The White House Considers Open Access to Government Research

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has an open forum for public comment regarding open access to the results of government research.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and the White House Open Government Initiative is launching a “Public Access Policy Forum” to invite public participation in thinking through what the Federal government’s policy should be with regard to public access to published federally-funded research results. To that end, OSTP will conduct an interactive, online discussion beginning Thursday, December 10. We will focus on three major areas of interest:

  • Implementation (Dec. 10 to 20): Which Federal agencies are good candidates to adopt Public Access policies? What variables (field of science, proportion of research funded by public or private entities, etc.) should affect how public access is implemented at various agencies, including the maximum length of time between publication and public release?
  • Features and Technology (Dec. 21 to Dec 31): In what format should the data be submitted in order to make it easy to search and retrieve information, and to make it easy for others to link to it? Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit? How are these anticipated to change.
  • Management (Jan. 1 to Jan. 7): What are the best mechanisms to ensure compliance? What would be the best metrics of success? What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international)? Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?

While, sadly, the period for public comment is over, the responses received can be viewed here;

http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/12/09/ostp-to-launch-public-forum-on-how-best-to-make-federally-funded-research-available-for-free/.

Also, the Obama administration created a Mandatory Open Access Policy, requiring NIH grant recipients to deposit their research into PubMed. the Public Access Policy for NIH is available here;

http://publicaccess.nih.gov/

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3 Responses to The White House Considers Open Access to Government Research

  1. Doug Ward says:

    Do note that the period for public comment has been extended until January 21st. Details here:

    http://blog.ostp.gov/2010/01/11/public-access-policy-forum-enters-“bonus”-round/

    Cheers,

    Doug Ward

  2. Lana Brand says:

    Leslie, thanks for posting this! For those who are interested in open access to government research, there are two opposing pieces of legislation currently in Congress. One called the Federal Research Public Access Act would require all research funded by federal agencies to be open access, much like the NIH policy mentioned above, while the other, Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, would repeal the NIH mandate and prevent any other similar federal open access mandates. To find out more go to http://www.taxpayeraccess.org and check out the “Issues” tab.

  3. Doug Ward says:

    It may be helpful to know that you can track legislation as it makes its way through Congress at Govtrack.us. Here are links to the two pieces of legislation you mention:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1373

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-801

    Doug Ward

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