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White House mandates immediate open access for federally funded research

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A new memo from the White House directs agencies to make federally funded research free, building on a 2013 memo that made taxpayer-funded research accessible to the public within a year of publication. “A federal public access policy consistent with our values of equal opportunity must allow for broad and expeditious sharing of federally funded research—and must allow all Americans to benefit from the returns on our research and development investments without delay,” says the memo.

The guidance, from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, requires federal agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible, and no later than December 31st, 2025, to make research freely and publicly accessible. All peer-reviewed scholarly publications authored or co-authored by individuals or institutions resulting from federally funded research must be made freely available and publicly accessible in agency-designated repositories without any embargo or delay after publication. Any scientific data underlying peer-reviewed those scholarly publications should also be made freely available and publicly accessible by default at time of publication.

In 2013, every federal agency spending over $100 million annually on research and development expenditures was required develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of that research, including any results published in peer-reviewed scholarly publications. That guidance allowed agencies to include a 12-month embargo on findings, which the new policy guidance now eliminates.   

Read the memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy here.

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