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Public Access

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Public Access supports our Open Government goals by making the results of federally funded research, including peer-reviewed scientific publications and digital data, readily available to the public.

Secretary’s Cover Letter

HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell outlines the implementation of the HHS public access plans for federally funded research, which includes making publications and digital data resulting from HHS funded research freely available to the public.


On February 22, 2013, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Dr. John Holdren, issued a memorandum to all agency and department heads entitled, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research.” The memo directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual conduct of research and development to develop plans for increasing public access to peer-reviewed scientific publications and digital data resulting from federally funded research investments.

Agency Implementation Plans

Within HHS, five operating divisions meet this threshold: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Additionally, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is voluntarily developing a public access plan for their portfolio of funded projects. Each of the operating divisions has developed its own public access implementation plan, in accordance with the Department’s common approach.

Guiding Principles and Common Approach

The HHS operating divisions aligned their work through a common set of guiding principles and a framework around which they could develop implementation plans tailored to the needs of their research communities, taking into account their unique missions and legal authorities.

Content created by Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS)
Content last reviewed on June 3, 2016