AIAA Statement on Potential Changes to Federal Public Access Policy Written 20 December 2019


CONTACT: Michele McDonald

Institute Joins 125 Scientific Research and Publishing Organizations in Opposing Proposed Administrative Policy

December 20, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) recently joined 125 scientific research and publishing organizations in opposing a proposed administrative action that would force the immediate free distribution of peer-reviewed journal articles reporting on federally funded research. AIAA’s publications division currently respects a six-year-old federal policy that allows a 12-month embargo before federally funded research is made available for free to the global market.

AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher made the following statement in response to the proposed change to the federal public access policy:

“This proposed mandate would significantly harm the peer-review process that helps ensure the quality and integrity of scientific research. More specifically, the immediate free distribution of such content would have significant repercussions on the scientific research community by threatening the scholarly publishing process, reducing the time to recover our investment, and potentially weakening the value of our journals. Nonprofit scientific societies use the proceeds from their journal subscriptions to support scientists and the scholarly enterprise. AIAA journals contribute to the intellectual vibrancy of the aerospace field.

AIAA and other society publishers have always supported innovative ways to allow access to content, and federal agencies have been developing their own plans to ensure public access. Agency plans have been implemented slowly and have been in place for a relatively short period of time. Not enough data has been collected since these agency plans have been in place to know the full impact of the current policy on long-standing publishing processes and revenue streams. It is not the time to make sweeping policy changes.

The Institute has joined other scientific societies and publishing organizations to oppose the changes to current policy and will continue voicing our concerns in a collaborative effort. We welcome the opportunity to work with the administration, federal agencies, and Congress to develop a coordinated approach to public access that respects the diverse needs of the scholarly community.”

About AIAA 
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
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