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National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy (NIH PAP)

A guide for compliance with NIH PAP

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Public Access Policy - Overview

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Office of Science and Technology Policy

The mission of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is threefold

  1. To provide the President and his senior staff with accurate, relevant, and timely scientific and technical advice on all matters of consequence;
  2. To ensure that the policies of the Executive Branch are informed by sound science;
  3. To ensure that the scientific and technical work of the Executive Branch is properly coordinated so as to provide the greatest benefit to society.

(source: OSTP About page)

Public Access Policy 

The Obama Administration is committed to the proposition that citizens deserve easy access to the results of research their tax dollars have paid for. That’s why, in the policy memorandum (linked below) released in 2013, OSTP Director John Holdren has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally funded research freely available to the public—generally within one year of publication.

Over the past two years, the policy has been updated and legislature has moved through Congress.  

2013 Memo

2015 Update from Director John Holdren

National Institutes of Health Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division F Section 217 of PL 111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009).  The law states:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, that the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

(Source: NIH PAP - Policy)

Funding Agency Guidelines

National Science Foundation (NSF): A data management plan is required for all proposals. This is a supplementary document (1-2 pages in length) describing how research data will be managed and shared. Specific guidance is provided for Biological Sciences, Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering, Education & Human Resources, Engineering, Geosciences, Astronomical Sciences, Chemistry, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences applications.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): A data sharing plan is required for proposals requesting $500,000 or more in any year. This is a paragraph describing how research data will be shared. 

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): A data management plan is required for all proposals directed toward the Office of Digital Humanities. Thisis a supplementary document (1-2 pages in length) describing how research data will be managed and shared.

Centers for Disease Control  CDC Control and Prevention Policy on Releasing and Sharing Data

Department of Defense  Department of Defense Principles and Operational Parameters of the DoD Scientific and Technical Information Program

NASA NASA Earth Science Statement on Data & Information Policy

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)  Guidelines, Information Quality Standards, and Administration Mechanism

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NOAA Data Submission Policies and Guidelines

Contact Information

Michelle Bass
Science Research Services Librarian
The John Crerar Library 131
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