On November 7, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) held a virtual community forum to discuss implementation of the 2022 Memorandum to Executive Departments and Agencies, “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research.” The briefing was led by Dr. Alondra Nelson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director for Science and Society, and Dr. Christopher Steven Marcum, Assistant Director for Open Science and Data Policy. The forum was attended by members of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Open Science, with remarks on the progress of implementing the guidance from three government agencies. Federal government perspectives were provided by representatives from three agencies, and participants also included members of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Open Science. Topics included Biden-Harris Administration priorities regarding open government and public access, details of the provisions of the Memorandum, and a review of the timeline for Federal agency implementation of the policy guidance. The slides presented at the forum and a recording are available.
Participants included representatives of over 80 stakeholder organizations from across the research publication ecosystem, including large and small science and academic publishers, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, libraries, colleges and universities, scholarly societies, advocacy groups, and government agencies. More than 500 individuals registered for the community forum. Dr. Nelson and Dr. Marcum answered questions and comments submitted in advance of the forum. The questions and answers are now available here.
Agency perspectives on public access were also highlighted during the community forum. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was represented by Program Scientist Dr. Pat Knezek, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) was represented by Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Science Policy Dr. Jessica Tucker, and The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) was represented by Assistant Deputy Director for Discretionary Programs Mr. Anthony Smith. For NASA, Dr. Knezek announced its 2023 “Year of Open Science” and provided updates on the agency’s plans to implement the provisions of the 2022 Memorandum, which have been in development over the last year. Dr. Tucker articulated NIH’s long-standing commitment to public access for publications and data sharing, plans for external consultation, and their timeline for implementation of the 2022 Memorandum. Mr. Smith described how IMLS—a small grantmaking institution not originally subject to the 2013 Memorandum—has been supporting public access to research over the last few years, including through extramural grant-funded work in the library, museum, and collections communities in support of public access infrastructure and programs.
Participants conveyed the importance of a collaborative implementation of the 2022 public access policy guidance, led by agencies across the Federal government. Such a process, engaged with diverse stakeholders and working closely with OSTP and the NSTC Subcommittee on Open Science, will help make government-supported research more accessible and useful to the public, industry, and the research community. Participants also conveyed that coordinated implementation ensures that the public benefits from access to and use of federally funded research and data in discovery, innovation, and policymaking.