11:24 PM

U.S. Publishers Endorse International Joint Statement on Open Access Debate

Washington, DC, June 9, 2009: The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP/PSP) today expressed its support and endorsement of a joint statement on the open access debate issued by two prestigious international organizations representing publishers and librarians. Designed to bring more light and less heat to the often contentious debate surrounding open access, the statement, entitled “Enhancing the Debate on Open Access,” was issued on May 20 by the International Publishers Association (IPA) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). They were joined in releasing the statement by the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers.

Although the debate over open access presents a unique and important opportunity for the international publishing and library communities to explore the use of technology and new business models to meet the challenges of growing scholarly publishing output, the debate has too often been hobbled “by unnecessary polarisations and sweeping generalized statements.” The IPA/IFLA statement attempts to lay out common ground for both communities so that future debate is conducted “in an open-minded way, encouraging experimentation and arguments based on empirical facts...”

Michael Hays (McGraw-Hill Education), chairman of the AAP/PSP Executive Council, said: “By acknowledging common ground and shared values and agreeing, among other things, that ‘all assumptions surrounding open access and scholarly communications should be open to scientific scrutiny and academic debate,’ this statement represents an important step forward in bringing a civility and rationality to this debate which has too often been absent. We applaud the efforts of IFLA and the IPA, and join in the spirit of open inquiry and mutual respect embodied by the statement.”

The complete text of the statement can be found at:

About AAP

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.