NIST Open Data Strategy Implementation and Processes

NIST's Guiding Principles for Implementation

  • Policies, processes, and infrastructure will be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of scientific disciplines and a diversity of stakeholders, including funded researchers, universities, libraries, publishers, industry, civil society, and any other users of NIST research results.
  • Search, archival, and dissemination features of the implementation will be optimized to encourage innovation in accessibility and interoperability while ensuring long-term stewardship of the results of federally funded research.
  • Expansion of the types and volume of scientific information produced with NIST funding is anticipated. Extensible and evolvable solutions that can accommodate new needs on an ongoing basis are required. NIST will track and respond to continuing changes in digital technologies when planning to make research results publicly accessible.
  • NIST's reputation for high-quality output, willingness to work in partnership, and responsiveness to stakeholders will be promoted and enhanced.

Implementation of NIST Data Management and Public Access Infrastructure

To the extent feasible and consistent with law, agency mission, resource constraints, and U.S. national, homeland, and economic security, NIST is proceeding to develop and implement a data management and public access infrastructure.

  • An inventory of the datasets that are generated via NIST-funded research has been established as part of the comprehensive public listing of agency data required by the OSTP Memorandum of February 22, 2013 and OMB Memorandum M-13-13. The metadata in the inventory is being used to direct-feed the website. This catalog of metadata is being expanded regularly, beginning with NIST's Standard Reference Data and other datasets that are publicly available on NIST's website.
  • Starting October 1, 2014, data management plans will be implemented across NIST to document plans for storage, archival, and public access to NIST data that is generated as part of new projects.  NIST is developing a simple Data Management Plan Tool, tailored to securely meet NIST requirements, to allow researchers to create and maintain these plans.
  • NIST is developing and validating an interoperable Commerce data infrastructure to expand access to and dissemination of data. This infrastructure will include the assignment of persistent identifiers to all data sets and enhance the public's ability to find data that it needs. NIST is leading an interagency Technical Advisory Group to develop interoperability use-cases and requirements for a Commerce Interoperability Framework (CIF) Reference Architecture. NIST is also developing proof of concept and pilot implementations of this architecture. The pilot will be made available to various agencies to test after the proof of concept is completed.

Process for Reviewing Data for Public Release

NIST begins with the presumption that data should be released to the public, then asks reasonable questions to confirm that data can indeed be made public.

Is the quality of the data sufficient for public release?

Does the data contain personally identifiable information that is protected by the Privacy Act or other statute?

Does the data contain proprietary information that is protected by a nondisclosure agreement?

Is the data restricted by law from public disclosure?

Is the data classified?

Is the data protected by copyright?

Additional factors that must be considered include stakeholder need and the reasonableness of effort required to make the data available.

Process for Engaging with Stakeholders

NIST will adopt a systematic approach to full and open consultation and cooperation with stakeholders, including those in the private sector, through the formation of public-private partnerships with foundations and other research-funding organizations, to improve compatibility and access to publications and data and explore new approaches to maintain and improve NIST's public access and data management policies.

Created August 27, 2014, Updated January 03, 2017