Status Report

NASA Smd SPD-41: Scientific Information policy for the Science Mission Directorate

By SpaceRef Editor
September 28, 2021
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The data, software, and publications produced as part of NASA’s scientific research activities, regardless of funding vehicle, e.g. grant, contract, inter-or intra-agency agreements, represents a significant public investment. NASA holds this information as a public trust to increase knowledge and serve the public good. It is Science Mission Directorate’s (SMD) policy, consistent with NASA and Federal policy, that information produced from SMD-funded scientific research activities be made publicly available to the greatest practical extent.


To provide contextual guidance to proposers, awardees and other members of our communities, SMD has created SPD-41: The Scientific Information Policy. The policy was created based on recommendations from SMD’s Strategy for Data Management and Computing for Groundbreaking Science 2019-2024. This version includes our current understanding of the Federal guidance, NASA policy, and best practices currently incorporated into or applicable to our programs. SPD-41 applies to all SMD-funded missions and research. All parties involved or hoping to become involved in SMD research are encouraged to read this policy document.


A link to SPD-41 and other documents is now available on SMD’s Science Information Policy webpage . SMD plans to update this new webpage as information becomes available and provide links to the information policies developed by each SMD division to provide specific guidance for their communities. We also will be releasing a draft update to SPD-41 that incorporates more recent policy directives, recommendations from National Academy and NASA SMD community studies, and best practices from the community.


To collect feedback on the implementation of SPD-41 along with proposed updates to it based on more recent Federal policy directives, recommendations from National Academy and NASA SMD community studies, and best practices from the community, SMD plans to release a Request for Information (RFI) by the end of October. In addition to the RFI, we plan to hold a virtual community townhall on SMD’s Scientific Information Policy to provide further opportunity to present SPD-41 and receive questions/comments. Until response dates for the RFI and townhall are released, please email any questions/comments to All questions will be responded to, either individually or on the  Scientific Information Policy Frequently Asked Questions page.


SpaceRef staff editor.