the improvements publishers make to enhance the layout and understanding of the research, thereby making it more accessible to the lay person. And it still requires libraries and institutions to subscribe to access the version of record….”


“Recalling our position paper ‘CESAER going towards Open Science’ and ‘Roadmap towards Open Access’, the universities of science and technology united in CESAER are proponents for open science and open access to scientific publications. We support the transition towards making open science the modus operandi in Horizon Europe. We acknowledge the laudable efforts by cOAlition S – a group of national research funding organisations with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council – to ensure immediate open access to scientific publications and we support ‘Plan S’. In line with our previous statements and our mission, aims and values, we herewith present our advanced position on open access in Horizon Europe.

We support the principles behind Plan S stating that researchers (or their universities) should retain full rights to their scholarly works. For example, any ‘copyright transfer agreement’ where researchers and universities hand over their rights (for their scholarly work or their research data) must be avoided. The retention of rights by researchers and universities is vital as it enables the full utilisation of research outcomes in diverse efforts across all areas of research, education and innovation. We further note the ongoing developments across Europe on copyright laws with open access amendments, such as the Dutch Taverne Amendment and similar efforts in Belgium, Germany, France and other countries. These developments help safeguard the rights of researchers and universities, and we therefore strongly encourage their further deployment. We call on the European Commission to propose EU legislation to give researchers the nonwaivable legal right to share publicly funded and peer-reviewed research findings without embargoes….”

For the same doc in another file format, see

Federal Register :: Request for Information: Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting From Federally Funded Research

“OSTP, and the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Subcommittee on Open Science (SOS), are engaged in ongoing efforts to facilitate implementation and compliance with the 2013 memorandum Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research?[1] and to address recommended actions made by the Government Accountability Office in a November 2019 report.[2] OSTP and the SOS continue to explore opportunities to increase access to unclassified published research, digital scientific data, and code supported by the U.S. Government. This RFI aims to provide all interested individuals and organizations with the opportunity to provide recommendations on approaches for ensuring broad public access to the peer-reviewed scholarly publications, data, and code that result from federally funded scientific research.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 11:59 p.m. ET on March 16, 2020….”