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House Lawmakers Pose Questions to OSTP Over Memo on Public Access to Federally Funded Research

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The top two leaders of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Monday wrote a letter to the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy about a recent OSTP memorandum with regard to public access to results of federally funded research.

The letter was addressed to Arati Prabhakar, a previous Wash100 awardee who was confirmed by the Senate as director of OSTP in September.

In August, Alondra Nelson, then-acting OSTP director, released a memo urging federal agencies to update their policies no later than Dec. 31, 2025, to make results of federally funded research accessible to the public without an embargo.

House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla., cited the lack of details about the implementation of requirements in the memo, including how agencies will update their policies.

We are further concerned about the lack of detail with respect to the requirements for digital data,” Johnson and Lucas wrote.

The lawmakers are asking OSTP to provide information on how it will work with agencies, universities, publishers and other stakeholders to ensure consistency and coordination in policies, develop new mechanisms for supporting peer review, page charges and data repositories to facilitate the transition to immediate public access and prevent the proliferation of multiple versions of peer-reviewed manuscripts.

The legislators also want to know about the steps OSTP plans to take to advance the implementation of data requirements in the memo and whether the office will develop guidance for federally funded research data not related to peer-reviewed scholarly publications and formalize a governmentwide definition for scientific data through rulemaking.

They also called on OSTP to conduct another round of public workshops and engagements with stakeholders to address implementation issues associated with the memo.

OSTP should submit its response to the letter no later than Oct. 31.

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