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The American Folklore Society Expresses Support for Public Access to Federally Funded Peer-Reviewed Research #RWA @whitehouseostp

Bad news abounds, but from the good news file comes today’s release of a letter sent by the President of the American Folklore Society, Diane Goldstein, on behalf of the society. (Diane is also my colleague here at Indiana University). The letter was a response to the recent Request for Information issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (part of the executive branch of the U.S. government charged with advising the president). The RFI focused on “Public Access to Peer-­Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting From Federally Funded Research.”

In the American Folklore Society’s response to the RFI, the society did two things of note. The AFS pointed to, and endorsed the careful and valuable submission that had already been made by the Association for Computers and the Humanities. In addition to supporting public access policies, the ACH statement (and by extension the AFS view) stresses the need for research policy makers working on this (and neighboring issues) to keep humanities research in mind as part of the larger (and relevant) research landscape.

The other theme brought out in the AFS statement is that the society has committed itself to sustainably pursuing public access goals as exemplified by its adoption of an author agreement for the Journal of American Folklore that is consistent with green open access practices (including repository deposit of the publisher’s final version) as well as its work (with the IU Libraries) on the Open Folklore project.

On a day in which SOPA and PIPA were prominent points of discussion, in a moment in which there are powerful interests also pushing the terrible Research Works Act, and on the day that the Supreme Court handed down a decision that signs off on a law that allows works to be taken out of the public domain and moved back into copyrighted status, I am proud to be a member of the AFS Executive Board working with colleagues who share a commitment finding pathways forward toward the full realization of open access scholarly communication in the public interest. Thank you to the Association for Computers and the Humanities for its leadership and for drafting an excellent position statement. Thank you to the White House for soliciting input on this vital public issue.

When the Association for Computers and the Humanities website comes out from under today’s SOPA blackout status, readers should be able to consult the ACH response to the RFI there. If you are in a hurry, the AFS website presents it alongside the AFS letter as a downloadable PDF.  See here: http://www.afsnet.org/news/81409/AFS-Advocates-for-the-Humanities-in-Federal-Research-Policy.htm

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