NSF Releases New Guidelines on Research Security

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released the Research Security Analytics Guidelines, a public document outlining the agency’s research security data-related practices. Developed in response to extensive feedback from community stakeholders, the guidelines serve as a strategic blueprint to safeguard the integrity and security of science, while promoting an open and collaborative research environment.

The guidelines specify that:

  1. Research security concerns will not be a determining factor in the merit review process by program staff.
  2. The Office of the Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy (OCRSSP) will exclusively conduct all research security analytics activities at NSF.
  3. Program staff are prohibited from conducting intentional information querying activities related to research security. Any concerns arising during routine merit review activities must be reported to OCRSSP.

“These new Guidelines for Research Security Analytics are intended to ensure the responsible use of taxpayer funding, enabling NSF to continue building an open research ecosystem that preserves U.S. innovation leadership,” said Rebecca Keiser, NSF’s Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy.

The new policy is a byproduct of NSF’s JASON study (See COSSA’s previous coverage). JASON is an independent scientific and national security advisory body overseeing the “Research on Research Security” program. Over recent years, the program has aimed to fund scientific investigation into facets of research security. The JASON report strongly encourages collaborative efforts between social scientists and natural science researchers, reinforcing the role of social sciences in shaping a successful research program.


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