Updated Science Information Policy Strengthens NASA Open Science Practices

The updated Scientific Information Policy for NASA’s SMD (SPD-41a) is in response to new federal guidance and input from the NASA scientific community.

An updated version of the Scientific Information Policy for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SPD-41a) provides additional guidance on the open sharing of publications, data, and software. SPD-41a updates SPD-41, which was released in August 2021 and consolidated existing Federal and NASA policy on sharing scientific information. The updates in SPD-41a are in response to new federal guidance on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, studies from the National Academies, and input from the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) scientific community.

The policy defines SMD’s commitment to sharing scientific information produced from NASA’s missions and research through Open Science practices. SPD-41a requires that: 

  • Peer-reviewed publications are made openly available with no embargo period  
  • Research data and software are shared at the time of publication or the end of the funding award
  • Mission data are released as soon as possible, and unrestricted mission software is developed openly
  • Science workshops and meetings are held openly to enable broad participation

The development and implementation of SPD-41a is one component of NASA’s Open-Source Science Initiative (OSSI), a comprehensive program of activities to enable and support a movement toward more accessible, inclusive, and reproducible scientific processes. NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program oversees the life cycle of NASA Earth observation data and provides unrestricted access to more than 76 petabytes (PB) of NASA Earth science data along with the software, tools, and other resources for working with these data.