January 17, 2020
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI), a group of colleges, universities, and research institutions committed to making the results of their researchers accessible to the world, supports providing American taxpayers immediate, free access to the results of scientific research that is publicly funded and supported by Federal agencies. We strongly endorse updating existing U.S. policy to eliminate the current 12-month embargo period on articles that report on publicly funded research, as instituted by the Obama administration, and to ensure that they are made immediately available to the public.
COAPI brings together North American institutions which have established open access policies, or which are in the process of implementing such policies. These open access policies, initiated and approved by the faculty and researchers at our institutions, codify our commitment to provide the broadest possible access to the fruits of research carried out at our institutions, echoing the common mission of all universities and research institutions to create, disseminate, and preserve knowledge. We work tirelessly to implement these policies by providing education, resources and support to researchers at our institutions. Our efforts facilitate compliance with Federal funding agency public access policies through encouraging and enabling deposit in both institutional and federal digital repositories.
Open access policies that take advantage of federal digital repositories provide the public with fast, comprehensive, and cost-effective access to articles reporting on the results of the research funded by taxpayers. These policies provide a rich and growing resource to tap into, so that new connections can be drawn by any interested entrepreneur, business owner, teacher, student, or citizen who would otherwise face significant barriers when accessing this crucial information. As is the case for many of our institutions, U.S. taxpayers directly fund the research represented by these articles, and they have a right to expect that they will have access to its results without unnecessary delays caused by embargoes. They also have a right to expect that the distribution and use of these results will be maximized to increase the return on their research investments. We encourage you and your administration to support a policy that makes this access a reality for all taxpayers.
Specifically, we request that the Administration issue a policy eliminating the current 12-month embargo on article access, and ensure that articles and supporting data resulting from taxpayer-funded research be made immediately available under terms and conditions that allow their full reuse. Our institutions have committed to making our research results available to the public openly, freely, and transparently. The Federal government should as well.
Anali Maughan Perry, COAPI Steering Committee Chair,
on behalf of the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions