Policy Forum on Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Features and Technology

Cross-posted from the OSTP blog.

This morning OSTP is launching Phase Two of our forum on public access publishing, which will focus on Features and Technology. (Phase One began on Dec. 10 through Dec. 20, and a wrap-up of that Phase is posted here.)

It is one thing to talk about the philosophy of public access and open government generally, and quite another to get serious about how, exactly, to implement some of those ideas. So through the waning hours of 2009—until midnight of Dec. 31, that is—OSTP is inviting you to weigh in on some of the nuts and bolts aspects of public access publishing. Among the questions we hope you will address:

  • In what format should published papers be submitted in order to make them easy to find, retrieve, and search and to make it easy for others to link to them?
  • Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit?
  • How are these anticipated to change?
  • Are there formats that would be especially useful to researchers wishing to combine datasets or other published results published from various papers in order to conduct comparative studies or meta-analyses?
  • What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international) and what makes them exceptional?
  • Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?
  • What are the anticipated costs of maintaining publicly accessible libraries of available papers, and how might various public access business models affect these maintenance costs?
  • By what metrics (e.g. number of articles or visitors) should the Federal government measure success of its public access collections?

On Jan. 1 we will move to Phase Three of this discussion, which will focus on questions of Management. That discussion was originally scheduled to run through Jan. 7. However, we have heard from many of you that the scheduling of this forum has posed difficulties, especially because of the intervening holidays. So we have decided (and will soon announce in the Federal Register) to add two weeks beyond the scheduled end of this forum. We will use that period from Jan. 7 to Jan. 21 to revisit, on a more detailed level, all three focus areas that will have been addressed by then—perhaps asking you to dive deeper into a few areas that, by then, show themselves as deserving additional attention.

Thanks for your continued involvement in this experiment in open government and public engagement. We look forward to learning from you!

Comment on this post at the OSTP blog.

Rick Weiss is Director of Strategic Communications and a Senior Policy Analyst at OSTP

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