Washington Update

NSF Issues Public Access Plan 2.0

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
In response to the August 2022 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum, Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released its Public Access Plan 2.0. Developed in coordination with leadership from the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee, the plan represents the agency’s first step toward broadening public access to the outputs of federally funded research, with a primary consideration on equitable access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications.

The plan serves as a framework to describe existing initiatives and future activities intended to fulfill the goals and timeline of the OSTP memo. The first component – ensuring all peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from NSF-funded research will be made freely available and publicly accessibly by default in the NSF Public Access Repository without embargo or delay – is set to go into effect by January 2025. Similarly, scientific data associated with peer-reviewed publications resulting from NSF awards will be made available in appropriate scientific disciplinary repositories, with exceptions to this data sharing requirement being made based on legal, privacy, ethical, intellectual property, and national security concerns.

The second phase of implementation will focus on ensuring scientific and research integrity through the collection of persistent identifiers (PIDs) and other critical metadata associated with peer-reviewed publications and datasets resulting from NSF-funded research. Updates pertaining to this phase will be completed and published before December 31, 2026, with full implementation to begin in January 2027.

To facilitate clear communication of policy parameters and expectations, NSF launched a new Public Access Initiative webpage. In addition, NSF continues to host webinars to help inform the research community of the policy updates and answer questions. The next session is scheduled for 1–2 pm ET on  June 29, and will be tailored for the engineering and computer and information sciences communities. Recordings of previous webinars are available on the webpage.