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Statement from ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, on Proposed Administration Policy to Change Open Access Peer Reviewed Journals

(WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 19, 2019) – Yesterday, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) sent a letter to President Trump outlining concerns with a proposed policy that would jeopardize the intellectual property of American organizations engaged in the creation of high-quality peer-reviewed journals and research articles. The Administration is considering an Executive Order that would mandate that scientific articles reporting on federally funded research be made immediately available to everyone upon publication, eliminating or reducing the current 12-month embargo period that has been in place since 2008.

ASH has joined a coalition of the leading publishers and non-profit scientific societies in the United States by sending a letter urging President Trump and the Administration to reconsider the proposed policy, citing many potential unintended consequences, including immediately shifting the financial burden for scientific publishing to the research community rather than the readers, hindering journals’ ability to maintain the rigor of peer review, weakening oversight of research quality, and placing restrictions on where authors can publish their work.

2020 ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, issued the following statement:

“While the American Society of Hematology supports public access to important, practice-changing research discoveries that improve our nation’s health through our journals Blood and Blood Advances, and many authors avail themselves of this opportunity, we are deeply concerned that the Administration’s proposed changes to require open access publication would jeopardize peer reviewed scientific and medical journals by disrupting the current business models that support rigorous peer review and data integrity in the interest of public health and safety. The proposed policy would significantly threaten the environment of scientific discovery and innovation that is necessary for developing new treatments that ultimately benefit patients with blood diseases. The current 12-month embargo period provides ASH the ability to support a high-quality, peer review system for our journals that ensures the integrity of the research results and promotes accurate scientific communication. We strongly encourage the Administration to oppose any proposal that would require a single publication model, especially if unintended consequences weaken rather than strengthen scientific communication.”

ASH’s letter can be found here.

Read the full coalition letters here and here.

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, and Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.