Science journal publishers pleading letter to the White House

Document Date: 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Document Notes: 


December 18, 2019 President Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump: We are writing to express our concerns about a possible change in federal policies that could significantly threaten a vibrant American scientific enterprise, which has long been a global leader in driving discovery and innovation. The changes reportedly being discussed would effectively require publishers to immediately make federally funded scientific discoveries published in their journals freely available to the global market. Currently, free distribution of research findings is subject to a 12-month embargo, enabling American publishers to recover the investment made in curating and assuring the quality of scientific research content.

As scientific society leaders overseeing publishing operations, we support open access and have a strong history of advancing open access through a broad array of operational models. This current system allows scientific societies to meet the needs of researchers and U.S. taxpayers, while also funding programs to support the scientific enterprise to keep America a global leader in research and innovation. The current 12-month embargo period provides science and engineering society publishers the financial stability that enables us to support peer review that ensures the quality and integrity of the research enterprise. Further, it enables us to drive advancement in our respective scientific fields through our meetings, programs and outreach.  One particular area of importance is strengthening U.S. STEM infrastructure through education, career, and outreach programs which together build a diverse STEM workforce that underlies U.S. discovery and innovation. U.S. scientific societies are committed to working on a broad array of issues, including research integrity, data sharing, accessibility, and transparency. 

To take action to shorten the 12-month embargo would undermine cooperative efforts to address these bigger, higher priorities, and risks the continued international leadership for the U.S. scientific enterprise. Rather than upsetting the current proven and successful model for reporting, curating and archiving scientific results and advancing the U.S. research enterprise, we encourage your Administration to engage with a broad array of stakeholders to collaboratively ensure openness and reliability in research and development. 


To that end, we stand ready to work with all interested parties in a forward-looking and constructive manner. Sincerely yours,


American Anthropological Association

American Association for Dental Research

American Association of Physics Teachers

American Astronomical Society

American Chemical Society

American Dental Association
American Educational Research Association

American Geophysical Union

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

American Mathematical Society

American Nuclear Society

American Oil Chemists Society

American Physical Society

American Physiological Society

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychological Association

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Human Genetics

American Society for Investigative Pathology

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

American Society of Plant Biologists

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

American Sociological Association

American Statistical Association

American Thoracic Society

Association for Computing Machinery

Association for Psychological Science

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Biophysical Society

Crop Science Society of America

Council of Scientific Society Presidents  

Ecological Society of America      

Endocrine Society

Entomological Society of America

Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Genetics Society of America

Geological Society of America GeoScienceWorld

International Association for Dental Research

Material Research Society

Mineralogical Society of America

National Academy of Forensic Engineers Seismological

Society of America SEPM

Society for Sedimentary Geology

Society for Biomaterials

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Society for Neuroscience

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Society for Redox Biology and Medicine

Society of Economic Geologists

Society for Glycobiology

Society for the Study of Reproduction

Soil Science Society of America

The American Association of Immunologists

The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society

The Optical Society