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Open Access: Federal Public Access Mandates

An overview of open access (OA) basics and resources.

Office of Science and Technology Policy Memorandum

In February 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research, policy memorandum from Director John Holdren directing federal agencies to develop plans to make the publications resulting from federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication, and directed researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research, with the goal of also making these data publicly accessible.

The memorandum is directed to the heads of executive departments and agencies with over $100 million in annual extramural R&D budgets. Those agencies are to develop a public access plan for the results of research – scientific publications and digital scientific data – directly arising from their funds.

Below is a summary of the agencies that have made their implementation plans public, including links to the implementation plans and brief summaries of the proposed solutions for providing public access to articles and digital data sets.

On August 25, 2022, OSTP updated its policy, releasing a new memo, Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, instructing agencies to

  1. Update their public access policies as soon as possible, and no later than December 31st, 2025, to make publications and their supporting data resulting from federally funded research publicly accessible without an embargo on their free and public release;
  2. Establish transparent procedures that ensure scientific and research integrity is maintained in public access policies; and,
  3. Coordinate with OSTP to ensure equitable delivery of federally funded research results and data.

This guidance applies to all federal agencies. SPARC outlines the new policy guidance in a fact sheet.

Federal Repositories

Additional Information


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