On August 4, 2014, the DOE released its Public Access Plan to outline the department’s approach and policies to make publications and research data resulting from DOE funding more accessible to the public. This plan is in direct response to the February 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memorandum, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research and is intended to increase innovation, opportunities, and accelerate scientific breakthroughs by making research more publicly accessible. The Public Access Plan overs the scope, requirements, implementation and timeline, for both publications and scientific digital data.
To help implement the plan, the department has launched PAGES – the Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science – a portal and search engine to ensure long term access and preservation to DOE funded scholarly publications. The agency anticipates that links and metadata for more than 20,000 articles and accepted manuscripts per year will be uploaded, with full-text being available after a 12- month embargo. Questions surrounding reuse and implementation have been raised, but some good conversations have been started around the policy.
The DOE has also announced that starting on October 1, 2014 a data management plan (DMP) will need to be submitted with all funding proposals. The Statement on Digital Data Management details information on creating a DMP, including guidance for researchers to manage their digital data – including capture, analysis, sharing, and preservation – with the focus on sharing and archiving practices.
While there are some mixed reviews of the plan, the DOE is the first federal agency to make their plan public since the OSTP memo. All Federal agencies that spend more than $100 million a year in research will need to release plans, so check back for more information.