Statement from APS Regarding Possible Executive Order Affecting Publications

December 20, 2019

Please click here to see a December 23, 2019 statement from the APS Board of Directors on this issue.

Last week, reports emerged that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was in the process of developing an executive order to overturn established federal policy and make articles reporting on US federally funded research immediately free to the public. No details were available about the change, when such a change might take effect, or what the process would be for gathering input from the affected stakeholders, including scientific organizations like APS, as well as the public. Given the potential ramifications, APS joined with other scientific societies and publishers in mobilizing a quick, broad response in opposition to the possible executive order, so that there is more time to gather information and discuss implications. Both Congress and the OSTP are responding to the concerns that were expressed, and we are hoping for a more balanced discussion around these issues going forward.

Society publishing is changing, and APS journals will continue to evolve with those changes. Currently, articles reporting on US federally-funded research findings become freely available 12 months after publication. A sudden change in that policy by executive order would take away APS’s ability to approach these changes in a manner that best serves our members, our diverse field, and our community, and delivers high-quality science.

APS has sent a letter to the Administration opposing the potential executive order. Click here to read the letter.