Comprehensive Data Management Planning & Services

Office of Science and Technology Policy Announces Open Access Requirement for Publications and Data

The White House announced on February 22 that all federal agencies with research and development budgets of $100 million or more will be required to develop policies to provide open access to publications and data resulting from the research they fund. The open access requirement for publications will not be new to PIs funded by the National Institutes of Health, and PIs funded by the National Science Foundation have for the past two years been required to include with each grant proposal a data management plan that addresses sharing and other aspects of data management.

This announcement extends those requirements much more broadly, with the intent that wider availability of research publications and data will enhance research and innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development. The full memo, from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) suggests that in formulating their policies, agencies:

  • allow a 12 month embargo on open access to research publications,
  • allow full public access to metadata immediately upon publication,
  • ensure proper attribution of authors, journals, and original publishers,
  • ensure that content, and free and open access to it, is preserved for the long-term,
  • require a data management plan from all funded extramural researchers,
  • allow researchers to include the cost of complying with the policies in their budgets.

The announcement does recognize that privacy and confidentiality concerns, as well as commercial interests and intellectual property concerns, will affect whether and how some materials can be shared. The policy does not apply to manuscripts submitted for publication or data collected before the effective dates of the forthcoming agency policies. Affected agencies are directed to develop a policy within six months.

According to this spreadsheet available from NSF, those agencies include: the United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Agency for International Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution.

For more information, see: