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News Release 10-055

NSF Releases Open Government Plan

"Roadmap" for future efforts reflects public input

April 7, 2010

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

In response to President Obama's Open Government Directive, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is finding ways to make its work more accessible to the general public. Through an Open Government Directive Plan being released today, not only will NSF continue to inform the public about innovative research it is funding at institutions around the country and make research results more available, it will also improve transparency and better integrate public participation and collaboration into the agency's core mission, enhancing innovation and efficiency.

On February 6, 2010, NSF, along with agencies across the government, launched a new Web page ( designed to inform citizens about the agency's activities to encourage participation and collaboration between the agency and the citizens it serves. Members of the public were asked to submit ideas and comments through a dialog page at The comment period ran through March 19.

Over that period, the OpenNSF site received 59 ideas, 85 comments and 529 votes. Ideas submitted included: making taxpayer-funded research freely available, requiring that data from publicly funded projects be shared on an open source basis, and producing live webcasts of all meetings. The ideas, along with comments and discussion, can be viewed on the OpenNSF dialog site. In addition, NSF will be using the dialog site to ask for public comments on the agency's Open Government Directive Plan.

The plan being released today reflects public input as well as ongoing discussions about making more data available in open formats, and expansion of public participation and other collaboration activities.

The key principle that will be applied in executing the elements of the NSF Open Government Directive Plan is to maximize data that will be made available within the constraints of confidentiality and privacy concerns.

"Unless proven otherwise, the default position will be to make data and information available in an open format," said José Munoz, acting director of NSF's Office of Cyberinfrastructure, who is NSF's senior accountable official for the Open Government Directive.

NSF's Open Government Directive Plan is accessible at


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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