FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | December 18, 2019

American Chemical Society joins other publishers in letter opposing administration’s changes to open access policy

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2019 — The American Chemical Society (ACS), as part of a coalition of 60 scientific societies, has issued a letter today expressing deep concern over changes proposed to the administration’s policy governing the open distribution of published journal articles containing federally funded research. If issued, these changes threaten the ability of the American scientific enterprise to remain a global leader in driving discovery and innovation.

Under the current policy, free and open distribution of journal articles containing work resulting from U.S. federally funded research is subject to a 12-month embargo. Under the proposed change, this embargo period would be removed, and the journal articles would need to be made freely available upon publishing.

“The proposed changes could result in unintended consequences that undermine the global scientific leadership of the U.S.,” says Glenn S. Ruskin, vice president, ACS External Affairs & Communications. “The proposed changes could also interfere with the efforts made by publishers to responsibly and transparently move toward greater open access of the research reported in their journals. We remain committed to working with all interested stakeholders to ensure the development of a robust and sustainable policy in this area.”

The full letter is available here.

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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