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Panel calls for public-access policies

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The Scholarly Publishing Roundtable has called on US federal agencies that fund research to develop and implement policies that ensure free public access to the results of the research they fund ‘as soon as possible after those results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.’

This expert panel of librarians, library scientists, publishers, and university leaders in the USA has been examining the current state of scholarly publishing. They are seeking consensus recommendations for expanding public access to scholarly journal articles without curtailing the ability of the scientific publishing industry to publish peer-reviewed scientific articles.

The Roundtable's recommendations, endorsed in full by 12 out of 14 of the panel members, ‘seek to balance the need for and potential of increased access to scholarly articles with the need to preserve the essential functions of the scholarly publishing enterprise.’

The Roundtable recommended that:

  • Agencies should work in full and open consultation with all stakeholders, as well as with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), to develop their public access policies.
  • Agencies should establish specific embargo periods between publication and public access.
  • Policies should be guided by the need to foster interoperability.
  • Every effort should be made to have the Version of Record as the version to which free access is provided.
  • Government agencies should extend the reach of their public access policies through voluntary collaborations with non-governmental stakeholders.
  • Policies should foster innovation in the research and educational use of scholarly publications.
  • Government public access policies should address the need to resolve the challenges of long-term digital preservation.
  • OSTP should establish a public access advisory committee to facilitate communication among government and nongovernment stakeholders.