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NASA's Public Access Plan

NASA - Draft Public Access Plan & Policy


  • February 2023 - Draft Plan Published
  • January 31, 2024 - Final Agency Policy Due
  • December 31, 2025 - Effective Date

Guidance and Templates


  • Use the DMPTool to find the latest applicable DMP template
  • Request a consultation for help with WVU storage, allowable costs, and results repositories

Proposed Policy Change

Review the draft NASA Public Access Plan for detailed information.

Significant changes to NASA's Public Access Plan (2014)

  • There shall be no publication embargo period for peer-reviewed publications.
  • Data that support peer-reviewed publications shall be made available in a public archive at the time of publication.
  • Software should be included as part of Open Access, subject to NASA software release requirements.
  • Software used to generate research findings/results should be made available in a public archive at the time of publication.
  • Other data products beyond peer-reviewed publications and software should be considered as part of Open Access.
  • Plans for ensuring that the DMP and metadata are in machine readable formats.
  • Reasonable costs of data sharing (including archiving) should be included in the proposal or project plan budget.
  • Require all researchers to share their data and analysis code at the time of publication, as defined in the DMP. This includes data that are displayed in charts and figures. This requirement could be met by including the data as supplementary information to the published article, or through other means. The published article should indicate how these data can be accessed.
  • NASA policy will encourage all supported researchers to make use of existing data and metadata standards (format and content standards), to the extent feasible.


The scope includes digital unclassified scientific research data, which are research data that can be stored digitally and accessed electronically. It follows the OMB Circular A110 definition of research data:

  • “Research data are defined as the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not any of the following: preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues. This 'recorded' material excludes physical objects (e.g., laboratory samples).
  • Research data also do not include:
    • (A) Trade secrets, commercial information, materials necessary to be held confidential by a researcher until they are published, or similar information which is protected under law; and
    • (B) Personal and medical information and similar information the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, such as information that could be used to identify a particular person in a research study.”
    • Data are understood to include not only the recorded technical information, but also metadata (describing the data), software, descriptions of the software required to read and use the data, and associated software documentation, and associated data (e.g., calibrations).


  • Awardees from non-NASA organizations that publish scientific research or compile digital data sets resulting from research, development and technology programs funded through a NASA grant, contract, or other agreement. This includes but is not limited to non-profit organizations, contractors, cooperative agreement holders, grantees, intergovernmental organizations, universities, and other educational institutions.
  • Additionally, the policy will apply to:
    • Basic and applied research across all NASA organizations
    • All research proposals or project plans submitted after this plan becomes effective
    • Both intramural and extramural research projects, regardless of funding mechanism (grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts)
  • The plan is prospective and will not apply to any digital data set established before the plan's effective date.
  • All proposals submitted under a funding opportunity shall submit a Data Management Plan (DMP), per the NASA Plan for Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research.
  • Proposals for work that will not generate any data or qualify for an exemption, as defined in the NASA Plan, shall specifically demonstrate this in the DMP.
  • Unless instructed in the NOFO, the DMP is part of the NSPIRES cover page or is submitted via the program-specific data form, available as part of the instructions document for a proposal submitted through Proposers shall refer to the NOFO for any NOFO-specific DMP requirements and information on the evaluation of the DMP.

Exceptions for Data and Software

  • All researchers receiving federal funding will be required to submit Data Management Plans (DMPs), however in some cases it is expected that some data will not be made public. This includes but is not limited to the following categories:
    • Educational grants and grants to individual students
    • Work that is proprietary, confidential, or contains trade secrets
    • Work which results in Personally Identifiable Information (PII) (i.e. human subject data)
    • ITAR or EAR controlled data • CUI – Controlled Unclassified Information • National Security classified data
    • Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) contracts
    • Software, if prohibited by an underlying license or patent rights 


  • Scientific data underlying peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from federally funded research shall be made freely available and publicly accessible by default at the time of publication, and no embargo by a publisher or others should be imposed nor will such be recognized by NASA.
  • Unique digital object identifiers (DOIs) must be assigned to all datasets supporting peer reviewed publications.
  • All proposals or project plans submitted to NASA for scientific research funding shall include a Data Management Plan (DMP) that describes whether and how data generated through the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved (including timeframe) or explains why data sharing and/or preservation are not possible or scientifically appropriate. At a minimum, DMPs shall describe how data sharing and preservation will enable validation of published results, or how such results could be validated if data are not shared or preserved.
  • DMPs shall provide a plan for making research data that underlie the results and findings in peer-reviewed publications digitally accessible at the time of publication. This includes data (or how to access data) that are displayed in charts and figures. This does not include preliminary data, laboratory notebooks, drafts of scientific papers, plans for research, peer review reports, communications with colleagues or physical objects, such as laboratory specimens. This requirement can be met by including the data as supplementary information to the published article, through NASA archives (such as NTRS (, data.nasa.gov4, or other repositories such as Zenodo, or OSF), or other means. The published article should indicate how these data can be accessed.
  • DMPs will be reviewed as part of the overall NASA research proposal/project plan or contract review process. The NASA Guidebook for Proposers will include information on the requirements for DMPs in grant proposals. NASA will provide guidance on contract language for DMPs.
  • NASA program managers and Contracting Officers Technical Representatives will provide guidance to proposers and awardees.