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.” …”

US GAO Recommends Actions to Improve Public Access to Research Results – Association of Research Libraries

“The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released its study, Additional Actions Needed to Improve Public Access to Research Results. The report examines the extent of US agencies’ progress implementing plans to increase public access to federally funded research results (both publications and data), per the 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo directing the development of such plans. The report contains a review of progress across 16 agencies, and issues 37 recommendations for executive action at both the individual agency and interagency level, in such areas as repository development or guidance, requirements for data management plans (DMPs), and compliance checking.

Next month, at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) “Implementing Effective Data Practices” conference, participants—research officers, librarians, tool-builders, and others in the research community—will hear from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy (DOE), and private funding agencies on these issues, including data management plans, repositories, and compliance. ARL is committed to working with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) on recommendations for intra-institutional workflows and guidelines, and to partnering with the agencies to make publicly funded research outputs findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable….”

U.S. GAO – FEDERAL RESEARCH: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Public Access to Research Results

“Public access to the results of federally funded research can accelerate scientific breakthroughs. In 2013, certain federal agencies were directed to create plans for increasing access to publications and data they funded.

The 19 agencies we reviewed made progress, but some have not fully implemented their plans. For example:

7 agencies have not taken steps to make data findable, such as creating a single web access point

4 don’t require all researchers to submit a plan to provide access to data

11 don’t fully ensure that researchers comply with access requirements

We made 37 recommendations to 16 agencies to address these and other issues….”