Open Research Funders Group Reaffirms Support for Open Science | Open Research Funders Group

With news that the United States may be considering a shift in their national open access policy, the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) reaffirms its support for the sharing of research outputs as widely and quickly as possible. The ORFG, a partnership of 16 philanthropies with assets in excess of $100 billion, believes that open access (along with open data and broader open science activities) benefits society by potentially accelerating the pace of discovery, reducing information-sharing gaps, encouraging innovation, and promoting reproducibility.  

From a practical standpoint, open access demonstrates a tangible return on taxpayer investment. Federal funds that support research have their highest impact when the results of this labor are shared, discussed, tested, and built upon with as few restrictions as possible.

SPARC Statement on Rumored New White House Open Access Policy

“Like others, we have heard rumors about a possible new Administration Open Access Policy. As a coalition of more than 200 academic and research libraries on college and university campuses across the country, SPARC has long advocated for a federal policy that would make the results of taxpayer-funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and fully use. We wholeheartedly endorse updating current policy and eliminating the unnecessary 12-month waiting period for the public to gain access to the outputs of taxpayer-funded scientific research, including data, articles, and the supporting computer code.

Ensuring full open access to articles and data reporting on the results of publicly funded research will deliver important benefits to all by improving scientific productivity, generating new uses and applications for research, empowering startup ventures and businesses, and giving patients and their families hope of finding cures to rare and currently untreatable diseases. Without a zero-embargo policy, the U.S. stands to fall substantially behind many other nations that have already introduced strong open access policies.”

[STM Association open letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy]

“STM publishers support all models and approaches that have the potential to lead to a more open scholarly communication environment and a greater empowerment of researchers. We continue to work diligently with stakeholders across the research ecosystem to build towards a future where quality, rigor, replicability, reproducibility, and integrity of research can be sustained while meeting the access needs of researchers and the public in an open and collaborative manner. We were therefore alarmed to learn that the Administration may be considering a precipitous move to require immediate access to any article that reports on Federally funded research, without due consideration of the impact of such a policy on research and discovery and the costs to the taxpayer of a shift to open access….”

Possible Executive Order on Open Access Alarms Academic Publishers | EdSurge News

“Academic publishers are worried about an executive order the Trump administration is said to be considering that would impose new open access requirements on federally funded science research.

Over the weekend, several draft letters addressed to President Trump circulated among and collected signatures from leaders of scientific societies and academic membership associations. One, provided to EdSurge by a representative of the nonprofit Research!America, expressed concerns about proposed changes that may require publishers to “immediately make federally funded scientific discoveries published in their journals freely available to the global market.” …”

[Open letter from a group of publishers to President Donald Trump]

“The undersigned organizations represent the leading publishers and non-profit scientific societies in the United States. We write to you with deep concern regarding a proposed policy that has come to our attention that would jeopardize the intellectual property of American organizations engaged in the creation of high-quality peer-reviewed journals and research articles and would potentially delay the publication of new research results. The role of the publisher is to advance scholarship and innovation, fostering the American leadership in science that drives our economy and global competitiveness. As copyrighted works, peer-reviewed journal articles are licensed to users in hundreds of foreign countries, supporting billions of dollars in U.S. exports and an extensive network of American businesses and jobs. In producing and disseminating these articles, we make ongoing competitive investments to support the scientific and technical communities that we serve.

As noted above, we have learned that the Administration may be preparing to step into the private marketplace and force the immediate free distribution of journal articles financed and published by organizations in the private sector, including many non-profits. This would effectively nationalize the valuable American intellectual property that we produce and force us to give it away to the rest of the world for free. This risks reducing exports and negating many of the intellectual property protections the Administration has negotiated with our trading partners. We write to express our strong opposition to this proposal, but in doing so we want to underscore that publishers make no claims to research data resulting from federal funding….”

[Open letter from Thom Tillis, Chair, Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property]

An open letter to Secretary of Commerce and the White House Chief of Staff, making the case for private-sector publishers against a [rumored] White House executive order to strengthen the US federal open-access policies. (The letter is an image-scan, making it impossible to cut/paste excerpts.)

Researchers and Publishers Oppose Immediate Free Distribution of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“In a new major letter signaling deep concern, more than 125 organizations – representing publishers in scientific and medical societies, global companies, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – have expressed their strong opposition to a proposed Administration policy that would mandate immediate free distribution of peer-reviewed journal articles reporting on federally funded research. Along with the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the New England Journal of Medicine are among the many signatories….”

WHITE HOUSE: Trump weighs executive order on scientific research — Tuesday, December 17, 2019 —

“White House officials are working on an executive order that would boost public access to federally funded research, prompting publishers to panic about the future of their business models, according to people familiar with the plan.

Ostensibly, the order would follow longtime bipartisan interest in improving public access to research that is paid for by taxpayers.

It is expected to require that publicly funded science be obtainable for free immediately, building on an Obama initiative, multiple sources said.

A memo adopted in 2013 mandated that the results of such research be made available within one year of publication.

Though there is generally broad support for public access, publishing groups like the Association of American Publishers worry that a tougher order would upend their subscription-based business model.

Once it caught wind of the effort, AAP began drafting a sharply worded letter of concern to the White House, multiple sources said. The letter could be sent as early as tomorrow.

About a dozen sources told E&E News that they were aware the White House has been considering an executive order but the details remain murky. A senior administration official declined to comment on “internal deliberative processes that may or may not be happening.” …”

Politics and Open Access – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Rumors have been circulating in recent weeks of an impending US Executive Order focusing on public access to federally funded research and open data. It appears that there is indeed a document making the rounds of Federal Funding Agencies for comment. The order has apparently been in the works for a while now, emanating from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which has been tight-lipped about the the existence of the order. There seems to be little concern over the fate of non-profit and society publishers. Among the likely recommendations appears to be that of a zero embargo on published journal articles. Essentially, this means that articles from researchers who are federally funded will be freely available immediately following publication….

Here I want to explore the environment. It may be useful to provide insight into what a zero embargo could do to the publishing landscape, as well as how researchers may respond. First though I thought it may be useful to understand exactly how an Executive Order works here in the US, especially for those who may be reading in other parts of the world….”