Academic journals will be required to provide immediate access to publicly funded papers, providing a big win for advocates of open research and ending a policy that allowed publishers to hold publications for a year for a fee, according to a White House directive. The New York Times: Unveiling the new policy, which is due to be fully implemented by early 2026, the Office of Science and Technology Policy said the guidelines could save lives and benefit the public in several key priorities – from cancer to breakthroughs in clean energy technology. “The American people fund tens of billions of dollars in cutting-edge research every year,” Dr. Alondra Nelson, the office’s chief, said in a statement. “There should be no delays or barriers between the American public and the return on their investment in research.”
Supporters of open access to research, such as Greg Tanenbaum, director of the Open Research Funders Group, called the guidelines “transformational” for both researchers and the general public. He said it was based on a 2013 memorandum, which was also instrumental in increasing public access to research but fell short in some areas. The 2013 guidance applied to federal agencies with research and development expenditures of $100 million or more, about 20 of the largest agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The guidance announced Thursday covers nearly all federal agencies, a significant expansion that includes some 400 or more organizations, several experts said. The directive also requires that publications be made available in machine-readable formats to ensure use and reuse, a component that open access advocates have hailed as a game-changer for accessibility.