The Science Alert article All Scientific Research Funded by NASA Is Available For Free is worth reading and contains several links and quotes. Here is one excerpt:

The database is called PubSpace, and the public can access NASA-funded research articles in it by searching for whatever they're interested in, or by just browsing all the NASA-funded papers.

"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."

There are over 1,000 research articles in the database, and that number rises steadily as new NASA-funded research is released.

I'm pretty sure in its 60 year history, NASA scientists have published and NASA has funded research resulting much much more than 1,000 papers in toto.

So the headline of the Science Alert headline "...is Free" shouldn't really be present tense. Perhaps it should read "will be or is supposed to be... at some point... in the future..."

In organizations with goals, it's common, and almost absolutely necessary to add an estimated date of completion to any goal.

Question: So I'd like to ask "When will NASA PubSpace really make publicly available most of NASA funded research papers?" Does this have an estimated date of completion, or are there milestones?

This helpful NASA fact sheet: NASA’s PubSpace: A Public Portal to Peer-Reviewed Publications and Data links to the YouTube video NASA's Research Access Policy which shows a link to https://www.nasa.gov/open/researchaccess


2 Answers 2


Never. The goal of PubSpace as stated by NASA themselves:

NASA is using PubMed Central (PMC) to permanently preserve and provide easy public access to the peer-reviewed papers resulting from NASA-funded research. Beginning with research funded in 2016, all NASA-funded authors and co-authors (both civil servant and non-civil servant) will be required to deposit copies of their peer-reviewed scientific publications and associated data into NASA’s publication repository called NASA PubSpace.

(emphasis mine)

NASA doesn't intend for PubSpace to contain all NASA-funded research since the agency's inception, just all research from now on.

The article you quoted uses hyperbole or its writer misunderstood NASA's intent.


Probably never.

Over half of the NASA-funded PubMed Central articles were published in the five year period from the start of 2013 to the end of 2017. Over 75% are from the current decade, and almost 94% are from this millennium. Even papers published in the aughts are underrepresented in PubMed.

The stuff from before that? That pretty much predates electronic publishing. For example, a bit over 1% of the articles NASA-funded PubMed Central articles are from the 20 year period from the start of 1975 to the end of 1994. (Yes, I cherry-picked.) There's a two year interval in that span with no published papers.

Those old papers will have to be scanned from an archived paper copy and someone will have to associate that the reported work was funded by NASA. This has already happened with some of the more important papers, but with all of them, or even most of them? That most likely will never happen.


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