APS News

Moving Forward

Open Access Task Force Formed

APS has formed a new, top-level Task Force on Open Access, led by President Michael Turner, to better coordinate APS activities on this topic and to ensure its leadership role. The task force is charged with developing a compelling narrative and a clear set of “talking points” on open access that are consistent with APS policies and that will serve to articulate the APS position on this complicated issue The new task force will identify, create and coordinate opportunities to communicate APS recommendations to leaders in government agencies, science policy makers, other publishers, and the physics community.

Calls for greater public access to the peer reviewed research literature have grown dramatically in recent years. APS policies and practices on open access, including their history and context, were reviewed in a Back Page article in the November 2012 issue of APS News.

The task force is a top priority for the leadership of APS. Turner calls open access “an existential issue for APS because of its potential impact on the Society’s mission to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics as well as on the current financial model for the entire organization.” The task force includes the four-member Presidential Line, the Society’s three Operating Officers and APS Director of Public Affairs, Michael Lubell.

According to APS Treasurer/Publisher Joseph Serene “Council has resolved that APS supports the principles of open access to the maximum extent possible while maintaining the quality and impact of our journals and the long-term financial stability of the Society. Our challenge is to strike this balance in practice and to influence public policy to facilitate this goal.”

APS Executive Officer Kate Kirby adds that “We’re looking at strategies for allowing greater public access, while preserving the contributions that publishers make to the scientific enterprise.”

Already task force members have met with representatives from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, and future meetings are being scheduled.



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Editor: Alan Chodos
Staff Science Writer: Michael Lucibella