News Releases

Smithsonian Launches Public Access Plan for Research

August 18, 2015

The Smithsonian has released its Plan for Increased Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research, based on the principles outlined by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Through the new plan, all applicable publications and supporting data resulting from federally funded research will be available through the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) website or CHORUS, a nonprofit membership organization that helps federal entities increase public access to research. The plan will take effect Oct. 1 and apply to articles submitted to publishers on or after that date.

In addition to its many museums, the Smithsonian is world renowned for its research programs. Scientists and researchers at the Smithsonian study a variety of topics across disciplines as varied as art history, cultural anthropology, astrophysics and biodiversity and endangered ecosystems.

The public will be able to access qualifying manuscripts through either SRO or CHORUS after a designated waiting period. SRO will archive accepted manuscripts collected under the plan. It will also archive PDF copies of final publications when permitted by publishers. If the publishing journal is a member of CHORUS, both SRO and CHORUS will link to the publisher’s public access version of the article.

“The Smithsonian considers public access to be an extension of its mission to ‘increase and diffuse knowledge,’” said Scott Miller, the Smithsonian’s Deputy Under Secretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support. “We’re proud this plan allows us to make these publications available to everyone.”

“CHORUS is honored to work closely with the Smithsonian Institution and be part of their public-access solution,” said Howard Ratner, executive director of CHORUS. “Our agreement formalizes a collaboration that will soon begin to yield benefits for the public. By leveraging existing infrastructure with new services and technologies, CHORUS helps minimize the Smithsonian’s administrative compliance efforts and maximizes identification, discovery, access and monitoring of that content.”

This first phase of the plan outlines the policy for public access to publications resulting from federally funded research. In the second phase of the plan, the Smithsonian will develop policies for providing access to data that is generated from federally funded research.

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