FFAR awards $1 million grant to create open source technology for gene discovery in plants | Crops | hpj.com

“The starting point will be approximately 1,000 human kinase inhibitors carefully selected from a library of chemical compounds donated to the partnership from eight pharmaceutical companies. The set will be distributed without restriction to scientists studying other plants and traits, thus serving as a broadly useful platform. The team has agreed to operate under open access principles —specifically prohibiting filing for IP on any of the results and will communicate the results widely….”

DO NOT PUBLISH, or Sometimes, open data/open access not ideal – UC Berkeley Library News

“Some fields such as paleontology and archaeology have long maintained restrictions on the publication of site locations and promoted government policies and regulations to limit collection and trade in fossils, artefacts, and culturally sensitive and/or scientifically important material. Organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service do not disclose geospatial data in order to protect research sites. Other solutions include modification of research permits so that endangered species locations are not automatically uploaded into wildlife databases and masking such records on private land, as presently occurs in some states in the United States.

Is this relevant to any public health research? Other than personally identifiable information, what types of health data should not be made widely available?”

Thoreau’s 200th birthday brings gift for botanists | Harvard Gazette

“In honor of Thoreau’s 200th birthday, on July 12, hundreds of new images of his specimens, along with the data associated with them, will be posted online, part of a larger effort to digitize and open to the public the 5.5 million dried plant specimens in the Herbaria’s collection.

“I think it’s fair to say that the data that live inside these cabinets has been dark for far too long,” Davis said. “My vision for the collections is that we make everything online and accessible to the world.”

That larger effort has meant adopting a new “open-access digitization policy,” available on the Office for Scholarly Communication website, that puts most of the images — excepting those whose copyright is held by other institutions or individuals — in the public domain….

“The Herbaria is the first Harvard museum to adopt an open-access policy for its digitization projects,” said Peter Suber, director of the Office for Scholarly Communication. “Lifting restrictions from the bulk of its digital reproductions will bring this unique botanical collection to a global audience, and advance the Herbaria’s mission of research and education.” …”

Biodiversity Heritage Library – Expanding Access to Biodiversity Literature

“Expanding Access to Biodiversity Literature, which is funded generously by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), will significantly increase online access to biodiversity material by positioning BHL as an on-ramp for biodiversity content providers that would like to contribute to the national digital library infrastructure through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The grant proposes to address challenges facing content providers—including insufficient amounts of content, indexing of scientific names, and metadata creation—and make necessary digital infrastructure enhancements by creating an innovative model for open access to data and to support collaboration among these institutions. The project would meet the goals of the IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program by increasing access to digital services, expanding the range and types of digital content available, improving discoverability, and supporting open access….The project runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2017 and will be conducted by the New York Botanical Garden in partnership with Harvard University, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries….”


“OpenPlant is a joint initiative between the University of Cambridge, John Innes Centre and the Earlham Institute, funded by the BBSRC and EPSRC as part of the UK Synthetic Biology for Growth programme. 

Synthetic Biology offers the prospect of reprogrammed biological systems for improved and sustainable bioproduction. While early efforts in the field have been directed at microbes, the engineering of plant systems offers even greater potential benefits. Plants are already cultivated globally at low cost, harvested on the giga-tonne scale, and routinely used to produce the widest range of biostuffs, from fibres, wood, oils, sugar, fine chemicals, drugs to food.

There is urgent need to improve our ability to reprogram crop metabolism and plant architecture in the face of global threats from new pathogens, climate change, soil degradation, restricted land use, salinity and drought. The next generation of DNA  tools for “smart” breeding of crop systems should be shared – to promote global innovation and equitable access to sustainable bioeconomies….”

PBJ is now a leading open access plant journal – Daniell – 2017 – Plant Biotechnology Journal – Wiley Online Library

“Welcome to the first issue of the fifteenth volume of Plant Biotechnology Journal. I would like to start this editorial by announcing the successful transition of PBJ from a subscription-based journal to an open access journal supported exclusively by authors. This resulted in enhanced free global access to all readers. I applaud the PBJ management team for offering free open access to all articles published in this journal in the past 14 years. As the first among the top ten open access plant science journals, based on 2016 citations, PBJ is very likely to be ranked among the top three journals publishing original research. PBJ is now compatible with mobile platforms, tablets, iPads, and iPhones and offers several new options to evaluate short- and long-term impact of published articles, including Altmetric scores, article readership, and citations….”

John M. Pye | People | SRS

“Most of my research has been conducted as an ecologist with the US Forest Service…A key part of the Forest Service mission is to provide the science that managers need to promote the health and resilience of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to benefit the American people. Transparency of objectives, operations, and accomplishments builds trust with taxpayers, collaborabors, and future partners. Open access to the results of federally funded research means better informed decisions….”

Visual Archives » Arnold Arboretum

“Begun in the 1880s as an adjunct to the Arboretum’s living, library, and herbarium collections, today the Arboretum’s visual resources include over 65,000 items. Digital images, black-and-white and color prints, 35mm slides and their predecessor lantern slides, trace the evolution and management of the Arboretum’s landscape, record individual taxa in the living collections, and capture these same plants growing in their native habitats.

Plant collectors and their expeditions to Eastern Asia are well represented; their images document the people, events, and customs of these exotic lands as well as the flora. There are also images of the people who have curated, studied, propagated, and taken care of the plant collection, herbarium, and library. Photographs of other plant collections, private gardens, and parks located throughout the world round out the collection.

In addition to searching our collections in the Visual Information Access database (VIA), all are welcome to browse these interactive galleries….”