“This Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries (“Statement”) offers a good faith interpretation of U.S. copyright law for American libraries considering how to perform traditional lending functions using digital technology while preserving an appropriate balance between the public benefit of such lending and the protected interests of private rights holders. This Statement only applies to in-copyright works, as public domain works may be distributed without restriction. This Statement is not intended to describe the upper limits of the fair use or other rights of libraries, bind the signatories to any legal position, or constitute legal advice….”
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears to have put a deeply controversial plan limiting the use of scientific data in policymaking on hold for the time being. The move follows significant outcry from experts and the agency’s own staff….
On its face, that push for transparency might resonate with some — but experts have repeatedly emphasized that confidential data is private for a reason. Making it public could violate patient privacy or industry confidentiality, in many instances breaking the law and potentially allowing for distortions of the information. Limiting the data government officials can use, meanwhile, could hinder efforts to protect both human health and the environment….”
“Plan S, a project initially signed by a coalition of 11 funding agencies, was unveiled by Science Europe just one month ago. Since then, two more funding bodies, from Sweden and Finland, have joined. Enthusiasm for the scheme, however, extends well beyond Europe.
Speaking to Times Higher Education, Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s senior adviser on open access and the architect of Plan S, said that he had already embarked on discussions with White House representatives in the US, where invitations to discuss the policy had come in “one after another”.
Furthermore, Mr Smits said that colleagues from Science Europe had earlier this month engaged in “exploratory talks” with sector leaders in Japan, where the concept had been met with “real interest”. “Next I want to start conversations with India, with South Africa [and with] China,” he added. “It has really taken a global dimension, and the only issue that is my biggest enemy at the moment is time.” …
A Plan S implementation task force has been set up, with a target to deliver the policy details by the end of the year….”
“SPARC has serious concerns with this proposed rule and calls for it to be rescinded in the detailed response submitted on July 18, 2018. The rule claims to support Open Research Data, however, it calls for the EPA to only use studies whose underlying data is openly available for the purpose of replicating/validating the studies’ conclusions. Basing important policymaking decisions off of studies where the underlying data must be publicly accessible deliberately excludes the use of a wide swath of important data sets – including key longitudinal studies that underpin current clean air and water regulations. SPARC calls for the proposed rule to be rescinded….”
“FamilySearch has digitized millions of original pages from counties across the state of New York.
The majority of these records include deeds and mortgages from various county offices covering a wide range of dates, none of which have been digitally indexed before.
This crowd-sourced project will enable anyone with an interest in preserving the records of New York to take part in the largest volunteer effort to index New York’s state records to date….”
“Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler has put Scott Pruitt’s plan to restrict the science used in crafting new regulations on the back burner.
The draft rule issued when Pruitt was EPA administrator — titled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” — was listed under “long-term actions” in the administration’s fall 2018 regulatory plan released last night, with an expected completion date of January 2020.
In regulatory parlance, that means the proposal is not a top agency priority at the moment….”
“House Democrats are calling on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stand down from plans to reign in the use of confidential data when crafting agency policies, a controversial move that follows similar efforts to limit the use of science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In a letter sent Thursday, House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva and other representatives expressed “alarm” over a Sep. 28 “Promoting Open Science” order distributed to Interior Department staff. The order instructs staff to prioritize “publicly available, reproducible, peer-reviewed” science in their crafting of policy and decision-making….
Rather than helping ensure “the best available science” is used in policymaking, Grijalva and his co-signers say, approaches like the one taken by the Interior Department will only favor partisan interests….
“We are skeptical that this waiver provision is anything but another layer of protection for the fossil-fuel industry at the expense of scientific integrity,” the letter emphasizes, concluding by calling on Zinke to rescind the order….
Zinke’s “open science” order appears to be following the EPA’s lead. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), a long-time denier of climate change, has used his position as House Science, Space, and Technology chairman to encourage so-called “secret science” orders without much success or support from his peers. Under former administrator Scott Pruitt, however, the EPA embraced such ideas and the agency has pushed ahead with efforts to implement limitations on science….”
“Democratic lawmakers are asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to rethink his secretarial order “Promoting Open Science,” fearing it will do just the opposite.
Four House Democrats, led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter to Zinke on Thursday urging him to rescind the Sept. 28 order that they worry will lead to gagging scientists….
Critics of the EPA rule call it the “secret science” rule and argue that it would exclude consideration of a number of important scientific studies whose evidence can’t be made fully public due to patient privacy concerns.
The lawmakers raised that concern in their letter to Zinke.
“Both policies threaten the suppression of scientific information not aligned with this administration’s agenda under the auspices of improving science based decision making,” the Democrats wrote….”
“The U.S. Geological Survey plans to enhance online access by requiring that electronic copies of USGS-funded research be made available through the USGS Publications Warehouse. The data used to support the research findings must also be available for free when the associated study is published. That machine-readable information will be available via the USGS Science Data Catalog.
According to the recently approved plan, starting Oct. 1, 2016, any research that the USGS funds, including related datasets, must be made freely available to the public no later than a year after publication. The USGS will make exceptions where access must be restricted because of security, privacy, confidentiality or other constraints, agency officials said.
Specifically, final manuscripts in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and USGS publications are put into the USGS’s internal Information Product Data System repository, or “dark archive.” Within 12 months, research is released from the publisher or dark archive and made available for download, free of charge. Upon initial publication, the research must include a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements to facilitate discovery….”