NSF News

NSF announces guidelines for agency research security analytics practice

June 20, 2023

The U.S. National Science Foundation recently released guidelines for research security analytics on the agency's research security website.

Research security, defined as safeguarding of the U.S. enterprise against the misappropriation of research and development, has received increased attention due to emerging competition and conflicting practices by competing economies. NSF is a leading advocate for an open, inclusive research enterprise that welcomes the contributions of international scientists to further U.S. science. The guidelines are one of several NSF activities demonstrating that the principles of open science can align with research security standards and reflect a fruitful dialogue between the federal government and the research community on appropriate mechanisms for ensuring transparent reporting of research commitments.    

Research security is defined as "Safeguarding the research enterprise against the misappropriation of research and development to the detriment of national or economic security, related violations of research integrity, and foreign government interference."

"NSF is dedicated to safeguarding the integrity and security of science while also keeping fundamental research open and collaborative. NSF remains committed to transparent engagement with the research community on research security and integrity matters. These new Guidelines for Research Security Analytics are meant to ensure good stewardship of taxpayer funding, enabling NSF to continue its role of building an open research ecosystem that maintains U.S. innovation leadership," said NSF Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy Rebecca Keiser.

These guidelines, which complement NSF's internal policy for research security data-related practices, are a part of NSF's ongoing efforts toward transparent internal practices and were developed based on direct engagement with and extensive feedback from community stakeholders. The guidelines include a breakdown of which agency personnel may conduct research security-related activities; what monitoring activities are allowed and with what resources they are conducted; how information will be validated to ensure accuracy; and how information may be shared within NSF and externally.

The guidelines also serve an important role by aligning NSF with federal requirements, namely National Security Presidential Memorandum 33, its accompanying implementation guidance, the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022." The guidelines are in accordance with Systems of Record Notice NSF-77 Data Analytics Application Suite (SORN NSF-77), which describes  the collection and permitted uses of information submitted to NSF by individuals and published information related to the research enterprise. These guidelines will continuously be reviewed and improved as the needs of the scientific community, the federal government and the national security community evolve.