Community Response to White House Memorandum on Public-Access to Research

ACRL and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have submitted a letter to the chairs of the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Open Science in response to the recent Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo, “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research.” The letter reflects the views expressed during a jointly sponsored listening session between the academic and research library community and the Subcommittee on Open Science.

Our associations strongly support the 2022 OSTP public-access guidance, particularly the removal of the 12-month embargo, the additional focus on research data, and the administration’s goals to expand equitable participation in federally funded scientific research. While listening-session panelists raised concerns about the cost of implementation and compliance, they provided considerations for multiple pathways to achieving the goal of free, immediate, public access. We look forward to ongoing engagement with the OSTP, the Subcommittee on Open Science, and individual agencies as plans are developed and harmonized.

In addition to the letter, we are also publishing the results of a brief questionnaire that collected information from listening-session registrants on related issues that are top-of-mind for the library community.

For more on how the US federal government’s public-access guidance changed from 2013 to 2022, see this side-by-side comparison. ARL’s Scholarship and Policy Team has also prepared a frequently asked questions (FAQs) document to share with researchers, graduate students, and even policy makers. The FAQs clarify that the August 2022 OSTP guidance, “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research” (also referred to as the Nelson memo), has no implications for copyright.