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Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Public Access to Publications Policy

The Department of Energy Public Access Plan (July 2014) outlines the Department’s approach to implementing public access to scholarly publications resulting from DOE-funded research.


This policy applies to scholarly publications (e.g., journal articles or accepted manuscripts) produced in whole or in part with DOE funding.  This includes Department of Energy federal employees, National Laboratory and other Management and Operating (M&O) contractor employees, financial assistance awardees, other grantees, and other contractor entities where the publication describes unclassified and otherwise unrestricted research findings produced with complete or partial DOE funding.

An accepted manuscript is the version of the article that has been accepted for publication by a publisher and includes changes made by the author during the peer-review process, also known as the final peer-reviewed accepted manuscript.  It includes the same content as the published article in the journal and may or may not include all of the publisher's form or format.


All researchers receiving DOE funding are required to submit metadata and a link to the full-text accepted manuscript (or the full text itself) to OSTI.  Classified or protected data and research will not be made publicly available.


These requirements apply for all publications of research results arising from complete or partial DOE funding, unless otherwise prohibited by law, regulation, or policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

DOE is responsible for communicating its public access requirements to all funding recipients, including contractors and financial assistance awardees/grantees.  In particular, DOE will ensure that the terms and conditions of research contracts and awards will contain the appropriate requirements for public access.

DOE-funded authors will be responsible for providing accepted manuscript links and metadata to OSTI.

DOE OSTI is responsible for operating and maintaining DOE’s public access system and network.  The submission of accepted manuscripts and publication metadata to DOE will be a condition of funding.  The Department will ensure compliance through mechanisms already in place for collecting research deliverables.

Publishers that voluntarily participate in DOE’s public access program will provide to OSTI article links and metadata for articles resulting from DOE funding.

Discovery of Public Access Publications

The Department of Energy Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (DOE PAGES) is the DOE search tool that makes scholarly scientific publications resulting from DOE research funding publicly accessible and searchable at no charge to users.

DOE PAGES offers free public access to the best available full-text version of DOE-affiliated scholarly publications – either the peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript or the published scientific journal article – after an administrative interval of 12 months.

Government Use License

The Federal Government retains a royalty-free, irrevocable license to use, modify, reproduce, and publish copyrightable works first produced under a federal contract or grant.  When DOE-funded authors submit scientific and technical information to OSTI, including journal article accepted manuscripts and related metadata, as required by their contract or grant, the government’s license then allows OSTI to make that information publicly accessible for users to read, download, and analyze.

Questions and Comments

For additional information about public access to publications, see the DOE PAGES FAQs or email