NSF Public Access Policy

NSF’s public access policy covers articles in peer-reviewed journals, juried conference papers, and data that result from NSF funding.  These research outputs are a subset of the outcomes that should be reported in annual and final project reports. NSF’s public access policy for data is covered by NSF’s data management plan requirements.

The NSF Public Access Policy requirement applies to new awards resulting from proposals submitted, or due, on or after the effective date of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) issued on January 25, 2016.

    Overview of Requirements

    NSF requires principal investigators who publish peer-reviewed journal articles or juried conference papers to deposit a copy of the item (either the final accepted version or the version of record, as defined in NSF's public access plan) in the NSF public access repository (NSF-PAR).

    NSF tutorial on submitting publications

    Data that underlie the findings reported in a journal article or conference paper should be deposited in accordance with the policies of the publication and according to the procedures laid out in the data management plan. 

    The PI will choose a data repository based upon the discipline within the data management plan. The choice of repository will be deemed appropriate through the process of peer review and program management.



    Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan". This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results

    That Data Management Plan may include:

    1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;

    2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);

    3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;

    4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and

    5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

    See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.j for more information on Data Management Plan Requirements

    Certain data management requirements and plans relevant to specific Directorates, Offices, Divisions, Programs, or other NSF units have their own data management requirements and plans and must be followed. If guidance is not given for a specific program than the requirements in PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.j apply. 

    YouTube Video on NSF Data Management Plan Requirements