The directive that went into affect this week, authored by Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, orders agencies that spend more than $100 million on research and development to develop formal plans and standards by which to release research papers and data within a year's time, FCW.com reported Wednesday.
Holdren cited the "great success" of the public access policy adopted five years ago by the National Institutes of Health to disseminate research in biomedical science.
Agencies affected by the memorandum include NASA and the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Energy, Agriculture, Commerce, and Homeland Security as well as a number of other agencies that meet the $100 million requirement.
"The administration is committed to ensuring that, to the greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible... the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community," the directive said.
The movement toward open access, instead of research papers being behind paywalls, has been accelerating; last year, the British government announced that all publicly funded research would be available for free starting in 2014.