White House seeks input on federal research info sharing program

Policies for how to share federally funded research data under development

White House officials launched a public forum today to determine what data formats should be used to make federally funded research projects available to the public, according to a blog post by Rick Weiss, director of strategic communications and a senior policy analyst at Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

“It is one thing to talk about the philosophy of public access and open government generally, and quite another to get serious about how, exactly, to implement some of those ideas,” Weiss stated. “So through the waning hours of 2009—until midnight Dec. 31, that is—OSTP is inviting you to weigh in on some of the nuts and bolts aspects of public access publishing.”

Questions Weiss’ office wants help in answering include:

  • In what format should published papers be submitted to make them easy to find, retrieve, and search and to make it easy for others to link to them?
  • Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit?
  • How are these anticipated to change?
  • Are there formats that would be especially useful to researchers wishing to combine datasets or other published results published from various papers in order to conduct comparative studies or meta-analyses?

During the first phase of the open government project, White House officials asked the public which agencies should have public access policies for government research. The final phase of the project will begin on Jan. 1, 2010 and will look at how to ensure compliance with the new policies. That phase will run until Jan. 21, 2010.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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