Policy & Advocacy

NASA’s Updated Scientific Information Policy for Science Mission Directorate (SMD)

Open Access   ·   Open Data

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) released an update to its comprehensive Scientific Information Policy (SPD-41a) which applies to a significant amount of NASA’s research expenditures. The policy does not serve as NASA’s official response to the OSTP Nelson Memorandum, but it is a good indication of what will be in NASA’s agency-wide public access plan due out in February 2023.

The policy will apply to all new SMD missions and grants starting with the ROSES-2023 solicitation. It does not apply to grants already made by the agency. Specifically, the SMD policy requires that:

  • Peer-reviewed publications are made immediately openly available via deposit of final accepted manuscripts in a NASA-approved repository. 
  • Research data and software are shared openly at the time of publication or the end of the funding award, and in a citable manner.
  • Unrestricted mission software is developed openly.
  • Science workshops and meetings are held openly to enable broad participation.

In November 2021, NASA requested information from the public about how to update SMD’s minimum requirements for openness and accessibility. The updated policy aligns with the agency’s Open-Source Science Initiative and its Transform to OPen Science (TOPS) work.

More details are available in SPARC’s overview of the policy.

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