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5 Things to Know About the NSF Public Access Policy

1. What is the NSF Public Access Policy?

The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Public Access policy is intended to expand public access to the results of its funded research. It requires researchers to submit publications resulting from NSF funds to the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR).

2. Who must comply?

All researchers publishing peer-reviewed journal articles and juried conference papers, based wholly or partially on NSF support, must deposit either the version of record (the published work) or the final manuscripts, after peer review, to the NSF-PAR within 12 months of publication.

3. What types of publications are subject to the mandate?

The NSF Public Access policy applies to NSF-funded works appearing in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and in juried conference proceedings or transactions. Other works are not subject to this policy.

4. What are the benefits of the NSF Public Access policy?

The NSF has a long-standing commitment to clear and open communication of research results, which is central to fulfilling its primary mission of promoting the progress of science, advancing the frontiers of knowledge, and helping to ensure the nation’s future prosperity. In addition, scientists, researchers, educators, and students can better reap the benefits of papers arising from NSF funding by accessing them via the NSF-PAR at no charge.

5. How do I comply with the NSF Public Access policy?

  1. Before submitting to a journal or other publication, check its self-archiving policies to ensure you can deposit your work to the NSF-PAR within 12 months of publication.
  2. If not, include a copyright addendum with your copyright agreement to ensure you retain your rights to comply with the NSF Public Access policy.
  3. Deposit either the final accepted manuscript or the version of record, whichever is specified by the journal/publisher, to NSF-PAR (your work will be automatically embargoed until 12 months after its publication).

For assistance navigating the NSF Public Access requirements, contact your subject specialist librarian.

NSF Data Management Plans

NSF-PAR Resources