Complying with the NSF’s New Public Access Policy and Depositing a Manuscript in NSF-PAR; US Public Access Data Requirement resource

Browse Data Sharing Requirements by Federal Agency compiled by SPARCOpen and Johns Hopkins University Library. [Added this month to Public Access to Publications and Data resulting from federal funding: What You Need to Know]

I learned a few new things about NSF public access policy compliance this month from a webinar given by librarians from Brown University. Their slides and 1.5 hour webinar recording are available. There still seem to be several uncertain details, since the policy covers output from proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016, there really hasn’t been time to generate publications and data yet. Here are a few tips that I got from the presentation:

  • PIs need to keep track of the accepted manuscript version of their peer-reviewed journal articles and juried conference papers and of publications which they did not co-author but which were generated from their funding. Add this to your list of stuff to keep track of, along with your copyright transfer agreements and your data (plus information about your data which could make it reusable).
  • Files added to NSF Public Access Repository NSF-PAR need to be in PDF/A format. The submission system on will reject other file formats. There are many ways to convert files to PDF/A from Word, LaTeX and/or PDF.
  • Compliance monitoring for NSF public access will be done via Progress Reports. You may not include a citation in a progress report unless it has been uploaded to the system. While I encourage you to do this as you publish, it can be done as you write the references sections of progress reports (as long as you have accepted manuscript versions available.)
  • There is no delegate system for submission. PIs and co-PIs are expected to upload documents.
  • This Getting Started Guide may be helpful for submission:

Questions or new information? Please do contact Ruth Lewis or your subject librarian with your questions and experiences with this new system so we can help others navigate the new requirements. Thank you.

About the author

Ruth is a librarian at Washington University for biology, math, history of science; she is also scholarly communications coordinator. Email: Phone: 314-935-4819