This year’s theme for International Open Access Week, “Open for Climate Justice,” underscores the global importance of open science in a way perhaps nothing else could. At the very heart of open access is the belief that science is the pursuit of knowledge in the service of humanity — and, as such, its findings and benefits should be accessible to all. At AIP Publishing, we stand in support of these efforts.
The climate crisis doesn’t understand borders or boundaries or bank accounts. It’s an issue that will, in time, impact all of us, regardless of socioeconomic or demographic standing. To truly take it on, our approach to science must be similarly indiscriminate. Acquired knowledge is a human right, and there simply isn’t time to stand in the way of the open, expedited, global exchange of information. Open access is the rightful future of scholarly publishing, and in this arena, it is a moral imperative.
For us, this isn’t just a talking point: AIP Publishing now houses six gold OA journals, including AIP Advances, APL Bioengineering, APL Energy, APL Machine Learning, APL Materials, and APL Photonics. The newest two, APL Energy and APL Machine Learning, just recently opened for submissions. Each is pioneering an approach that requires authors to make their data publicly available in a repository of the author’s choosing. They are a prime example of our forward-thinking commitment to OA publishing.
This is in addition to our publishing partner OA journals: JASA Express Letters, in partnership with the Acoustical Society of America, Matter and Radiation at Extremes, sponsored by China Academy of Engineering Physics, Nanotechnology and Precision Engineering, sponsored by Tianjin University, and Structural Dynamics, in partnership with American Crystallographic Association. In addition, we provide Open Access Author Licenses through our Author Select program, which allows authors to make their work in our subscription journals open access. We also came out in support of the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s guidance change regarding taxpayer-funded publications and research being made free and fully accessible.
In addition to our work in the OA sphere, we acknowledge the importance of our field cooperating with worldwide efforts to halt climate change. It’s why we’re a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Publishers Compact and a founding sponsor of the Climate Change Knowledge Cooperative. The former means we’ve pledged to inform, develop, and inspire action related to 17 sustainable development goals; the latter that we will advance public understanding of the important work being conducted to combat the climate crisis.
For us, these efforts speak to a larger initiative: one geared around building a more equitable, sustainable, and inclusive world — starting with the physical sciences. Our mission as a nonprofit implores us to broaden access to published research and data, amplify a diverse array of voices, and seek out partnerships that further our goal of helping solve the world’s most challenging problems through science. As we noted in last year’s blog post for OA Week, open access and DEI initiatives are concepts intricately tied to one another — because DEI isn’t a niche concept. It ripples through absolutely everything, and even the most progressive and forward-thinking organizations must be prepared to view their actions through that lens. When we took up an organizational directive to promote and model DEI ideals, so too did we renew our passion for these issues of global importance.
As the climate crisis wreaks havoc across historically underserved regions, thought leaders and publishers in the physical sciences have a responsibility to ensure vital, groundbreaking knowledge doesn’t sit behind a paywall. AIP Publishing supports OA Week and all who continue to push for positive change in scholarly publishing.