In the United States, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has announced a major change in its guidance for public access policies for federally funded research. In a memorandum, OSTP asks that federal agencies change their public access policies by the end of 2025 at the latest. The agencies are asked to develop policies that require publications and supporting data resulting from federally funded research to be made publicly accessible without an embargo.
The guidelines state that peer-reviewed scholarly publications, such as research articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, based on federally funded research should be made freely available in agency-designated repositories without any delay after publication. Until now, a 2013 OSTP policy guideline was in effect that included a twelve-month post-publication embargo period for making research papers publicly available.
How the different federal agencies will change their policies in detail, as well as the resulting effects on the changing business models in the scientific publishing industry are still unclear. The changed guidelines will affect a significant part of the annual research output: According to a report by the OSTP, research funded by U.S. federal agencies resulted in ca. 195,000–263,000 articles in 2020—with about 2.9 million peer-reviewed articles published worldwide in that year.
- Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research (Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies),
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP),
www.whitehouse.gov, August 25, 2022.
(accessed August 31, 2022)