An Analysis of Federal Policy on Public Access to Scientific Research Data
Kriesberg, A et al 2017 An Analysis of Federal Policy on Public Access to Scientific Research Data. Data Science Journal, 16: 27, pp. 1–13, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-027
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The 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memo on federally-funded research directed agencies with research and development budgets above $100 million to develop and release plans to increase and broaden access to research results, both published literature and data. The agency responses have generated discussion and interest but are yet to be analyzed and compared. In this paper, we examine how 19 federal agencies responded to the memo, written by John Holdren, on issues of scientific data and the extent of their compliance to the directives outlined in the memo. We present a varied picture of the readiness of federal science agencies to comply with the memo through a comparative analysis and close reading of the contents of these responses. While some agencies, particularly those with a long history of supporting and conducting science, scored well, other responses indicate that some agencies have only taken a few steps towards implementing policies that comply with the memo. These results are of interest to the data curation community as they reveal how different agencies across the federal government approach their responsibilities for research data management, and how new policies and requirements might continue to affect scientists and research communities.