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National Security Decision Directive 189 (NSDD 189): National Policy on the Transfer of Scientific, Technical and Engineering Information (Sept. 21, 1985) (full-text).


This directive establishes national policy for controlling the flow of science, technology, and engineering information produced in federally-funded fundamental research at colleges, universities, and laboratories. It says if federally funded basic scientific and technical information produced at colleges, universities and laboratories is to be controlled for national security reasons, it should be classified. But fundamental research findings generally are not to be restricted.

Specifically, NSDD 189 states:

to the maximum extent possible, the products of fundamental research remain unrestricted. It is also the policy of this Administration that, where the national security requires control, the mechanism for control of information generated during Federally funded fundamental research in science, technology, and engineering at colleges, universities, and laboratories is classification.

NSDD 189 made agencies sponsoring research responsible for determining, before the award of a research contract or grant, whether classification is appropriate and for periodically reviewing grants and contracts for potential classification. It also said that

No restriction may be placed on the conduct or reporting of Federally funded fundamental research that has not received national security classification, except as provided in applicable U.S. statutes.