Policy Forum on Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Management

Cross-posted from the OSTP blog.

Happy New Year! On this first day of 2010, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching Phase Three of our Public Access Policy Forum. The forum asks scientists, primary and secondary publishers, librarians, universities, researchers, students, and the public to help us understand when and how research articles – funded by taxpayers but with value added by scholarly publishers – should be made freely available on the internet.

Over the past three weeks, we have broken down the broader question into focused topics. In Phase One, the public weighed in on which agencies should enact public access policies and how those public policies should be designed. But, access demands not only availability, but also meaningful usability. In Phase Two, participants provided insight on how the Federal government can make its collections of peer-reviewed papers more useful to the American public. Thank you again for your terrific comments on both of these topic areas, especially over the busy holiday season. For those of you who are new to the forum, you can review the full set of blog postings and public comments here.

Today, our discussion turns to questions of management. Phase Three will run through Thursday, January 7, 2010. Between now and then, we would like for you to address the following questions:

  • Compliance. What features does a public access policy need to ensure compliance? Should this vary across agencies?
  • Evaluation. How should an agency determine whether a public access policy is successful? What measures could agencies use to gauge whether there is increased return on federal investment gained by expanded access?
  • Roles. How might a public private partnership promote robust management of a public access policy? Are there examples already in use that may serve as models? What is the best role for the Federal government?

We invite your comments and in particular encourage you to be specific in your thoughts and proposals, providing empirical data and specific supporting examples whenever possible so this discussion can generate maximum practical value. You may want to start by reading a more complete description of this issue as it appeared in the Federal Register.

Importantly, this is a community-moderated blog. That means we count on you to keep the forum focused and on-topic—something you can do by “voting” on comments. Voting is an expression of how germane to the topic a comment is. Voting up a comment expresses approval of the relevance. If enough people vote down a comment, the comment in question “collapses” into a link so that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of discussion. Please read the complete Terms of Participation, where you can also learn how to “flag” comments such as spam or obscenities that violate the Terms.

We welcome your thoughtful comments in this open and participatory forum.

You can comment on this post at the OSTP blog.

Diane DiEuliis, Assistant Director, Life Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy

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