Last week the White House, acting through the Office of Science and Technology Policy, released guidance to federal research agencies to, “update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost.” Current policy allows journal publishers the option to embargo for 12 months (ie: put behind a paywall) any scientific paper they publish which is tax-payer funded. This new guidance from the White House will do away with that embargo period and require the articles to be publicly available immediately. All federal research agencies must update their policies for this to take effect by 2026.
Along with the announcement, OSTP explained the Biden Administration’s actions in a White House Blog post. Much of the justification for this is in a recent report OSTP released, titled “Economic Landscape of Federal Public Access Policy”.
This new guidance will likely have wide ranging impacts on the research and scientific publishing communities. If past events are any guide, there will also be an extensive variety of views from the research community on whether these actions are good or bad news. CRA is monitoring the situation and is reaching out to our membership and allies within the scientific community to gauge the impacts of these new guidelines.