The Data Curation Network (DCN) whole-heartedly applauds the recent Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo, Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, which recommends federal funding agencies to develop policies for grant recipients that eliminates the 12-month embargo on publications and strengthens the requirements for research data management and sharing. This updated policy will greatly benefit the US public by accelerating new discoveries and increasing the impact of research on society. It will also bring the US in line with other regions such as Europe and Latin America, who have already adopted zero embargo policies.

As an organization whose membership includes university-based repositories (institutional repositories), the DCN welcomes this new guidance. It aligns with our mission to advance open research by making data more ethical, reusable, and understandable through  widespread adoption of good practices in repository management and curation. This includes the use of persistent identifiers (PIDs) (such as digital object identifiers) for research outputs, and long term preservation of datasets, publications and pre-prints, and other scholarly outputs.

In support of this encouraging and exciting news, the DCN would like to highlight the role  of institutional repositories (IRs) in enabling these new requirements: 

  • Although there are a number of agency repositories, there are also hundreds of institutional repositories in the US that have been set up to support open access and research data sharing and are managed by long-lived institutions and their libraries.
  • These repositories belong to strong communities of practice that support the use of good practices at the local level and are nationally and internationally interoperable through the use of PIDs, quality metadata, the adoption of FAIR and CARE principles, and other practices.
  • Institutional repositories, which are based at university libraries, have direct access to researchers and can provide the advice and support they will need to comply with the policy. Many libraries already have programs and services to help researchers, for no cost to the researcher.
  • DCN data repositories are in close alignment with the National Science and Technology Council’s Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research. We stand by our comments on the characteristics as they were released in 2020 and encourage federal agencies and OSTP to review our recommendations on curation and quality assurance. We are ready to work with OSTP and government agencies to adopt any new requirements resulting from the implementation of this guidance at the various funding agencies.

The DCN is a long-standing advocate of open access and appropriate, ethical data sharing: we encourage and support researchers in making their data and scholarly outputs as open as possible but as closed as necessary. We invite OSTP and federal agencies to contact the DCN at any time so we can work together to ensure all researchers are supported and can comply with these requirements.

The Data Curation Network (DCN) is a membership organization of institutional and non-profit data repositories whose vision is to advance open research by making data more ethical, reusable, and understandable. Our mission is to empower researchers to publish high quality data in an ethical and FAIR way, collaboratively advance the art and science of data curation by creating, adopting, and openly sharing best practices, and supporting thoughtful, innovative, and inclusive data curation training and professional development opportunities. The Data Curation Network is accessible online at

This post has been archived in the Data Curation Network’s repository, supported by the University of Minnesota, and is accessible at:

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