Public Access


The Smithsonian publishes a wide range of works about the Institution, its collections, research, programs, and activities prepared by its employees as part of their official duties and by third parties that convey rights to the Smithsonian to publish. These works are published in a variety of forms and media by Smithsonian units and by external publishers. The Smithsonian encourages and supports distribution of its research and scholarship to achieve broad reach and impact and, with respect to federally funded research, has implemented a Public Access Plan (below).


The Smithsonian Institution’s Plan for Increased Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research was developed based on the principles in the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s February 2013 memo calling for increased public access to publications and data resulting from federally funded research. The Smithsonian’s Public Access Plan is effective on October 1, 2015 and applies to manuscripts in all major Smithsonian research areas – science, history, art, and culture – that are subject to the plan and that are submitted to publishers on or after that date.


SD 806, Publishing at the Smithsonian Institution and by Smithsonian Employees

Quick Reference: Signing Authority for Publishing Agreements (from SD 806)

Smithsonian's Public Access Plan

Find out if your manuscript is subject to Smithsonian’s Public Access Plan. (on, type in the box labeled "Enter an internal resource")

Create a public access ticket. (on, type in the box labeled "Enter an internal resource")


When completing a click license via online submission (e.g., to a journal), an SI employee must include Smithsonian Supplemental Terms with the manuscript. SI has three versions of its Terms; download the appropriate document by publisher:

Check the “Signing Authority for Publishing Agreements” table, or review SD 806, for more detail.

View the webcast (February 6, 2020): Overview of SD 806, and presentation PowerPoint.