ASAE sent a letter to the White House today urging the administration to reconsider a proposed executive order that would jeopardize the intellectual property of scientific, engineering and technical societies.

The proposed policy issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) would mandate the immediate, free publication of federally funded research, eliminating the ability of scientific and technical journals to charge for access to articles to recoup investments made in peer review, curation and conducting quality control.

Under current policy, associations that publish scientific and technical journals make publicly funded research available within one year of publication. Many journals permit members of their professional society to have instant access to scientific articles to ensure other researchers can review research findings. But net revenue from subscription fees to journals supports the peer review process, as well as other vital association activities including education, outreach and membership services.

“A change of this nature would be devastating to the development and dissemination of scientific and technical information as it could endanger the sustainability of many journals, closing off respected avenues for scientists who receive federal funding to share the results of their research with other members of the profession and the public,” ASAE said in its letter. “Rather than speeding and strengthening the flow of scientific knowledge, the proposed change would instead reduce the publications available to disseminate that research and would impair the quality of research findings by closing doors to the peer review process.”

More than 125 publishers of scientific journals have also co-signed a separate letter condemning the proposed executive order.

If this issue concerns your organization, contact ASAE Public Policy or share your concerns directly with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at engagement@ostp.eop.gov.