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Here you will find background, guidance, and more to ensure that DOE-funded STI is appropriately managed and preserved to support scientific research now and in the future.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs): Overview and Guidance

References and Key Excerpts

DOE O 483.1A includes references to scientific and technical information (STI) produced as a result of a CRADA:

Article X: REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS, includes the statement that the Parties agree to produce the following deliverables to DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI):…a final report, upon completion or termination of the CRADA…

General Guidance:…The CRADA must include a provision setting forth the required deliverables…Where the participant and/or the contractor identifies that such reports contain Protected CRADA Information, the reports will be properly marked with a restrictive legend identifying the agreed-to period of withholding from public disclosure…Such reports shall be furnished to OSTI for Departmental use only and be withholdable for the stated withholding period as materials exempt from Subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 5, United States Code. The contractor must ensure that adequate deliverables are provided to OSTI to ensure that the results of DOE-approved CRADAs are made known to other DOE contractors for DOE program needs. Additional information on providing information to OSTI is available at STIP.

Submission to OSTI

Protected Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) information is information produced in the performance of a CRADA that is marked as being Protected CRADA Information by a party to the agreement and that would have been proprietary information had it been obtained from a non-Federal entity. Protected CRADA information may be protected for a period up to 5 years from the date it was produced except as expressly provided for in the CRADA.

Products that contain information that is protectable under the terms of a CRADA should clearly display a Protected CRADA Information Restrictive Legend noted below to prevent disclosure of such information


This product contains Protected CRADA Information, which
was produced on [DATE: mm/dd/yy] under CRADA No.
[XX-XXXX] and is not to be further disclosed for a period
of five (5) years from the date it was produced except as
expressly provided for in the CRADA.


Sites should submit final CRADA reports to DOE’s central coordinating organization for STI, OSTI, by utilizing the corporate E-Link system.

In E-Link, ‘Intellectual Property/Distribution Limitations’ is a required metadata field. For CRADA reports, under the heading for ‘Official Use Only – Limitations/Controlled Unclassified Information’, E-link users should select: Protected Data. When Protected Data is selected, you must also select CRADA and specify the release date which must be no more than five years.

Proprietary data or Protected CRADA data should not be included in any abstract submitted and the abstract should be suitable for publication.

CRADA Reports Five Years Past Publication (i.e., Release Date)

Currently, reports submitted to OSTI which have passed the five-year withholding date are not automatically made publicly available. Submitting sites vary on the use of markings for Protected CRADA information and in some instances reports, especially older CRADA reports, may include markings which are not appropriate for a publicly available copy of the report. In addition, other access limitations may be applicable at the time of release. Therefore, prior to public availability, sites should:

  1. Ensure no other access limitations apply to the report (e.g., Export Controlled Information, etc.) by following their established procedures and coordinating with site POCs as necessary before releasing, and
  2. Upon determination that no other access limitations apply and the report may be publicly released, review for any Official Use Only (OUO) or other markings which require updating (i.e., removal or strike through) prior to public dissemination.

If the report does include markings, the DOE Manual on Identify and Protecting OUO Information (DOE M 471.3-1) includes guidance and states: Remove OUO markings from a document when it no longer warrants such protection. OUO markings applied based on guidance issued by DOE may be removed when the guidance used to make the determination states that the information is no longer OUO. Reference DOE M 471.3-1 for complete information.

In order for a Protected CRADA report to be made publicly available, sites have the responsibility to review and update the E-Link system by changing the Access Limitation indicated for the individual report. Note: OUO (Controlled Unclassified Information) may not be included in the harvesting processes used by many major laboratories for the routine submission of STI. Therefore, sites should utilize the E-Link system or other means as coordinated with OSTI for submission of restricted information.

To facilitate release of CRADA reports which have passed the five-year withholding period and which have been reviewed as stated above, sites may contact OSTI and identity in writing reports which they authorize be released. Based on this authorization, OSTI will update E-Link information to enable public access.

Additional Information

Sites are encouraged to use a standard report numbering system for consistency and uniquely identify reports resulting from a CRADA, utilizing the CRADA number as appropriate.

Sites are responsible for ensuring that reports include the proper markings and for also ensuring that reports are properly re-marked as necessary.

Inclusion of CRADA information in DOE’s STI web products

Once submitted through E-Link, information submitted to OSTI is managed in accordance with the access limitation applied to it by the submitting organization, a required field for submission.

Therefore, final CRADA reports which are submitted as Protected CRADA Information do not appear in the publicly accessible STI products such as OSTI.GOV. Access to Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), such as Protected CRADA Information, is provided on an approved, need-to-know basis for DOE and DOE Contractors through Science Research Connection (SRC).

In the case of CRADA reports, users with an approved SRC username and password may search on the metadata/citation information but are not able to automatically access the Protected CRADA report. Rather, they would be prompted to request the individual report and any requests for reports containing Protected CRADA Information are coordinated on a case-by-case basis with the submitting site for approval of the requestor.

Additional questions may be submitted to

Last updated on Wednesday 01 August 2018