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Public Access to Federally Funded Research


The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently revealed details about its plan to make articles and data resulting from the research it funds available to the public for free.  The plan is in response to a directive issued by the White House in 2013.  The goal of the directive is to ensure that the “direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.”

The AHRQ is not the first agency to release its plan for public access, as the Department of Energy unveiled its plan in 2014.  That plan establishes the DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (DOE PAGES), which is currently being beta tested.  More public access plans are forthcoming, as the directive instructed all federal agencies with “over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures” to create such a plan. 

The AHRQ plan explains that scholarly publications resulting from their funded research will be available via PubMed Central, which is a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal articles.  Regarding digital data, the agency plans to contract with a commercial repository that will make the data freely available to the public.  The agency hopes to contact with the commercial repository by October 2015. 

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