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Public Access: Where Are

We Now?

The literature that should be freely accessible online

is that which scholars give to the world without

expectation of payment—

Budapest Open

Access Initiative

It has been almost two and a half years since the

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

issued the February 22, 2013, memorandum,

Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded


, which directs each federal agency with

more than $100 million in annual research and

development expenditures to develop a plan to

increase public access to research results funded

by the federal government.

This year, several plans for public access have

been rolled out.

In February 2015, the National Institutes of

Health released its

Plan for Increasing Access to

Scientific Publications and Digital Scientific Data

from NIH-Funded Scientific Research

. The agency

policy states:

The Director of the National Institutes of

Health (NIH) shall require in the current

fiscal year and thereafter that all investiga-

tors 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 manu-

scripts 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.

There were no surprises here as the PubMed

Central repository has been established for some

time now and authors and publishers have been

routinely depositing manuscripts as required.

In March 2015, the National Science Foundation

(NSF) announced a public access plan titled


day’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries

that will go into

effect January 2016. At that time, NSF-funded

articles in peer-reviewed journals and papers ac-

cepted for conference proceedings will need to be

deposited into a NSF-designated public reposi-

tory within 12 months of publication. NSF will

initially use the Department of Energy’s Public

Access Gateway for Energy and Science as the

agency’s public repository and it will be available

for NSF-funded authors to use on a voluntary

basis by the end of calendar 2015.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently an-

nounced the signing of an agreement with Clear-

inghouse for the Open Research of the United

States (CHORUS) to ensure public access to

“the best available version of the article,” which

is defined as the version of record hosted by the

publisher. DOE will host a portal and a search

tool, the Public Access Gateway for Energy and

Science (PAGES), to facilitate discoverability

of scholarly publications resulting from DOE

funding. All researchers receiving DOE funding

will be required to submit metadata and a link

to the full-text accepted manuscript (or the full

text itself ) to the DOE Office of Scientific and

Technical Information.

Publisher's Forum


Embargo Period



Within 12 months

PubMed Central (PMC)


Within 12 months

Public Access Gateway for Engineering and Science



Within 12 months


Gates Foundation

Within 12 months until 2017 then

immediate open access

Specified in Foundation Grant


No more than 6 months for STEM;

preference for immediate open


Specified in grant from individual Council

Public Access Summary