News and Events

News, updates, and events related to scientific data at NASA.

April 9, 2024: Find Scientific Publications Fast with SciX

Finding relevant, high-quality research papers is a continual need for researchers. In keeping with the open science principles of making data findable and accessible, NASA Science Explorer (NASA SciX) makes this process easy. 

A collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and NASA, the SciX digital library portal assists astronomers, planetary scientists, heliophysicists, Earth scientists, biologists, and physicists with finding literature for their work. The powerful and easy-to-use search function provides a range of filters to help researchers narrow their focus to the most useful results for their area of study. 

SciX is the successor to the highly acclaimed Astrophysics Data System (ADS), which operated for over 25 years and was shown to increase the research efficiency of astrophysicists and astronomers by at least 6%. The success of ADS spurred NASA to expand this capability to all relevant science areas, encompassing astrophysics, Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, and biological and physical sciences. 

The system currently holds over 20 million records, including both refereed publications and all arXiv, ESS Open Archive, and EarthArXiv preprints. Thanks to the library’s roots in astrophysics, this includes over 99% of the refereed literature in astrophysics, but the other disciplines are catching up fast — 95% of Earth science publications are expected to be included by the end of 2024. 

SciX represents an important tool in NASA’s suite of open science initiatives. It is designed with collaboration and interdisciplinary research in mind, and the team continues to innovate in pursuit of the best possible scientific digital library. 

Read more and access SciX here.

February 26, 2024: Save the Date to Shape the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Software Efforts

February 26, 2024: View the Astronomy and Geodesy Data Archives

The latest addition to NASA’s Science Data website is access to the astronomy and geodesy database (AstroGeo) . Geodesy refers to the use of astronomical techniques to measure the position of Earth in 3D space, as well as its gravitational field and shape. The discipline helps scientists to better understand processes such as plate tectonics, ocean tides, the atmosphere, and the motion of Earth’s poles.

NASA’s AstroGeo data products include tools to measure mass loading on Earth’s crust, Earth’s atmospheric conditions, and the Earth orientation parameters (EOP) that describe irregularities in the planet’s rotation. To explore these and other AstroGeo data products, visit the new AstroGeo page.

February 12, 2024: NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Creates AI Language Model for Better Data Stewardship

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AIML) Working Group recently launched a Large Language Model (LLM) specially created to help the SMD manage data more efficiently. The model, developed in collaboration with IBM Research, will improve tasks such as assigning metadata, managing documentation, and intelligent search.

To train the model, the researchers used material from a variety of scientific sources related to the SMD’s subject matter areas. The largest percentage of the training data came from the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), with the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and PubMed.

The new LLM was tested using multiple benchmarks that assess a model’s ability to reason and identify relevant information. In particular, the researchers used BLURB (Biomedical Language Understanding and Reasoning Benchmark) to measure the model’s ability to answer questions and classify text related to the biomedical field. The model also underwent testing on a variety of NASA-relevant scientific questions with SQUAD2 (Stanford Question Answering Dataset), which grades a model’s ability to answer reading comprehension questions or abstain when a question is impossible to answer.

The team also tested the model with a NASA SMD-specific benchmark. On every test, the new model showed a marked improvement in a variety of information-related tasks over the pre-trained model it was based on. The SMD encoder-only transformer model and the subsequently-refined SMD bi-encoder sentence transformer model are available on GitHub.

SMD is currently leveraging the new model to create a more robust search feature for NASA’s Science Discovery Engine. In the future, the SMD hopes to use LLMs to assist with a variety of data management tasks.

August 1, 2023: Join us on our mission to make NASA data FAIR-er

July 26, 2023: Help Shape the Future of Open Science

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to build a collaborative open science environment called the Open Science Persistent Demonstrator (OSPD). Responses to the RFI are due by September 17, 2023.NASA has a firm commitment to open science, and the OSPD is a long-term multi-agency initiative to enable and communicate reproducible Earth science across global communities and amplify inter-agency Earth observation mission data, tools, and infrastructures. A major objective is to test and demonstrate the current level of interoperability among Earth observation and Earth science cloud technologies and infrastructures developed by NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), and other space agencies and international organizations. The OSPD goal is to show how platforms operated by different organizations can be used for collaborative research and data representation. Ultimately, the OSPD will be a constantly available web application that demonstrates and tests scientific workflows across several existing platforms.OGC is a consortium of experts committed to improving access to geospatial information that aims to connect people, communities, and technology to solve global challenges and address everyday needs. For more information about OGC or the OSPD RFI please contact

April 19, 2023: Learn 5 ways Open Science is Transforming NASA Research and Protecting Our Planet

February 14, 2023: The annual Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences 2023 (ROSES-2023) is out today!

More details are available on NASA Earthdata:

February 6, 2023: NASA funds eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities to advance in data science research

NASA is awarding $11.7 million to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that will enable their students and faculty to conduct innovative data science research that will benefit agency missions.

Word MUREP over words Minority University Research Education Project with square images of minority students working below this

The award is part of NASA’s new Data Science Equity, Access, and Priority in Research and Education (DEAP) opportunity, which is a collaboration between the agency’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) and the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).

“NASA is tackling how to use the latest techniques in data science combined with the volumes of data produced by our missions to answer questions about our changing planet,” said Dr. Steven Crawford, NASA SMD Senior Program Executive for Scientific Data and Computing. “Working with students from HBCUs will not only engage the generation that will be most affected by these subjects but will help NASA scientists and engineers address these challenges.”

The HBCUs selected for DEAP funding are:
•    Bethune-Cookman University
•    Fayetteville State University
•    Florida A&M University
•    Lincoln University
•    Morgan State University
•    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
•    North Carolina Central University
•    Prairie View A&M University

MUREP supports and invests in the research, academic, and technology capabilities of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

January 17, 2023: Townhall on SPD-41a: Scientific Information Policy for the Science Mission Directorate

The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) will hold a virtual community townhall on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET to discuss the recently updated Scientific Information Policy for the Science Mission Directorate (SPD-41a).

The townhall will include a presentation on policy updates in SPD-41a, additional guidance from each SMD division, and resources to support policy implementation. Following the presentation, panelists from SMD’s Chief Science Data Office and each SMD division will address questions from the community.

Please submit your questions before or during the event using the tool at this link:!/dashboard.

Questions from the townhall will be added to the list of Scientific Information Policy FAQ following the event. The townhall will be recorded and posted on the SMD Scientific Information Policy web page.

Please contact with any questions about this townhall.

Connection details:
Join link:
Webinar number: 2761 573 5459
Webinar password: Z9u7JhXGK?2 (99875494 from phones)
Join by phone:
+1-929-251-9612 USA Toll 2
+1-415-527-5035 US Toll
Access code:

January 9, 2023: Scientific Data and Computing Architecture to Support Open Science

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is conducting a study of its scientific data and computing resources to identify capabilities, architectures, and opportunities that can support a sustainable, open, and secure scientific process. As part of this study, a Request for Information (RFI) has been released on NSPIRES ( Responses to the RFI must be submitted by February 21, 2023.

December 8, 2022: Updated SPD-41a Science Information Policy

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has released SPD-41a: Scientific Information Policy for the Science Mission Directorate. SPD-41a updates the previously released SPD-41, which consolidated existing Federal and NASA policy on sharing scientific information. Visit the Science Information Policy page to learn more about the policy, read guidance for SMD-funded researchers, and find answers to frequently asked questions.

SPD-41a was developed with input from the SMD research community via National Academy studies, community workshops, and requests for information in 2018 and 2022. SMD has released a summary response to the most recent Request for Information (RFI) on the Scientific Information Policy. SPD-41a is compliant with the recent Office of Space and Technology Policy Memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research.

Open Source Science Initiative

NASA is making a long-term commitment to building an inclusive open science community over the next decade. Open-source science is a commitment to the open sharing of software, data, and knowledge as early as possible in the scientific process.  Learn more about the Open Source Science Initiative.

NASA’s PubSpace has launched within the STI Repository!

NASA’s PubSpace has launched within the STI Repository! If you don’t know, PubSpace is a collection of NASA-funded scholarly publications. Over 27,000 metadata records (with links to full-text articles) and 9,800 full-text journal articles are currently available in the collection! Check it out for yourself here:

For more information on PubSpace and NASA’s Public Access initiative, visit our About Public Access page.