Ending the common practice of 6- to 12-month embargo periods in which authors are often not allowed even to post their articles to their own websites.
Opposed by a large portion of their members. The APS board published an apology and partial retraction - including sending a new letter to the administration - in January.
Popular tech blogs are starting to pick up on this story: https://gizmodo.com/publishing-companies-are-mad-that-the-president-might-w-1840678934
Members started a petition for the APS to remove their signature: https://www.change.org/p/the-association-for-psychological-science-the-aps-should-withdraw-its-support-from-the-aap-led-letter-to-the-white-house-933234a9-ae05-4828-a95d-c3d466ddc74f
I would be curious to know what is done to finance peer review as the system mainly relies on uncompensated labor by academics.
This apocalyptic vision needs to be contrasted with reality in which our current system strands researchers and educators without any means of support. Meaningful and actionable work is completely lost because so few people can sustain themselves in this industry. Students have lost access to critical information that could help them build a better future for everyone.
How many people have had to completely stop their work and leave academia because the current system leaves them bereft?
read as: …extract maximum capital in publishing these articles.
I would seek further clarification on this statement. This seems to suggest that these publishers and societies pay their communities for their labor. But, we know that isn’t true, so do they mean something else?
Academics know they need international collaboration to support their research goals. The only reason this statement is in here is because the authors want to pander to the addressee.
There are a million different ways to frame this, but here’s what I would argue: The role of the publisher is to support its authors and publics but working to connect one to another.
The framing in this letter purposefully omits people to erase the multivalent needs of the constellation of stakeholders involved in academic publishing.
The outlook here, again, is completely at odds with the way people who are working to support open access see the world. A key example is a recently published essay by Faith Bosworth and Adam Hyde on the importance of community: https://coko.foundation/what-is-community-really/
I’m seeking to understand the logic here that making research available to more people somehow slows it down.
Contrasting this statement with the communications of a scholar-led open access publisher is quite telling: https://punctumbooks.pubpub.org/pub/here-is-what-you-can-do-with-your-overhead-punctum-books
As above, this is a dissonant logic. They are basically saying they need to disable competition for 12 months because their version of the product is so inferior with respect to the prices they charge.
If both the postprint and the VOR are available simultaneously, and the former is available for free, why would anyone purchase the latter?
The market doesn’t exist. Creating a functioning market is both necessary and productive for all parties.
Although even this is a compromise, with absolutely no evidence to support it.
Many of their core arguments have been dispelled here https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/7/2/34/htm
Note that most of this is done for free by academics in the first place, and indeed many western publishers outsource the production to eg Asian countries anyway. Maybe Trump would like that..
Isn’t one key issue that this competition is adverse to what science actually needs?
As is commensurate with Article 27 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights
How many US-based publishers are OA and do not require copyright? Or use CC licenses? Do these orgs actually represent a minority?
Should note that the EO has nothing to do with this, but most likely refers to the postprint or AAM versions, which are free from such copyrights.
So they are allowed to use the research from other nations to further their own economic purposes, but not vice versa? Very altruistic.
I mean, what the hell is even global competitiveness? Pretty sure the ROW couldn’t care less that the US is competing against them..
Any yet, through paywalls and copyright, their business models are explicitly the opposite of this.
But how many of their respective memberships reside outside of the US?
Also unusual because ACM, despite signing both letters, doesn’t have an embargo period for their journals. ACM members worldwide are unhappy with their signature.
A surprising entry, since their journals all seem to be OA. One wonders how they ended up on this list.
(cf this comment)
All enhanced and accelerated by dropping embargo periods,
Taking credit for diversity in the STEM workforce, and using that as an excuse for blocking access to research, is misleading and distasteful. It is however a common recipe for securing government support.
A few organizations signed both letters, but most scientific societies signed only this one; and this letter was not signed by any other lobbying groups or larger publishers
Clearly written after seeing a draft of the AAP letter; more moderate language, with a focus on science and engineering.
A pity, given the extreme openness of the best mathematics publications.
Remarkable that this letter also suggests this is a matter of homeland security.
The top part of the list is clearly copied from the other letter, includin a cut+paste error in O’Brien’s name. The additions are a curious selection from the House + Senate.
Little of the underlying work is financed by the private sector.
Heartwarming solidarity to see major European publishers signing onto this nationalist diatribe, in support of their US-based journals. The publishers benefit from higher barriers to sharing knowledge across national borders.
An unexpected addition here of a lobbying group; but, like the recipient list and buzzwords chosen for the text, hints at the network that came up with the approach of drafting and sending such a letter.
This seems not to be simply an industry coalition expressing their views on a policy change, but a targeted lobbying move, perhaps complemented by specific draft language proposed for executive order or upcoming legislation.
Given the urgency of climate science, and the universal need for access to information about risks and remediation, it’s interesting that only 1 of ESA’s 6 journals are currently OA.
Consider that CG has no-embargo self-archiving and is moving towards open access, it is surprising to see them here. I wonder what it means to them that they signed this.
presidential buzzword bingo for “Obama-era regulation to roll back”
A curious choice. Perhaps because O’Brien was formerly the Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, and the signatories are holding the discoveries of others for ransom…
What point are we making here?
‘Improving the care of victims of trauma, shock, and sepsis’ … after a suitable embargo period.
It makes the heart sink. “For a limited time only, we are letting you read the most popular discoveries about emergency medicine, for free”
ACM published this letter in response: https://www.acm.org/about-acm/opposition-to-zero-embargo-mandate
I thought someone else might say something about this, but let’s unpack everything that obtains in this “Dear President Trump….” First of all, what sort of cognitive dissonance did the signatories of this letter have to navigate to address and seek remedy for their “private sector” concerns from a man who: (a) founded and ran a fake charity foundation (that was supposed to help, e.g., chronically ill children) and used the donations for personal and political gain; (b) founded and ran a fake university that was closed down by federal courts as corrupt, with fines to be paid to students who were taken advantage of; (c) is/was/still is the head of a corporation (Trump, Inc.) that has ripped off millions and millions of dollars from people, groups, and institutions all over the world and whose shiny gold logo belies corruption, miscreancy, greed, false shows of prestige and wealth, bad business management, tax fraud, and a culture of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and racism; (d) separated children and families at the border, and continues to do so, while building concentration camps at the border that double as lucrative goldmines for for-profit companies that provide the tents, the metallic blankets, the bottles of water, etc. and have no qualms at profiting from the severe psychic and other abuse suffered by those seeking asylum in our country; (e) appointed cabinet and other members to head important federal agencies (overseeing Education, the protection of the Environment, Consumer Protection, the Interior, Energy, Global Relations, Food and Drug Administration, etc. with the sole purpose of hobbling these agencies and gutting their missions, not to mention erasing important PUBLIC information from government databases, such as around climate change; (f) has issued and continues to issue Executive Memorandums that have done everything from cancelling DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood, or the Dreamers Act) to redefining the terms of US citizenship vis-a-vis “race”/nationality to eliminating the protections for persons seeking asylum in the US because they are fleeing violent persecution to banning entry to our country solely on the basis of their “race or nationality (etc.); (g) has colluded with foreign governments, especially Russia, to undermine our democracy for personal and political gain; (h) holds political rallies that are thin cover for his fascist, white Supremacist ambitions and which seek to whip Americans into a murderous lather that *will* lead to more violence in this country and perhaps even some real cracks in our Constitution that will lead to even more violence against those with little means or recourse to fight back; and (i) I could go on and on detailing the corruption and anti-democractic, fascist miscreancy of the Trump Presidency (after all, the House of Representatives just impeached him), but let’s focus on (e) in particular. How can the representatives of the organizations and societies who signed this letter appeal to a President who has done everything in his power to suppress and distort Science and the Truth? And why are they, in a sense, reaching out to Trump with a wink and a handshake: will this bargain be worth it? If the values and mission of these organizations and publishers are so conversant with the values espoused by the Trump administration, how does one walk back such a statement? How does one now, finally, view the signatories of a letter who would appeal to *this* President to advance their craven, pro-private sector agenda, even if it means distorting the truth? Then again, maybe these were “dear” bedfellows, after all.
It is just so shameful that medical orgs would rather have life-saving knowledge behind a paywall than available to those who need it most. Opposing OA is a deeply immoral position.
Have you ever looked at the peer-review processes of Elsevier journals such as Procedia? They’re a joke.
Besides, it is mostly a volunteer-run process anyway
Playing to the tune of white nationalist, corrupt wannabe autocrat. Sad.
OA actually increases innovation through enabling the entrepreneurial state, among other things. See https://f1000research.com/articles/5-632/v3
The present system already does this anyway
No evidence is presented. Bingo.
Publishing only adds value when you actually add value: i.e. properly remunerated reviewing, editing, and design, without outsourcing that labor to low-wage countries or hoping AI will allow you to cut further costs. None of the legacy publishing houses do anything like that.
Scare quotes. Many of the publishers have been fighting against open access from the very beginning with all the arguments no listed once again. Many will “enable” open access only as a way to guarantee their income beforehand by securing APCs and BPCs. NONE of the signees have ever made a public statement openly and clearly saying that all publicly funded knowledge should be publicly available to everyone without limit and that they would collaborate to transition the publishing ecosystem in that direction.
This repeats the argument in the previous paragraph, again without justification.
The underlying system of voluntary publication and voluntary peer review, advanced throughout most of the 20c, has been undermined primarily by the current generation of proprietary intermediaries — largely the signatories to this letter.
That system has long uplifted science and its communication - and thereby civilization. We should return to its roots, particularly now that the cost of comment + reproduction + dissemination has dropped to nothing.
Yeah, this was a weird one. Is the investment to absolutely prevent it at all costs?
If any scientific society is supporting itself by limiting access to science, it is not doing so in the name of its members, and has sorely mistaken its purpose.
Sure, and there is also no evidence to support this anyway.
See also http://www.stm-publishing.com/independent-report-and-transformative-agreement-toolkit-launched-to-support-learned-society-publishers-transition-to-immediate-open-access-and-align-with-plan-s/ and https://eve.gd/2019/09/17/learned-societies-open-access-and-budgetary-cross-subsidy/
A greater burden is the portion of total scholarly publishing revenue that comes from public universities, libraries, and institutions. The opportunity cost to the entire country of not having access to the last year’s research, and the associated slowdown of innovation and medical development, is hard to estimate but also tremendous.
These should be scholarly norms, not options. Only publishers with business models that rely on limiting availability and impact of published work, would frame it this way.
What a craven, soul-less, despicable list of signatories, and note how the big publisher names are buried here and there (Elsevier, Wiley, etc.). And University of Chicago Press: shame on you, seriously shame on you. Note that these learned societies and organizations are almost exclusively in the sciences and in medicine and other healing sciences: which is shocking. The researchers associated with these societies and organizations would rather pocket the money they get from sales/downloads of the journal articles, and from their aggregation/dissemination on various platforms, not to mention the $$ to be netted from impact factor companies and their rigged reader/citation metrics, than they would work harder for the open dissemination of research results that could actually save lives. I expect this from commercial publishers, with their pablum about “version of record,” protocols of “authentication,” and the like (as “benefits” they supposedly bestow upon research, and as as a publisher, I *do* believe publishers do a great deal to curate scholarship in ways that *do* matter, but that’s not what I’m referring to here), but I never expected this from learned organizations. This is ripped straight from Dickens. And right before the holidays, too!
Agree with the above. Note that given the time frame, it is almost certain that none of these organisations consulted their respective memberships. An incredible misuse of power.
This is an egregious lie. Academic publishing, writ large across all publishers in the sector, for-profit and non-profit and everything in between, with financing coming primarily from university libraries, is a decidely mixed-purpose economy, which is part of the problem. It’s one thing when a university purchases *things* from for-profit companies, whether pencils or computers, but it’s quite another thing when a university (via its scholar-researchers & students) gets entangled with a publishing-industrial complex at every step of the publishing lifecycle from knowledge creation to exchange to dissemination and beyond (with researchers receiving little to no compensation for their critical reviewing and editing and even marketing/promotion functions), and then on top of that, university libraries, using the same public funds that are raised (from legislatures, from tuition dollars, from funding agencies, from gifts, etc.), are asked to RE-fund all of this by purchasing the content and “services” around the content for exorbitant prices that reflect the greed of investors and hedge fund managers (the Carlyle Group has a huge stake in academic publishing). So, no, this is NOT a “private sector” matter.
It is a “government intervention” to make sure publicly funded research is publicly available?
Sure, as is within their rights
No publisher investments in academic publishing have ever been “viable” without the unremunerated labor of authors, editors, and reviewers – and then only “viable” because of massive package deals made under punishing legal conditions.
More critically, what this is saying is that these publishers are directly pitching private economic interests against public and government interests.
More square quotes.
Basically, what they are saying here is that “Open Access” is okay as long as their “critical publisher investments remain viable,” which means: protect our profit margins, or else watch your economy crumble and also see how your non-American “competitors” will force a situation where the government will have to spend more money to support scholarly communications: NO KIDDING. That’s exactly what should happen, by the way, with the funds going to publishers who exemplify the highest standards of stewardship of public knowledge, which is a right of the people. Make no mistake, that this is also about democracy and what is at stake in democracy, a “democracy,” moreover that is still realizing itself and which is currently under severe threat by the Trump administration. The scare point about competitors is laughable since non-US companies pretty much dominate academic publishing, primarily in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK: I mean, come on!
Right: even on its own narrow grounds, this letter primarily enhances the popularity of European publishers.
This is false. Current journal rates are set to what the market will bear, and have no relation to underlying costs. Net margins are over 35% after accounting for the enormous expenditure the major publishers make on sales and marketing [an investment which only makes sense in a market with enormous margins]; the margin would be over 50% without that accounting.
Publishing intermediaries in academic publishing are in no way a normal private market. All of their inputs, from content to curation, are free or have negative costs thanks to the work of full-time staff of publicly funded institutions.
A market that the European Commission, among others, have stated is dysfunctional https://zenodo.org/record/2565052
Even Congress is looking into this right now https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/81549-congress-investigating-anticompetitive-behavior-in-the-digital-library-market.html
A contradiction, presented as smokescreen: the next paragraph is a series of claims on research data resulting from federal funding.
Isn’t it the case that federally funded research cannot have copyright transferred to third parties anyway?
Buzzword bingo. There is no relation between this proposed policy and the sorts of IP protections we negotiate with partners.
Presidential buzzword bingo
Again, a large proportion of the works published by these US-based societies and publishers are authored by people from outside the US; the idea of them being “American IP” directly hurts our leadership in the scientific world and will push more people away from publishing houses here.
The research is produced by its authors, not the journals; and those authors almost exclusively want their work to be freely available to the entire world: that is to their benefit and speeds the advancement of science.
There is no sense in which publishing is being nationalized here — this is a misuse of the term if not deception, to fit in a buzzword. No government-run publishers would be created by this policy change.
The value added by proprietary journals to the scientific and technical communities, beyond the value contributed by the (paying) authors and (volunteering) peer reviewers, is almost negligible.
See e.g. Deutsche Bank’s merciless summary of the parasitic business model in their 2005 market analysis, “Turning the Supertanker”
the US publishing industry is not that large. It supports a small number of jobs compared to the universities that employ the researchers whose careers depend on journal policies. Most publishing jobs are also not that well-paid, though executives and owners are compensated well compared to other US non-profits.
Many signatories have a majority of their papers authored by at least one person from outside the US. The nationalism here is distasteful, harmful to science, and harmful to the quality of work submitted to these publications.
Leadership which began after WWII, when the US had lower copyright terms than Europe, and publishers recovered costs rather than charging 50x costs. This leadership has been shrinking, and in some fields has gone completely, since the consolidation of digital publishing and the acceleration of journal fees in the 90s.
It is not the volunteer peer reviewers laying claim here, almost all of them want scholarship to be public immediately. It is the intermediaries who organize those volunteers, who put in none of the writing, curation, or intellectual effort.
It is always questionable to talk about the discovery of some underlying truth about the world as someone’s proprety; moreso here where it is the intermediary who last touches a collaboration before publication, trying to claim ownership of and restrict access to it.
Bombast. Many of the largest non-profit societies are not here.