On August 25, 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced guidance to make federally funded research freely available without delay. In a memorandum titled, Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, OSTP head, Dr. Alondra Nelson, directed all federal funding agencies to provide plans for public access to funded research publications and data. This guidance updates the 2013 OSTP memo and policies that were established as a result of it as described elsewhere on this guide. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) created useful comparison of the 2013 and 2022 memos.
The new guidance in Section 3 applies to all federal research funding agencies (the previous applied only to those with greater than $100M in R&D expenditures), and eliminates the prior 12 month embargo on public availability of full text articles reporting on funded research. New compliant policies addressing public access must be effective no later than December 31, 2025. Plans from each agency are due within a year (from August 25, 2022).
Additional provisions addressing research integrity must be in effect no later than December 31, 2027. These provisions in Section 4 include requirements for metadata and digital persistent identifiers for scholarly publications, data, awards, and protocols. Full policies from each agency addressing these provisions are due by December 31, 2026.
More detail regarding the publication and data provisions of the updated guidance is described below, along with additional perspectives and information. The content of this guide will be developed and updated as the plans are announced and implemented. For detailed information regarding publication requirements, contact Josh Bolick, Head of the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright. For detailed information regarding data requirements, contact Jamene Brooks-Kieffer, Data Services Librarian.
The 2022 OSTP Memo directs all federal research funding agencies to develop plans for public access to peer reviewed scholarly publications resulting from funded research. The relevant part of the memo is section 3.a:
"Federal agencies should update or develop new public access plans for ensuring, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, that all peer reviewed scholarly publications authored or coauthored by individuals or institutions resulting from federally funded research are made freely available and publicly accessible by default in agency-designated repositories without any embargo or delay after publication." [emphasis in original]
"Plans should describe:
"Peer-reviewed scholarly publications" is defined as always including peer-reviewed research articles or final manuscripts published in scholarly journals. Peer-reviewed book chapters, editorials, and conference proceedings may be included in the final plans.
The 2022 OSTP Memo includes research data in its directions for federal funding agencies to update or create public access plans. The relevant sections of the memo are 3.b, 3.c, and 3.d. These sections are summarized below; consult the memo in full for the most precise language.
Section 3.b requires that funding agencies' public access plans include provisions for access to scientific data*, including:
*Scientific data is defined as "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, artifacts, or field notes."
Section 3.c requires that funding agencies' public access plans outline policies that define researchers' responsibilities for managing and sharing data, including:
Section 3.d directs federal funding agencies to allow researchers to include publication and data-related costs in research budgets.
The updated guidance from OSTP generated significant interest, some of which is collected here.
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has long advocated for and supported a national open access policy. KU Libraries is a SPARC member.
The White House collected and shared supportive responses from a range of politicians, NGOs, funders, publishers, librarians, and open access advocates and startups in WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?: White House Federally Funded Research Guidance Hailed as a Win for Innovation and Equity.
Data for Progress shared polling results showing that Voters Overwhelmingly Support Open Access to Federally Funded Research.
The Harvard-based Open Access Tracking Project uses the tag "oa.ostp" to track relevant news and reactions.
While much of the response has been celebratory, there are also less enthusiastic and critical responses: