Press Release




Proposed Policy Would Undermine American Science, Research, Intellectual Property, and Global Competitiveness

December 18, 2019, Washington, DC – In a new major letter signaling deep concern, more than 135 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.

Peer-reviewed articles are not free to produce. Hundreds of non-profit and commercial publishers across America make significant investments, at no cost to taxpayers, to finance the peer-review, publication, distribution, and long-term stewardship of these articles. Relying on a highly important and successful marketplace and the bedrock copyright laws that make it possible, publishers disseminate these articles to users in hundreds of foreign markets, supporting billions of dollars in U.S. exports and an extensive network of American businesses and jobs. This network includes American professional societies that invest in educating and nurturing our nation’s scientists, engineers, doctors, and other researchers.

“The American publishing industry invests billions of dollars financing, organizing, and executing the world’s leading peer-review process in order to ensure the quality, reliability, and integrity of the scientific record,” said Maria A. Pallante, President & CEO of the Association of American Publishers. “The result is a public-private partnership that advances America’s position as the global leader in research, innovation, and scientific discovery. If the proposed policy goes into effect, not only would it wipe out a significant sector of our economy, it would also cost the federal government billions of dollars, undermine our nation’s scientific research and innovation, and significantly weaken America’s trade position. Nationalizing this essential function—that our private, non-profit scientific societies and commercial publishers do exceedingly well—is a costly, ill-advised path.”

The letter notes that “publishers both support and enable ‘open access’ business models and ‘open data’ as important options within a larger framework that assumes critical publisher investments remain viable. Under a legacy regulation that is still in force today, proprietary journal articles that report on federally funded research must be made available for free within 12 months of publication. This mandate already amounts to a significant government intervention in the private market. Going below the current 12 month ‘embargo’ would make it very difficult for most American publishers to invest in publishing these articles. As a consequence, it would place increased financial responsibility on the government through diverted federal research grant funds or additional monies to underwrite the important value added by publishing. In the coming years, this cost shift would place billions of dollars of new and additional burden on taxpayers.”

Read the full coalition letter here.

The letter comes on the heels of another strong letter to the Administration from Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee, which expresses similar concerns about the proposed policy. That letter is available here.

List of Signatories to the Coalition Letter:

AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

American Association for Anatomy

American Association for Cancer Research

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

American Association for the Surgery of Trauma

American Association of Immunologists

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses

American Association of Physicists in Medicine

American Astronomical Society

American Cancer Society

American Ceramic Society

American Chemical Society

American College of Cardiology

American College of Emergency Physicians

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Physicians

American College of Radiology

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Surgeons

American Contact Dermatitis Society

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

American Counseling Association

American Dental Association

American Diabetes Association

American Gastroenterological Association

American Geophysical Union

American Geriatrics Society

American Headache Society

American Heart Association

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

American Oil Chemists Society

American Medical Association

American Neurological Association

American Physiological Society

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychological Association

American Sexual Health Association

American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics

American Society for Nutrition

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association

American Society for Investigative Pathology

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

American Society for Radiation Oncology

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

American Society of Anesthesiologists

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Animal Science

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Clinical Oncology

American Society of Cytopathology

American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

American Society of Nephrology

American Society of Neurorehabilitation (ASNR)

American Society of Plant Biologists

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Society of Transplantation

American Society of Transplant Surgeons

American Thoracic Society

American Urological Association

American Water Works Association

Association for Computing Machinery

Association for Molecular Pathology

Association for Psychological Science

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Association of American Publishers

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Association of Teacher Educators

Biophysical Society

Botanical Society of America

Common Ground Research Networks

Council of Medical Specialty Societies

Council of Scientific Society Presidents

Crop Science Society of America

Ecological Society of America


Endocrine Society

Financial Management Association

Genetics Society of America

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Institute of Food Technologists

Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers

International Anesthesia Research Society

International Literacy Association

International Society for Sexual Medicine

Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Diabetes Technology Society

Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education


McGraw-Hill Education

Milbank Memorial Fund

National Council on Family Relations

National Kidney Foundation

New England Journal of Medicine published by the Massachusetts Medical Society

Orthopaedic Research Society

Radiological Society of North America

Seismological Society of America

Shock Society

Society for Leukocyte Biology

Society for Research on Adolescence

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Society for Research in Child Development

Society of General Internal Medicine

Society of Plastics Engineers

Soil Science Society of America

Software and Information Industry Association

The Heart Rhythm Society

The Histochemical Society

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc.

The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society

The Optical Society

The Triological Society

The Voice Foundation

University of Chicago Press

U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Wolters Kluwer

About AAP

AAP | The Association of American Publishers represents the leading book, journal, and education publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy, advocating for outcomes that incentivize the publication of creative expression, professional content, and learning solutions. As essential participants in local markets and the global economy, our members invest in and inspire the exchange of ideas, transforming the world we live in one word at a time. Find us online at or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.