August 31, 2022

Federal Agencies Prompted to Improve Access to Federally Funded Research

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued guidance to agencies that fund research to make the results of taxpayer-supported research freely available to Americans without delay. The OSTP memorandum recommended federal agencies, to the extent consistent with applicable law:

  • Update their public access policies as soon as possible, and no later than Dec. 31, 2025, to make publications and their supporting data resulting from federally funded research publicly accessible without an embargo on their free and public release.
  • Establish transparent procedures that ensure scientific and research integrity is maintained in public access policies.
  • Coordinate with OSTP to ensure equitable delivery of federally funded research results and data.

The OSTP memo is not targeted at enabling full access to copyrighted journals, but rather making federally funded research available in agency-designated repositories. The memo indicates this “may include peer-reviewed book chapters, editorials and peer-reviewed conference proceedings published in other scholarly outlets that result from federally funded research.” Details will become more transparent during future implementation efforts by federal agencies and the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Open Science.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a statement in response to the OSTP memorandum, that they would “work expeditiously to develop and share its plans for implementing the OSTP policy guidance and intends to work with interagency partners and stakeholders to revise its current Public Access Policy to enable researchers, clinicians, students and the public to access NIH research results immediately upon publication.”

For more information, please contact Gloria Romanelli, JD, American College of Radiology® Senior Director, Legislative and Regulatory Relations.