Research Access Frequently Asked Questions

General Information | For Investigators, Awardees, NASA Staff | NASA Data Management Plan

Publications FAQs

General Information

  1. What is PubSpace?
    PubSpace is an archive of full-text journal articles produced by NASA-funded research and available online without a fee.  PubSpace is available from a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NASA to allow wider access to the results of federally-funded research. Articles collected under the Public Access Policy are archived on PubSpace, which is hosted by PubMed Central (PMC).
  2. What is PubMed Central (PMC)?
    PubMed Central (PMC) is an online repository and was developed and operated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). PubSpace, NASA’s online repository on PMC, is available from a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NASA to allow wider access to the results of federally-funded research.
  3. What are the benefits of posting peer-reviewed papers to PubSpace?
    Once deposited to PubSpace, results of NASA-funded research become more prominent, integrated, and accessible, making it easier for all scientists and the public to pursue NASA’s research priority areas competitively, which helps accelerate scientific discovery. PubSpace builds on the scientific and technical information embodied in the NASA STI Repository (NTRS). The collection of articles on PubSpace complements the existing collection of works in the STI Repository (NTRS).
  4. Are there any restrictions on the use of the material in PMC? Can I download a batch of articles from PMC for research or other purposes?
    As with PMC, access to the material is free. However, PMC does not allow for any bulk downloading of articles due to copyright restrictions. See the PMC Copyright Notice for more information.
  5. What is the difference between the NASA Public Access Policy and Open Access?
    The Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the peer-reviewed and published results of all NASA-funded research through PubSpace. United States and/or foreign copyright laws protect most of the papers in PubSpace. Generally, Open Access involves the use of a copyrighted document under a Creative Commons or similar license-type agreement that allows the authors to retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and reuse their work. Only a subset of the papers in PubSpace is available under such Open Access provisions.  See the PMC Copyright Notice for more information.
  6. What is the relationship between the NASA STI Repository (NTRS) and PubSpace?
    The NASA STI Repository (NTRS) provides access to aerospace-related citations, full-text online documents, and images and videos. The types of content include: conference papers, journal articles, meeting papers, patents, research reports, images, movies, and technical videos – scientific and technical information (STI) created or funded by NASA. There are three main collections: NACA Collection (1915-1958), NASA Collection (1958-Present), and NIX Collection (content from the discontinued NASA Image eXchange).

    The NASA STI Repository (NTRS) and PubSpace have complementary collections. Many of the articles that are archived in PubSpace are also available from the NASA STI Repository (NTRS). PubSpace does allow some authors to directly deposit their articles to that repository. However, those articles will eventually be archived in the NASA STI Repository (NTRS).

For Investigators, Awardees, and NASA Staff

A. Scope of the Policy

  1. To what types of papers does the NASA Public Access Policy apply?
    The scope of applicability of this plan includes all peer-reviewed scientific research publications authored or coauthored by investigators funded for this research by NASA appropriated funds. This includes both civil servant and non–civil servant investigators.

    Publications that contain material governed by personal privacy, export control, proprietary restrictions, or national security law or regulations are excluded. Patents are excluded.

  2. My paper is available on the publisher’s website. Do I have to submit my final peer-reviewed manuscript?
    Yes, you must submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubSpace. Papers available through publishers’ websites do not fulfill the authors’ obligations under the NASA Public Access Policy. For more information, view this tutorial video.
  3. I plan to publish in an open access journal. Do I have to submit my final peer-reviewed manuscript?
    Yes, it is the responsibility of the authors to ensure the article is deposited to PubSpace.

    Intramural Authors: All Civil Servants (and some Contractors) are required to utilize the DAA process (NF1676) to submit journal articles to the NASA STI Repository (NTRS) and PubSpace.

    Extramural Authors: Grantees will need to submit their articles through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system unless the journal has an agreement to deposit its papers in PubMed Central.  Not all open access journals have agreements with PMC. For a list of journals that have an agreement with PMC, navigate to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/. There is an additional requirement by NIH to have funding information (i.e. grant numbers) expressed and included in their database to allow Grantees to select during the submission process.

    For more information about this process, see Section B. How to Submit Papers to PubSpace below or contact the NASA Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form.

  4. How does NASA determine the official date of publication?
    NASA determines the official date of publication for the Public Access Policy based on information received from the publisher. NASA uses the date the article is available online from the publisher for determining the public access compliance status of a paper and calculating when a paper should be made public on PubSpace. For concerns regarding the publication date, contact the NASA Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form.
  5. Am I responsible for papers that arise from my NASA-funded project for which I am not an author?
    Principal Investigators and their Institutions are responsible for ensuring all terms and conditions of awards are met. This includes the submission of final peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise directly from their awards, even if they are not an author or co-author of the paper. Principal Investigators and their Institutions should ensure that authors are aware of and comply with the NASA Public Access Policy.
  6. Is the NASA Public Access Policy a condition of the award?
    The NASA Public Access Policy is a Term and Condition of Award for all grants and cooperative agreements awarded after November 28, 2016. Please see this document for further information. Civil Servant authors fall under the NPD 2230, effective January 14, 2016. The requirement for contracts has yet to be set in the NASA Supplement.
  7. Will compliance with the NASA Public Access Policy affect the outcome of the application review?
    Compliance with the NASA Public Access Policy is not a factor in the scientific and technical merit evaluation of grant applications. Non-compliance will be addressed administratively and may delay or prevent awarding of funds.
  8. My paper is based on research only partially funded by NASA. Is the paper required to be submitted?
    Yes, the Public Access Policy applies to any manuscript that arises from any amount of direct funding from NASA.
  9. My paper is based on research funded by NASA but does not fall under the Public Access policy timeframe (e.g., grant or cooperative agreement that begins with Fiscal Year 2016 or a NASA contract awarded after October 1, 2015). May I submit it?
    You are not required to submit it, but you may if you have appropriate copyright permission. If you wish to submit, please contact the Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form for further instructions.
  10. The scope of the NASA Public Access Policy refers to awards that are ‘directly funded’ by NASA. Does this mean only those awards that an institution receives directly, or does it include sub-awards?
    Direct funding generally includes sub-awards because they are associated with a particular award. Your institution should be able to assist you in determining whether NASA direct funds were involved.
  11. What is a primary awardee’s responsibility for sub-recipient compliance with the NASA Public Access Policy?
    The primary awardee’s obligation to ensure sub-recipient compliance with the NASA Public Access Policy is the same as the awardee’s responsibility for other requirements when collaborating with other organizations in carrying out NASA supported research. Accordingly, the NASA Public Access Policy requirement should be incorporated into sub-recipient agreements, and the primary awardee remains responsible for compliance.
  12. Will NASA grant exceptions to the policy?
    NASA will consider exceptions only under the most extreme circumstances, such as the death of the sole author, on a case-by-case basis.

B. How to Submit to PubSpace

Depending on your role with NASA, there are different means to submit manuscript files to PubSpace. See below for further details about article submission. The NIHMS will notify you via email when these actions are needed and include a link to the NIHMS web site.

  1. How do I submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubSpace?

    Intramural Authors: All Civil Servants (and some Contractors) are required to utilize the DAA process (NF1676) to submit journal articles to NTRS and PubSpace

  • Complete and submit NF1676 with your final peer-reviewed manuscript files (e.g., Microsoft Word document and figures) attached. The first author listed in the author list will be considered the Principal Investigator for the article.
  • Once the article is processed, it will be automatically uploaded to NIH.
  • The PI will receive an email from NIHMS indicating the documents are ready to be approved.
  • The PI can navigate to http://nihms.nih.gov/db/sub.cgi and log in by clicking the NASA Researchers button.
  • The PI indicates the NASA Center and Program Number to which the final peer-reviewed manuscript is related.
  • The PI can set the Reviewer, the individual responsible for managing the manuscript through the process, to anyone else (it can be any of the authors of the manuscript).
  • Once complete, you should see a confirmation message alerting you that your manuscript has been submitted and NIH will begin the document conversion process.
  • The PI or Reviewer will receive an email when your documents are ready to review after the conversion process (PMC-Ready Documents).

For more information about the NIHMS, go to their website. For any questions or concerns regarding this process, contact the Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form.

Extramural Authors: Grantees will need to submit their articles through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system unless the journal has an agreement to deposit its papers in PubMed Central. For a list of journals that have an agreement with PMC, navigate to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/. There is an additional requirement by NIH to have funding information (i.e. grant numbers) expressed and included in their database to allow Grantees to select during the submission process.

green and blue circle icons
  • Navigate to http://nihms.nih.gov/db/sub.cgi to log into the NIHMS system.
  • Click the ORCID button next to the NASA Researchers button to log in to your ORCID profile with your ORCID ID or email and ORCID password.
  • At the NIHMS system dashboard, click the blue Submit New Manuscript button on the right-hand side of the screen to begin the process.
  • You deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript files (e.g., Microsoft Word document and figures).
  • You indicate the NASA funding (grant number) to which the final peer-reviewed manuscript is related.
  • You should see a confirmation message alerting you that your manuscript has been submitted and NIH will begin the document conversion process.
  • You will receive an email when your documents are ready to review after the conversion process (PMC-Ready Documents).

For more information about the NIHMS, go to their website. For any questions or concerns regarding this process, contact the Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form.

2. What is the relationship between PubSpace and the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system?
PubSpace is a digital journal archive, which gives the public access at no cost. The NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system takes in final peer-reviewed manuscripts covered by the NASA Public Access Policy and formats them for inclusion in PubSpace. The files are converted to a standard XML format and then reviewed by you to confirm that the converted final peer-reviewed manuscript is faithful to the original. The NIHMS transfers the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubSpace when it is ready to be made available publicly (which is 12 months from the publication date).

3. What if my grant does not have sufficient funds to cover publication costs, or the grant has expired?
Please consult with your institutional official for advice and options.

4. My article has multiple authors and/or is funded from multiple funding sources. Who should submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript?
The Principal Investigator for the grant should be submitting the articles through the NIHMS system. At the time of the submission, they can select any of the authors to be the Reviewer. The Reviewer is the individual who will be responsible for managing the manuscript through the submission and review process.

NASA Data Management Plan FAQs

General

  1. Why does NASA have a public access policy?
    On February 22, 2013, the White House 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.
  2. How does NASA’s public access policy work?
    Data. NASA now requires proposers to include a data management plan (DMP) for data created under an award that results from the proposal. More information on preparing DMPs is available with each solicitation announcement. If an award is made, the investigator must manage data described in the DMP in accordance with the plan and should report these data-related activities in annual and final project reports. The NASA Science Mission Directorate has created an FAQ page specific to its requirements on DMPs for ROSES proposals at http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/faqs/dmp-faq-roses/

    Publications. Peer-reviewed journal articles and juried conference papers, based wholly or partially on NASA support, must be deposited in the designated NASA PubSpace repository at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/funder/nasa. Either the final accepted version of the manuscript or the version of record may be submitted.

  3. Who must comply with NASA’s public access policy?
    Awards to institutions will include conditions to implement NASA Public Access requirements. Principal Investigators must ensure that all researchers who work on projects funded in whole or in part by NASA grants or cooperative agreements comply with the public access policy.
  4. Does the public access policy apply to NASA staff?
    NASA employees who generate published journal articles and juried conference papers in the course of official business must comply with NASA’s public access policy.
  5. Who is responsible for meeting the public access requirement (e.g., submitting material to a designated repository; managing the data in accordance with the DMP)?
    Principal Investigators are responsible for meeting the public access requirements.
  6. What material is covered by NASA’s public access policy?
    NASA’s public access policy covers articles in peer-reviewed journals, juried conference papers, and data that result from NASA funding. These research outputs are a subset of the outcomes that should be reported in annual and final project reports. NASA’s public access policy for data is covered by NASA’s data management plan requirements.
  7. When does the policy go into effect?
    The public access requirement will apply to new awards resulting from proposals submitted, on or after January 2016.
  8. What repository does NASA require PIs to use for depositing publications?
    NASA requires principal investigators who publish peer-reviewed journal articles or juried conference papers to deposit a copy of the item (either the final accepted version or the version of record, as defined in NASA’s public access plan) in the NASA public access repository hosted by the National Institutes of Health at PubMed Central. The NASA public access repository (PubSpace) is expected to be available for voluntary compliance by October 2016.
  9. What is a “final accepted version” of a manuscript?
    The final accepted version is the author’s final manuscript of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications resulting from the peer-review process. It is the version before the journal makes edits that will constitute the final “version of record.”
  10. What is a “version of record”?
    The version of record is the publisher’s authoritative copy of the paper, including all modifications from the publishing peer review process, copyediting, stylistic edits, and formatting changes.
  11. Does the NASA public access policy cover data as well as publications?
    Yes. All proposals submitted to NASA must include a Data Management Plan according to that particular solicitation’s requirements.
  12. What repository does NASA require PIs to use for depositing data?
    PI’s shall use the repository that was listed and agreed to by NASA as part of the proposal’s Data Management Plan.
  13. Does NASA require PIs to deposit software, code, etc.?
    The scope of material covered by the DMP (for example, whether it includes software or code) is governed by guidance at the directorate, division, and program levels. Investigators are encouraged to consult with the cognizant program officer.
  14. Does NASA allow for an embargo or delay for access to journal publications? And if so, how long is it?
    NASA allows an embargo or administrative delay for access to up to 12 months from the date of publication of journal articles or juried conference papers. Individual journal titles (or proceedings or transactions) may institute shorter periods.

From the Investigator’s perspective:

  1. Do NASA’s public access requirements apply to me?
    It depends. Are you a principal investigator of research that is funded, wholly or in part, by NASA? Is it a new award that resulted from a proposal that was submitted on or after January 2016? If your answer to both questions is “Yes,” the public access requirements apply to you.
  2. I am working on an article supported by an award that was made prior to January 2016. Is this work subject to the public access requirements?
    No, material resulting from awards made prior to the January 2016 effective date is not subject to public access requirements for publications. However, the data resulting from your award should be managed according to the data management plan included in your proposal.
  3. What repository must I use for depositing publications?
    NASA requires principal investigators who publish peer-reviewed journal articles or juried conference papers to deposit a copy of the item (either the final accepted version or the version of record, as defined in NASA’s public access plan) in the NASA public access NASA Pub Space repository at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/funder/nasa. Either the final accepted version of the manuscript or the version of record may be submitted.
  4. I am publishing an article in an Open Access journal; do I still have to deposit a copy of the article in a designated repository?
    Yes. You must deposit a copy of any peer-reviewed journal publication (either the final accepted version or the version of record) or any juried conference paper in NASA’s designated public access repository for articles (eligible publications or conference papers) resulting from an award made for a proposal submitted, on or after January 2016, even if the article was published in an Open Access journal, in order to report that publication or conference paper in your annual or final project report.
  5. I am publishing an article in a journal that does not have a public or open access policy. Am I still required to comply with the public access deposit requirement?
    Yes. You must deposit a copy of any peer-reviewed journal publication (either the final accepted version or the version of record) or any juried conference paper in NASA’s designated public access repository for articles (eligible publications or conference papers) resulting from an award made for a proposal submitted, on or after January 2016 in order to report that publication or conference paper in your annual or final project report.
  6. My university maintains an institutional repository. If I deposit a copy of my article there, do I still have to deposit a copy in the NASA-designated repository?
    You may deposit a copy of your juried article in your institution’s repository. But depositing a copy of your article in the institutional repository does not satisfy NASA’s deposit requirement. You must also submit a copy (either the final accepted version or the version of record) to NASA’s public access repository.
  7. If I deposit a copy of my article in my university’s institutional repository, do I still have to deposit a copy of the article in a repository designated by NASA?
    Yes.
  8. I am required to deposit a copy of my article in my university’s institutional repository. Do I still have to deposit a copy in a repository designated by NASA?
    Yes.
  9. Who owns the copyright to my journal articles arising from NASA grants?
    Unless otherwise provided in the award, grantees own or may permit others to own the copyright, subject to the Federal Government’s license.
  10. What is the Federal Government’s license?
    The Federal Government has a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free license to exercise or authorize others to exercise all rights under copyright to use a federally-funded work for Federal purposes. The Federal Government license includes the right to have the copyrighted material included in a repository where the public can search, read, download, and analyze the material in digital form.
  11. Am I required to use a license to allow others to use my journal article?
    You should consult with your publisher or the repository in which the article is housed to ascertain conditions that may be imposed on future uses of the article. The Federal Government has a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free license to exercise or authorize others to exercise all rights under copyright to use a federally-funded work for Federal purposes. The Federal Government license includes the right to have the copyrighted material included in a repository where the public can search, read, download, and analyze the material in digital form.
  12. Do I have to deposit the data that support findings in my article in a public access repository?
    Mandatory deposit of data on which an article is based may be required by the journal publisher or other funders. Data collected as part of NASA-funded research, whether or not they are used to support a given publication, should be managed according to the data management plan.
  13. I am not the lead author on an article that has been partially supported by research funding provided by NASA. Does NASA still require a copy of the article to be deposited in the NASA-designated repository?
    Yes. The principal investigator of the award is responsible for ensuring deposit in the NASA-designated repository of all articles based on research funded under that award.
  14. More than one Federal funding agency, in addition to NASA, has supported the research on which an article is based. Where do we deposit a copy of the article? Do we need to deposit a copy at every agency that has supported the research?
    Deposit of a copy, either the final accepted version or the version of record, in the designated NASA repository is required if NASA has supported part of the research. You should consult the policies of the other funders to determine if deposit in another repository is also required.

If you have questions or need help, contact the Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form.