New NASA Science Data Policy Is Issued

Volume 11, Number 3, September 1995
by Joseph King
In an effort led by NASA's chief scientist, Dr. France Cordova, and supported by the NASA offices responsible for space sciences, life sciences and microgravity, and Mission to Planet Earth, a new policy governing the public release data from NASA's science missions has been elucidated. The policy asserts that non-proprietary data from such missions will be made publicly available in usable form as quickly as possible. Full text of the new policy statement is found at

The policy recognizes the complexity of data rights issues, involving intellectual rights, public (taxpayer) access rights, need for prerelease validation, etc. The policy recognizes the diversity of approaches to data release now taken by various projects and various disciplines.

Given these factors, the policy does not attempt to specify a single approach to data release to be followed by all NASA spaceflight projects. Rather it envisions that for each new mission a data release plan will be fixed early, consistent with general NASA policy for quick release and consistent with the nature of the mission and its data stream. Then that project-specific plan will be included in the NASA Announcement of Opportunity calling for investigators to compete for project participation opportunity.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 04 Dec 1996 [EDG]