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Introduction to Public Access
On February 22, 2013 the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research (“Memorandum”), which directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development (R&D) expenditures to develop plans to make publicly available to the “greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible and consistent with law” the “direct results of federally funded scientific research.” The Memorandum went on to state results include peer-reviewed publications and digitally formatted scientific data. The Memorandum laid out the expectation that wider availability of peer-reviewed publications and scientific data in digital formats will create innovative economic markets for services related to curation, preservation, analysis, and visualization. These federal agencies have now released their public access policies.
What does Public Access mean to UCAR/NCAR?
Since its inception, UCAR has always embraced the concept of open science and open data. We have a long history of developing and sustaining programs, systems, and services that are freely shared and available to our research and educational communities. We embrace openness, not only as an institutional value, but as a valuable building block of the scientific enterprise. The recent Presidential action on Public Access is consonant with our support of openness as a community value and as a driver for new scientific discovery.
Agency policies now require UCAR and NCAR researchers who submit a proposal and subsequently receive a new award, or have an award amended to include a public access provision, to deposit publications that wholly, or partially, result from these awards into the public access repository of the agency. They will also need to place scientific data related to the award into a repository (provided by the institution, publisher, or other data repository service provider) and register the data location with the relevant agency’s public access repository. If the publication and scientific data are a result of funding from multiple agencies, deposit and registration with each agency will be required. Failure to comply may impact future funding (in the same manner that late grant reporting currently delays new awards). As the policies include various requirements and caveats, a set of Frequently Asked Questions has been developed to help.