New Open Scholarship Guidelines for Publicly Funded Research
On August 25, 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a memorandum regarding the open sharing of government-funded research. The memo, Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, issues guidance to all federal agencies to develop plans ensuring that publicly funded research outputs will be openly available. This new and exciting commitment to knowledge equity will have important implications for University of Maryland researchers who are supported by federal grants and other financial investments.
With this announcement, the OSTP joins the University of Maryland and other research institutions who have already committed to equitable access and recognized the impact that open access to information will have on scientific advancement and our society.
The August 25th memo expands on a previous 2013 federal policy, which directed agencies spending more than $100 million dollars per year in research funding to ensure that publications and other research outputs were made publicly available. The new guidance takes several further steps to advance access to research, including:
- The memo calls for the expansion of open access publishing requirements beyond the 20 agencies implicated in the 2013 policy. All federal agencies, regardless of the amount of money that organization spends on research funding are asked to ensure that research is openly published.
- Access to research outputs must be immediate and simultaneous with first publication, abolishing a 12 month embargo period publishers and authors had previously been allowed to impose on works.
- In addition to written research papers and reports, data needed to validate research claims is to be made immediately available. Agencies are encouraged to make book chapters, monographs, white papers, and other publication formats available, as well as journal articles.
- Materials will be made available in machine readable formats with appropriate accompanying metadata. This increased focus on proper construction of digital components will increase the accessibility, indexing, and distribution of research materials in an online research ecosystem.
How are UMD Libraries Supporting Faculty in Meeting the New Federal Guidance?
UMD Libraries are raising awareness and collecting information on federal rules and guidelines
Although the OSTP issued its memo in August 2022 it laid out a a delayed action plan that required federal agencies to develop their own infrastructure plans and mandates for funded researchers. These plans must be be completed and published by Dec. 31, 2024, and to go into effect by 2025. We are already speaking to the UMD community about these new government initiatives. As new discussions and plans are released to the public, we will collect and provide access to those here on the Libraries website and in other communications.
Green OA resources through the Equitable Access Policy and institutional repository, DRUM
We do not yet know what each of the federal agencies will require of researchers in order to comply with the OSTP guidance. The NIH, for instance, who have been under a federal public access mandate since 2013, have developed their own repository with requisite formatting and deposit formats. However, one way to make research available is through the process known as Green Open Access, whereby the researcher obtains or retains the right to make a version of their work openly available in a repository, while still working with a traditional publisher.
The University of Maryland Equitable Access Policy requires all eligible faculty members at University of Maryland to grant certain nonexclusive rights over their scholarly articles to the University of Maryland and allows the University to distribute peer-reviewed versions of the articles free-of-charge to the general public, through DRUM, the University of Maryland’s online institutional repository. As the administrators of the policy, the Libraries provide tools for advocating with their publishers to comply, including the Author Addendum and technical infrastructure, in the form of our institutional repository, DRUM, to host published research, data, and other supplemental materials.
Data Sharing and Publication
One of the most significant changes to public access requirements is the inclusion of data in the scope of research outputs that must be made openly available. In order to support these new rules, the Libraries have begun to invest in open data infrastructure and repositories, including the generalist repositories Dryad and Qualitative Data Repositories.
The Libraries are offering services related to open data, including online resources and consultations. The Libraries Open Scholarship Services and GIS and Data Services teams can help you to identify an appropriate publication or repository for your data as early as the grant application stage. Consultations can also help to refer you to campus services to manage and store active data and to access data management planning tools and services. Having strong, well-constructed plans regarding your data management and publication will ensure that applications now and in the future to federal research funders are ready to compete under the terms of the new mandate. Reach out to schedule a conversation with OSS (email@example.com) or GIS and Data Services.