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Open Access: White House directed to release federal plans

by Britt E. Erickson
February 3, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 5

Early last year, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) directed all federal agencies that fund $100 million or more in scientific research to develop plans to make the results of that research freely available within 12 months of publication. Federal agencies submitted their plans to OSTP by the August 2013 deadline, but the White House has yet to release any details about the plans, which lawmakers are anxious to see.

As part of the fiscal 2014 omnibus appropriations law, Congress directs OSTP to provide progress reports, within 45 days of enactment of the law, for each federal agency that is required to develop and implement a public access plan. OSTP will be required to submit semiannual updates to Congress after that.

Congress is also encouraging the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with the White House public access directive expeditiously, and lawmakers are directing the Department of Agriculture to provide a report on its efforts to make federally funded research available. The USDA report is due to the appropriations committee responsible for USDA funding within 30 days of OSTP releasing its progress report on public access.

The omnibus legislation also includes a general provision to promote public access to federally funded research results within agencies that are funded under Health & Human Services, Labor, and Education Appropriations Committees. The provision would require agencies with R&D expenditures above $100 million to make final peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from federally funded work freely available online within 12 months of publication.


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