Research Results! Read ’em Here!

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on February 22, 2013, published a memorandum on public access to research results that for many folks has been too long coming. After much discussion, significant public outcry from scientists and publishers in the US and around the world, and a petition on the White House’s We the People website, John Holdren, OSTP Director, announced that Federal agencies with more than $100 million in R&D expenditures must develop plans to make published results of federally funded research freely available to the publish within one year of publication. The OSTP memorandum encourages agencies to work together rather than developing separate approaches and systems where appropriate. Agencies have six months to submit a draft implementation plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The memorandum also requires that agencies ensure that metadata about each relevant publication be available coincident with initial publication and that included in that metadata where possible, is a link to the location where the publication and associated supplemental materials will be available after the embargo period (up to 12 months). Agencies are directed to use a “data format that ensures interoperability with current and future search technology.”

In maximizing public access to published results of federally funded research, agencies are instructed to “Allow the inclusion of appropriate costs for data management and access in proposals for Federal funding for scientific research” and to “provide for the assessment of long-term needs for the preservation of scientific data in fields that the agency supports”.

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