White House Orders Federal Agencies to Publicly Share Research Findings
The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued a memo directing federal agencies with R&D spending to publicly share the findings and data from government-funded research as soon as they’re published, a move that should expand the amount of data available to researchers outside of the government.
As it stands now, an optional 12-month embargo is allowed for public access to federally funded research findings, closing off data to those without the ability or will to pay for access and those without institutional privileges. The new public access policy, outlined in a memo published last week, will do away with this restriction and, in theory, ensure that all peer-reviewed publications from government-funded research “are made freely available and publicly accessible by default in agency-designated repositories without any embargo or delay after publication.” But it will be up to each agency to formulate its own plan for delivering on this.
“Providing the data that support findings in scientific papers improves transparency and the ability of others to replicate, and build on, the primary research findings,” the White House said. “Public access to federally funded research data also helps to level the playing field across a highly uneven funding landscape between academic disciplines — providing possibilities to scholars, students and the public for secondary use of data that would otherwise be unavailable.”
The Biden administration, specifically, has ordered relevant government agencies to come up with access plans (or update existing strategies) to achieve this vision as soon as possible and submit proposals for review. Agencies with R&D expenditures are expected to publish by Dec. 31, 2024, full policy development plans that become effective no later than a year after their publication.
Read the full memorandum here: https://bit.ly/3KmaoxK.