AAA’s Response to OSTP Public Accessibility Memo

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) supports the basic objective of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP’s) recent decision to make federally funded research freely available without embargo. AAA has been publishing scholarly content since 1889 and has always advocated for equitable access to research and data while maintaining an inclusive and sustainable publishing program.

Today, our publishing portfolio consists of 23 peer-reviewed journals, a popular news magazine, and OARR: The Open Access Research Repository, a free, publicly accessible resource for anthropologists globally. All AAA journals offer a hybrid open access option and between 2019 and 2021 nearly all of our journals has published at least one article as hybrid open access. The publishing portfolio is guided by five core values—quality, breadth, accessibility, equity, and sustainability—all of equal importance.

AAA also has a flexible reuse policy as part of its author agreement. Authors can use the published article of record for educational or other scholarly purposes at the author’s own institution or company and/or place the accepted, post peer-review manuscript on a personal, institutional, or company website or on a non-commercial, discipline-specific public server.

OSTP expresses a continuing “paradigm shift away from research silos and toward a scientific culture that values collaboration and data sharing,” with which the AAA is in complete agreement. It directs federal agencies that fund research to create policies and guidelines for making research findings and supporting data freely available. In developing these policies and guidelines, many questions concerning equity and ethics will need to be answered, as well as some specific questions about access and storage. We are also concerned with getting a better sense of how funding will be devoted to the publication process for both scholars and journals.

Overall, the AAA looks forward to working with OSTP and the agencies that fund anthropological research to clarify and specify some of the issues that apply to modes of research and forms of data particular to the discipline in the interest of advancing our collective understanding of the human condition and applying that understanding to tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems. The association will be seeking agency consultations to ensure all disciplines are considered, particularly the humanities and social sciences.

We believe the future of scholarly research is open, and AAA is committed to providing the widest dissemination of high-quality scholarship possible.