image © Katie HarbathThe US House of Representatives and the US Senate on January 16 approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which will fund the federal government through FY 2014. President Obama signed the legislation, averting yet another government shut down. The Consolidated Appropriations Act restores some but not all of the budget lines cut in the sequester.
image © CERN, credit Lucas TaylorUnder the leadership of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, partners in 24 countries are participating in the largest-scale global open access initiative ever built—SCOAP3. Involving an international collaboration of more than 1,000 libraries, library consortia, and research organizations, SCOAP3 will make it possible for a significant percentage of scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics to become open access at no cost for any author and with a reduction of subscription fees for libraries. Everyone will be able to read the articles, authors will retain copyright, and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information.
image © Matthew WhiteheadSPARC has announced panel topics and invites participants to register for the SPARC Open Access Meeting set to take place in Kansas City on March 3–4, 2014.
Advances in the areas of open access, open data, and open educational resources have grown exponentially since the last SPARC Open Access Meeting was convened in 2012. As this push for greater openness continues, these three fronts are converging in interesting and potentially transformative ways. Join SPARC as leaders from the library community, academia, industry, the student community, and other research avenues discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence will have on research and discovery. The meeting is designed to emphasize collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.
image © Newtown graffitiSixty-six presidents and provosts of US universities and colleges sent a letter to Congress urging passage of public access legislation, Fair Access to Science and Technology Research, or FASTR. This legislation promotes the acceleration of scientific discovery by making articles reporting on publicly funded scientific research freely accessible online. The presidents and provosts stated, “we believe that this legislation represents a watershed and provides an opportunity for the entire U.S. higher education and research community to draw upon their traditional partnerships and collaboratively realize the unquestionably good intentions of the bill’s framers—broadening access to publicly funded research in order to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and maximize the related public good. By ensuring broad and diverse access to taxpayer-funded research the bill also supports the intuitive and democratic principle that, with reasonable exceptions for issues of national security, the public ought to have access to the results of activities it funds.”
SCOAP3The SCOAP3 model is built on redirecting funds currently used to pay for subscriptions to participating journals to support their conversion to open access, as well as to cover article-processing fees in existing open access journals. Launch of SCOAP3 is scheduled for January 1, 2014, and confirmation of participation is requested by November 15, 2013. SCOAP3 costs institutions no more than they are paying now for the subscriptions and has, due to unprecedented global negotiations, driven reductions in publisher article-processing fees when SCOAP3 goes live and will ensure the granting of CC-BY licenses for the articles. For US libraries that have not yet confirmed their participation, information can be found on the LYRASIS website or by contacting
image © Matthew WhiteheadThe next SPARC Open Access Meeting, themed “Convergence,” will convene March 3–4, 2014, in Kansas City. The past year has seen growing momentum in the areas of open access, open data, and open educational resources. As the push for greater openness continues, these three fronts are converging in interesting and potentially transformative ways. Join us as leaders from the library community, academia, industry, student community, and other research avenues discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence might have on research and discovery. The meeting is designed to emphasize collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.
image © Right to Research CoalitionSPARC’s student initiative, the Right to Research Coalition, has released a video interview of Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore who won the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a breakthrough diagnostic for pancreatic cancer. Interviewed by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Andraka discusses how open access articles and NIH’s PubMed Central played a key role in enabling his discovery.
This spring SPARC published a community resource, Article-Level Metrics: A SPARC Primer (PDF), by Greg Tananbaum. Article-level metrics (ALMs) are rapidly emerging as important tools to quantify how individual articles are being discussed, shared, and used. This SPARC primer provides an overview of what ALMs are, why they matter, how they complement established utilities and metrics, and how they might be considered for use in the tenure and promotion process.
image © Tom LohdanToday President Obama signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to make government data more accessible to the public. Under the terms of the Executive Order, "Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information," a new Open Data Policy (PDF) released today establishes a framework to help agencies implement the principles of effective information management throughout the data life cycle to promote interoperability and openness. Whether or not particular information can be made public, agencies can apply this framework to all information resources to promote efficiency and produce value.
On February 22, 2013, John P. Holdren, Director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued a memorandum directing federal research funding agencies with R&D budgets of $100 million or more to develop a plan within six months to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the federal Government.