IOP Publishing’s response to the OSTP memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research

31 Aug 2022 Rachael Harper

We share the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) ambition of making research immediately accessible to the public. Indeed, open science is a priority for us, and we are proud of the progress we have made. Already this year more than half the articles we have published from US-based researchers are open to the public and more than a quarter of our journals are entirely open access.  All articles published in IOP Publishing’s owned journals require full transparency about the availability of the research data underpinning the findings.

Yet while we are determined to make universal access to research a reality, the transition needs to be carefully managed to both ensure equitable access to publishing for researchers and to ensure there is sufficient funding in the system to support publishers and others for the contribution they make to ensuring quality and integrity in research and its communication.  For example, a global study that we recently carried out with other society publishers found that 52% of physical science researchers based in North America are prevented from publishing open access because of a lack of monies from funding agencies.

We continue to believe that transformative agreements (TAs) are the most efficient and effective way to bring about an equitable transition to open access. With a foothold in Europe, TAs are gaining momentum in North America, as demonstrated by the uncapped open access agreements we have recently secured with 8 US research institutions. We would encourage any new public access policy to seriously explore how US institutions could be financially supported to establish, maintain and expand such agreements going forward.

We remain fully committed to working with all who share the ambition of achieving full and immediate open access to research articles and data, and we hope that we can now work collaboratively towards solutions that will build further upon the progress scholarly publishers have made to maximise sustainably-funded public access and to safeguard research integrity.