Monday, March 4, 2013

The New OSTP Policy and Data

The OSTP policy changes last month that mandate greater access to federally funded research left us wondering what, exactly, it'll mean for federally funded research data. There have been several good blog posts written that summarize what the policy states and an interpretation of what the changes might mean in the realm of data.

The Scholarly Kitchen gives a history of how the policy came to be, deciphers what it means, and provides a list of agencies covered (NIH, CDC, FDA, ARHQ, NSF, NASA, DOE, USDA, FAA, FHWA, NIST, NOAA, USGS, EPA, DOD, VA, USAID, Dept. of Education, and the Smithsonian), and some first impressions of what it means for public access to funded research papers.

Carly Strasser from California Digital Library takes a look at the policy from both a scholarly article and data perspective, providing a short-and-sweet summary in plain English about potential changes from the policy.

And last, Kristin Briney spends time looking at what the policy means for data in particular.

Basically, what all this means is that data management plans will now be required of researchers on federal grants, and these plans should be supported by the various agencies. There is no particular mandate for sharing, just the "maximizing of access to research data." There is a lot of potential there for increases in data management plan creation and support, open repositories and greater access to the content therein. Agencies have 6 months from the announcement to create a policy; come August, there will be some interesting things to discuss.

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