Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Opening government funded research to improve research, teaching and learning in higher education

The report Harnessing Openness to Improve Research, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (A Report by the Digital Connections Council of the Committee for Economic Development Committee, 2009 ISBN #0-87186-184-7) has some very relevant sections dealing with Open Access and Open Data in the context of higher education and the research process:
  • Chapter 5. Openness in Higher Education: Changes in Research
    • a. Resistance to Greater Openness
    • b. Openness and Open-Access Journals
    • c. Digital Repositories
    • d. Educating Faculty Members on Their Intellectual Property Rights
    • e. Openness and Commercial Support of Research
    • f. Access to Government-Funded Research Results
    • g. Openness and University Libraries
    • h. Openness and Academic Presses
    • i. Openness and Technology Transfer
Of particular interest to those who - perhaps at a more general level - are working on getting better access to government funded research, are the following recommendations on this particular issue:
  • f. Access to Government-Funded Research Results
    Governments should:
    • Retain the existing requirements of the NIH public-access policy regarding the results of NIH-funded research (public availability within 12 months of publication).
    • Stimulate research and increase the pace of innovation
      by extending the NIH public-access policy to cover all non-classified research funded by the 11 federal agencies providing over $100 million each in research support.
    • Extend the NIH public-access policy, under appropriate conditions, to primary data resulting from federally funded research and data gathered in support of government regulatory activities.
    • Extend the NIH public-access policy to publicly funded research at institutions of higher education at the state, and local levels.
    • Adopt policies that promote the accessibility and utilization of all non-classified government procedures and processes, data and information products (e.g. databases, publications, audio and video products etc.) as well as materials held in government-funded museums and collections. Lower, to the extent practicable, barriers to access and use, including permission and attribution requirements and technological barriers. Consider the utilization of standardized formats and metadata to facilitate searching and use. (Policies should neither favor one commercial entity over another nor commercial entities over noncommercial entities.)
    • Develop long-term plans and policies for ongoing permanent public access to government information in whatever form, taking into account the fragility of digital media and the format migration that has impeded access.

Thanks to Bill St. Arnaud for this info.

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