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NIST and CHORUS Launch Pilot Project to Support NIST's Public Access Plan

GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and CHORUS, a nonprofit organization that advances public access to content reporting on funded research, have launched a pilot project to help improve access to the results of NIST-funded research.

Researchers at NIST generate data and author publications that lead to advances in fields as diverse as materials science, medical diagnostics, forensic science, cybersecurity and firefighting. NIST research results also help U.S. industries improve their products, comply with regulations and compete internationally.

In April 2015, NIST issued a plan to manage public access to content and data resulting from the research it funds. Under the plan, journal articles that currently are available through the publishers' websites will now also be available at the National Institutes of Health PubMed Central.

Through NIST's public access initiative, articles that report on research conducted at or sponsored by NIST will be made publicly available through PubMed Central. CHORUS will point to the published "authoritative" article on official journal sites where readers will find research in context with additional tools and information provided by a journal. NIST also plans to use metrics from CHORUS and PubMed Central to better measure readership of its scholarly and technical publications. The two services will be separate, but complementary.

"This pilot project will allow NIST to work with CHORUS and its publishing industry members as the scientific community responds to federal directives that require that the results of federally funded research be made more accessible," said Richard Cavanagh, NIST's acting associate director for laboratory programs. "The infrastructure CHORUS has built will support our ability to track papers authored by NIST staff as well as by recipients of NIST funding."

Through its online services and network of publishers, CHORUS will make it easier for the public to find published articles reporting on NIST-funded research and for NIST to track certain data about the articles. CHORUS' system is interoperable across a broad range of funding agencies, publisher platforms and reuse licenses. Its distributed access approach maximizes identification, discovery, access, monitoring and preservation of publicly accessible content reporting on funded research.

"The CHORUS and NIST pilot agreement is an important milestone on the road to broad-based, sustainable public access," said Howard Ratner, executive director of CHORUS. "We are excited to have CHORUS support NIST's public access plan implementation. Our service will complement NIST's other partners to yield benefits for the public and balance the needs of all involved in scholarly communications."

The pilot's initial objectives include:

• Enhancing CHORUS' NIST Dashboard, which provides information about the identity, public accessibility and preservation of articles reporting on NIST-funded research;
• Sharing web-usage data from CHORUS publisher member sites and the proposed NIST-branded PubMed Central (PMC) archive;
• Developing a CHORUS-hosted, NIST-branded public access search portal linking to publicly accessible articles on publisher websites.

The pilot will run through the end of December 2016 and inform potential future collaborations between NIST and CHORUS.

CHORUS Contact: Susan Spilka, 516-315-7721

CHORUS advances sustainable, cost-effective public access to articles reporting on funded research in ways that benefit all in the scholarly communications community. A not-for-profit membership organization, CHORUS leverages existing infrastructure, promotes collaboration, sparks innovation, and broadens the dialogue among publishers, funders, service providers, researchers and other stakeholders.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit

Released December 3, 2015, Updated January 24, 2023