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About Public Access

The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Public Access policy is intended to expand public access to the results of its funded research and aligns with the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to clear and open communication of research results, which is central to fulfilling NSF’s primary mission of promoting the progress of science, advancing the frontiers of knowledge, and helping to ensure the nation’s future prosperity.

NSF’s Public Access plan (NSF 15-52) describes a set of steps that meet the policy objectives set forth in the February 22, 2013 memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research. These include making copies of articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and juried conference papers resulting from NSF awards available to the public free of charge no more than 12 months after initial publication. The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) provides mechanisms that enable NSF-funded investigators to meet this deposit requirement and to include the relevant information in their project reports. NSF-PAR also provides search mechanisms to enable the public to find and use these articles and papers.

Does Public Access apply to me?

If your organization receives an award based on a proposal submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016, then the Public Access requirement applies. You will then need to deposit publications in the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) (sign in to Research.gov and choose 'Deposit Publication' from My Desktop).

If it doesn't apply, is there anything I need to do?

If your organization receives an award based on a proposal submitted and due before January 25, 2016, then the Public Access requirement does not apply. If the award is not subject to the Public Access requirement, you are still encouraged to deposit publications in NSF-PAR as noted above, even though they will not be automatically included in project reports.

More information

Public Access Getting Started Guide

  Depositing Publications Tutorial (video-4:23)

For additional information on Public Access, please visit the Help section.