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FAU Libraries' Scholarly Communication Program: Funder Public Access Policies

Funder Public Access Policies

In 2013, the White House, through the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), issued an executive directive mandating that U.S. Government agencies with annual extramural research and development expenditures over $100 million make the results of taxpayer-funded research—both articles and data—freely available to the general public with the goal of accelerating scientific discovery and fueling innovation.   Similarly, a few states and several private funders have proposed and enacted legislation and policies mandating public access to funded research. As the federal and private policies have reached maturity, they are now focusing on compliance and mandating broader access to publications and data produced by grant-funded research. Principal Investigators for most grants are responsible for complying with these policies and institutions could lose future funding if they are found to be non-compliant.

This guide provides a general overview of the compliance process and a summary of  major federal and private funder public access policies. Please consult your grant and journal policies for details.

For a summary of public access policies and requirements, see the presentation, Open Access and Funder Requirements, September 25, 2017. 

Tools for tracking funder policies

Tools for finding journal OA policies

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Federal agency policies

Agency Plan

Awards (On/After)

Publication Repository

Data Repository

Data Sharing

Supplementary Information

Department of Defense (DOD)

Jan 2017


Not Specified.

Required. Further guidelines to be released in 2017

Public Access to the Results of DoD Intramural Basic Research Published in Peer Reviewed Scholarly Publications (1/10/17)

Department of Energy (DOE)

Oct 2014


Not Specified.

Required upon publication of findings

DOE Pages: FAQs

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Dec 2015

Nat’l Trans Library (NTL)

Report your research to TRB's RiP database

Data must be publicly available and connected to an ORCID researcher identifier

How to Comply

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Oct 2015

PubMed Central

Disciplinary data repositories, where available

Required within one month of publication of findings


Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the Department of Education, 

FY 2016


Not specified

Required upon publication of findings and for at least 10 years

IES Policy Regarding Public Access to Research

Dept of Ed. open licensing policy (updated 3/21/17)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Jan 2016

NOAA Institutional Repository

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information or a publicly-accessible data repository

Required upon publication of findings or within two years of collection, whichever is sooner


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Oct 2016

NASA PubSpace

Authoritative version of the data is maintained by the USGS

Data must be made available at the time of publication to support scholarly conclusions

USGS data management guidance.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Apr 2008

PubMed Central

NIH Data Sharing Repositories.

Data must be made as publicly available as possible for as long as possible

Public Access FAQs

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Jan  2016


What constitutes reasonable data management and access will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management

Within a reasonable time

FAQs for public access

Smithsonian Institution (SI)

Oct  2015

Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) or CHORUS

Smithsonian-managed and/or Smithsonian-approved

Within 12 mos.


US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Jan 2016


Ag Data Commons Beta, or other.

Not Specified


US Geological Survey (USGS/DOI)

Oct 2016


A trusted repository for USGS digital assets (for example, ScienceBase or the NWIS)

Required within 12 months of publication of findings

Training Video

Private funder policies

Agency Plan

Awards (On/After)

Maximum Embargo

Publication Repository

Data Repository

Data Sharing

Supplementary Information

Ford Foundation

February 2015

Upon Publication

Not specified. Must license under CC BY 4.0 license

Not specified

Required with use of Creative Commons license.

Covers all copyrightable products funded by the grant,including white papers, research reports and websites.

Gates Foundation

January 2017

Upon Publication

Chronos/Pubmed Central

Not Specified

Required upon publication of findings.

Support for open access publishing is built into every grant made by the Gates Foundation.

HHMI – Howard Hughes Medical Institute 

June 2007

12 mos.

PubMed Central or comparable subject repository

Not specified 

Required upon publication of findings

Encourages publishing in OA journals and submitting to preprint servers.

During the grant application process

Determine if your grant has an open access requirement for research data and/or the published results of funded research

  • Is your grant from a federal agency with annual R&D expenditures of over $100M?
  • Many private funders include open access policies; check your grant instructions.
  • Most grants require compliance if research is fully or partially funded by granting agency.
  • Most grants will also require the submission of a data management/access plan during the application process or when funding is awarded.

Check to see if your funder allows or requires you to budget for OA publication fees, such as article processing charges (APC's)

Before submitting for publication

Determine if you are required by the funder to archive a version of your manuscript (Green OA) or make it immediately open (Gold OA)

Publishing Green OA (Self-archiving). A version of the article, not necessarily the version of record, will be available in a repository (such as PubMed Central) after an embargo period (usually 12 months).

  • Green OA will meet most funder requirements
  • Check the journal's OA licensing and archiving policies to confirm that they will satisfy funder requirements such as article version and maximum embargo period. See SHERPA/RoMEO a database of publishers' policies on copyright and self-archiving.

Publishing Gold OA (publisher-hosted). Provides immediate access to the version of record on the publisher's website.

  • Publish in an open access journal (will meet most requirements). Consult the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to find high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Publish in a hybrid journal (a journal that includes both subscription and OA content)​
  • Check the journal's OA licensing and archiving policies to confirm that they will satisfy funder requirements such as maximum embargo period
  • ​Article processing charges (APC's) will be required for many OA journals and most hybrid options. If the publishing charges were not included in your grant proposal and are required, determine how the APC's will be covered. The library does not have an APC fund at this time.

Review the journal's publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement

  • Make sure it conforms to the funder's access policy. It is a best practice  for authors to retain copyright rather than transfer copyright to the publisher. See Author Rights: Using the SPARC Author Addendum.
  • Are you required to publish under a license that requires specific reuse terms?

After your article has been accepted

Determine if your funder requires deposit in a specific repository  (i.e. Pubmed Central)

  • If no subject repository is specified, deposit the appropriate version in the FAU Digital Repository and/or the subject repository of your choice. 
  • Confirm with publisher and funder policies that you are depositing the correct version.
  • If the article is openly available on the publisher's website or deposited in another repository, you may still be required to deposit in the specified repository. 

Determine if the journal will deposit to the required repository on your behalf. Make sure to specify your funder during the publication process.

Are you publishing Gold OA?

  • Hybrid journals. Make sure to select the journal's open access option, and a license that meets the funder's requirements (CC-BY is usually preferred).
  • Open access journal. Make sure you choose a license that meets the funder requirements (CC-BY is usually preferred).

Include acknowledgement of funder if required

Compliance and enforcement

  • Determine if the funder requires confirmation of deposit or public access to publications and/or data
  • Determine if the funder requires periodic reporting on the status of published articles and data collection
  • What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Note: Most major publishers will have detailed instructions on complying with funder open access policies. This outline was informed by the Nature Research Open Access Checklist.

Public Access Policies Frequently Asked Questions

What is a public access mandate?
Public access mandates are most often a requirement by a funding agency that published research results enabled by its grants be made available to the general public.

To which federal funding agencies does this apply?
Any federal agency with $100 million or more in annual R&D expenditure.

When did these funder funding policies go into effect?
By fall 2015, most, if not all, federal agencies falling under the requirement had issued public access plans. Most effective dates are 2016 or before.

Do the policies apply retroactively to publications/data?
The policies apply to awards granted after the policies effective date (generally 2008 -2016). 

How do I comply?
In order to comply with a public access mandate, you must deposit a version of your research article in an open access repository. Additionally, many federal funding agencies are now requiring data management plans as part of the proposal process. As a service to authors, some publishers offer direct deposit of an article into mandated or specified repositories (e.g., PMC) after the embargo period. Authors should always double check that the publisher has submitted to the appropriate repository in the correct amount of time.

Public Access to What?
Public access mandates generally apply to journal articles whose publication is a direct result of research performed under the grant as well as to research data generated during, or as a result of, the research process (there are exceptions and limitations per funder policy).

Are these “unfunded” mandates?
If article processing charges (APC) or other expenses are necessary to fulfill a mandate it may be included in the research budget. Most policies allow for self-archiving at no cost in repositories (green OA).

What are the consequences for inaction or non-compliance?
The granting agencies will be unlikely to grant you additional funds, extensions, or new grants. In short: you won’t get any more grant money. Example: Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy is not a factor in the scientific and technical merit evaluation of grant applications. Non-compliance will be addressed administratively, and may delay or prevent awarding of funds. Frequently Asked Questions about the NIH Public Access Policy

Where am I allowed or required to deposit my work?
Most funding agencies are dictating exactly which repository you are required to submit to. Where they are flexible, the FAU Libraries is happy to collaborate with you to research and identify the best repository for your work that will also meet compliance measures.

What are “public access compliant repositories”?
Each agency is defining this differently, but the characteristics are fairly standard across the spectrum. The repository must be openly accessible to anyone with an internet connection, it must allow deposit by individual or by a designee (e.g., publisher), and it must have some degree of technical flexibility to facilitate interoperability with other platforms.

Do I need to deposit my publications and data into a repository, or will the publisher handle that for me upon acceptance?
Many publishers built technical workflows into their submission process to assist authors with compliance to the NIH public access policy by automatically submitting the manuscripts to PubMed Central. As these public access mandates go into effect, the publishers are expected to develop similar workflows for other funders and repositories. However, it is the author's funding that will be denied if compliance measures are not met. Researchers are encouraged to be proactive in ensuring publications and data are deposited and accessible.

This FAQ is based on: “Frequently Asked Questions about Federal Public Access Policies for Data and Publications” ( and the Florida State Library Office of Digital Research and Scholarship's Public Mandates FAQ.


NIH Public Access Policy: When and How to Comply

Preparing a manuscript: Address Copyright

Before you sign a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central (PMC) in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Read more >>

NIH Advises: Authors should work with the publisher before any rights are transferred to ensure that all conditions of the NIH Public Access Policy can be met. Authors should avoid signing any agreements with publishers that do not allow the author to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Accepted for publication: Post it to PubMed Central and track it in My NCBI

There are four methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Authors may use whichever method is most appropriate for them and consistent with their publishing agreement.  Read more >>

Reporting to NIH: Include PMCID in citations

Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research. Read more>>

Also see the NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance

Video Tutorial on how to get PMCIDS

Public Access FAQs

NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System

NIHMS System tutorials

Publishers' Policies on Submitting to PMC

Journals that Automatically Submit Articles

PMID/PMCID Converter

The Difference Between PMCID and PMID

5 Things you Need to Know about the NIH Public Access Policy




NSF Policy Overview

When did the policy go into effect: 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

Who must comply: Awards to institutions will include conditions to implement NSF public access requirements. Principal Investigators must ensure that all researchers who work on projects funded in whole or in part by NSF grants or cooperative agreements comply with the public access policy.

What publications are to be deposited:  Version of record or final accepted manuscript in peer-reviewed  scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions

When should the article be available: Must be available for download, reading and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication

Requesting funds to pay for article processing charges: You may request funds to cover costs of publication, page charges, or preparation of data as a direct cost in your budget proposal. (See PaPPG Chapter II)

Reporting: Report in annual and final reports during the period of the award with a persistent identifier that provides links to the full text of the publication as well as other metadata elements.

Where to deposit: Principle Investigators must deposit a copy of the article (see "What publications are to be deposited") in the NSF Public Access Repository; NSF-PAR. Even if the PI deposits in FAU's Digital Repository, a copy must still be deposited in NSF-PAR. Report the identifier in the final Report.

How do I deposit in NSF-PAR​?
Also see FAQs on depositing in and the handout (excerpted below).

  1. Log in to In order to deposit the publication, the PI/co-PI will need to:
    • Know their credentials
    • Know their Award ID (a list will be automatically provided)
    • Have the Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
    • Have a copy of the journal or juried conference paper (formatted in the PDF/A standard)
  2. Prepare and Deposit your publications
    • Select the Deposit publication link to access the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR)
    • Follow the 4 step wizard to quickly deposit your publication. Have the DOI number available.
  3. Upload the final accepted version of the manuscript (must be in PDF/A format) 
  4. Select the award that the publication should be associated and check the box to acknowledge the 4. statement
  5. Review the publication information and select Submit to complete your deposit

Data management and access requirements: A two-page supplementary document must be included in proposals in which the proposer describes a data management plan (DMP) for data created under an award that resulted from the proposal. If an award is made, the investigator must manage data described in the DMP in accordance with the plan and should report these data-related activities in annual and final project reports. Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable amount of time, the primary data created or gathered in the course of their work under an NSF grant. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing

Required repositories for depositing data: Data management requirements and plans specific to the Directorate, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF unit, relevant to a proposal are available at

Related Links

Public Access to Results of NSF-funded Research

Today’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries: Increasing Access to the Results of Research Funded by the National Science Foundation (3/18/2015)

NSF Public Access FAQs

How to Deposit in the PAR Guide (PDF)

Depositing Publications Tutorial (Video)

Explore scholarly publications in the NSF Public Access Repository



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