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Legal Alerts and News Updates

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Releases “Safeguarding Science” Toolkit

On November 15, 2022, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a “Safeguarding Science” toolkit to help the U.S. research enterprise reduce threats from various bad actors. Designed “with the scientific community for the scientific community,” according to ODNI’s press release, the online toolkit provides best practice guidance to individuals and organizations seeking to develop their own research security programs. Michael Orlando, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the NCSC Director, stressed that the toolkit “is not a new government compliance program or prosecution effort, just a free online resource to help U.S. researchers mitigate today’s evolving risks so they can continue to innovate for the future.”

The toolkit is broken down into eleven categories, each of which includes relevant resources, including training, best practices, videos, awareness materials, policy references, other U.S. government materials and materials from academia. Of particular interest to the U.S. higher education research community, the “research security” category includes a variety of documents which were collected by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of the Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy (OCRSSP) “regarding best practices in research security for the academic community.” The resources are organized according to the following subcategories:

  1. Research Security Background Documents

  2. Research Security Actions and Practices

  3. White House Documents

  4. Documents on Disclosure Requirements and Standardization

  5. Documents on Digital Persistent Identifiers (DPIs)

  6. Documents on Research Security Programs

  7. Risk Assessment and Mitigation

  8. Value of Principled International Collaboration

  9. Research Security Guidance from International Entities

  10. Research Security Guidance from Associations and Societies

According to the website, the Safeguarding Science toolkit is intended to be a “dynamic resource” that will be maintained and updated. The toolkit’s main page also clarifies that “[l]inks to any non-Governmental information are provided for reference and awareness, and not as directions or [ODNI] recommendations.”

The toolkit is the result of a collaboration among the U.S. intelligence and research communities, including the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (a center within ODNI), NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the American Association of Universities.


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