White House OSTP Issues Updated Guidance on Open Access to Federally Funded Research and Data

September 2022

On August 24, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the release of guidance that would ensure that publications and data from federally funded research be made publicly available immediately on release. Prior to this memorandum, federal agencies adhered to a 2013 OSTP directive requiring that publications and data from federally funded research be available to the public after 12 months.

The memorandum, “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research,” calls for federal agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible, with an implementation deadline of the end of 2025, to ensure that publications and data from federally funded research are released without an embargo.

In addition, the OSTP guidance calls for agencies to ensure adherence to scientific and research integrity. Actions federal agencies should take to meet this goal include collecting and making metadata from publications and data available in repositories, instructing federal research grantees to obtain a digital persistent identifier for published research, and assigning unique digital persistent identifiers to federal research grants.

The National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Open Science will work with agencies to coordinate efforts; consider measures to reduce inequities in accessing and publishing research from federal grants; and develop strategies to ensure that publications and data are findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-useable (FAIR), among other priorities.

AERA has long been committed to advancing public access to research data and scholarly publications.

“We applaud the Biden administration for taking this action to ensure that the research and data resulting from federal funding is available to the public upon publication,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine.

Noting that data access and access to publications are related but separate topics, Levine said, “We have considerable knowledge and experience in safe and secure data access and sharing, but there is much work for us to do together to determine how best to achieve open-access publishing in an equitable and affordable manner.”

Note: AERA has advanced and promoted data sharing through its Code of Ethics, policy guidance on data sharing at the article publishing stage, and a trusted repository for authors’ data or data-related products when publishing in AERA journals (to reach to all journals in 2023). AERA also supports openness in scholarly publishing through publication of AERA Open, open access to articles in Educational Researcher, and the provision to authors of toll-free links to their AERA articles that can be listed on their vita or website. Also, AERA’s Online Paper Repository for peer-reviewed papers and AERA’s i-Presentation Gallery for scholarly presentations are both open-access products for interested users worldwide.