The home of the U.S. Department of Energy's Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP)

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.

STIP Public Access - Frequently Asked Questions

I'm a researcher at a DOE national laboratory and have just had a manuscript accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal; what do I need to do in order to comply with DOE's public access requirements?

Each DOE laboratory has a site program to manage scientific and technical information (STI) produced under the contract and to make it available to DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI). In addition to the information provided here, please consult with your site's STI Manager for more information. A listing of STI Managers can be found here.

Using your Lab's processes for STI submission, you should provide metadata/citation information for the journal article as well as either an upload of the accepted manuscript or a link to your Lab/sites institutional repository that is hosting the manuscript. This is comparable to the current submission process for technical reports. If your article has been published in an Open Access journal or as an Open Access article in a hybrid journal, you may submit the article in lieu of the Accepted Manuscript version of the article. The article should clearly include markings indicating that it is an Open Access article (typically with a "CC BY" license on the first page).

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. This is called the final peer-reviewed accepted manuscript. It includes the same content as the published article in the journal but does not include the publisher's form or format. The key criteria for submission of accepted manuscripts to OSTI are (1) that DOE partially or completely funded the research reflected in the article or accepted manuscript and (2) that the publication has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Regarding copyright transfer, it is a standard requirement by publishers that an author submitting an article for publication complete a Copyright Transfer Agreement prior to an article's acceptance. The wording on the forms may vary from publisher to publisher, but basic wording includes transfer of copyright to the publisher. However, a key point to note that regardless of the specific wording, the Government retains rights to the article. In fact, within the prime contract for DOE Laboratories is wording which states: "...(2) The contractor shall mark each scientific or technical article first produced or composed under this Contract and submitted for journal publication or similar means of dissemination with a notice, similar in all material respects to the following, on the front reflecting the Government's non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license in the copyright.

Notice: This manuscript has been authored by [insert the name of the Contractor] under Contract No. [insert the contract number] with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. (End of Notice) [Ref. DEAR970.5227-2 Rights in data-technology transfer]

DOE-funded authors are free to publish in journals of their choice, including open access journals as authorized by their respective sites. However, regarding "author pays" or article processing charges, it is important for DOE-funded authors to know that it is not necessary to pay "author pays" fees or article processing charges solely to enable public access to their publications. DOE is implementing public access through its license to the accepted manuscript or through the voluntary public access efforts of publishers, not through "author pays" models. You may choose to publish with an Open Access journal and pay a fee to do so if your Lab/site allows it; however, this is not necessary to comply with DOE's public access policy, and it must be in compliance with allowable costs under the terms of your Lab's/site's contract with DOE.

An 'Acknowledgements' section is a standard component of most peer-reviewed articles and DOE-funded authors should clearly acknowledge DOE's support of their research. For authors funded by DOE's Office of Science (SC), SC has established a website specifying the standard format for acknowledging SC support in peer-reviewed articles and technical papers for work conducted via a Financial Assistance Award (i.e., grants and cooperative agreements) or at a National Laboratory. There is also a format provided for acknowledging use of SC User Facilities. This information is available on the SC homepage under the heading "Funding Opportunities": Other Program Offices and non-SC laboratories/sites may also have existing guidance on acknowledgments of Federal support; in the absence of existing guidance, the SC format noted above is a useful reference for all labs and organizations working to standardize acknowledgement statements.

Additional information on DOE's Public Access Plan is available at www.osti.gov/stip.

I'm a researcher with a grant from DOE and have just had a manuscript accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal; what do I need to do in order to comply with DOE's public access requirements?

Terms and Conditions for Financial Assistance Awardees (i.e., grantees) include information on providing research results to DOE. For awards issued or renewed after October 1, 2014, the Terms and Conditions for awardees are being updated to include the submission of final peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts for DOE research funded through grants and other financial assistance awards. If your article has been published in an Open Access journal or as an Open Access article in a hybrid journal, you may submit the article in lieu of the Accepted Manuscript version of the article. The article should clearly include markings indicating that it is an Open Access article (typically with a "CC BY" license on the first page).

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. This is called the final peer-reviewed accepted manuscript. It includes the same content as the published article in the journal but does not include the publisher's form or format. The key criteria for submission of accepted manuscripts to OSTI are (1) that DOE partially or completely funded the research reflected in the article or accepted manuscript and (2) that the publication has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Submission of accepted manuscripts is done through the corporate E-Link System. E-Link provides a tool, called the "Wizard," that allows you to easily submit your accepted manuscript via a set of web-fillable screens in a simple step-by-step format. Please refer to information included in your award package for additional information and points of contact, and questions related to E-Link may also be sent to 241user@osti.gov. Through E-Link, you will submit metadata/citation information for the journal article as well as either an upload of the accepted manuscript or a link to your institutional repository that is hosting the manuscript.

Regarding copyright transfer, for Financial Assistance Awardees, the Government retains nonexclusive and irrevocable rights to use the works published under an award for federal purposes (2 CFR § 200.315(b) (d)). As per the DOE Terms and Conditions for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, DOE requires an acknowledgement of awarding agency support to be marked on the publication of any material, whether copyrighted or not. OSTI continues to work closely with procurement points of contact regarding additional guidance related to DOE's Public Access Plan.

DOE-funded authors are free to publish in journals of their choice, including open access journals if your award's terms and conditions allow it. However, regarding "author pays" or article processing charges, it is important for DOE-funded authors to know that it is not necessary to pay "author pays" fees or article processing charges solely to enable public access to their publications. DOE is implementing public access through its license to the accepted manuscript or through the voluntary public access efforts of publishers, not through "author pays" models. You may choose to publish with an Open Access journal and pay a fee to do so if your award's terms and conditions allow it; however, this is not necessary to comply with DOE's public access policy, and it must be in compliance with allowable costs under the terms of your award from DOE.

An 'Acknowledgements' section is a standard component of most peer-reviewed articles and DOE-funded authors should clearly acknowledge DOE's support of their research. For authors funded by DOE's Office of Science (SC), SC has established a website specifying the standard format for acknowledging SC support in peer-reviewed articles and technical papers for work conducted via a Financial Assistance Award (i.e., grants and cooperative agreements) or at a National Laboratory. There is also a format provided for acknowledging use of SC User Facilities. This information is available on the SC homepage under the heading "Funding Opportunities": Other Program Offices may also have existing guidance on acknowledgments of Federal support; in the absence of existing guidance, the SC format noted above is a useful reference.

What is DOE's Public Access initiative?

DOE's Public Access initiative refers to the Department's plans to fulfill requirements called for by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to increase public access to scholarly publications resulting from DOE funding. Specifically, OSTP issued a memorandum in February 2013 to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research," which called for each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development to create a plan to increase access to the results of the research it supports in two key areas: scholarly publications and datasets. With regards to scholarly publications, i.e., unclassified research in scientific publications, DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), a unit of DOE's Office of Science, has the lead for implementation based on its corporate responsibilities for scientific and technical information management within the Department. DOE's response to the OSTP memo is contained in the approved DOE Public Access Plan.

Note: Regarding data management policy, the DOE has issued a data management policy, the DOE Policy for Digital Research Data Management. This policy applies to Unclassified and Otherwise Unrestricted Digital Research Data produced in whole or in part by 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 data are produced with complete or partial DOE funding, unless otherwise prohibited by law, regulation, agreement terms and conditions, or policy.

What is DOE PAGES and what content will it include?

OSTI has developed a model, with concurrence from all DOE Programs, that will provide the public with access to the "best available version" of peer-reviewed articles. Analogous to the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) PubMed Central, DOE has established PAGES (Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science), a portal and search interface to ensure long-term preservation of and access to scholarly publications resulting from DOE-funded research. Comparable to the NIH model, articles will be made publicly available after an administrative period of 12 months from publication date. The key feature of DOE PAGES is that it will link patrons of DOE R&D results to the "best available version" of a scholarly publication. Specifically, when a publisher provides a publicly-accessible article about DOE R&D results, DOE PAGES will link to that article. If the article is not available, DOE PAGES will then provide access to the corresponding accepted manuscript. Important to note that sites/individuals which have subscriptions to cited journals will be able to access articles at any time based on the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for that specific article.

Regardless of where DOE-funded articles or accepted manuscripts are hosted, DOE PAGES will enable readers to search them all via a single query. The metadata and full text of the articles and manuscripts have been indexed for search optimization.

What is the role of DOE's Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP)?

STIP plays a critical role in the Department's Public Access initiative by providing the conduit through which accepted manuscripts will be submitted for its respective organizations and authors, along with other forms of STI as called for in DOE Order 241.1B, Scientific and Technical Information Management. The fact that the Department has the infrastructure in place and a strong program for STI will enable DOE to fulfill the OSTP requirements in a timely approach.

In addition, STIP representatives at labs and sites, as well as STIP representatives involved from a programmatic perspective at Headquarters and field offices, will be a key point of contact within their organizations to inform and address questions regarding this initiative. As always, it is important that STIP continues to work together, share information and bring questions to the table that are being asked by their site contacts and/or authors.

What is an accepted manuscript, and how is it submitted?

An accepted manuscript is the version of the article that has been accepted for publication by a publisher and includes changes made during the peer-review process. This is called the final peer-reviewed accepted manuscript. It includes the same content as the published article but is not the final published version or a reproduction of what appears in the journal; i.e., it is not a "reprint" or a downloaded PDF of the published article.  The key criteria for submission of accepted manuscripts to OSTI are (1) that DOE partially or completely funded the research reflected in the article or accepted manuscript and (2) that the publication has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Effective October 1, 2014, as stated in DOE's approved Public Access Plan, the metadata/citation information and, either an upload of the accepted manuscript or a link to the site's institutional repository that is hosting the manuscript is required for all journal articles stemming from DOE funded research. This is comparable to the current submission process for technical reports.

Note: OSTI currently receives some manuscripts from sites for published journal articles but in some cases it is not the accepted manuscript following peer review but the manuscript which was first submitted to the journal. In these cases, site-specific processes and guidance will need to be adjusted.

OSTI will cache all accepted manuscripts in PDF format for "dark archiving" purposes and to ensure full-text searching. Between DOE-affiliated institutional repositories and the dark archive, OSTI will ensure that the same content which appears in the journals is available to the public at no cost 12 months after publication, especially should a publisher not provide public access or withdraw that access in the future. (Reference the FAQ below regarding CHORUS for more information.)

For Financial Assistance Awardees, the Terms and Conditions for awardees as well as DOE F 4600.2, Reporting Requirements Checklist, have been updated to include submission of final peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts for DOE research funded through grants and other financial assistance awards, and are also effective on October 1, 2014. Awardees can submit an accepted manuscript via E-Link’s Announcement Notice 241.3 or the new AM Wizard for inclusion in PAGES.  The Wizard is a tool that offers a set of web-fillable screens in a simple step-by-step format to facilitate the submission of accepted manuscripts.

Submission of accepted manuscripts will be incorporated into existing processes for other forms of STI submitted to OSTI and is currently an option in the corporate E-Link System and in the Announcement Notice 241.1 Web Service. The <journal_type> tag has also been added to the Harvesting code. Sites submitting STI via Harvesting should ensure that this tag is inserted into their XML output file.

If an article is published as Open Access or in an Open Access journal, will it be accessible in DOE PAGES?

Yes, DOE PAGES will provide access to open access articles based on the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) included in the metadata for that specific article. Sites and awardees can submit PDFs for DOE-funded Open Access articles in lieu of the Accepted Manuscript version of the article. However, if the article is NOT published in an Open Access journal or as an Open Access article in a hybrid journal, the site or awardee should provide the accepted manuscript for the peer-reviewed article.

Besides DOE PAGES, what other OSTI products will contain journal-related information?

SciTech Connect will include metadata/citations for all journal related content collected through STIP and through DOE's collaboration with CHORUS. This will include newly acquired accepted manuscript and published article metadata, but will also include the other types of journal related content STIP has collected historically. Journal-related information will also be available through DOE PAGES and SciTech Connect's XML web services (http://www.osti.gov/home/XMLServices.html) and through the National Library of EnergyBeta (NLEBeta).

What is Crossref's Funding Data and what is its relationship to DOE PAGES?

Crossref's Funding Data is a publisher-agency collaboration to add funding agency identifiers to manuscript/article metadata. Once fully functional, FundRef will provide a standard metadata element to identify agency funding sources for published articles. Specifically, FundRef will facilitate the tracking of publications resulting from DOE funding (as well as publications from other agencies) and therefore assist DOE in assessing and addressing gaps in the DOE PAGES repository. FundRef is facilitated by CrossRef, a collaborative reference linking service; please reference https://www.crossref.org/services/content-registration/funding-data/ for additional information.

What is CHORUS and what is its relationship to DOE PAGES?

Following the issuance of the OSTP memorandum in 2013, the publishing community developed a multi-publisher portal approach, the Clearinghouse for Open Research of the United States (CHORUS), to provide access to metadata for journal articles resulting from government funding. Currently under development, DOE's PAGES portal will link to publishers' articles via CHORUS-supplied metadata. In the future, CrossRef's Funding Data service will simplify the identification of government-funded articles which will be included in CHORUS. While DOE's PAGES will link to publisher content via CHORUS for DOE-funded articles, DOE PAGES can meet the requirements for public access, and operate successfully independent of CHORUS. This is important to note since (1) not all publishers will choose to participate in CHORUS and (2) DOE must be able to fulfill its past and future public access requirements if CHORUS is ever discontinued or if individual publishers ever discontinue their participation.

How does DOE PAGES address creative re-use as discussed in the OSTP memo?

The OSTP memo "encourage[s] public-private collaboration to maximize the potential for ... creative reuse to enhance value to all stakeholders." Some argue that "maximizing the potential for creative reuse" -- including the ability to do text mining and analysis -- contemplates that the total collection of DOE accepted manuscripts or articles should be available for bulk download, or with broad re-use and redistribution rights. Yet the OSTP memo requires agencies to respect U.S. copyright law (Title 17 of the U.S. Code), in part by mandating that agencies establish procedures to "help prevent the unauthorized mass redistribution of scholarly publications." Recognizing the balanced approach taken by OSTP, DOE intends to encourage creative re-use by pursuing public-private collaborations as the OSTP Memo contemplated. But for these collaborations to become effective facilitators for creative re-use, we want and hope to hear from numerous stakeholders, potential partners, and others who can offer insight -- especially specific re-use cases we should be thinking about. 

What is the implementation date for submitting accepted manuscripts?

For publications emanating from DOE national laboratories and facilities, DOE will require public access to any scholarly publication published on or after October 1, 2014. That is, DOE-funded Lab-affiliated authors will be expected to submit accepted manuscript metadata and links or full-text via their site's processes to OSTI for journal articles published on or after October 1, 2014. Actual free, public full-text access would then be enabled through DOE PAGES within 12 months after publication in a journal, which is the DOE-established administrative period. For financial assistance recipients (i.e., grantees), the public access requirement will apply to any award made or renewed on or after October 1, 2014. Concurrent with the launch of DOE PAGES, OSTI is socializing public access requirements within the DOE research community and accepted manuscripts and links may be submitted prior to October 1, 2014, at the discretion of the lab or facility. Publisher participation in DOE PAGES is welcome at any time.

Note: It is recognized that DOE labs and sites will implement submission of accepted manuscripts based on their labs/sites' respective systems and procedures.

What information is available to inform authors?

Authors' understanding of the process and how accepted manuscripts will be used is key to the overall initiative. To that end, factsheets and instructional material will be available for sites' STI Managers and other staff to use to inform their author communities via site specific web-pages, newsletter articles, emails, etc. In addition, OSTI staff is available either through site visits or ReadyTalk sessions to provide additional background and training. Also, OSTI has launched several pilot projects with labs to hear firsthand how authors interact with publishers' article submissions systems and address questions. Two key points to note: (1) development of the Department's plan has involved programmatic input, General Counsel and procurement representatives, STIP points of contact, and has been reviewed at the Program Office Assistant Secretary/Director level, and (2) nothing in the Department's plan will impact authors' ability to submit articles to journals of their choosing and any future access to manuscripts through DOE PAGES is fully within Government rights and is not a violation of any copyright transfer on behalf of DOE contractors.

Also, to benefit authors and their management chains, there will be high-level communications from DOE Headquarters to laboratories and awarding offices informing them of this initiative and providing additional details.

How should DOE support be acknowledged when submitting articles for publication?

An 'Acknowledgements' section is a standard component of most peer-reviewed articles and DOE-funded authors should clearly acknowledge DOE's support of their research. For authors funded by DOE's Office of Science (SC), SC has established a website specifying the standard format for acknowledging SC support in peer-reviewed articles and technical papers for work conducted via a Financial Assistance Award (i.e., grants and cooperative agreements) or at a National Laboratory. There is also a format provided for acknowledging use of SC User Facilities. This information is available on the SC homepage under the heading "Funding Opportunities": Other Program Offices and non-SC laboratories/sites may also have existing guidance on acknowledgments of Federal support; in the absence of existing guidance, the SC format noted above is a useful reference for all labs and organizations working to standardize acknowledgement statements.

Note: Standardization of acknowledgements is an especially important goal as the public access initiative moves forward; STIP representatives and program managers are encouraged to make the researchers for their respective sites and organizations aware of this fact.

What are the guidelines for Article Processing Charges (APCs)?

DOE-funded authors are free to publish in journals of their choice, including open access journals as authorized by their respective sites. However, regarding "author pays" or article processing charges, it is important for DOE-funded authors to know that it is not necessary to pay "author pays" fees or article processing charges solely to enable public access to their publications. DOE is implementing public access through its license to the accepted manuscript or through the voluntary public access efforts of publishers, not through "author pays" models. You may choose to publish with an Open Access journal and pay a fee to do so if your Lab/site allows it; however, this is not necessary to comply with DOE's public access policy, and it must be in compliance with allowable costs under the terms of your Lab's/site's contract with DOE.

What about copyright transfer and Government Rights?

It is a standard requirement by publishers that an author submitting an article for publication complete a Copyright Transfer Agreement prior to an article's acceptance. The wording on the forms may vary from publisher to publisher, but basic wording includes transfer of copyright to the publisher. However, a key point to note that regardless of the specific wording, the Government retains rights to the article. In fact, within the prime contract for DOE Laboratories is wording which states: ...(2) The contractor shall mark each scientific or technical article first produced or composed under this Contract and submitted for journal publication or similar means of dissemination with a notice, similar in all material respects to the following, on the front reflecting the Government's non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license in the copyright.

Notice: This manuscript has been authored by [insert the name of the Contractor] under Contract No. [insert the contract number] with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. (End of Notice) [Ref. DEAR970.5227-2 Rights in data-technology transfer]

From time to time, a publisher may take issue with the Government's rights. However, this is a non-negotiable area, and STI Managers and authors are encouraged to notify their Intellectual Property Counsel and/or OSTI to communicate any issues that may arise. Collectively, STIP can work together to maintain awareness of publishers' practices, especially those which may contradict authors' and Government rights.

For Financial Assistance Awardees, the Government retains nonexclusive and irrevocable rights to use the works published under an award for federal purposes (2 CFR § 200.315(b) (d)). As per the DOE Terms and Conditions for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, DOE requires an acknowledgement of awarding agency support to be marked on the publication of any material, whether copyrighted or not. OSTI continues to work closely with procurement points of contact regarding additional guidance related to DOE's Public Access Plan.

For submission of Accepted Manuscripts, what format(s) are accepted and preferred?

Accepted manuscripts should be submitted as a PDF (portable document format), Microsoft Word Document (.doc, .docx), or OpenOffice/OpenDocument (.odf).  If submitting a PDF, ensure that it is not encrypted, password protected, or corrupted. It is preferred that the PDF is compliant with one of four standards and with extractable text. The standards are PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-3a, or PDF/UA. For more information, please see "Best Practices for Portable Document Format (PDF) Creation". PDFs submitted to OSTI not compliant with one of the four standards or without extractable text will take at least one additional business day to process. The following publications are an excellent source on the PDF/A and PDF/UA standards: https://www.pdfa.org/pdfa-faq/ and http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/2013/06/pdf-ua-2.html

Should I submit a PDF that is 508 compliant?

Yes. Federal agencies are required to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. This applies to Web applications, Web pages and associated files. DOE PAGES strives to ensure all pages on the site are accessible to the greatest possible number of people and Assistive Technology devices.

The following links can help you develop pages that comply with accessibility laws and guidelines:

Section 508
Guidelines from the Access Board Electronic & Information Technology including points (a) through (p) of Subsection 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and systems.

What about supplemental information that is submitted to journals?

At this time, only accepted manuscripts will be required to be provided to OSTI. It is recognized that some publishers require supplemental information such as data sets when an article is accepted for publication. Publicly available datasets are one form of STI which may be submitted to OSTI via Announcement Notice 241.6, but only citation information is submitted to OSTI and the submitting site/research organization hosts the dataset(s). There are metadata fields by which the data can be bibliographically linked to the accepted manuscript if sites choose to do so, but it is not a requirement at this time to provide supplemental information.

Are journal articles and accepted manuscripts full-text searchable in DOE PAGES?

Yes, the accepted manuscripts and journal articles have been indexed to optimize full-text searching. You can also search easily by common bibliographic information including author, title, identifying numbers, and publication dates.

During the DOE "administrative interval" what is accessible via DOE PAGES?

With the exception of the initial "demonstration" collection of articles and accepted manuscripts in DOE PAGES, most new content will be article or accepted manuscript metadata only until the administrative interval of 12 months from publication date has passed, at which time full-text access will be enabled. During the administrative interval, citations will include a notation indicating when the full text will be publicly available. Also, during the administrative interval, full-text access will be possible for those with subscriptions or site licenses through the DOI that will be included in the metadata. After the first year, free full-text access will continually increase. For articles published in an Open Access journal or as an Open Access article in a hybrid journal, an administrative interval of 12 months from publication data will not be required.

How will the DOE Public Access Plan be enforced?

The DOE Public Access Plan includes a section on "Metric, compliance, and evaluation", (reference page 7 of the plan). Initially, OSTI will use various citation sources, mining "acknowledgement" and "affiliation" fields, to identify any gaps in PAGES metadata submissions. Ultimately, at full maturity, Crossref's Funding Data will facilitate the tracking of publications resulting from DOE funding and therefore assist DOE in assessing and addressing any gaps in the PAGES repository and will be the primary tool for identifying the full universe of accepted manuscripts that PAGES should contain for a given year. Comparison of this figure to actual receipts in PAGES will identify specific gaps. OSTI will then work with STI managers at labs and with procurement officials for grants to acquire any missing manuscript links and metadata. In addition, in talking with STI managers, many labs also plan to use various citation sources to manage submissions of Accepted Manuscripts for their respective sites. Note: Reference additional FAQs provided here for information on FundRef and how DOE support should be acknowledged when submitting articles for publication.

What is the difference between DOE's Public Access Plan and Open Access?

‘Public Access’ refers to the U.S. Federal initiative to ensure that federally funded research results are made accessible to the public. The DOE Public Access Plan, issued in 2014, communicates DOE’s commitment to fulfilling the Administration’s goal of increasing the public’s access to the results of federally funded scientific research published in peer-reviewed scholarly publications. Specifically, the DOE Public Access Plan calls for the public to have access to the published results of DOE-funded research through DOE PAGES 12 months from the publication date.  DOE refers to this effort, and the broader Federal initiative headed by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, as ‘Public Access.’

While there are various forms of ‘Open Access,’ this FAQ addresses the form of Open Access called ‘Gold OA’, which in practice takes the form of Open Access journals/articles, where Open Access is achieved through the author pays business model.  This Open Access model offers an alternative to traditional subscription models but in exchange the publisher usually requires authors/organizations to pay additional fees.  Fees vary by publisher and journal but can range from $1500 to $3000 or more per article.

Although Public Access and Open Access share a goal of increasing the public availability of certain journal articles, federally-sponsored authors should not confuse the two, nor think that Public Access requires publishing an article under an Open Access model.  DOE-funded authors are generally free to publish in journals of their choice, including Open Access journals. However, it is unnecessary for DOE-funded authors to pay "author pays" fees or article processing charges to comply with their Public Access obligations. Rather, DOE enables Public Access activities through the government’s reserved license to the articles, sometimes in conjunction with the voluntary efforts of publishers, but not through "author pays" models. 

What if I have other questions?

Questions are always welcomed and, as with any new initiative, are expected. Please send questions/suggestions/feedback to stip@osti.gov. Additions will be made to the FAQs provided here as needed.


Last updated on Tuesday 21 February 2017