NSF releases Public Access Plan

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released its Public Access Plan March 18, 2015, in compliance with the White House Directive. The plan for “increasing access to the results of research funded by NSF” covers both publications and data.


NSF’s plan requires that authors make final peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts for journal articles and juried conference papers (or the final published version of record) openly accessible.

  • The articles must be available no later than 12 months following publication.
  • Authors must upload their articles in the PDF/A format to the DOE repository system, called PAGES.
  • Authors must also submit 8 metadata fields describing their articles.
  • Deposit becomes mandatory for new awards granted for proposals dated January 2016 or later.nsf logo 2


Data management plans (DMPs) have been required by NSF since 2011, and this requirement continues under the new NSF plan.

  • The DMP should describe how all data resulting from the research will be managed and deposited in a repository.
  • Possible changes in the guidance associated with DMPs “will take place incrementally,” “no earlier than FY 2016.”
  • Data that “underlie the findings reported in a journal article or conference paper” must also comply with the policies of the publication.

The Libraries can help you comply with these new requirements:

If you have comments or questions, please contact:

For publications: contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing, MIT Libraries

For data: contact the MIT Libraries’ data management team