Supporting Public Access to Funded Research

Key Points

  • New federal policies will soon require the results of federally funded research to be immediately and freely shared with the public.
  • All researchers receiving federal funding will be required to obtain and use a digital persisitent identifier such as an ORCID iD.
  • Emory researchers can contact the Scholarly Communications Office with questions at


In August 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum directed at all federal funding agencies titled Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research (PDF; often referred to as the Nelson Memo). This guidance states that all federal funding agencies are required to facilitate public access to the results of federally funded research. The OSTP defines public access as "the free availability of federally funded research materials, including data and research results, to the public."

This memo revises the OSTP recommendations from 2013 under which federal funders have been operating. The Association of Research Libraries created a helpful comparison of these new guidelines to the former ones that were issued in 2013 (PDF).

Public Access

The most notable change outlined in the 2022 memo is the requirement to provide public access to the results of federally funded research immediately, whereas the 2013 memo allowed a 1-year embargo of research articles.

To comply with OSTP guidance, peer-reviewed scholarly publications and the underlying scientific or supporting data that result from federally funded research must be "made freely available and publicly accessible by default in agency-designated repositories without any embargo or delay after publication." This provision is referred to as equitable access.

Persistent Identifiers

In addition, the OSTP guidance includes a directive called Research Integrity. This guidance "recommends that agencies employ persistent digital identifiers to track all aspects of the research life-cycle, from awards to researchers to outputs." These identifiers tie researchers (using ORCID iDs) to their scholarly output (using DOIs) and to the agency funding their research and their own institution (using the Research Organization Registry or ROR).

Use of these identifiers will also make research outputs machine-readable, which enables large-scale computational analysis (e.g., text data mining). You can find more information about obtaining and using an ORCID iD in our ORCID at Emory guide. Navigate to to connect your ORCID iD to Emory.


Each provision of the OSTP guidance will go into effect no later than the following dates:

  • Dec. 31, 2024: Funding agencies complete and publish equitable access plans.
  • Dec. 31, 2025: Latest date that equitable access plans can go into effect.
  • Dec. 31, 2026: Funding agencies complete and publish research integrity plans.
  • Dec. 31, 2027: Latest date that research integrity plans can go into effect.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do these new policies apply to funding awarded before 2023?
    No, federal funding agencies will be creating and implementing their policies over several years (see the timeline above), so compliance will be required only after implementation.
  2. Which agencies are making new policies that researchers will be required to follow?
    All federal funding agencies, even non-STEM-focused ones such as the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  3. What types of research outputs are included?
    Peer-reviewed publications, especially journal articles, and other outputs such as books, book chapters, conference proceedings, and more may be included in final policies. Importantly, funded researchers will also be required to share their research datasets (get Emory-specific help on data-sharing requirements).

Get Help

The Scholarly Communications Office is available to assist researchers navigating regulations and policies concerning public access to scholarly publications.

  • Various units across Emory provide robust support for managing research data at Emory.
  • As mentioned above, obtaining and using an ORCID iD will fulfill the federal research integrity requirement for Emory researchers. Emory has made the process of securing an ORCID iD even easier with To learn more about ORCID at Emory, visit ORCID at Emory.

If you are looking for more information about requirements to make research outputs accessible to the public, we recommend the OSTP's Frequently Asked Questions: 2022 Public Access Policy Guidance and this fact sheet on the Nelson memo from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).


To create this page, Emory's Scholarly Communications Office staff consulted the following sources.