Public Access: A Driver for Preservation and Discovery of Datasets at a US Land-Grant Institution


Public access to federally funded research data ensures preservation and discovery of datasets to promote translation of research evidence into meaningful outcomes. However, historical policy and concerns regarding making data publicly accessible impede realization of implementing public access to data. These concerns include worry over the treatment of intellectual property, the cost (in time and money) of making research publicly accessible, and the danger of accidentally releasing human subjects data. To overcome these issues, a Public Access to Data Committee was established at a public university in rural southwest Virginia. In this paper we review the history of federal public access provisions, share goals, and describe the committee’s process to ultimately engage faculty and administrators in this critical link from research to practice.