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SOAR User Manual

Public Access Requirements for Federally Funded Research

On August 25, 2022, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) released the memorandum Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research (aka the "Nelson Memo") calling on federal agencies to implement policies making publications and supporting data from federally funded research publicly accessible without an embargo by December 31, 2025.

Key takeways for researchers:

  • Applies to all research funded entirely or in part by a U.S. federal agency
  • Requires all research outputs be made immediately accessible to the public without embargo
  • Applies to both peer-reviewed publications and their underlying scientific data
  • Requires all researchers and research outputs to have a persistent digital identifier such as an ORCID iD and DOI
  • Requires all research outputs to be machine readable and accessible via assistive technology
  • Allows researchers to include in their grant proposal any costs associated with complying with public access policies


Timeline & Key Dates

OSTP Memo Timeline

Source: University of Michigan


1 August 25, 2022 "Nelson Memo" published.
2 February 21, 2023 Public access policies due (1) - Federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development (R&D) expenditures submit their new or updated public access policies addressing items in Section 3 of the memo.
3 August 20, 2023 Public access policies due (2) - Federal agencies with $100 million or less in annual R&D expenditures submit their new or updated public access policies addressing items in Section 3 of the memo.
4 December 31, 2024 Final public access policies due - Deadline for agencies to publish final policies addressing all requirements outlined in the memo. Policies to go into effect 1 year after publication.
5 December 31, 2025 New policies are in effect - New policies will be in effect no later than this date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which federal agencies are subject to these new public access requirements?

All federal grant-making agencies are subject to the new public access requirements.

What types of research must be made publicly available?

Any research funded entirely or in part by a federal agency that results in the creation of a peer-reviewed publication or scientific data.

Peer-reviewed publications include “peer-reviewed research articles or final manuscripts published in scholarly journals”. In addition, the guidance indicates that agencies may include peer-reviewed book chapters, editorials, and peer-reviewed conference proceedings.”

Scientific data include “the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings. Such scientific data do not include laboratory notebooks, preliminary analyses, case report forms, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer-reviews, communications with colleagues, or physical objects and materials, such as laboratory specimens, artefacts, or field notes.”

When will these new public access policies go into effect?

The memo directs federal agencies to develop and finalize their public access policies by the end of 2024 to go into effect no later than December 31, 2025. While some agencies may choose to implement their policy sooner, you can expect any grants awarded in 2025 or later to be governed by the new policy.

Where can I find information about my funder's current policies on public access?

For information about the public access policies currently in place at major funding agencies, consult the following resources:

Public Access (PA) Plans of U.S. Federal Agencies - A list of links to public access plans published to date by U.S. federal agencies.

Sherpa Juliet - A searchable database of information about funders’ policies and their requirements on open access, publication, and data archiving.

How do I obtain an ORCID iD?

Once the new public access policies are in effect, all researchers seeking federal funding must have an ORCID iD. To obtain an ORCID iD, log into your Rutgers Personal Contact Information page and follow the prompts to create your ORCID iD or connect your existing ORCID iD to your Rutgers NetID. You can also register for an ORCID iD via SOAR. For more information, see Connecting your ORCID iD.

Where should I deposit my publications?

Unless otherwise specified by the funding agency, all publications should be deposited in SOAR.

Where should I deposit my research data?

For some programs, the funding agency may require the use of particular data repositories. For others, researchers are encouraged to select a repository appropriate for their discipline or the type of data generated. If no appropriate field-specific repository is available, researchers may consider depositing their data in SOAR. Because SOAR cannot accommodate files larger than 5 GB, it is typically only used to store small supplementary datasets that support deposited publications. For assistance selecting a data repository, researchers are advised to consult with a library data specialist.

Where can I find resources and support for managing and sharing my research data?

The Libraries' offer training and support to help you create a data management plan and select a data repository. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact a library data specialist.

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