Funding Agency Guidelines

In 2013 the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memo directing federal agencies (those with more than $100M in R&D expenditures) to make both articles and data supported by federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication. The Libraries can help you write and implement your data management plan to meet these requirements.

Start by reviewing requirements of some of the main US federal agencies below.  Create ready-to-use data management plans for specific funding agencies using the DMPToolContact us for help at any point.


The following agencies are not subject to the OSTP memo, but still have a data policy:

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) has released a notice for establishing a policy for public access to scientific publications and scientific data in digital format resulting from AHRQ funding.  Data Management Plans (DMPs) will be required along with expectations for providing public access to publications and data resulting from sponsored research.

Key points:

  • Effective Dates: February 2015 (for articles), October 2015 (for data).
  • Papers to be deposited in PubMed Central and made publicly accessible after an embargo period of no more than 12 months after publication.
  • Datasets will be deposited in an as of yet unnamed commercial repository.
  • Data management plan required.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC has recently published its "CDC Plan for Increasing Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Scientific Data Generated with CDC Funding" in response to the 2013 OSTP memo. A revised policy is set for publication in June 2015 and it is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2015.

Key points:

  • Manuscripts based on CDC-funded research will be submitted through the National Institutes of Health Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system.
  • Storage and access will be handled through the CDC Stacks digital repository.
  • Peer-reviewed publications will also be made available through PubMed Central.
  • Researchers must provide a data management plan. Compliance with data management plans will be monitored.
  • New awards to faculty or institutions will not be made if researchers have not complied with data sharing requirements from previous awards.
  • Researchers must make any data underlying their peer-reviewed publications freely available in public repositories at publication unless the data are non-research data, have already been released, or fall into a few exempted categories.
  • All data sets must come with a minimum set of metadata elements.
  • Researchers can first release a minimal data set and then follow-up with a more complete release.
  • The costs of sharing and managing data can be included in the funds requested in applications.

Department of Energy (DOE)

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently responded to the 2013 OSTP memo for public access to federally funded research. The DOE’s Public Access Plan outlines its approach to implementing the objectives of the OSTP memorandum. The public access requirements apply to all research solicitations and invitations for new, renewal, and some supplemental funding issued on or after October 1, 2014.

Key points:

  • All DOE-funded authors must submit their accepted manuscript -- or a link to a publicly accessible, full-text version of the accepted manuscript available in an institutional repository -- to OSTI. Submission of accepted manuscripts is done through the E-Link System.
  • Journal articles and accepted manuscripts resulting from DOE funding will be accessible through DOE PAGES (Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science).
  • All proposals submitted to the DOE Office of Science for research funding must include a Data Management Plan (DMP). A list of elements to include in a DMP, requirements for specific program offices, and additional guidance are provided in the DOE’s Statement on Digital Data Management. Other DOE Offices will require data management plans by no later than October 1, 2015.
  • DMPs should provide a plan for making all research data displayed in publications resulting from the proposed research open, machine-readable, and digitally accessible to the public at the time of  publication.
  • Researchers are encouraged to deposit data in existing community or institutional repositories or to submit these data to the article publisher as supplemental information.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA has recently published its "Plan to Increase Access to Results of FDA-Funded Scientific Research" in response to the February 2013 White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP) memo. The FDA’s will complete its policies in Summer 2015, and they will take effect on October 1, 2015 and will apply to anyone conducting research funded, in whole or in part, by the FDA.

Key points:

  • Peer-reviewed articles should be made available in an FDA-designated scientific article repository within 12 months after publication, and article metadata should be made available immediately in an FDA-designated repository.
  • Researchers may submit final, peer-reviewed versions of their articles into PubMed Central (PMC) via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).
  • FDA will require that data management plans be developed and followed by both intramural and extramural researchers.
  • FDA expects researchers to make datasets publicly accessible in discipline specific data repositories, wherever available, upon publication of their findings in a peer-reviewed article.
  • The developed agency policies will expressly allow extramural researchers to include planned data management costs in their proposals.
  • Failure to comply with the publication access and data management requirements—including the periodic reporting requirements―may serve as grounds to terminate the contract or cancel the grant.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA has released a plan (to be implemented by Oct 2015) for establishing a policy for public access to scientific publications and scientific data in digital format resulting from NASA funding.  Data Management Plans (DMPs) will be required along with expectations for providing public access to publications and data resulting from sponsored research.

Key points:

  • For data, NASA plans to develop an inventory/catalog of data resulting from NASA funding.  NASA is also exploring the development of a research data commons for storing and sharing data, but nothing specific at this point.
  • For publications, NASA plans to provide a NASA-branded portal to the PubMed Central full-text article repository (developed by the NIH) to be used to support public access to NASA-funded research publications.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities

The NEH requires applicants for grants administered by its Office of Digital Humanities to submit data management plans (no more than 2 pages) with their proposals.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why data sharing is not possible.

NIH Public Access Mandate (for publications): NCSU subject librarians and the CDSC are here to help you achieve compliance with the mandate to make research publications related to your NIH funding available through PubMed Central.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF has released a notice for establishing a plan for public access to scientific publications resulting from NSF funding.  The first phase of the new public access plan is effective as of January 2016 and requires public access to peer-reviewed publications in its first phase of implementation.

Key points:

  • Requires that either the version of record or the final accepted manuscript in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions must be deposited in a public access compliant repository designated by NSF (initially this will be DOE PAGES repository
  • NSF’s Data Management Plan (DMP) requirement remains unchanged, however the Public Access plan reinforces that "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 DMP included in the proposal that led to the award on which the research is based. In the future, NSF will explore whether all data underlying published findings can be made available at the time of publication."

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

With the release of its "Implementation Plan to Increase Public Access to Results of USDA-funded Scientific Research", the United States Department of Agriculture details the steps it will take over several years to increase access to scholarly publications and digitally formatted scientific data resulting from unclassified research results supported wholly or in part by USDA funds.  Data Management Plans (DMPs) will be required along with expectations for providing public access to publications and data resulting from sponsored research. Implementation is already underway and will be completed in 2017.

Key points:

  • Effective January 1, 2016, USDA/NIFA grantees will be required to deposit final, peer-reviewed manuscripts in the USDA public access archive system, PubAg. The Implementation Plan states, “The USDA will ensure easy search and download of scholarly publications resulting from USDA funds without charge no later than 12 months following publication.
  • Effective January 1, 2016, USDA/NIFA research program requests for applications will begin to require data management plans as part of new proposals. The authors of the Implementation Plan noted that since “public access to federally supported research data is a new concept for many researchers," a focus on outreach, education, and training is essential.

US Geological Survey (USGS)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has recently responded to the 2013 OSTP memo for public access to federally funded research with the release of an instructional memorandum. This memo provides an interim policy and will be retained until superseded by a permanent Bureau Survey Manual (SM) policy chapter. Associated memoranda have been issued related to related to metadata, data approval and release, and preservation requirements

Key points:

  • Each research project work plan must include a Data Management Plan (DMP) describing standards and intended actions for acquiring, processing, analyzing, preserving, publishing/sharing, describing, managing quality, backing up, and securing the data holdings.
  • All research data displayed in publications resulting from the proposed research must be made open, machine-readable, and digitally accessible to the public at the time of publication. Guidance is available on the USGS Data Management website.
  • Data published or released to the public must receive approval before release unless that data is preliminary or provisional. Guidance is available on the USGS Data Management website.
  • Approved data must be assigned a persistent identifier, specifically a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) from the USGS registration agent, and be accompanied by a recommended citation.
  • Full guidance and procedures supporting the interim policy are available at the USGS Data Management website.

More Info on Funding Agencies and Their Data Management Policies: