Posted on February 23, 2013.
In response to a petition filed on the White House We the People site, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Friday released a policy memorandum (PDF) supporting free public access to the results of federally-funded research. The policy mandates that, within six months, “each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures…develop a [draft] plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government.” Of particular interest to librarians and other information professionals, required features of the draft agency plans include “a strategy for improving the public’s ability to locate and access digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research” and “an approach for optimizing search, archival, and dissemination features that encourages innovation in accessibility and interoperability, while ensuring long-term stewardship of the results of federally funded research.”
Meanwhile, legislation recently introduced in Congress (H.R. 708) calls on federal agencies “to develop public access policies relating to research conducted by employees of that agency or from funds administered by that agency.” The bill is commonly called the FASTR bill, short for “Fair Access to Science and Technology Research.”
Open access expert Peter Suber succinctly describes the key differences between the White House policy and the legislation–and explains why he welcomes both–in his Google+ post Second shoe drops: new White House Directive mandates OA.
While the bill may or may not pass, the directive is already in force. How will this affect your work? Let us know in the comments.
Posted in Data and statistics, Federal government, Information issues, Information policy, Legislatures, Science information
Posted on October 2, 2011.
From the CIA website, as posted on 28 September 2011:
The World Factbook is expanding! The People category is now People and Society and includes eight new fields: Health expenditures (as percent of GDP), Physicians density (per 10,000 people), Hospital bed density (per 1,000 people), Maternal mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 live births), Drinking water source, Sanitation facility access, Children under the age of five underweight (%), and Obesity – adult prevalence rate. Additionally, there is a new field in the Economy category, Unemployment, youth ages 15-24. The new datasets focus on the health and welfare of a country’s population, and provide information relevant to a country’s internal stability.
Posted in Data and statistics, Health information, International
Posted on October 1, 2011.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has announced that as of 1 October 2011, their nationwide network of Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs) will become known as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs). From the press release:
The name change signifies a major shift in focus from the “paper depository” concept to an expansion of access to electronic information and specialized training to meet the information needs of 21st Century patent and trademark customers. …
“PTRCs serve as the face of the USPTO in local communities and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that ensures that potential filers have the local resources necessary to draw on for support as they begin their quest for commercial success with their intellectual property,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.
In addition to offering free electronic services and resources designed to support the intellectual property needs of local and state patrons, PTRC’s employ USPTO-trained librarians to provide customer assistance on the use of the agency’s patent and trademark databases and public seminars on intellectual property topics for novice and experienced users.
These 80+ resource centers can be found using the online PTRC Library List.
Posted in Business & Economics information, Legal information, Libraries, Library management
Posted on September 13, 2011.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has just announced a new blog, ReferencePoint. In the 12 September press release, NLM says:
ReferencePoint postings will:
- Increase awareness of NLM products and services available online and onsite.
- Inform the targeted audiences about health sciences resources outside of NLM.
- Promote dialogue and learning exchanges between NLM staff and staff at other libraries.
This is a moderated blog which anyone can see. Reference librarians and other NLM staff will write, review and respond to comments during regular business hours. Ask questions or comment about any resources listed in the space at the end of each posting. You must register and log-in to post comments. You can also read ReferencePoint as an RSS feed.
In the most recent post, NLM launches a monthly feature called Reference Challenge: “Each month, we will post our most challenging questions. How would you answer them? The Reference Challenge will generate discussion and learning for all of us.” The Challenge may be a useful exercise for experienced reference teams and librarians-in-training. Or a quiz question for your clients (once you know the answer)?
Posted in Health information, Science information
Posted on September 12, 2011.
Advertising on government websites? The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is trying it. It’s billed as a pilot project, and here is an excerpt from the Web Advertising Pilot Project page:
The pages with advertising are on a wsdot.com address instead of the wsdot.gov address because federal guidelines prohibit government agencies from selling ads in the .gov domain. Banner ads are currently for sale on the popular ferry vessel watch and twelve ferry schedule Web pages. During the pilot project, advertising space will be available on other WSDOT Web pages such as mountain passes and traffic conditions.
The project is not new–the press release is from December 2010–but it was new to me. WSDOT had commissioned a Website Monetizing Feasibility Study (PDF), released in January 2010 and linked from the project page.
Governing magazine recently reported on it in Click Here for More Revenue, 6 September 2011, by Jessica Mulholland.
Posted in Transportation information, Websites
Posted on September 10, 2011.
Everyone (well, several people–maybe you–and some important institutions) is talking about capturing and preserving scientific data. Bill LeFurgy has a brief and informative introduction to the phenomenon in the The Signal, the blog of the National Digital Preservation Information Infrastructure and Preservation (NDIIP) program. In his post, The Library: One Place for Publications and Data, he reports that “there is now a coalescing sense among researchers and policy makers that ongoing access to data is needed to replicate scientific results and spur new learning though secondary use.” Read the full post.
Posted in Data and statistics, Digital preservation, Science information
Posted on September 7, 2011.
Give the improved search at the Energy Department’s Green Energy website a spin. Managed by Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), Green Energy searches databases of Energy research and development reports and patents relevant to renewable energy resources and energy conservation.
In a 7 September 2011 press release, OSTI explains its implementation of the semantic search technique “keyword to concept mapping.” From the press release:
When you type “solar power” into a search box, are you looking for information on solar farms, solar radiation, or solar electric power plants? The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Green Energy portal can now map your keyword query to scientific concepts. This semantic technique, called “keyword to concept mapping,” is applied to your search behind the scenes and helps hone your search for more efficient knowledge access and discovery.
At DOE Green Energy, you will now receive results that allow you to explore more narrow concepts, related concepts, or even broader concepts. DOE Green Energy affords you the use of the familiar and simple search box – yet still provides the benefits of an advanced search technology to help get to the information you need.
The site also has a new auto-complete feature to prompt for related phrases as you type in the search box.
Search results are displayed according to relevance but can be sorted by date with a click on the Date column heading.
Posted in Environmental information, Science information, Websites
Posted on September 7, 2011.
The Government Printing Office (GPO) has announced that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) will be ending their Depository Access to Reports Scientific and Technical (DARTS) pilot project. The GPO announcement:
In early 2007 the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) launched a pilot project to provide depository library access to approximately 240,000 scientific and technical publications from 1964-2000. Previously many of these resources had not been made available through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Though NTIS is exempt from FDLP obligations by the provisions of Title 44, United States Code, §1903 because its products and services “must necessarily be sold in order to be self-sustaining,” there was joint interest in exploring how NTIS could participate in the FDLP through a pilot project by providing access to its electronic content.
Depository library access to Depository Access to Reports Scientific and Technical (DARTS) was extended beyond the planned one year with the hope of offsetting operating and maintenance costs from the purchase of these reports and other product revenue. NTIS can no longer accommodate free FDLP access to scientific and technical reports and still be self-sustaining and in compliance with their authorizing legislation. The DARTS Pilot Project between NTIS and the FDLP will end September 30, 2011. For more details read the DARTS Pilot Project Final Summary.
Though this pilot will cease, both GPO and NTIS are still interested in exploring other partnership possibilities to increase access to the Government’s scientific and technical report literature and eliminate possible duplicative efforts.
Posted in Federal government, Information policy, Science information
Posted on September 4, 2011.
CENDI.gov and National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS.org) have opened registration for a one-day workshop, Repositories in Science & Technology: Preserving Access to the Record of Science. The workshop will be held in the Mumford Room of the Library of Congress on 30 November. See the announcement and registration form for details. Who should attend? “The over-arching nature of this one-day workshop will appeal to a broad array of communities, including librarians, scientists/researchers, technologists, information professionals, both managerial and content providers, publishers, and futurists – anyone who is concerned with ensuring access to the record of science, both today and in the future.”
Posted in Digital preservation, Science information
Posted on August 25, 2011.
Bloomberg LP, parent company of Bloomberg News, announced today its intention to acquire Bureau of National Affairs Inc. (BNA).
From the Bloomberg press release:
Bloomberg LP, the closely held news and financial information provider, agreed to buy BNA for about $990 million to add legal, tax and regulatory research and analysis. … BNA shareholders, who are current and former employees, will get $39.50 a share in cash in a transaction that is expected to be completed this year, New York-based Bloomberg said in a statement today. … The tender offer will begin by Sept. 8 and is subject to regulatory approval, Bloomberg said.
From the BNA press release:
BNA, which is wholly owned by current and former employees, provides important legal, tax and regulatory research and analysis and would become a stand-alone subsidiary of Bloomberg. … Together, Bloomberg and BNA would form a unique combination of premium content, deep subject matter expertise, proprietary data and world class technological capabilities to provide distinctive products and solutions for professionals and decision makers in law, government, business and finance. … “For more than eight decades, we have provided our subscribers with quality products that allow them to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently,” said Paul N. Wojcik, Chairman and CEO of BNA. “We believe this is the start of a new day, where we will join forces with Bloomberg to extend our premium content to an expanded audience.”
Posted in Business & Economics information, Legal information