Federal Register :: Request for Public Comment on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting From Federally Funded Research

“The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking public comments on a draft set of desirable characteristics of data repositories used to locate, manage, share, and use data resulting from Federally funded research. The purpose of this effort is to identify and help Federal agencies provide more consistent information on desirable characteristics of data repositories for data subject to agency Public Access Plans and data management and sharing policies, whether those repositories are operated by government or non-governmental entities. Optimization and improved consistency in agency-provided information for data repositories is expected to reduce the burden for researchers. Feedback obtained through this Request for Comments (RFC) will help to inform coordinated agency action.”

About ACM’s Decision to Sign Letters Regarding OSTP’s Proposal to Mandate Zero Embargo of Research Articles

“There have been some strong reactions to ACM’s decision to sign on to letters to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as a response to a new directive that OSTP is preparing to issue. That directive would eliminate the current 12-month embargo period for opening U.S. federally funded research publications.

ACM both supports and enables open access models and has worked to support a long and growing list of open access initiatives (see https://www.acm.org/publications/openaccess), doing so in a responsible and sustainable way. For the past decade, all ACM authors have had the right to post accepted versions of their articles in pre-print servers, personal websites, funder websites, and institutional repositories with a zero embargo. More recently, for example, ACM has introduced the OpenTOC service that enables free full-text downloads from links on conference websites immediately upon publication.

It is important to understand why ACM opted to sign the letters opposed to the OSTP zero embargo directive. A long dialogue between OSTP and scholarly publishers led to broad agreement on the current policy (from 2013) of a 12-month embargo for digital libraries. However, due process was not followed for the proposed change to zero embargo. The new directive fails to take into account the significant progress that has been made by ACM and other societies with respect to open access publication since 2013 and there was no dialogue with stakeholders prior to proposing the change.”

Politics and Open Access – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Rumors have been circulating in recent weeks of an impending US Executive Order focusing on public access to federally funded research and open data. It appears that there is indeed a document making the rounds of Federal Funding Agencies for comment. The order has apparently been in the works for a while now, emanating from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which has been tight-lipped about the the existence of the order. There seems to be little concern over the fate of non-profit and society publishers. Among the likely recommendations appears to be that of a zero embargo on published journal articles. Essentially, this means that articles from researchers who are federally funded will be freely available immediately following publication….

Here I want to explore the environment. It may be useful to provide insight into what a zero embargo could do to the publishing landscape, as well as how researchers may respond. First though I thought it may be useful to understand exactly how an Executive Order works here in the US, especially for those who may be reading in other parts of the world….”

U.S. GAO – FEDERAL RESEARCH: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Public Access to Research Results

“Public access to the results of federally funded research can accelerate scientific breakthroughs. In 2013, certain federal agencies were directed to create plans for increasing access to publications and data they funded.

The 19 agencies we reviewed made progress, but some have not fully implemented their plans. For example:

7 agencies have not taken steps to make data findable, such as creating a single web access point

4 don’t require all researchers to submit a plan to provide access to data

11 don’t fully ensure that researchers comply with access requirements

We made 37 recommendations to 16 agencies to address these and other issues….”

Open access at a crossroads

“Publishers of scientific journals are facing renewed threats to their business models from both sides of the Atlantic. As European science funders promote a radical new open-access (OA) publishing mandate they unveiled last month, the Trump administration is considering changes to a five-year-old directive governing the public release of research literature sponsored by federal agencies.”

EU open-access envoy urges foundations to join Plan S

“Organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust should join Plan S to continue their “moral leadership” on open research, Plan S founder and European Commission open-access envoy Robert-Jan Smits told Research Europe. He was speaking on his return from a weeklong tour of federal agencies, universities and learned societies in the United States, where he was attempting to boost international support for the plan….

Smits claimed that the feedback on Plan S he received in the US was mostly that independent foundations need to join….

Smits has said that Plan S is based on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policies. These include that papers reporting research it has funded must be made openly available immediately and with a licence that permits unrestricted reuse. The foundation has forced some of the world’s most prestigious journals to change their policies so that they comply.

During the trip, Smits sought to quell fears that Plan S would undermine the so-called green open-access model, in which papers are placed in repositories, usually after a publisher-imposed embargo period. Plan S will not accept embargo periods, causing some concern that it will only support the gold open-access model in which papers are made openly available immediately, usually by paying publishers an article-processing charge.

Smits said that Plan S leaves “ample room” for repositories, article preprints and self-archiving. He also admitted that organisations in the US flagged the plan’s lack of recognition for publishers using the so-called diamond and platinum open-access models, which do not charge authors publication fees….

According to Smits, those he met who were most enthusiastic about Plan S were librarians and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

More cautiously interested parties, he said, were the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Smits said this was because the OSTP is awaiting a new director who will set the agenda for open access at the federal level. Research Europe has approached these organisations for comment.

Those who were most sceptical of the plan were the learned societies, Smits said. These organisations rely on income from journal subscription charges and fear that the loss of revenue caused by a switch to open access would affect activities such as the organisation of conferences, he said….”

Exit Memo from the [White House] Office of Science and Technology Policy [OSTP]

“ACTION 4: Increase Access to High-Quality STEM Education and Drive Innovation for Education….Science, technology, and innovation can be leveraged to improve educational outcomes through new models of grant-making; open licensing of educational resources developed through Federal funding; investments in infrastructure and educational-technology R&D to support next-generation learning; redesign the high school experience to make it more engaging; and multi-sector collaborations to increase the adoption of learning technologies….ACTION 7: Maximize Economic and Social Return from Federal Government Data and the Results of Federally Funded R&D….The Obama Administration has leveraged open data and data science to inform and support Federal agencies and programs, including engaging data-innovation stakeholders to support agency missions. President Obama ordered the default state of Federal Government information resources to be open and machine readable, followed by an Open Data Policy issued by OMB….The Federal Government invests approximately $140 billion per year in R&D, which results in hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed scholarly publications and growing volumes of digital research data every year. In February 2013, the Director of OSTP issued a memorandum directing all Federal departments and agencies with R&D expenditures of more than $100 million per year to develop plans for increasing access to the scholarly publications and digital data resulting from Federally funded research. More than 20 Federal agencies responsible for more than 99 percent of Federal R&D have completed and are implementing their public-access plans….”