May 17, 2022

A Quick Note on the Membership of the American Association of Publishers and the Research Works Act

Yesterday, after we posted Peter Suber’s ongoing report about about the “Research Works Act” (H.R. 3966) legislation that was filed in Congress before the holidays, we decided to take a quick look at the membership list of the American Association of Publishers. The AAP press released their support of the legislation a couple of weeks ago.

The American Association of Publishers membership list consists of most of the large and well-known publishers you would expect to find on such a list.

What’s worth mentioning is there are some members of the American Association of Publishers you would think might NOT be in support of what the Research Work Act is trying to accomplish.

Sure, with more than 300 members we realize that you can’t please all of the members all of the time. However, what this legislation proposes is major and you would think the AAP might want to have some/many of the organizations and companies we’ve listed (are there others?) on board. Were all members clear on what was going on before the bill was was sent to the House and then on to committee?

Here are a few of the companies and organizations that stood out when we reviewed the AAP membership list. Make sure to review the entire membership list for context and to see if other members would seem to be at odds with H.R. 3966.

Selected Members of the AAP

  • Several University Press Members Include Johns Hopkins (Project MUSE), _MIT, Stanford, U. of Chicago, and Yale
  • City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
  • Council on Library and Information Resources
  • CrossRef
  • Getty Publications
  • Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (incl. Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • Highwire Press
  • Library of Congress
  • IMF
  • Ithaka (JSTOR and Portico)
  • Modern Language Association of America
  • National Academies Press
  • National Geographic Society
  • RAND
  • Smashwords

Our Questions

  • Are the organizations listed above in support of the Research Works Act?
  • If they don’t like the proposed legislation, will these AAP members publicly acknowledge their dislike/unhappiness, work to have it defeated, etc. leave the AAP?
  • Would they consider leaving the AAP?
  • Are other companies and organizations (we’ve only listed a few) not in support of the legislation?

See Also: Testimony: academic AAP members and the Research Works Act: where do you stand? Bear witness.
By Peter Brantley

See Also: “New Bill to Block Open Access to Publicly-Funded Research”
Includes links to more articles, the text of the legislation, tracking tools, and more.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.