Public Access banner with a blue background, then to the right is an open box with light peering out the top with image icons of people popping out

NSF Public Access Initiative

The NSF Public Access Initiative (PAI) strives to make the outputs of scientific research funded by the National Science Foundation publicly available to the greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible and consistent with law.

The program maintains the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF PAR), funds a variety of projects to advance the understanding public access broadly, and coordinates a wide variety of agency activities regarding public access. 

NSF banner for the science research coordination

NSF Invests in Ten Open Science Research Coordination Networks to Promote Open Science

NSF funded a cohort of 10, three-year, multi-institutional projects to start in 2023 to build and enhance national coordination among researchers and other stakeholders to advance FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data principles and open-science practices. These are the inaugural awards in an open-science program NSF calls FAIROS RCN (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable, Open Science Research Coordination Networks) and represent a pooled investment of over $12.5 million in open science from all of NSF's seven directorates. These 10 projects are composed of 28 distinct NSF awards representing many organizations and institutions in the United States seeking to advance open-science efforts. The NSF Solicitation 22-553 for FAIROS RCN supports groups of investigators or "research coordination networks" to communicate, innovate, coordinate, and standardize research practices, training, and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic, and international boundaries to achieve the goals of FAIR and other open-science guiding principles. Full details on all 28 awards are available at the agency URL listed below.

More information: National Science Foundation FAIROS Awards

Listen and Learn Webcast: Equitable, Effective and Sustainable NSF Public Access Policy

NSF Public Access Repository (NSF PAR)

  • The NSF PAR is a repository of peer-reviewed papers and other products of NSF-funded research. 
  • It enables NSF-funded investigators to ensure that these research products are accessible to the public.
  • The NSF PAR continues to grow in content year by year, and will continue to be enhanced with new features in future versions.  Statistics on PAR holdings and growth will soon be viewable. 
  • The NSF PAR is located at the URL:

Projects Funded by the Public Access Initiative

Map of 4 regions for Big Data Innovation Hubs

Credit: The Big Data Innovation Hubs

NSF Public Access Requirements

NSF logo with a blue wave pattern

Credit: National Science Foundation

History of the NSF Public Access Initiative

light shining into opening of cave
Sun streams into the entrance of Deer Cave in Gunung Mulu National Park, Borneo.

Credit: Syria Lejau, Gunung Mulu National Park

About the NSF Public Access Initiative

visual patterns of brain activity
Paired with a special cap, the Glassbrain app shows patterns in brain activity. In 2012, former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart used Glassbrain to show his brain activity live in performance.

Credit: Adam Gazzaley, Roger Anguera Singla, Rajat Jain, Tim Mullen, Christian Kothe, John Fesenko, Oleg Konings, and Matt Omernick