Open Access: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Expands Its Approach to Making Research Results Freely Available For the Public
HHS released a comprehensive set of plans outlining how its agencies will expand access to the results of scientific research for the public. These plans were developed in response to a White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) memorandum that directed federal research agencies to increase access to peer-reviewed scientific publications and digital data developed by researchers.
Within HHS, five of the largest research funding agencies developed plans in accordance with HHS’s common approach to Public Access: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). These plans build on our existing Open Government goals of increasing transparency, collaboration and participation, and lowering barriers to accessing health information.
HHS’s public access plans are expanding access to research results in two key domains: peer-reviewed publications and digital data.
- Peer-reviewed Publications – We are expanding the types of peer-reviewed articles that will be required to be deposited into PMC. Researchers funded by NIH, CDC, FDA, AHRQ and ASPR will be required to submit their publications into PMC within 12 months of their publication. The addition of these agencies will increase the corpus of available research to include new topics such as: comparative effectiveness, emergency preparedness, public health, environmental health, and toxicological research.
- Digital Data – We are also requiring that the data produced by researchers be made publically accessible in a digital format. At a minimum, the data underlying publications will need to be available at the time of publication. As part of this effort, our agencies will require that investigators submit data management plans outlining how their data will be managed and shared as part of their initial research proposals.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.