The Department of Energy Public Access Plan (June 2023) describes how DOE-funded research and digital data will become more open and available to the public and how DOE will use persistent identifiers to help ensure scientific and research integrity. Building on the previous DOE Public Access Plan (July 2014), the new Plan charts a path to:
- Provide free, immediate access to peer-reviewed, scholarly publications;
- Provide immediate access to scientific data displayed in or underlying publications and increased access to other data;
- Use persistent identifiers (PIDs) for research outputs, researchers, organizations, and awards.
Policy and implementation guidance related to the publications and data components of the Plan will be issued by December 31, 2024, followed by policy and guidance for PID requirements.
What is the 2023 DOE Public Access Plan?
DOE developed its 2023 DOE Public Access Plan in support of the August 2022 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo to federal agencies – Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research. The Plan describes how DOE will enable equitable access to the unclassified and unrestricted results of its multi-billion dollar annual investments in climate, energy, environment, and basic and applied research and development.
Key objectives of the 2023 DOE Public Access Plan include elimination of any “embargo” period before the public gains free access to journal articles or final accepted manuscripts resulting from DOE funding; immediate access to scientific data displayed in or underlying publications and expanded access to scientific data not displayed in publications; and broad adoption of persistent identifiers (PIDs) for research outputs, organizations, awards and contracts, and people.
What happens to the 2014 DOE Public Access Plan?
DOE developed its 2014 Public Access Plan in response to the 2013 OSTP Memo – Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research. The 2014 DOE Public Access Plan includes requirements for researchers to submit final, peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts and data management plans to DOE and for DOE to provide public access to accepted manuscripts within 12 months of publication. The requirements of the 2014 DOE Public Access Plan will remain in effect until new policy and implementation guidance for the 2023 DOE Public Access Plan are issued.
When will new requirements of the 2023 Plan go into effect?
For publications and data, new policy and implementation guidance will be issued by December 31, 2024, with full implementation required by December 31, 2025. For persistent identifiers (PIDs), the OSTP Public Access Memo requires new policies to be issued by December 31, 2026, with full implementation by December 31, 2027.
How will DOE implement the Plan’s requirements for providing access to journal articles authored by DOE-funded researchers?
DOE-funded researchers (authors), e.g., DOE federal employees, financial assistance recipients, or contractors (including laboratories), will submit the full-text accepted manuscript of a journal article and associated metadata to DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) through E-Link or through labs’ publication management systems no later than the publication date of the article. If the article itself is published as “open access” (OA), the author may submit the OA article and metadata to DOE. DOE will provide immediate, free public access to submitted publications through its designated repository DOE PAGES®.
How will DOE implement the Plan’s requirements for increasing access to scientific data resulting from DOE funding?
DOE will develop new guidance for Data Management and Sharing Plans (DMSPs), referred to as “Data Management Plans” (DMPs) in the 2014 Plan. This guidance will instruct research funding applicants to submit DMSPs that describe how data displayed in or underlying publications will be accessible at the time of publication and that provide timelines and approaches for providing access to data not displayed in publications.
What data needs to be made publicly available?
The public access policy applies to unclassified and otherwise unrestricted digital scientific data arising from research and development (R&D) activities funded by DOE.
Data management planning should maximize appropriate sharing of scientific data that enables validation and replication of results. Scientific data displayed in or underlying peer-reviewed scholarly publications should be shared at the time of publication. Scientific data produced under DOE-funded R&D efforts that are not associated with publications should also be shared following the timeline provided in the approved DMSP.
Limitations in sharing may be appropriate: to protect confidentiality, privacy, business confidential information, and security; to avoid negative impact on intellectual property rights, innovation, program and operational improvements, and U.S. competitiveness; and to preserve the balance between the relative value of long-term preservation and access and the associated cost and administrative burden.
Will there be additional funding provided to pay for public access to publications and data?
Reasonable publication fees and data management expenses are allowable costs of an award or contract and can be included in proposed budget requests.
How will DOE implement the Plan’s requirements for persistent identifiers (PIDs)?
DOE will collect, assign, and/or include, and make publicly available metadata and associated PIDs for publications and data records resulting from DOE funding. This will include PIDs associated with authors, sources of funding, organizations, and research results. DOE will develop policies and guidance for federal employees, contractors, and financial assistance recipients around using persistent identifiers. This will include instructing DOE-funded researchers to obtain a PID for themselves to provide in various DOE systems. By December 31, 2024, DOE will update its 2023 Public Access Plan to address persistent identifiers for awards.