NASA opens doors to the public, offers free access to research

The space agency has launched a new portal for the public to access scientific data without parting with a penny.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

NASA has launched a new portal which will let members of the public access scientific research for free.

The US space agency revealed the new platform, the NASA-Funded Research Results portal, on Tuesday.

NASA says the resource "reflects the agency's ongoing commitment to providing broad public access to science data."

"At NASA, we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio of scientific and technical publications," said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman.

"Through open access and innovation we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air and space."

Researchers submitting NASA-funded articles in peer-reviewed journals or papers from conferences now must make their work accessible to the public through NASA's PubSpace.

PubSpace is used by the agency to archive scientific work and provide access without paying for a subscription. New papers will now be available within one year of publication for users to read and download.

The resource is likely to prove useful to science students and specialists in the field, who otherwise must often subscribe to paywalled portals or pay hefty fees for journals themselves. However, enthusiasts will also approve the move to make current research more open and accessible.

"Making our research data easier to access will greatly magnify the impact of our research," said NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan. "As scientists and engineers, we work by building upon a foundation laid by others."

In related news, NASA also opened up registration this week for the Space Robotics Challenge, a design competition for robots which could assist astronauts in space. Ultimately, the agency is looking for ideas related to workers on Mars being able to grow their own food, access potable water, and for assistance in construction on the planet.

Must-have back to school, college gadgets and gifts 2016

Editorial standards