Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 05, 2009

NSF considering a repository

Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries Awarded $20 Million Grant, press release, October 2, 2009.

The Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries have been awarded $20 million from the [U.S.] National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a data research infrastructure for the management of the ever-increasing amounts of digital information created for teaching and research. The five-year award, announced this week, was one of two for what is being called “data curation.”

The project, known as the Data Conservancy, involves individuals from several institutions, with Johns Hopkins University serving as the lead and Sayeed Choudhury, Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center and associate dean of university libraries, as the principal investigator. ... The Hopkins-led project is part of a larger $100 million NSF effort to ensure preservation and curation of engineering and science data.

Beginning with the life, earth, and social sciences, project members will develop a framework to more fully understand data practices currently in use and arrive at a model for curation that allows ease of access both within and across disciplines. ...

In addition to the $20 million grant announced today, the Libraries received a $300,000 grant from NSF to study the feasibility of developing, operating and sustaining an open access repository of articles from NSF-sponsored research. Libraries staff will work with colleagues from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and the University of Michigan Libraries to explore the potential for the development of a repository (or set of repositories) similar to PubMedCentral, the open-access repository that features articles from NIH-sponsored research. This grant for the feasibility study will allow Choudhury’s group to evaluate how to integrate activities under the framework of the Data Conservancy and will result in a set of recommendations for NSF regarding an open access repository. ...

Comment. The comparison to PMC is promising. The history of the NIH Public Access policy began with a repository, then a voluntary policy for grantee deposits, then finally an OA mandate. NSF is the main federal funder of non-biomedical research, including STEM fields, social sciences, and STEM education, so this could touch a lot of research.