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White House moves to make all federally funded research available to public for free by 2026

The White House put forth a policy guidance Thursday requiring all federally funded research to be made available to the public for free upon publication by 2026.

“All members of the American public should be able to take part in every part of the scientific enterprise—leading, participating in, accessing, and benefitting from taxpayer-funded scientific research,” the administration wrote in a statement.

A new memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) seeks to make “all peer-reviewed scholarly publications authored or coauthored by individuals or institutions resulting from federally funded research” available without embargo or delay.

The move would end an optional 12-month publication embargo allowing journals to put work behind a yearlong paywall, which the administration says “has limited immediate equitable access” for Americans.

Data in peer-reviewed research articles is to be made available immediately upon publication, and other research data would be made available “within a reasonable time frame.”

The changes will help “level the playing field across a highly uneven funding landscape between academic disciplines,” the White House said, and allow other to “replicate, and build on, the primary research findings.”

“Public access to federally funded research data also helps to level the playing field across a highly uneven funding landscape between academic disciplines – providing possibilities to scholars, students, and the public for secondary use of data that would otherwise be unavailable,” the White House said.

The OSTP memorandum, signed by Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson, asks federal agencies to update public access policies to reflect the new guidance and submit them to OSTP as soon as possible, but no later than Dec. 31, 2025.

Source: The Hill

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