‘‘Well-Informed, Scientific, & Efficient (WISE) Government Act of 2019

“To secure Federal access to scientific literature and other subscription services by requiring Federal agencies and legislative branch research arms to make recommendations on increasing agency library access to serials, and for other purposes….”

Section 2(a): “The head of an agency may not enter into any contract for a journal subscription that prohibits disclosure of the cost of the subscription to another agency or the Library of Congress….”

Section 2(c)(1): Agencies must report on the subscriptions they bought and the prices they paid.

SPARC Europe releases summary of Open Data Directive and guidance for its implementation – SPARC Europe

“In July of this year, The Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information, also called the “Open Data Directive” went into effect. To aid in the implementation of this new legislation, of which members states have until 16 July 2021 to transpose, SPARC Europe today is releasing a summary coupled with implementation guidance. It is important that in each country, there are people willing to help represent the interests of open access to research data by helping influence policy-makers to implement this directive effectively. This can be accomplished more effectively by colleagues teaming up with one another on a country basis. This document should be of use in this effort.

This policymaking for Open Science was a collaborative effort between the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), EBLIDA, IFLA, LIBER, and SPARC Europe, with SPARC Europe as co-ordinator. We hope this guidance will prove useful to academic libraries in Europe when implementing this into national legislation.

The Directive is the result of an effort to provide a common legal framework for public sector information in the EU; a framework that reflects the evolution of digital technologies and encompasses materials held by public sector bodies in the Member States, from a national to a local level. Research institutions, libraries and archives are within the directive’s scope. 

As written in our summary: “… the Directive takes positive steps to enhance the way that publicly-funded research data is made available, accessed, shared and re-used. Member States are required to develop national policies for open access to research data resulting from public funding, following the principle of ‘open by default’, while new harmonised rules on re-usability are to be applied to all publicly-funded research data which is already made accessible via open repositories.”…”

“Can Accessibility Liberate The “Lost Ark” of Scholarly Work?: Universi” by Raizel Liebler and Gregory Cunningham

Abstract:  For any body of knowledge – an ark of power or a corpus of scholarship – to be studied and used by people, it needs to be accessible to those seeking information. Universities, through their libraries, now aim to make more of the scholarship produced available for free to all through institutional repositories. However, the goal of being truly open for an institutional repository is more than the traditional definition of open access. It also means openness in a more general sense. Creating a scholarship-based online space also needs to take into consideration potential barriers for people with disabilities. This article addresses the interaction between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and university academic library based institutional repositories. This article concludes that institutional repositories have an obligation to comply with the ADA to make scholarly works available to potential users with disabilities. For managers of institutional repositories, following the law is an opportunity to make scholarship even more widely available. University open access institutional repositories need to be accessible to existing and potential disabled users. However, there are no specific rules that university institutional repositories must follow to be compliant with the ADA’s “public accommodation” standard. Accessibility is a changeable, moveable wall, consistently and constantly needing to be additionally inclusive of more – more technology and more users, regardless of disability or limitations. Institutional repositories should not become the crated Ark of the Covenant with their secrets locked inside; instead, they should be as open as possible to all, sharing the scholarship inside.

 

 

 

A Great Development on the GREAT Act – SPARC

“Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act (S. 1829). The GREAT Act aims to simplify and harmonize federal grant recipient reporting obligations. Specifically, it requires the creation of a comprehensive and standardized data structure covering all data elements reported by recipients of federal awards — including grant and cooperative agreements. It standardizes how the government reports its grants data much in the same way the 2014 DATA Act did for agency spending.

By replacing outdated documents with open data, the GREAT Act will deliver transparency for grantmaking agencies and the public and allow grantees to automate their reporting processes, reducing compliance costs. The bill fosters increased federal oversight and transparency into the distribution of federal funding and facilitates the adoption of modern technologies….”

A Great Development on the GREAT Act – SPARC

“Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act (S. 1829). The GREAT Act aims to simplify and harmonize federal grant recipient reporting obligations. Specifically, it requires the creation of a comprehensive and standardized data structure covering all data elements reported by recipients of federal awards — including grant and cooperative agreements. It standardizes how the government reports its grants data much in the same way the 2014 DATA Act did for agency spending.

By replacing outdated documents with open data, the GREAT Act will deliver transparency for grantmaking agencies and the public and allow grantees to automate their reporting processes, reducing compliance costs. The bill fosters increased federal oversight and transparency into the distribution of federal funding and facilitates the adoption of modern technologies….”

The Executive Branch Must Stop Suppressing Science – Scientific American Blog Network

“For much of my time in public service, there were some things government officials did just because they were the right things to do—and that included respecting the research done by government scientists. That respect has faded over recent presidencies. Sharpie-gate may have been its death knell. …

Earlier this year, General Robert Neller, then commandant of the Marine Corps, wrote to the Secretary of the Navy about the damage from storms: “The combat readiness of II Marine Expeditionary Force—1/3 the combat power of the Marine Corps—is degraded and will continue to degrade,” he asserted. We have to be better prepared for the impacts of climate change. But that goal will be impossible if political officials act in bad faith by distorting or suppressing government research on climate science….

 

To help rebuild ethics, integrity and trust in government—including trust in its research and data—I joined a nonpartisan task force of former government officials concerned about the executive branch’s growing disregard for norms and unwritten rules that had formerly kept its power in check. Recently,our group, the National Task Force on Rule of Law & Democracy—a project of the Brennan Center for Justice—published a report proposing legislation that would effectively respond to the numerous instances we catalogued of federal officials censoring scientific information, changing scientific findings to suit political agendas and retaliating against government scientists because their research was politically inconvenient….”

PACER Court Records ‘Can Never Be Free,’ Judge Says (1)

“Making the judiciary’s electronic filings free to the public without an alternative funding source likely would result in steep court fee increases for litigants and hinder access to justice due to cost, a federal judge told a congressional panel Sept. 26.

Judge Audrey Fleissig of the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of Missouri also said in testimony for the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, IP, and the internet that shifting costs away from users without another funding plan would burden courts with new costs.

“Our case management and public access systems can never be free because they require over $100 million per year just to operate,” Fleissig said. “That money must come from somewhere.” …”

Renew the Open Textbook Pilot Grant Program – SPARC

“The Open Textbook Pilot is a federal grant program that supports projects at institutions of higher educations that create or expand the use of open textbooks to achieve savings for students. First funded by Congress in the bipartisan fiscal year 2018 budget bill then renewed for a second year, the program has awarded $10 million in grants through the U.S. Department of Education.

SPARC and U.S. PIRG co-lead a national campaign to secure this first-ever federal funding, and we are now working to renew and strengthen the funding for a third year….

SPARC is working to renew and strengthen the Open Textbook Pilot funding in the FY20 budget. We are calling on Congress to increase the amount of funding, increase the number of grants available, and require the Department of Education to run a new competition.

While the timeline of the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process is still unclear, the House and the Senate have taken steps toward renewing the Open Textbook Pilot. In June 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2740 which includes a $5 million appropriation. On September 18, 2019, the Senate released bill language and the accompanying report for the relevant budget bill, which includes a $6 million appropriation—a $1 million increase—along with instructions for the Department of Education to run a new competition….”

It’s Time to Stop Copyright’s Violation of the U. S. Constitution – Slaw

“The jurisdiction in which it makes the most sense to reform copyright law so that it supports, rather than deters, access to research and scholarship is the United States. After all, the country’s Constitution empowers Congress “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The only other thing the Constitution seeks to “promote” is the country’s “lasting Welfare.”

Yet U.S. copyright law today violates this constitutional imperative. The evidence that copyright law is not promoting the progress of science comes from the federal government, academic community, legal profession, and publishing industry. It has been mounting over the last two decades, and while I plan to spend the coming year building a case for legal reform, let me sketch out some of the indicators of the law’s misalignment with the Constitution….”

The Netherlands leads way with implementation of the new educational exception – International Communia Association

“Just one month after the new Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive went into force, the Dutch government has shared their proposal for its implementation, through an amendment of their existing copyright law. The proposal is currently in a public consultation phase.

We would like to provide here an overview of the Dutch proposal to implement locally the new EU educational exception (article 5 in the final version of the Directive). This is the beginning of our effort to track how countries across Europe will implement, over the coming two years, this mandatory exception to copyright for educational purposes….”