With this notice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy(OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President, requests inputfrom the community regarding enhancing public access to archivedpublications resulting from research funded by Federal science andtechnology agencies. This RFI will be active from December 10, 2009to January 7, 2010.
Respondents are invited to respond online via the Public AccessPolicy Forum at
Comments must be received by January 7, 2010.
Submit comments by one of the following methods: Public AccessPolicy Forum:
On his first day in office, the President issued a Memorandumon
Transparency and Open Government that called for an”unprecedented
level of openness in government” and the rapid disclosure of oneof
our nation’s great assets: information. Moreover, theAdministration is
dedicated to maximizing the return on Federal investments made inR&D.
Consistent with this policy, the Administration is exploring waysto
leverage Federal investments to increase access to informationthat
promises to stimulate scientific and technological innovationand
The results of government-funded research can take
many forms, including data sets, technical reports, andpeer-reviewed
scholarly publications, among others. This RFI focuses onapproaches
that would enhance the public’s access to scholarlypublications
resulting from research conducted by employees of a Federal agencyor
from research funded by a Federal agency.
Increasing public access to scholarly publications resultingfrom
federally funded research may enhance the return on federalinvestment
in research in the following ways:
(a) More timely, easier, and less costly accessto scholarly
publications resulting from federally funded research forcommercial
and noncommercial scientists has the potential to promote advancesin
science and technology, thereby enhancing the return onfederal
investment in research;
(b) Creating an easily searchable permanentelectronic archive of
scholarly publications resulting from federally funded research hasthe
potential to allow cross-referencing, continuous long-term access,and
retrieval of information whose initial value may only betheoretical,
but may eventually have important applications;
(c) Ensuring that the federal agencies thatsupport this research
can access the published results has the potential to promoteimproved
cross-government coordination of government funding, and thusimproved
management of the federal research investments;
(d) More timely, easier, and less costly accessto scholarly
publications resulting from federally funded research for educatorsand
students, and “end users” of research, such as clinicians,patients,
farmers, engineers, and practitioners in virtually all sectors ofthe
economy, has the potential to promote the diffusion ofknowledge.
The Executive Branch is considering ways to enhance publicaccess
to peer reviewed papers arising from all federal science andtechnology
agencies. One potential model, implemented by the NationalInstitutes
of Health (NIH) pursuant to Division G, Title II, Section 218 ofPub.
L. 110-161 (
investigators funded by the NIH submit an electronic version oftheir
final, peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance for publicationno
later than 12 months after the official date of publication.
Articles collected under the NIH Public Access Policy are archivedin PubMed
Central and linked to related scientific information contained inother
NIH databases. More information about PubMed Central isavailable:
The NIH model has a variety of features that can be evaluated,and
there are other ways to offer the public enhanced access topeer-
reviewed scholarly publications. The best models may influencedby
agency mission, the culture and rate of scientific development ofthe
discipline, funding to develop archival capabilities, andresearch
Invitation To Comment
Input is welcome on any aspect of expanding public access topeer
reviewed publications arising from federal research. Questionsthat
individuals may wish to address include, but are not limited to,the
following (please respond to questions individually):
1. How do authors, primary and secondarypublishers, libraries,
universities, and the federal government contribute to thedevelopment
and dissemination of peer reviewed papers arising from federalfunds
now, and how might this change under a public access policy?
2. What characteristics of a public accesspolicy would best
accommodate the needs and interests of authors, primary andsecondary
publishers, libraries, universities, the federal government, usersof
scientific literature, and the public?
3. Who are the users of peer-reviewedpublications arising from
federal research? How do they access and use these papers now, andhow
might they if these papers were more accessible? Would others usethese
papers if they were more accessible, and for what purpose?
4. How best could federal agencies enhancepublic access to the
peer-reviewed papers that arise from their research funds?What
measures could agencies use to gauge whether there is increasedreturn
on federal investment gained by expanded access?
5. What features does a public access policyneed to have to ensure
6. What version of the paper should be madepublic under a public
access policy (e.g., the author’s peer reviewed manuscript or thefinal
published version)? What are the relative advantages anddisadvantages
to different versions of a scientific paper?
7. At what point in time should peer-reviewedpapers be made public
via a public access policy relative to the date a publisherreleases
the final version? Are there empirical data to support anoptimal
length of time? Should the delay period be the same or vary forlevels
of access (e.g., final peer reviewed manuscript or finalpublished
article, access under fair use versus alternative license), forfederal
agencies and scientific disciplines?
8. How should peer-reviewed papers arising fromfederal investment
be made publiclyavailable? In what format should the data besubmitted
in order to make it easy to search, find, and retrieve and to makeit
easy for others to link to it? Are there existing digital standardsfor
archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit? Howare
these anticipated to change?
9. Access demands not only availability, butalso meaningful
usability. How can the federal government make its collections ofpeer-
reviewed papers more useful to the American public? By whatmetrics
(e.g., number of articles or visitors) should the Federalgovernment
measure success of its public access collections? What are thebest
examples of usability in the private sector (both domesticand
international)? And, what makes them exceptional? Should thosewho
access papers be given the opportunity to comment or providefeedback?