Public Access FAQ's

GENERAL

1. What does "Public Access" to research results mean?
2. When do agency policies go into effect?
3. Who must comply with the agencies' public access policies?
4. Who is responsible for meeting the public access requirement (e.g., submitting material to a designated repository; managing the data in accordance with the DMP)?
5. When must my article be deposited?
6. Why are agencies using the term "public access" (instead of "open access")?
7. Isn't "public access" the same as "open access"?
8. Could you tell me just where to find the NSF's Public Access repository? via Fastlane? Research.gov?
9. How may I submit a question about Public Access?

PUBLICATIONS

10. What qualifies as a scholarly publication?

11. What is the final peer-reviewed manuscript?

12. What is the version of record?

13. Doesn't NSF also want juried conference proceedings?

14. Does NSF (or other agency) allow for an embargo or delay for access to journal publications? If so, how long is it?

15. I found this sentence in NOAA's policy (page 10): "Researchers who wish their papers made freely available prior to expiration of the embargo period may publish in journals where open or earlier access is the norm, or may pay for open access in journals which offer that option."

16. When do journals charge Article Processing Fees (APC) vs. page charges?

17. Can I avoid paying Article Processing Charges (APC)?

18. May I post a copy of my article to my personal webpage?

DATA

19. What qualifies as scientific data?

20. What are the requirements surrounding the deposit of research data generated by federal funding?

21. What does it mean for data to be discoverable?

22. What does it mean for data to be accessible?

23. How can I get help with developing a thorough, implementable data management plan?

SOFTWARE

24. I plan to develop software as part of the research.  Is this considered a research output and put in the public registries?

25. Should any software provided as part of public access have a license?

26. I need to include software management in my DMP. What is a good way to manage our code?

UCAR/NCAR SPECIFIC

27. What is UCAR's Open Access Policy?

28. I am required to deposit a copy of my article in OpenSky. Do I still have to deposit a copy in a repository designated by the funding agency(ies)?

29. Will there be an NCAR plan to address public access requirements? Right now we put things in OpenSky - could the library or that system help us meet this requirement?

30. I noticed that the NSF PA policy includes a requirement: each publication must "Possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication." Are these metadata elements to be assigned by the author(s), or will the NCAR Library be doing this?

31. Does this policy apply to co-sponsorship on other agency's grants/projects?

32. Does the mention of cooperative agreement funding mean that anybody receiving NCAR base salary needs to make sure they comply with this?

33. What about funding from another federal agency that is funded through the NSF cooperative agreement? For example, NASA funding that is awarded on the NSF CA, does the investigator have to follow both the NASA and NSF public access policies?

34. Are principal investigators required to have ORCIDs?

35. How can I get more information about UCAR's compliance plans?

36. Do I need to add a DOI, or other persistent identifier, to my article or data?

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GENERAL 

1. What does "Public Access" to research results mean?

On February 22, 2013 the OSTP issued a memorandum, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research, which directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development expenditures to develop plans to make publicly available the "direct results of federally funded scientific research", specifically to scholarly publications and digital scientific data. Each agency will have a designated public access repository into which results must be deposited.


2. When do agency policies go into effect?

Most agencies' policies went into effect October 2015; a few, including NSF, go into effect January 2016 or later. The Department of Energy PA policy went into effect for awards issued or renewed after October 2014.


3. Who must comply with the agencies' public access policies?

Awards to institutions will include terms and conditions to implement Public Access requirements. Principal Investigators must ensure that all researchers who work on projects funded in whole or in part by the grants or cooperative agreements comply with the public access policy. 


4. Who is responsible for meeting the public access requirement (e.g., submitting material to a designated repository; managing the data in accordance with the DMP)?

The funded researcher is responsible for meeting the public access requirements described in the funding agency(ies) policy(ies).


5. When must my article be deposited?

Most agencies require that the final peer-reviewed manuscript be deposited no later than 12 months after initial publication.


6. Why are agencies using the term "public access" (instead of "open access")?

"Public access" characterizes the policy that implements the objectives of the OSTP

memorandum of February 22, 2013 and is meant to ensure that the public has access to the peer-reviewed and published results of federally funded research. U.S. and/or foreign copyright laws will protect most of the papers in the public access repositories. The agencies provide access to the results at no cost, much like a library, under the principles of Fair Use. Generally, "open access" involves the use of a copyrighted document under a Creative Commons or similar license-type agreement that allows more liberal use (including redistribution) than the traditional principles of Fair Use.


7. Isn't "public access" the same as "open access"?

No. Publishing research results in an Open Access journal means that the article (the version of record) is immediately available to the public without cost (the article can be accessed via the publisher's website but is no longer behind a paywall). Authors will still need to pay the Article Processing Charge (APC), a fee charged by the publisher, if the Open Access journal requires such a fee. Not all Open Access journal require APCs. Public access policies do not eliminate any APC associated with open access journals.


8. Could you tell me just where to find the NSF's Public Access repository? via Fastlane? Research.gov?

NSF requires principal investigators who publish peer-reviewed journal articles or juried conference papers to deposit a copy of the item in the NSF public access repository. In the initial implementation, NSF has identified the DOE's PAGES (Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science) system as its designated repository. The NSF public access repository, utilizing DOE's PAGES, is available for voluntary compliance and can be accessed using the PI's NSF logon:  https://nsfpar.research.gov/. The NCAR Library will provide support to our scientific and engineering staff to help them understand what their responsibilities are with respect to the various agencies, and to help them successfully submit required material into designated repositories.


9. How may I submit a question about Public Access?

Please submit your questions to NCAR Library Contact Form. This FAQ page will be updated periodically to ensure all UCAR staff are well informed.

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PUBLICATIONS

10. What qualifies as a scholarly publication?

The author's final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript or the version of record.


11. What is the final peer-reviewed manuscript?

This is an author-created version of the manuscript, of a peer-reviewed paper, accepted for journal publication, including all modifications resulting from the peer-review process. It is the version before the journal makes edits that will constitute the final "version of record."


12. What is the version of record?

The version of record is the publisher's authoritative copy of the paper, including all modifications from the publishing peer-review process, copyediting, stylistic edits, and formatting changes.


13. Doesn't NSF also want juried conference proceedings?

Yes, NSF is currently the only agency to also require that papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions (also known as "juried conference papers") be deposited in the designated repository. This requirement is effective for juried conference proceedings resulting from awards made for proposals submitted after January 25, 2016. Agencies may adjust their policies going forward as many have noted their current public access policies are their initial releases; this means other research outputs such as white papers, technical reports, etc. are expected to be added to the policies. NSF expects to revisit the policy on an annual basis.


14. Does NSF (or other agency) allow for an embargo or delay for access to journal publications? If so, how long is it?

Most of the agencies allow an embargo or administrative delay for access of up to 12 months from the date of publication. Individual journal titles may institute shorter periods. If a publisher's embargo exceeds 12 months, the agency will make available the version deposited in the public access repository.


15. I found this sentence in NOAA's policy (page 10): "Researchers who wish their papers made freely available prior to expiration of the embargo period may publish in journals where open or earlier access is the norm, or may pay for open access in journals which offer that option."

Publishing research results in an Open Access journal, means that the article (the version of record) is immediately available to the public without cost (the article can be accessed via the publisher's website but is no longer behind a paywall). Authors will need to pay any associated Article Processing Charges (APC) charged by the publisher.


16. When do journals charge Article Processing Fees (APC) vs. page charges?

As an author, you may choose to publish your research articles in a growing number of journals that meet the full definition of Open Access. In OA journals, articles are free to all interested readers, and the publisher places no financial or copyright barriers between the readers and the article. The publisher may charge a fee to cover the cost of publishing. Not all OA journals charge APCs. Or you may choose to publish your article in a journal that requires a subscription to access content. In this case, the author may be charged a fee, by the publisher, to make his/her article Open Access even though the journal itself is not. More traditional "submission fees" and "page charges" are used by publishers to cover the cost of publishing and disseminating research results and may include the cost of editorial, composition, and related work to prepare article submissions for publication. Most authors have included page charges expenses in their research budgets.


17. Can I avoid paying Article Processing Charges (APC)?

Yes. One could argue that an author need not pay APCs because the author's final accepted manuscript will be available via the agency's repository 12 months after the publish date. The article to which the public will have access is not the version of record but if the author is willing to accept the publisher's 12 month embargo, s/he can avoid paying open access fees. Note that under UCAR's Open Access Policy, authors submit a copy of their final version to OpenSky, UCAR's institutional repository. This provides immediate access to the work.


18. May I post a copy of my article to my personal webpage?

Agency public access policies permit the author to post to your personal webpage a copy of the article version that has been deposited in the public access repository. You should consult your journal publisher to determine what restrictions may be imposed on the publisher's version of record. >Most publishers allow authors to put a copy of their final version (as opposed to the version of record) of their work on their web page, or into their institutional repository. UCAR's Open Access Policy instructs authors to put a copy of their final version into OpenSky, UCAR's institutional repository.

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DATA

19. What qualifies as scientific data?

Most all of the agency public access policies refer back to the Data Management Plan (DMP) that the investigator will have submitted along with the funding proposal. In this plan, the investigator describes the anticipated primary data to be created or gathered in the course of the funded research, and how it will be preserved and accessed. If an award is made, the investigator must manage the resulting data in accordance with the DMP as directed by the agency's public access policy.


20. What are the requirements surrounding the deposit of research data generated by federal funding?

Many agencies' policies refer to making all federally-funded data publicly accessible (that which is not classified or otherwise exempt or embargoed), not just data that supports published articles. A common thread throughout the agencies' policies is the reference to Data Management Plans (DMP), which are commonly required at the time of proposal submission. The resulting Public Access policies direct the awardee to adhere to their DMP, ensure data is searchable, discoverable, accessible, and well-described; some ask for descriptions of software that analyzes or provides a view on the data.


21. What does it mean for data to be discoverable?

For data to be discoverable, the intent is that data should be placed into a repository open to the public, and that metadata describing the data is associated with the data to allow anyone to get a basic understanding of what the data is, and it's provenance. Most repositories will require depositors to include metadata. This metadata can then be shared with other services that develop for searching across repositories.


22. What does it mean for data to be accessible?

In the context of the original OSTP memo and subsequent agency policies, the references that scientific data needs to be accessible means making sure there is documentation about the data (data format, variables, etc.), and that details of the tools (usually software) needed to open, explore, and interact with the data are also documented.  Access to the tools will also need to be provided if they are not readily available.


23. How can I get help with developing a thorough, implementable data management plan?

The NCAR Library can help you get a Data Management Plan started, and can help you identify a data repository that might work for your data. Agencies are placing emphasis on following the DMP submitted with original proposal. Contact the NCAR Library or your division data manager for assistance developing a DMP for your funding proposal.

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SOFTWARE

24. I plan to develop software as part of the research. Is this considered a research output and put in the public registries?

At this time (January, 2016), the agency policies are not requiring software to be submitted as a research output, however, NSF has said they expect to include software as a research output that would need to be registered in the NSF's public access repository in the future. In the current NSF policy, software is discussed in the expectations of Data Management Plans. The DMP should detail the management of software to be developed in the proposed research.  It should also be noted that software can also play a role in data accessibility (the documentation and tools needed to open, explore and interact with the data) and thus should be referenced as part of any data support materials. The agency policies also allow the institution to not share (embargo) material for specific reasons (e.g. expectation for commercialization, holds personally identifiable information, or may be subject to other government restrictions).


25. Should any software provided as part of public access have a license?

Yes. Software developed as a part of research at UCAR/NCAR is owned by UCAR (see UCAR Policy 3-2) and must include an appropriate license prior to distribution. While the US government has rights to use the output from federally funded research for governmental purposes, that is not the case for anyone else who wants to use the software. If you have questions regarding licensing, please contact Sarah Pritchard or Chris Kennedy in the Office of the General Counsel.


26. I need to include software management in my DMP. What is a good way to manage our code?

The best method to manage the code base for software is to use a code repository system. UCAR/NCAR maintains an organization account with Github to allow projects to have code repositories that may be public or private (https://github.com/NCAR). Your project may be part of a broader effort that already has code repositories. Some divisions also maintain repositories with services such as Github or Bitbucket.

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UCAR/NCAR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

27. What is UCAR's Open Access Policy?

UCAR's information dissemination policy has been in place since October 2009. Policy 3-5, Publication and Information Dissemination, is supported by the accompanying procedure: To assist UCAR in accessing and distributing Scholarly Works, each employee will provide an electronic copy of the final version (final, accepted manuscript) of his/her Scholarly Work in an appropriate format at no charge to the NCAR library.The final version is submitted to UCAR's institutional repository, OpenSky. The policy was approved by UCAR and the NSF to support the institution's commitment to open science and providing immediate access to the institutions research. The policy will be amended in the coming months to account for the federal public access mandate. OpenSky is already the authoritative record for UCAR/NCAR scholarship, and in this capacity provides this authoritative data to our annual reporting processes (e.g. NCAR Annual Report).


28. I am required to deposit a copy of my article in OpenSky. Do I still have to deposit a copy in a repository designated by the funding agency(ies)?

Yes. At this time, depositing to OpenSky will not meet requirements for public access. Initially, the investigator/author will need to perform the deposit process. Currently, agency policies put the deposit responsibility on the PI. In the longer term, we hope that current lobbying efforts by research institutions and associations leads to the ability for institutions to designate agents. If successful, the NCAR Library plans to act as an "agent" for our investigators/authors in order to provide programmatic submission to the designated agency repository(ies) based on the funding source(s) for the research through linking our repositories to the federal repositories.


29. Will there be an NCAR plan to address public access requirements? Right now we put things in OpenSky - could the library or that system help us meet this requirement?

Yes. At this time the NCAR Library is reviewing all of the agencies policies and considering how to best support submission and compliance with the least amount of disruption to staff and existing workflows. The Library is working with NCAR/UCAR administration to ensure that our organization is able to comply with the new public access policies. For articles and documents, we plan to build on UCAR's Open Access policy and use of OpenSky. OpenSky is already the authoritative record for UCAR/NCAR scholarship, and in this capacity already provides this authoritative data to our annual reporting processes (e.g. NCAR Annual Report).


30. I noticed that the NSF PA policy includes a requirement: each publication must "Possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication." Are these metadata elements to be assigned by the author(s), or will the NCAR Library be doing this?

Initially, it will be necessary for the PI to perform the submission of his/her final accepted manuscript to NSF's designated public access repository; required metadata elements will need to be provided at the time of submission. It is the NCAR Library's plan to act as an "agent" for our investigators/authors in order to provide programmatic submission to the designated agency repository(ies) based on the funding source(s) for the research.


31. Does this policy apply to co-sponsorship on other agency's grants/projects?

Yes. Federal funded research, regardless of funding vehicle, is subject to the public access policies of the funding agencies. This includes awards such as grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and includes sub-awards. You can read about co-sponsorship on the NCAR Budget & Planning website. https://ncar.ucar.edu/budget-and-planning/proposals/policies-and-procedures/co-sponsorship-information


32. Does the mention of cooperative agreement funding mean that anybody receiving NCAR base salary needs to make sure they comply with this?

Yes. Federal funded research, regardless of funding vehicle, is subject to the public access policies of the funding agencies. This includes awards such as grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.


33. What about funding from another federal agency that is funded through the NSF cooperative agreement? For example, NASA funding that is awarded on the NSF CA, does the investigator have to follow both the NASA and NSF public access policies?

Generally, the investigator will be required to deposit the final accepted manuscript in the designated NSF and NASA repositories if both agencies have supported part of the research. The Library is working with UCAR Contracts to understand the nuances of interagency transfer funding and similar "pass through" funding mechanisms as it relates to research results subject to public access.


34. Are principal investigators required to have ORCIDs?

Although not currently a requirement for public access compliance, ORCIDs (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) are becoming a recognized form for identifying authors (distinguishing your research activities from those of others with similar names) and publishers are requiring them (e.g. AGU) at submission. The process to register for an ORCID is simple and free at https://orcid.org/register .


35. How can I get more information about UCAR's compliance plans?

Because compliance is the responsibility of all employees, the NCAR LIbrary is planning to present a Town Hall this Spring on this topic. Additionally, we are planning to meet with all of the divisions to answer specific questions and provide additional information as it becomes available.


36. Do I need to add a DOI, or other persistent identifier, to my article or data?

The agency repositories will ask for a persistent ID for a submitted article. The most common form of persistent identifier in publishing is the DOI (Digital Object Identifier). The publisher of your article will assign a DOI at publication, and you can add this to the record. For other types of material that may be submitted a DOI (or other persistent identifier) is a valuable addition to maintain long term access. For data, a number of the data repositories in NCAR now add DOI's to data sets - contact the responsible data manager, or the NCAR Library. For other research related documents (reports, white papers, etc.) that are part of the research, these should be submitted to OpenSky first where a DOI can be assigned - OpenSky (UCAR) is then the publisher of record. It is also possible to assign an Ark, another type of persistent identifier that does not have the same "publisher commitment" associated with a DOI. Contact the NCAR Library for more help on persistent identifiers.


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