Publishers Welcome America COMPETES Act Public Access Provision
Monday, 10 January 2011 | Judith Platt
The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (“AAP/PSP”) and the DC Principles Coalition for Free Access to Science (“Coalition”), express their appreciation and support for Congress in developing the Interagency Public Access Provision of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama. The Act calls for the creation of an Interagency Public Access Committee (the “Committee”) charged with coordinating Federal agency policies concerning stewardship and dissemination of the results of research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications, supported by funding from the Federal science agencies.
Key elements of the Public Access Provision include the requirement that the Committee report back to Congress within a year on the specific objectives and public interest that need to be addressed by any government policies it considers. The Provision also requires that the Committee consider the impact that such policies have had on science and engineering stakeholders, including the financial impact on research budgets. It also requires reporting on how any policies developed or being developed incorporate input from non-Federal stakeholders.
“Congress has explicitly directed the Committee to ensure that none of its activities undermine any rights under copyright. We appreciate that the publishers’ role in ensuring the integrity of the scientific record through peer review — as well as the investments that we make and the added value that we bring to scholarly communication — have been taken into account in the legislation,” said Dr. Martin Frank, Executive Director of the American Physiological Society and head of the DC Principles Coalition. “Hopefully, the Provision will guide agencies to develop policies that will fully take into account the difference between research funded by the government and peer-reviewed journal articles about that research that are funded by private sector non-profit and commercial publishers.”
“We applaud the fact that Congress has instructed the Committee to recognize inherent differences among Federal science agencies and scientific disciplines as well as distinctions between data and scholarly publications,” said John Tagler, Vice President and Executive Director of the AAP’s Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division. “We welcome the opportunity to engage with the Administration to advance well-considered policies that do not undermine copyright or propose new government mandates that would result in the duplication of private sector activities.”
The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. publishing industry. AAP’s members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.
About the DC Principles Coalition for Free Access to Science
The DC Principles for Free Access to Science Coalition (http://www.dcprinciples.org/) represents more than 75 of the nation’s leading nonprofit medical and scientific societies and publishers. These not-for-profit publishers are committed to working in partnership with scholarly communities such as libraries to ensure that these communities are sustained, science is advanced, research meets the highest standards, and patient care is enhanced with accurate and timely information.