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