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 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 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 May 27, 2011.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has opened its scientific multimedia collections to searches by the Energy Department’s ScienceCinema. The ScienceCinema website performs searches of the audio in a database of audio and video presentations; results link directly to multimedia files. Aside from the CERN works, the content is from the U.S. Energy Department and its national laboratories. (For more information, see our previous blog post: ScienceCinema: DOE Multimedia Search, 9 February 2011.)
The CERN materials are audio files only at this point. They include recordings for both general and expert audiences interested in particle physics research. To limit a ScienceCinema search to CERN content only, choose theBibliographic Search option and select the button for CERN under ‘Media Source’ in the lower right corner.
Also see the Energy Department press release, CERN Multimedia Now Playing at DOE’s Science Cinema, 25 May 2011.
Posted in Europe, Federal government, Science information
Posted on April 14, 2011.
The U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) wants you to help identify some of the more mysterious measuring devices in its artifact collection. The agency has launched a new website, NIST Digital Archives, featuring images of standards instruments from the collections of the “real” NIST Museum. A browse option lets you sift through pictures of old refractometers, gyroscopes, calorimeters, galvanometers, and objects only described as “metal instrument in wooden case” or “square wood-framed instrument with two dials.” Those mystery images are listed as a subset (only 18 so far). Each image record has a link for emailing comments at the bottom of the record’s page.
The Library of Congress, through its Prints & Photographs Division, was one of the first agencies to test the crowdsourcing waters. Selected historic photographs are posted at Flickr.com, allowing the public to comment on them and perhaps correct the LoC’s description or provide a description where there was none. The Flickr pilot project is assessed in the LoC report For the Common Good: The Library of Congress Flickr Pilot Project [PDF].
The crowdsourcing is just one aspect of the new NIST Digital Archives, of course. In addition to the growing collection of images, the site has archived agency publications, including:
For more information about the NIST Digital Archives site, see Crowdsourcing Science History: NIST Digital Archives Seeks Help in Identifying Mystery Artifacts from NIST Tech Beat, 12 April 2011.
Posted in Science information
Posted on February 9, 2011.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a new search engine for videos from the national laboratories and other DOE research facilities. ScienceCinema (http://www.osti.gov/sciencecinema/) searches the audio in these research and development lectures and presentations and links directly to the video files. As described in the DOE press release (8 February 2010):
ScienceCinema uses innovative, state-of-the-art audio indexing and speech recognition technology from Microsoft Research to allow users to quickly find video files produced by the DOE National Laboratories and other DOE research facilities. When users search for specific scientific words and phrases of interest to them, precise snippets of the video where the specific search term was spoken will appear along with a timeline. Users can then select a snippet or a segment along the timeline to begin playing the video at the exact point in the video where the words were spoken. The timeline is synced with transcripts of the targeted portion of video.
It is anticipated that scientific videos, animations, interactive visualizations, and other multimedia will become an increasingly prominent form of scientific communications. ScienceCinema was produced, in part, as a proof of concept to demonstrate the value of speech recognition in the complex vocabulary of science.
The audio search is supplemented with a bibliographic search that includes fields for creator/author, title, description/abstract, identifier numbers, publication date, and system entry date. Some fields–such as the description–may not be populated for some records, so you may wish to try several approaches to search.
Posted in Science information
Posted on January 5, 2011.
Multimedia & Visualization Innovations for Science is a one-day workshop scheduled for 8 February 2010 in Redmond, Washington State, and sponsored by the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI). U.S. government speakers include Mike Frame of the U.S. Geological Survey (“Visualization and Indexing of Ecological/Biological Data”); Michael Ackerman of the National Library of Medicine (“Interactive Multimedia Scientific Publishing”); and Lorrie Apple Johnson of the Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (“ScienceCinema: Multimedia Search and Retrieval in the Sciences”).
From the workshop announcement: “This workshop will feature leading-edge innovations in science-oriented web multimedia, large-scale data exploration and visualization, speech and object recognition, image indexing and analysis, human/computer interaction and virtual environments, among other topics.”
The ICSTI web page provides program and registration information. Note that, in addition to members of ICSTI, members of the following organizations are eligible for member rates: NFAIS, ALPSP, CENDI, and GreyNet.
Posted in Science information