The Nelson memorandum - Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research - provides policy guidance to federal agencies with research and development expenditures on updating their public access policies. In accordance with this memorandum, OSTP recommends that federal agencies, to the extent consistent with applicable law:
1. Update their public access policies as soon as possible, and no later than December 31st, 2025, to make publications and their supporting data resulting from federally funded research publicly accessible without an embargo on their free and public release;
2. Establish transparent procedures that ensure scientific and research integrity is maintained in public access policies; and,
3. Coordinate with OSTP to ensure equitable delivery of federally funded research results and data.
This memorandum requires federal agencies with over $100 million in annual extramural R&D budgets to develop a public access plan for the results of research (scientific publications and digital scientific data) directly arising from their funds.
In response, federal agencies affected by this memorandum have developed public access plans, which lay out access requirements for research they fund. It is important that researchers examine these policies and learn how to comply when preparing a proposal or manuscript and after publication.
Federal agencies affected by this memorandum include (links to agencies' public access plans):
- SPARC Tool for tracking federal agency requirements for public access to research: http://datasharing.sparcopen.org/
- Science.gov/CENDI centralized information on implementation of Public Access Programs in Federal Agencies
-To learn more about international implementation of funder mandates, policies, etc., visit the ROARMap (Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies) - The Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry charting the growth of open access mandates adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders that require their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository.
In brief, Plan S states that, “With effect from 2021*, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo.”
What does this mean for you? If you receive research funding from one of the cOAlition S funders, then you will need to make your research openly available, under an open license that allows others to share and re-use your work. More information on how to comply with Plan S will be released by cOAlition S and individual funders leading up to the January 2021 state date. Contact the library if you have any questions about Plan S.