Request for Information on Public Access to Digital Data and Scientific Publications

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, signed by President Obama earlier this year, calls upon OSTP to coordinate with agencies to develop policies that assure widespread public access to and long-term stewardship of the results of federally funded unclassified research. Towards that goal, OSTP last week released two Requests for Information (RFI) soliciting public input on long term preservation of and public access to the results of federally funded research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications.

OSTP previously conducted a public consultation about policy options for expanding public access to federally funded peer-reviewed scholarly articles (the full set of comments can be viewed here).  The current RFIs take that process another step, seeking further guidance on access to scientific publications and initiating a parallel process relating to digital data, as called for in the COMPETES Act.

OSTP has established two interagency policy groups under the National Science and Technology Council—the Task Force on Public Access to Scholarly Publications and the Interagency Working Group on Digital Data—to identify the specific objectives and public interests that need to be addressed by any policies in these two areas. The groups will take into account the varying missions, types of data, and dissemination models associated with the range of Federal science agencies and scientific disciplines, and will help OSTP address other public access requirements of COMPETES—keeping in mind the need to follow statutory requirements and best practices for protecting personal privacy, proprietary interests, intellectual property rights, and author attribution.

We highly encourage stakeholders to consider the questions in the RFIs and provide comments to the questions by email to digitaldata@ostp.gov and publicaccess@ostp.gov. OSTP will make all comments available on its website, including the names of the authors and their institutional affiliations soon after the conclusion of the comment periods, so please do not include any proprietary or confidential information when responding to the RFIs. All comments are due by January 2, 2012.

You can see the RFI on public access here and the RFI on digital data here.

Your Federal Tax Receipt