Public Access Policies

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a directive on February 22, 2013 requesting federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publicly available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Please visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” page for more general information about these policies and their requirements.

Affected Agencies: See information on the agencies listed below – you may also wish to consult these SPARC Resources for your specific funder: Agency Article Deposit Policies and Agency Data Sharing Policies

Overview of OSTP Responses: This chart is a visualization based on a crowd-sourced Google Spreadsheet that consolidates guidelines proposed by affected agencies in response to the OSTP memo to expand public access to the results of federally funded research. Valen, Dan; Blanchat, Kelly (2015): Overview of OSTP Responses (figshare). 


Department of Agriculture 

Department of Agriculture: Implementation Plan to Increase Public Access

  • Scope: Peer-reviewed scholarly publications published in a journal on or after the effective date of the public and arising from USDA sponsored research. The policy will also apply to data; please refer to policy document and check back here as public access to data requirements are finalized by the agency.
  • Requirements: Within 12 months of publication, authors must submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript or the final published article (if the author has retained the rights) to PubAg
  • PortalPubAg (at this time, PubAg does not accept direct submission; only USDA personnel can submit articles on behalf of funded authors who are subject to the mandate)
  • Timeline: Policy will go into effect prospectively January 1, 2016; grantees who received funding prior to Jan. 1, 2016 are encouraged but not required to comply

Department of Commerce

Commerce has no formal plan of its own; however, two of its offices have implemented plans: National Institutes of Standards and Technology – Plan for Providing Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

  • Scope: All NIST funded researchers will be required to deposit their research articles. The plan also calls for data management plans and enterprise data inventories; refer to the plan document for specifics regarding these data requirements.
  • Requirements: Authors must submit either the version of record or the final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance for publication, plus the associated public access archive system metadata through NIST’s PubMed Central interface, all of which should be publicly available within 12 months of publication, although NIST reserves the right to shorten or lengthen this embargo period. Please refer to the plan document for requirements regarding data and data management plans.
  • PortalPubMed Central
  • Timeline: October 2015

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Plan to Increase Public Access to Research Results

  • Scope: All agency funded intramural and extramural research that results in peer reviewed articles. Also, all technical reports, data reports, and technical memoranda.
  • Requirements: Covered publications must be deposited into NOAA’s repository upon acceptance and be publicly available within 12 months of publication
  • PortalNOAA Institutional Repository
  • Timeline: March 2016

Department of Defense 

Department of Defense Public Access Plan

  • Scope: Proposed to encompass any peer reviewed articles manuscript or digitally formatted scientific data set that arises from direct funding from a DoD contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or intramural program.
  • Requirements: Upload final accepted peer-reviewed journal manuscripts or final published version of article as allowed by publisher policy into DTIC. No more than a 12 month embargo will be imposed. While articles under embargo, link to publisher’s site will be provided in the DITC.
  • PortalDefense Technical Information Center (DTIC)
  • Timeline: October 2016

Department of Education

Department of Education Plan and Policy for Public Access

  • Scope: Peer reviewed article manuscripts that have been accepted for publication that arise from research funded, either fully or partially, by a Department of Education grant, contract or other agreement. The plan also applies to digital research data that is the product of research conducted or funded by a Department of Education or that underlies a funded scholarly research article.  Requirements: Peer reviewed article manuscripts must be deposited into ERIC no later than 12 months after formal publication. Data management plans are required – see https://ies.ed.gov/funding/datasharing_policy.asp for more information
  • PortalERIC
  • Timeline: The Department of Education requirements pre-date the OSTP memo and compliance was mandated in FY2012. Regulations and a formal plan in furtherance of the OSTP memo are now in place.​​

Department of Energy (DOE) 

Department of Enery (DOE) Public Access Plan

  • Scope: All scholarly publications resulting from DOE research funding. There is also an additional provision relating to digital research data and submission of data management plans; please refer to the policy document for specific requirements.
  • Requirements: All researchers receiving DOE funding will be required to submit metadata and a link to the full-text accepted manuscript to the DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI). Publishers who participate in DOE’s public access activity will submit article metadata and links to OSTI. Classified or protected data and research will not be made publicly available. Authors may also submit their accepted manuscripts directly to PAGES.
  • PortalPublic Access Gateway for Energy and Sciences (PAGES). Submissions are handled through PAGES ELink System.  will contain metadata and abstracts for funded research and will also provide a link to the publisher’s version of record when available on the publisher’s site openly and without charge or, if not available, to the accepted manuscript no later than 12 months after publication.
  • Timeline: Articles (October 1, 2014); Data Management Plans (October 1, 2015)

Environmental Protection Agency 

Environmental Protection Agency: Plan to Increase Access to Results of EPA-Funded Scientific Research

  • Scope: Plan to be implemented in three phases, applicable to three categories of funded peer reviewed scholarly articles and data sets.
  • Requirements: Final manuscripts of peer reviewed scholarly articles must be deposited into PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. Data management plans are required and guidance will be forthcoming about deposit and archiving of covered data sets.
  • Portal:  PubMed Central
  • Timeline: For articles that are the product of intramural research funded by the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD), implementation applies to research funded after the plan’s release (November 29, 2016). Implementation for non-ORD funded intramural research will occur during FY17. Implementation for extramural research will occur during FY18.

Department of Health and Human Services

Several operating divisions of HHS have released plans that have common elements for making scholarly publications and data publicly accessible. The plans rely upon the NIH Public Access Policy that has been in place since 2008 and will utilize PubMed Central and the 12 month allowable embargo. Refer to the individual agency plans for information on public access to data or data management plans.


Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security: Plan to Support Increased Public Access to the Results of Research Funded by the Federal Gov’t

  • Scope: Applies to peer-reviewed journal articles and digital data sets created after the plan’s effective date that arise from DHS-funded or DHS-intramural R&D contract, cooperative agreement, or grant. The plan’s requirements also apply to DHS employees conducting or funding R&D activities and awardees that engage in DHS-funded research or programs, including but not limited to states, localities, regulated parties, volunteer organizations, contractors, cooperative agreement holders, grantees, cooperating federal government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and educational institutions. Please review the Plan document for applicable exclusions for matters of national security or sensitivity.
  • Requirements: Copies of any final published article or the final peer reviewed manuscript resulting from DHS-funded research must be submitted to PubMed Central no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. Data management policies are required and guidance is forthcoming on the deposit or archiving of covered datasets.
  • PortalPubMed Central (Homeland Security intends to launch an agency-specific submission portal for PMC during 2017)
  • Timeline: The plan, dated December 27, 2016, indicates that it is effective immediately.

Department of Interior

US Geological Survey Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research as the USGS

  • Scope: Peer reviewed scholarly articles and related data produced from research funded by the USGS
  • Requirements: Article manuscripts are to be deposited in the USGS Publications Warehouse within 12 months of publication. Data management plans and archiving of data also required.(See training video from USGS)
  • PortalUSGS Publications Warehouse
  • Timeline: October 1, 2016

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Increasing Access to Scientific Research
  • Scope: All peer-reviewed scientific research publications authored or coauthored by investigators funded by NASA-appropriated funds. Data is also covered by the plan and data management plans must be part of proposals.
  • Requirements: For publications, metadata is to be submitted as soon as possible and the peer reviewed accepted journal manuscript or the final published version of record, if permitted by publisher agreement, must be deposited no later than 12 months after publication.
  • PortalPubSpace (NASA branded portal through PubMed Central)
  • Timeline: Articles (October 1, 2015); Data Management Plans (January 1, 2015)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Science Foundation (NSF) Public Access Plan: Today’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries 

  • Scope: Peer reviewed articles and conference papers where the research is funded in whole or in part by the NSF on or after the effective date. Data and outcomes that are subject to data management plans requirement instituted in 2011.
  • Requirements: Deposit of either the final accepted manuscript or the version of record where the final accepted manuscript or version of record can be made available to the public, free of charge, at the conclusion a no more than 12 month embargo period. Metadata describing the items must be available upon publication, free of charge to end users.
  • PortalNSF Public Access Repository (currently in Beta test)
  • Timeline: January 25, 2016
  • Resources:

Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Institution Plan for Increased Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research

  • Scope: Peer reviewed publications and supporting digital research data that are the results of any research funded in whole or in part by the Smithsonian are authored or co-authored by an employee, academic appointee or trust employee of the Smithsonian
  • Requirements: An electronic copy or a link to a copy of the final accepted manuscript or the final publication (i.e., version of record) of each covered publication that meets the scope criteria above, as well as its supporting digital research data, shall be submitted to one or more Smithsonian-managed or Smithsonian-approved repositories either twelve months or another negotiated embargo period following official publication date unless a demonstrated special circumstance prevents the covered publication or supporting digital research data from being made publicly available.
  • PortalSmithsonian Research Online (final accepted manuscripts and supporting digital research data) and CHORUS (after 12 month embargo – link to publisher’s instance of article)
  • Timeline: October 1, 2015

Department of Transportation

Department of Transportation Public Access Plan: Increasing Access to Federally Funded Research Results

  • Scope: Scientific research materials (publications) and digital data sets produced by DOT grant awardees
  • Requirements: Manuscripts must be made publicly available through the DOT’s Research Hub within 12 months of publication. Refer to plan for guidance on the availability of digital data sets. Grantees will be required to grant DOT a non-exclusive, royalty-free distribution license for publications. CC-BY licensing will be recommended for data and other research outputs.
  • PortalUSDOT Research Hub
  • Timeline: December 31, 2015

Veterans Affairs

Veterans Affairs: Policy and Implementation Plans for Public Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Data from Research Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Scope: All VA research must be conducted by VA employees operating within a research program authorized by VHA. Therefore, the plan applies only to VA employee-investigators who conduct peer-reviewed biomedical laboratory research, clinical sciences research, health services research, and rehabilitation research beneficial to Veterans. In addition, The Policy will apply to all VA-funded research, including all research funded by ORD and all research funded by all VHA Program Offices, as well as to all research funded by any VA entity that may acquire research funding authority in the future.
  • Requirements: All final peer reviewed manuscripts must be deposited into PubMed Central upon acceptance in a peer reviewed journal and be available to the public within no longer than 12 months of publication. Public access to research is required but will be phased in over the next several months with the plan to make digital data available first through a controlled public access mechanism and eventually through a fully open public access mechanism.
  • PortalPubMed Central
  • Timeline: October 1, 2015