In a memo, John Holdren, the director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), told federal agencies to prepare plans to make their research results free to read within 12 months after publication.
“The Obama Administration is committed to the proposition that citizens deserve easy access to the results of scientific research their tax dollars have paid for,” the memo says. The OSTP also tells agencies to maximise public access to non-classified scientific data from research they fund.
The policy applies to all federal agencies that spend more than $100 million on research and development, and is likely to double the number of articles made public each year. The US National Institutes of Health has since 2008 required research to be publicly accessible after 12 months. ”This new policy call does not insist that every agency copy the NIH approach exactly, [but] it does ensure that similar policies will appear across government,” Holdren wrote today in a separate response to a petition that had been launched in May 2012, urging the president to require free access to scientific journal articles from publicly-funded research. (That has gathered some 64,000 signatures.)