Making federally-funded research publicly available

Business need: Comply with publicly-funded research requirements

As part of President Barack Obama’s Open Government initiative, all executive departments and agencies with over $100 million in annual research budgets were required to develop data management plans (DMPs) to expand public access to federally-funded research, freely available to the public within one year of publication. Many federal agencies are still not compliant and lack clear direction on how to get there.

Business solution: Open web-based institutional repository

As a national scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce tasked with monitoring and understanding ocean, major waterway and atmosphere conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) falls within the compliance group. The agency’s institutional repository (IR) of scientific literature produced or funded by NOAA helps fulfill that research requirement, and LAC Federal provides contractor support. The IR is a centralized location to store and retrieve NOAA internal publications (technical memoranda, reports, atlases) and external journal articles and manuscripts. With over 20,000 publications currently available and free to access, the IR is Google-indexed and has been a huge success in expanding the reach and impact of NOAA research to increase its visibility around the world.

Our staff provided supplementary IR services to NOAA authors and researchers such as citation management, citation and data analysis, bibliometric analysis, DOI (digital object identifier) minting for digital publications, bibliographies for original research and guidance on Section 508 compliance. We developed robust FAQ pages to facilitate the submission process, and are on standby to assist as needed.


Business outcome: Compliance accomplished and mission fulfilled

  • Good faith effort toward compliance with federal mandates and protection against legal claims.
  • NOAA publications are easier to find and research impact can be analyzed and measured.
  • Workflow and policy standardization removes guesswork, assures consistency and saves time.
  • Organization and centralization makes it easy to share research quickly.
  • Value-added services like data analysis, DOI minting and supplemental research support and enhance NOAA’s final product.

Most importantly, easy access to information better serves the public, enables federal employees to perform at the highest possible level and fuels innovation.

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