August 25, 2022
Statement from Shelley Husband, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, AAP, on Decision by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to Make Private Sector Publications Freely Available
Today’s announcement from OSTP about access policies for private sector research publications comes without formal, meaningful consultation or public input during this Administration on a decision that will have sweeping ramifications, including serious economic impact.
The twin goals of the publishing industry—human inspiration and scientific progress—are deeply felt by the scholarly publishing sector, which funds and disseminates thousands of journals covering nearly every academic and professional field in science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and the humanities. In a no-embargo environment, in which private publications will be made immediately available by the government for free, our primary concerns are about business sustainability and quality.
Many publishers have increased the speed and efficiency of the publication process, regularly launched new journals to increase the dissemination of research and embraced diverse publication and access models to sustain and support researchers and research institutions, including those that reduce time to access. This important work is part of a competitive marketplace geared towards excellence; it is very different than the government mandating business models. How will publishers, especially small publishers, sustain the accuracy, quality, and output that the public interest requires?
As we work with the Administration and Congress in the days ahead, our focus will be to preserve our nation’s leadership in research and innovation, and to ensure that we continue to have a vibrant independent industry for scholarly publications.