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US Government to make all federally funded research open access on date of publication

White House logo. Credit: OSTP

Edinburgh, 31 August 2022. – According to a formal policy featured in a memorandum, from 2026, all scientific publication awarded federal funding will need to be openly accessible on the day of publication, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) said.

The scientific publishing industry has already adopted preprint archives, expanding access to publications during the pandemic. However, up until now, publishers had two choices for federally funded research. These were either to provide open access from the start or grant a subscription-only access for a year before giving open access.

The US government is one of the world’s largest funder of scientific research, if not the largest. Nonetheless, the government did not have free access to these research publications.

“When research is widely available to other researchers and the public, it can save lives, provide policymakers with the tools to make critical decisions, and drive more equitable outcomes across every sector of society,” said Alondra Nelson, Acting Head of the OSTP.

Under the new policy, research publications may still appear in subscription-only journals, but a copy must be made public. Additionally, any data used in such publications must also be publicly accessible. Agencies must also ensure that by the end of 2024, information on people involved in the publications is freely available.

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