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One publisher's journey through the public access debate


This paper presents the content of my closing address given at the Academic Publishing in Europe 2012 Conference. I share my perspective of the public access debate, as CEO of American Institute of Physics, a medium-size scientific publisher and my observations on our industry's most important customers – the libraries. The origin of the often contentious public access debate can be traced back to a worthy goal shared by all stakeholders: the expansion of access to and broad use of scholarly publications. Starting with principles and recommendations set forth in the 2010 Scholarly Publishing Roundtable Report, I outline a productive and pragmatic path forward and identify appropriate and cost-effective options for expanding access. Furthermore, I review the major elements of public access policy development in the US since 2005, leading up to January 2012, a year after President Obama signed into public law the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. This essay has been expanded to include additional information, covering the issue through September 2012 (submission date of this article), and addresses related government initiatives that appeared in the UK and the European Union.