NOTE

You may add yourself as a signatory on this letter by submitting a pull request here or by sending an email to ASMEletter@engrxiv.org with your name, title, and affiliation in the subject line.


We, the undersigned academics and researchers from a variety of engineering and supporting fields of study, backgrounds, and personal convictions, are reaching out to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to request the society’s consideration in the matter of support for the practice of posting for public consumption, manuscripts prior to peer-review intended for later submission to an ASME published journal.

As you know, there have been ongoing concerns in the engineering research community regarding timely access to published research. The practice of posting preprints prior to formal peer review can greatly accelerate the pace of research progress. As ASME is a major publisher in the engineering field, we are requesting modification and improvement of the ASME Copyright Transfer Agreement (backup copy here) to allow ASME authors to archive their manuscripts with an eprint server prior to submission to an ASME journal without affecting the status of their submission. We feel that this would be best accomplished by including specific language in the copyright transfer policy that permits the posting of pre-reviewed manuscripts. In order to assist ASME with crafting this language, we specifically suggest:

Change the language found in Section 2: Permitted Uses:

“You may not deposit your Paper in a publicly accessible archive (whether print or electronic) that permits users to copy and distribute its contents without first contacting ASME for permission.”

to instead read:

“Authors retain the right to post preprints and postprints in an institutional or subject matter repository or to self-archive on their personal website.”

We hope that as a result of this letter, we may work with relevant leadership from ASME to draft a revised Copyright Transfer Agreement and to help ASME be at the forefront of this new means of research dissemination.

Signed,

  1. Zach Baird, Junior Researcher, Tallinn University of Technology
  2. Lorena A. Barba, Associate Professor, The George Washington University
  3. Devin R. Berg, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Stout
  4. Kevin M. Moerman, Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. Jason K. Moore, Faculty, University of California, Davis
  6. Kyle E. Niemeyer, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
  7. Andrew Phillips, Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London
  8. Douglas L. Van Bossuyt, Partner, KTM Research LLC