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IES's Public Access Plan

PDF File View, download, and print the full plan as a PDF file (352 KB)
(published Feb 13, 2024; full implementation by Dec 31, 2025)

IES is implementing a new Public Access Plan over the course of Fiscal Years (FY) 2025 and 2026 that will affect all new awardees. Requests for Applications (RFAs) and for Proposals (RFPs) released in the 2024 calendar year will reflect new requirements for awards to be made in Fiscal Year 2025 (which begins on October 1, 2024). IES's new Public Access Plan brings IES policy into alignment with common open science standards, and reflects priorities outlined in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) guidance issued in August 2022. These changes reflect a commitment to equity and increasing public access to and discoverability of federally funded research across U.S. funding agencies.

The new Public Access Plan continues IES' strong commitment to open science practices including its commitment to pre-registration and open access to both publications and data. Awards made prior to October 1, 2024 are subject to the public access requirements outlined in the RFA/RFP to which the awardee applied, and are addressed in the Performance Agreement/Contract established in the year that the award was made.

Important changes to public access requirements that will directly affect researchers funded through IES

All publications stemming from federally funded work will be made freely available to the public immediately following publication.

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Open access must be granted as soon as the article is published for all articles proceeding from federal research funding. This requirement is being implemented across all U.S. federal funding agencies. There will no longer be a 12-month embargo for articles that are not published open access (OA). IES awardees receiving funds after October 1, 2024, will need to ensure (either through your publisher or your own efforts) that a full-text version of the published article is uploaded to ERIC immediately upon publication. To facilitate this transition, we encourage all awardees to publish their work in OA journals where feasible, and to budget for Article Processing Charges (APCs) accordingly. Additional guidance will be provided to support researchers in complying with this new requirement.

Data sharing will be required at time of publication or, if unpublished, five years after the IES award ends, whichever comes first.

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IES applications have shifted from requesting a data management plan (DMP) to a data sharing and management plan (DSMP) to foreground the shift in emphasis to routine data sharing. Specific plans for sharing data and codes in an appropriate repository will need to be included in the DSMP. Applications for all research project types must include a DSMP starting in FY2025. The Public Access Plan, section 7.2 describes conditions under which data may be exempt from sharing requirements, but all applications must indicate which data will and will not be shared, and articulate any grounds for exclusion. Each RFA will outline the required elements to include in the DSMP.

To ensure that data may be shared immediately upon publication, data curation will need to occur in advance of publication. One best practice approach is to prepare data files for sharing prior to data collection so that data are ready for sharing by the time data collection is complete (see Sharing Study Data: A Guide for Education Researchers). PIs may wish to budget for data curation in their applications to support this activity.

In anticipation of new requirements, we encourage researchers to move away from hosting data sets on personal websites or making them available solely upon request. IES will be providing additional guidance on selection of an appropriate publicly-available data repository.

Unique digital persistent identifiers (PIDs) will need to be established for all key personnel, publications, awards, and datasets.

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Digital object identifiers (DOIs) for journal articles are PIDs that uniquely identify a single version of a single publication and can be used to identify and reference that specific publication. This same concept is now being extended to other aspects of the research enterprise including individuals, grant and contract awards, and datasets. This will facilitate discoverability of information by researchers and the public and will help IES track the impact of its funding investments.

Starting in FY2024, all key personnel on new IES-funded projects are required to establish an individual digital PID (such as ORCID, see prior to award. We encourage but do not yet require key personnel to register with ORCID prior to submitting their applications/proposals.

New guidance for PID conventions for awards and for data linked to IES funding is forthcoming.

Check back regularly for additional updates on IES's Public Access Plan implementation.