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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: USGS

Publications Implementation: October 1, 2016

Data Implementation: October 1, 2016


Compliance Monitoring: USGS

Compliance Monitoring

Compliance for awardees and other federal funding researchers is and will continue to be ensured through progress reporting as required in the funding agreement and the Financial Assistance Monitoring Protocol used by USGS. Starting in January 2016, USGS will be required to report such recipients to Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) as required by 2 CFR 200.212. Funds are withheld if an awardee is in noncompliance.


Publication and Data Repositories: USGS

Publication Repository: USGS Information Product Data System or CHORUS via the USGS Publications Warehouse.

All USGS funded, peer-reviewed and disseminated publications released outside of the USGS (e.g., as journal articles) will be cataloged in the Publications Warehouse with appropriate metadata to ensure discovery by the public. The full text of the final, accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript will be stored in the Information Product Data System (IPDS) ready for release at the end of any embargo period and linked to the record in the Publications Warehouse. Under existing terms of award for contracts and financial assistance, the full text of publications produced by USGS funded scientists extramural to the USGS must be stored electronically in the IPDS. 

Data Repository: USGS ScienceBase or program specific respository via the USGS Science Data Catalog.

All data acquired by USGS funded extramural scientist will be stored and managed in accordance with the data management plan that is part of the research proposal.



What is the embargo period for publications and datasets?

The USGS does not impose an embargo period for either publications or data. The USGS will abide by the embargo period imposed by the publisher or will provide access to the publication in the Information Product Data System (IPDS) after a period of 12 months.


Under existing terms of award for contracts and financial assistance, the full text of publications produced by USGS funded scientists extramural to the USGS must be stored electronically in the IPDS. To supplement this capability, provide a mechanism for determining the official date of publication and end of the embargo period, and provide access to the final published version of the article, USGS has entered into an agreement with CHORUS to provide free public access to the journal articles, if available, on a partnering publisher’s site. For journals not partnered with CHORUS or partnered but not complying with the 12-month (maximum) embargo, the version of the manuscript held in the IPDS will be made bright (i.e., publicly accessible at no charge).


The existing policy provides no embargo for digital data required to validate research findings, as those data must be made available at the time of publication to support scholarly conclusions.


Where can I find the full Public Access Policy?

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


USGS Fundamental Science Practice requirements for data acquisition and management include a requirement for data management plans as part of all research conducted or funded by the USGS. Prior to initiating research, intra- or extramural, approved plans must identify appropriate methods for digital data management, data release, and appropriate preservation in accordance with the USGS Records Disposition Schedules. The plans must also address making data available in appropriate long-term repositories and stress the importance of non-proprietary, open formats for improved accessibility.

To further clarify the obligations of extramural researchers, proposed language changes to USGS extramural funding agreements will be introduced by October 1, 2016 to require data management plans for all USGS funded research. Both intramural and extramural data management plans will describe how to maximize access while protecting privacy, confidential, and proprietary and intellectual property rights, and will balance value and cost of long-term preservation and access.


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

The USGS has contracted with Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS), to provide notification to the USGS of the release of USGS-funded extramural publications on non-USGS publishers’ websites for those publishers participating in the CHORUS service. These extramural publications and their metadata will then be cataloged in the USGS Publications warehouse, and a link provided to the full-text of the article on the publisher’s website, where free public access will be provided after the embargo period has expired.

For those publications for which the full text cannot be accessed through CHORUS (publisher not part of CHORUS) or because the publishers embargo period is longer than 12 months, the accepted manuscripts stored in the Information Product Data System (IPDS) dark archive will be made bright via USGS internal servers and accessible through the USGS Publications Warehouse.