OSTP Public Access Directive Deadline Update

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August 26, 2013

As you know, earlier this year the Obama Administration issued an important Executive Directive requiring that U.S. Government agencies with annual extramural research and development expenditures over $100 million produce an implementation plan ensuring that articles and data resulting from its funded research be made freely accessible, online, to the public. The deadline for these plans to be delivered to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was last Thursday, August 22.

SPARC has been strongly supportive of the goals and objectives of this directive, which will mean enhanced access to federally funded research articles and data for all stakeholders – teachers and students, researchers and entrepreneurs, doctors and patients. And perhaps just as importantly, SPARC also supports the Directive's express requirement that “in devising its final plan, each agency should use a transparent process for soliciting views from stakeholders.” In fact, we believe that transparency is a necessary component to meeting the objectives detailed in the Directive as it enables all stakeholders to adequately evaluate the draft plans before they become final.  

Many of you have asked if and when these plans might be available to the public to read. We know that OSTP has been hard at work with all of the affected agencies to draft the most robust public access plans possible, but we agree that the Open Access community, along with all of the impacted stakeholders, should have a chance to review and comment on the draft plans. In fact, the original OSTP Directive specifically directs each agency to use a transparent process before finalizing any plans.

Accordingly, SPARC (in collaboration with the members of the Open Access Working Group), will be sending a letter to Dr. John Holdren, Director of OSTP, as well as letters to each of the individual agencies covered by this important Directive, requesting a copy of each agency’s draft implementation plan. As soon as we have a response we’ll of course share that information with the community.

Read additional information on the Directive.