Care to learn more about 400-foot tsunamis on Mars? Now you can, after Nasa announced it is making all its publicly funded research available online for free. The space agency has set up a new public web portal called Pubspace, where the public can find Nasa-funded research articles on everything from the chances oflife on one of Saturn’s moons to the effects of space station living on the hair follicles of astronauts.
In 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directed Nasa and other agencies to increase access to their research, which in the past was often available (if it was available online at all) only via a paywall. Now, it is Nasa policy that any research articles funded by the agency have to be posted on Pubspace within a year of publication.
There are some exceptions, such as research that relates to national security. Nonetheless, there are currently a little over 850 articles available on the website with many more to come.
“Making our research data easier to access will greatly magnify the impact of our research,” NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan said in a statement. “As scientists and engineers, we work by building upon a foundation laid by others.”
The move is part of a trend in the worldwide scientific community towards making knowledge more readily available. In May, EU member states agreed on an initiative to try to make all European scientific papers freely available by 2020. In the meantime, you can enjoy Nasa-funded insights into keeping fit in space, the ages of the lunar seas, and much more. Should keep you occupied for the weekend.