“If there’s a subtext to this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest gathering of scientists of the year, it’s anxiety for the future. John Holdren, the top science adviser to President Barack Obama who spoke Friday at the conference, summed it up like this: “I’m worried — based on early indications — that we can be in for a major shift in the culture around science and technology and its eminence in government. We appear to have a president now that resists facts that do not comport to his preferences. And that bodes ill on the Obama Administration’s emphases on scientific integrity, transparency, and public access.” …”
“The final National Institutes of Health (NIH) rule on Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information is wasteful of federal research dollars and a missed opportunity to take advantage of available technology and existing efforts, according to a group of the nation’s leading not-for-profit medical and scientific publishers. The final rule ignores significant free access policies already existing in the not-for-profit publishing community that offer more cost-effective public access to the science in their journals.
NIH’s new rule requests but does not require authors to deposit into PubMedCentral (PMC) manuscripts of articles reporting NIH-funded research that have been peer reviewed and accepted by journals for publication. NIH would release these manuscripts to the public within 12 months or less after publication in the journal. The timing of the release would be determined by the authors, who “should ensure that their PMC submissions are consistent with any other agreements, including copyright assignments,” according to the NIH statement.
These publishers believe that NIH should take advantage of the fact that most not-for-profit publishers currently make all their content—not just NIH supported articles—available for free to the public within 12 months. Not-for-profit publishers believe that the public would be better served if NIH created an enhanced search engine that works like Google to crawl the journals’ full text articles and link to the final published articles residing on the journal websites. This would offer significantly more assistance to those seeking medical research results than a database of NIH-funded manuscripts can provide. This public-private partnership would be much less costly to NIH and would avoid the confusion that would result from publishing two different versions of the same article—an unedited version on PubMed Central and the final version in the journal….”
“In 2002, the Hewlett Foundation began investing in open educational resources (OER), which are high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose.
We were one of the first institutions to invest in the field, at a time when MIT’s Open Courseware initiative and Creative Commons were in their infancy. Since then, the foundation has partnered with several content producers as well as technical assistance advisors and policy groups to support the creation of an ecosystem of OER groups.
In addressing the costs and quality of learning in the U.S. and the dearth of high-quality course materials, we see an unprecedented opportunity to scale OER and unleash its potential to improve education for the future. Our grantmaking supports mainstream adoption and effective use of openly licensed educational resources that provide students around the world greater access to a world class education….”
“For the past decade, the Sunlight Foundation has advocated for all branches of the federal government to use modern technologies to inform and engage the American people, from social media to websites. We adamantly oppose measures that limit disclosing documents and data to the public, particularly the publication of scientific papers, research and analysis, or public access to government scientists or technologists that can explain the findings.
The following list are reported formal actions to limit public communication at federal agencies….”
“The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have formed a partnership to advance scientific communication and open access publishing. The partnership will also ensure open access to research funded by the Gates Foundation and published in the Science family of journals….As a result of this partnership, AAAS will allow authors funded by the Gates Foundation to publish their research under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) in Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology or Science Robotics. This means that the final published version of any article from a Foundation-funded author submitted to one of the AAAS journals after January 1, 2017 will be immediately available to read, download and reuse….”
“This community resource for tracking, comparing, and understanding both current and future U.S. federal funder research data sharing policies is a joint project of SPARC & Johns Hopkins University Libraries. Click the icons below to select up to three agencies to view or compare. Click here to download the full data set….”
“The Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland promotes research information availability and open science through the Open Science and Research Initiative (ATT), which is set out for the years 2014-2017. The objective is for Finland to become one of the leading countries in openness of science and research by the year 2017 and to ensure that the possibilities of open science will be widely utilized in our society. In addition to this, the ambition is to promote the trustworthiness of science and research, support the culture of open science in the way of acting within the research community, and to increase the societal and social impressiveness of research and science.
The Open Science and Research Initiative is based on a broad-based cooperation between ministries, universities, research institutions and research funders such as the Academy of Finland and TEKES – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Finnish Social Data Archive (FSD), National Library of Finland, Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, FinnOA-the Finnish Open Acsess Working Group, CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. As an example of higher education institutions, the University of Helsinki plays a key role in Open Acess in Finland. In the government’s decision-in-principal on the state’s renewal of research institutions and research funding, it was decided on engaging in a deeper cooperation between universities and research institutions lasting for several years….”
“Here’s a good article on Mark Walport’s qualifications to be the inaugural head of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which will oversee and restructure the public funding of research in the UK.
Unfortunately the article is silent on Walport’s pioneering and persistent role in open access, which is clearly related to his new post. He was the Director of the Wellcome Trust at the time it became the first funding agency to adopt a strong OA policy, and when its example and experience helped persuade other funding agencies, public and private, to follow suit. …”