On August 16, the US Space Agency NASA announced its decision to make all its funded scientific journal articles free for public access. They have implemented this feat through launching their own archive via NASA PubSpace, which will be a part of the Pubmed Central database and managed by the National Institute of Clinical Science.

To begin this process, from now on all authors and co-authors who are a part of all NASA-funded research studies will be required to submit copies of their peer-reviewed published articles, which will then be accessible within a year via PubSpace to the public.

This exciting step taken by NASA has been in an effort to comply with a request by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2013, which asked science-funding agencies to make the findings of their studies easily accessible to public in a bid to increase the scientific collaborative efforts of the nation and further propel the scientific advancements.

Dava Newman, the Deputy Administrator at NASA has stated, “At NASA, we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio of scientific and technical publications,”

She further adds, “Through open access and innovation we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air and space.”

Previously NASA has taken a similar initiative in May 2016, with NASA’s Spinoff Program, that saw the agency’s 56 technological databases being turned into domains that are free to access by any keen individuals in the general public.

Likewise this key announcement by NASA has opened a Pandora’s box for many eager minds in the general public that have in the past been restricted from a chunk of cutting-edge research, that is usually restrained by scientific journal subscriptions, which in most cases are accompanied by off-putting monetary payments.

Although PubSpace is already online and accessible, the database will reach its full functionality by the Autumn 2016.

– Palwasha Najeeb, Correspondent (Science)

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