The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), part of the Executive Office of the President in the US government, has opened a Public Access Forum to consult on the issues around access to publicly-funded research results. The underlying suggestion is that peer reviewed journals articles and other material arising from all federally funded research should be made freely available to the public.
ALPSP will be submitting our own response via the ALPSP North American division but we strongly encourage all ALPSP members - whatever your views - to contribute to this debate. We believe the best way to do this is to submit a letter by e-mail to email@example.com or by mail to Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open Government Recommendations, 725 17th Street, Washington, DC 20502. Comments must be received by January 7, 2010.
The timing of this consultation is unfortunate given that it spans the Christmas vacation and also because we understand that the report from the Congressional Roundtable set up to also examine these issues will not report until early in the New Year. ALPSP will therefore be joining a number of other organizations in asking for an extension for comments of 30 days so that the Roundtable report can be taken into consideration and we would suggest that you do the same.
The ALPSP view is that, while we are supportive of public access, policies should consider the business and publishing needs of our members and not be mandated by funding agencies.
This is a very important consultation and, as I said earlier, we very strongly encourage you to respond whatever your views.