UNT Outlines Process for Public Access to Research Data with Data Management Plans

December 16, 2020

On February 22, 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memorandum entitled “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research.” It directed Federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development (R&D) expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication, and it required researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.

On November 12, 2020, the Division of Research and Innovation held a Research BREAKS discussion on the updated plan and framework that UNT will adhere to starting in 2021. You can view the slide decks and Zoom recording for this BREAKS session at the following links: Public Access and Data Management Slides, Public Access to Research Slides, UNT Scholarly Works: An Introduction Slides, and the Zoom recording.

UNT has developed a framework and plan for Principal Investigators (PIs) and staff to implement that will increase public access to publications and data per the OSTP directive. 

  • Using a Data Management Plan (DMP) as the vehicle to implement Public Access has become a widely accepted practice among Universities. Executing a DMP is the obligation of PIs who receive federally funded grants, and an obligation that the researchers’ institutions must meet.
  • Awards to institutions will include conditions for implementing this public access requirement. PIs must ensure that all researchers who work on projects funded in whole or in part by federal grants or cooperative agreements comply with the public access requirements, including public access to data being maintained by the university and maintained going forward. Even though this is a shared responsibility, it is the primary responsibility of the PI to execute the public access to the data and publications. 
  • The Grants and Contracts Administration office created a process for Public Access to Research using the DMP, in partnership with the library. The philosophy is that data and publications be placed in the appropriate location for a designated discipline with the location of the data and publications housed at the library.
  • This Public Access to Research process will be fully implemented by January 1, 2021. Every outgoing federal grant will have a DMP associated with it, and every incoming federal grant will have a direct link to a library record and where the information is located, based on the DMP.
  • An outline of our process and procedures of working with the UNT library and the Principal Investigator are outlined in the PI handbook on our website.

This process is required for researchers with awards from all Federal Agencies as well as any other non-federal award that lists “data management” or “public access” on an RFP, an award document, or on a sponsor’s website.