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Federal Public Access Mandates

Federal Legislation & Directives

OSTP and White House Directive

In August 2022, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research calling on federal agencies "to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost". 

  • The goal of the memo is to provide free, immediate (without embargo), and equitable access to research that is federally funded.
  • Applies to all federal agencies, including those that fund Humanities and Social Sciences research.
  • Applies to both peer reviewed publications and the underlying scientific data.


In February, 2013, the bipartisan FASTR (Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act) bill was introduced into both the House and the Senate .   Information on this can also be found on the SPARC website:

2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act

In January 2014, Congress passed the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act.  The bill requires federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education portion of the Omnibus bill with research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to articles reporting on federally funded research no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

NIH Public Access Policy

In effect since 2008, the NIH Public Access Policy requires all peer reviewed journal publications funded in part or in whole by the NIH be publicly accessible in PubMedCentral within 12 months of publication.

Data Management Planning

Several Federal Agencies now require data management plans as part of the grant application.   

University of Illinois System Open Access Policy

The University of Illinois Open Access to Research Articles Policy states:

"Each Faculty member, for the purpose of making his or her scholarly articles widely and freely available in an open access repository, grants to the University of Illinois a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same. Any other systematic uses of the licensed articles by the University of Illinois must be approved by the Campus Senate. This policy does not transfer copyright ownership, which generally remains with Faculty authors under existing University of Illinois General Rules (Article III. Section 4(a)).

Learn more about the policy and how to comply at: UI Open Access Policy.