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Federal Agency Public Access Compliance

A Research Guide summarizing the Federal public access policies resulting from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum of February 2013.

Implementation Timeline: AHRQ

Publications Implementation: February 2015

  • Beginning in December 2014, AHRQ will require all intramural projects and new grant and contract research awards to submit manuscripts to PMC.
  • This policy will be effective for research funded in February 2015.

Data Implementation: October 2015

  • AHRQ will solicit contract proposals and fund a commercial repository by October 2015.
  • Beginning October 2015, AHRQ will require all researchers to submit data in digital format to the commercial repository.


Compliance Monitoring: AHRQ

Grant and contract solicitations:

  • All research proposals will include a Data Management Plan (DMP) as part of the overall research proposal.
  • Approved DMPs will be included in terms and conditions of grant notices of award and contract awards.
  • Prior to funding new grant and contract awards AHRQ will confirm awardees are in compliance with the AHRQ Public Access Policy. AHRQ will not make grant or contract awards in cases of non-compliance.

Non-competing continuation grant awards:

  • AHRQ will monitor all non-competing continuation grant awards using the electronic Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) to verify compliance with the public access policy
  • Current oversight of grants allows for withholding or adjustments of funds at the end of each performance period.

Intramural research proposals:

  • Required to include a DMP.
  • AHRQ leadership will ensure intramural research compliance with the Public Access Policy.

Additional compliance monitoring:

  • AHRQ staff will periodically manually check applications, proposals, or reports for compliance with the Public Access Policy. They will confirm that a citation includes the appropriate reference number that indicates compliance, such as the PubMed Central Identifier (PMCID). 
  • AHRQ will also use the NLM's Bibliography tool My NCBI.  My NCBI tracks the public access compliance status of every paper associated with an award, generates a citation with the current identifier and clearly indicates its compliance status. It also allows awardees to collaborate with their colleagues to associate publications with AHRQ awards. 


Publication and Data Repositories: AHRQ

Publication Repository: PubMed Central (PMC).

  • AHRQ will partner with the NIH to use PMC as the repository of publications resulting from AHRQ-funded grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and intramural research.

Data Repository: Not specified.

  • AHRQ will contract with a commercial repository to accept and manage data submitted by extramural, intramural, and contract researchers.
  • The commercial repository and AHRQ staff will coordinate with the researcher upon notification of funding, prior to the start of the research project, and throughout its life cycle to ensure the current usability, long-run preservation and access to the data.
  • Data will be made available in a digital format free of charge to the public via the selected commercial repository.
  • If the data is made available via another mechanism, AHRQ will publicize the location of the data to the public on its Web site and provide a link to the data.
  • In order to determine how best to develop and sustain repositories for digital scientific data, AHRQ intends to collaborate with HHS operating divisions and other agencies that support research in related areas.



What is the embargo period for publications and datasets?

AHRQ's maximum embargo period is 12 months.


Where can I find the full Public Access Policy?

Does this agency require a data management plan (DMP)?

Yes. All AHRQ-funded researchers will be required to include a data management plan for sharing final research data in digital format, or state why data sharing is not possible.  It may not be feasible to share all data; the costs and benefits of sharing data should be considered in data management planning.


How do I comply with the public access policy and submit a publication?

Manuscripts resulting from funded work must be submitted directly to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).