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Accelerating Public Access to Research Data

The Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) have collaborated and led national discussions to improve public access to data resulting from federally funded research. The current Guide to Accelerate Public Access to Research Data builds on many prior efforts and is consistent with national and global open science efforts as well as international declarations, such as the Sorbonne declaration on research data rights.

  • In 2016 AAU and APLU formed a working group to examine issues relating to public access to the research results. This working group examined how to improve public access to data resulting from federally funded research. In 2017, the group issued a report with a series of recommendations to universities on how to increase public access to research data on their own campuses and how they also work together to advance these efforts. The group also made recommendations concerning how federal agencies could help facilitate sharing of research data at universities.

  • In 2018, APLU and AAU hosted a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded workshop (NSF #1837847) that convened cross-institutional teams from 30 universities with the goal of developing campus-specific strategies for making data resulting from federally funded research publicly available. The two associations issued a report chronicling learning from the workshop.

  • As part of the NSF-funded (NSF # 1939279) Accelerating Public Access to Research Data Initiative, AAU and APLU reconvened representatives from the university teams at an Acceleration Conference in 2020, to share progress to date, successes and challenges. The associations also facilitated two national Summits to help universities create robust systems for ensuring effective public access to high-quality research data and develop the current Guide. The Guide has been informed by 261 campus representatives from 111 institutions, representatives from several federal agencies, and other key stakeholders.

View recordings of the AAU-APLU Accelerating Public Access to Research Data Summit on March 16, 2021


Panel Discussion:

Moving Into Action:

We are grateful for the guidance provided by the Steering Committee to help advance the Initiative: Sarah Nusser (Chair, AAU Senior Fellow and Professor of Statistics); Jeff Chasen, University of Kansas; Tom Cramer, Stanford University; Kevin Gardner, University of Louisville; Heidi Imker, University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign; Jim Luther, Duke University; Greg Madden, Chief Information Officer, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR); Pegah K. Parsi, University of California, San Diego; Lawrence Sutter, Michigan Technological University; Tyler Walters, Virginia Tech; James Wilgenbusch, University of Minnesota, Robert Samors, AAU Senior Scholar.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF 1939279) with support from the National Institutes of Health.