... [T]he [White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy] considers the [NIH] policy to be in keeping with the Obama administration's open government initiatives (the OSTP blog entry was cross-posted to the OGI blog), and is considering a significant expansion. To that end, the policy discussion will focus on whether the NIH's open access initiative should be expanded to include other agencies and, if so, which ones. The NSF, which distributes grants in much the same way that the NIH does, would be the obvious choice. But many other agencies, such as the Departments of Energy and Interior, NASA, NOAA, the EPA, and the NIST all employ scientists that publish on a regular basis, and are obvious candidates for a similar policy.
[F]or the moment at least, the OSTP is focusing strictly on publications, and not on providing access to the raw data produced during the course of these studies (although that may be subject to separate disclosure policies, depending on the agency and material). It's a rather significant distinction to make, given the recent controversy over the availability of climate data that was used to produce several peer-reviewed studies.
In any case, the actual format of the material may ultimately be just as important as which agencies are included. The ability to ingest data from these publications and make it accessible to text mining and meta-analysis that crosses disciplines has the potential to open new avenues for research and provide a higher scientific return on the public's investment.
Gavin Baker at 12/16/2009 03:31:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.