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AAU and APLU Receive NSF Grant to Expand Access to Government-Funded Research

Washington, DC – The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities today announced they received a grant from the National Science Foundation to create a set of guidelines to help universities as they develop and implement policies, practices, and procedures to ensure public access to federally funded research data.

“The best science comes from broadly sharing data and results, enabling other researchers to further study and refine their knowledge on crucial scientific questions,” said AAU President Mary Sue Coleman. “That’s why we are grateful for this NSF grant and excited to expand on the work we have already started regarding public access to data.”

“The federal government’s investment in research is core to U.S. innovation preeminence,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “Public research universities are deeply committed to sharing the data underlying most federally funded research. We’re thrilled to work with AAU and the National Science Foundation to help our institutions advance that critical work.”

The guidelines will build on a November 2017 AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group Report and an October 2018 AAU-APLU Workshop on Accelerating Public Access to Research Data. Today, AAU and APLU released their final report on the October 2018 workshop. The report highlights three elements from university action plans developed at the workshop:

  • Updating each participating school’s campus data policy to support research data sharing;
  • Improving graduate student and faculty training on data management; and
  • Engaging in communication and outreach to increase awareness of existing resources in the research community.

The effort to create guidelines is also responsive to a government-wide directive requiring broader public access to federally funded research data.

The $191,000 grant from NSF (Award No. 1939279) will support AAU and APLU’s work to create the guidelines with input from a series of convenings that bring together stakeholders, including federal agency officials. Working with APLU staff, AAU Vice President for Policy Tobin Smith will serve as the principal investigator for the grant and AAU Federal Relations Officer Katie Steen will work as project manager. Their work will also be advised and informed by a steering committee of representatives from AAU and APLU campuses.

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