Researchers support sharing of peer-reviewed research without embargoes and restrictions
The Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), a global network representing over 14,500 members at all career stages and in all areas of research, reaffirms its strong support for the modernization of scholarly publishing towards fully embracing the dissemination of knowledge without barriers (our vision and our recommendations for how to get there are available via DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3246728).
One of the goals of the MCAA is to help “enhance the flow of knowledge across different countries, sectors of the economy, and scientific disciplines”. While some scholarly publishers are helping to lead much-needed change in this area, some other publishers still lag behind. Specifically, we note that barriers - such as embargo periods for the sharing of peer-reviewed journal articles - directly impede the flow of knowledge and we encourage all efforts towards the complete abolishment of such embargo periods which restricts researchers from sharing their findings.
We noted with dismay the group of scholarly publishers who with a December 18th statement came out in support of barriers to knowledge dissemination (such as embargo periods). For researchers to thrive and for scholarly knowledge to fully benefit all of society (including doctors, patient groups, public officials, NGOs, small businesses, entrepreneurs, etc.), barriers to the flow of knowledge must be removed. Disappointingly, the letter from the publishers also rehashes several old myths which have been repeatedly debunked by many scholars (one good example among many is Publications 2019, 7, 34). For example, the statement “going below the current 12 month embargo would make it very difficult for most American publishers to invest in publishing these articles” disregards the fact that many thriving publishers and journals already today allow researchers to share the findings contained in their peer-reviewed articles without restrictions and embargo (extensive discussion, examples and sources available in DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3246728).
We urgently call upon the publishers that still force barriers on the flow of knowledge, to modernize and join the numerous publishers that already today allow and encourage researchers to share their research findings without embargoes and restrictions.
Signed by Matthew DiFranco (Chair, MCAA) and Agnieszka Weinar (Chair, MCAA North America Chapter) on December 19, 2019.
For more from the Marie Curie Alumni Association, please see: https://zenodo.org/communities/mcaa