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Office of Science and Technology Policy Seeks Input

Do you work with scholarly publishing? Have you been following the Obama administration’s Open Government plan? Do you know much about the NIH Public Access Policy? Do you work with faculty members at your institution who receive federal funding? Read on to learn more about something exciting that’s happening right now.

As a bit of background, the NIH Public Access Policy requires any researcher who publishes articles about NIH funded work, to submit final versions of their manuscripts to PubMed Central. These manuscripts are then made freely available to the public, in an effort to allow the public access to the research that their tax dollars are funding.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), an office within the White House, currently has a Request for Information (RFI) out to the public. The RFI (pdf) is seeking answers to some in-depth questions about how Public Access Policies might expand to other federal branches of funding. That means that researchers who have funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or other federal entities might be interested in providing their feedback.

What’s more we, as academic librarians, will have a lot to contribute to this conversation. SPARC has some Public Access Resources on their web site that will be of help to you in understanding the issues from a library perspective.

Feedback is being collected in a few ways. First, the public is invited to respond in comment form to one of three blog posts that will be hosted on the OSTP blog. The first that asks about Implementation is already up. The following two will ask questions on Features and Technology (December 21-31) and Management (January 1-7). The other way to provide feedback is by e-mailing your response to publicaccess@ostp.gov.

The original comment ending period until January 7th has been extended to January 21st. Consider letting your research faculty know about this important and exciting time for us to help shape the future of Public Access Policies. And please feel free to ask me any questions you might have about this!

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