OSTP Requests Input Regarding Possible Open Access to Federally Funded Research Results

The Office of Science and Technology Policy is requesting input regarding enhanced access to federally funded science and technology research results, including the possibility of open access to them. Comments can be e-mailed to publicaccess@ostp.gov. The deadline for comments is January 7, 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Input is welcome on any aspect of expanding public access to peer reviewed publications arising from federal research. Questions that individuals may wish to address include, but are not limited to, the following (please respond to questions individually):

  1. How do authors, primary and secondary publishers, libraries, universities, and the federal government contribute to the development and dissemination of peer reviewed papers arising from federal funds now, and how might this change under a public access policy?
  2. What characteristics of a public access policy would best accommodate the needs and interests of authors, primary and secondary publishers, libraries, universities, the federal government, users of scientific literature, and the public?
  3. Who are the users of peer-reviewed publications arising from federal research? How do they access and use these papers now, and how might they if these papers were more accessible? Would others use these papers if they were more accessible, and for what purpose?
  4. How best could federal agencies enhance public access to the peer-reviewed papers that arise from their research funds? What measures could agencies use to gauge whether there is increased return on federal investment gained by expanded access?
  5. What features does a public access policy need to have to ensure compliance?
  6. What version of the paper should be made public under a public access policy (e.g., the author's peer reviewed manuscript or the final published version)? What are the relative advantages and disadvantages to different versions of a scientific paper?
  7. At what point in time should peer-reviewed papers be made public via a public access policy relative to the date a publisher releases the final version? Are there empirical data to support an optimal length of time? Should the delay period be the same or vary for levels of access (e.g., final peer reviewed manuscript or final published article, access under fair use versus alternative license), for federal agencies and scientific disciplines?
  8. How should peer-reviewed papers arising from federal investment be made publicly available? In what format should the data be submitted in order to make it easy to search, find, and retrieve and to make it easy for others to link to it? Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit? How are these anticipated to change?
  9. Access demands not only availability, but also meaningful usability. How can the federal government make its collections of peer- reviewed papers more useful to the American public? By what metrics (e.g., number of articles or visitors) should the Federal government measure success of its public access collections? What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international)? And, what makes them exceptional? Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?

In "The Obama Administration Wants OA for Federally-Funded Research," Peter Suber says:

  • This is big. We already have important momentum in Congress for FRPAA. The question here is about separate action from the White House. What OA policies should President Obama direct funding agencies to adopt? This is the first major opening to supplement legislative action with executive action to advance public access to publicly-funded research. It's also the first explicit sign that President Obama supports the OA policy at the NIH and wants something similar at other federal agencies.
  • Don't forget that FRPAA has to stand in line behind healthcare reform, financial regulation, and climate change. This is the perfect time to open a new front from the executive branch. Also don't forget that the federal funding agencies belong to the executive branch and are subject to executive order.
  • Comments are due January 7. Please write one and spread the word, not necessarily in that order. As far as I can tell, comments from non-citizens addressing the nine questions are as welcome as comments from US citizens.
  • You can be sure that the publishing lobby will be writing comments. It's vital that the research community be heard as well, loud and clear.

Read more about it at "OSTP to Launch Public Forum on How Best to Make Federally Funded Research Results Available For Free."

Also, the Office Of Management and Budget has released the Open Government Directive.