This week in his weekly Time to Wake Up speech, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) speaks about climate change making the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) High Risk List for the first time this year. GAO's High Risk List is published every two years at the start of every new Congress since 1990. GAO "calls attention to agencies and program areas that are high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation."
"According to GAO, and I’ll quote again, “The nation’s vulnerability can be reduced by limiting the magnitude of climate change through actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions. . . . While implementing adaptive measures may be costly, [GAO continues] there is a growing recognition that the cost of inaction could be greater and—given the government’s precarious fiscal position—increasingly difficult to manage given expected budget pressures.”'
"Mr. President, Congress has been asleep long enough. We have a tradition in this body of taking the accounting of GAO, our non-partisan watchdog, seriously, and of taking GAO’s High Risk List seriously. GAO now joins our defense and intelligence communities, our scientific research communities, and our state and local governments, and major sectors of private industry, who have all elevated climate change from their “to-do” list to their “must-do” list. Mr. President, it is time for Congress to wake up to its duties, and to get to work."
According to the Air Force Times, the Air Force has reversed their policy of sharing monthly statistics on the number of airstrikes launched from drones (aka remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)). In the interest of access and transparency, we've posted the original statistics from December '12, January '13, and February '13.
As scrutiny and debate over the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the American military increased last month, the Air Force reversed a policy of sharing the number of airstrikes launched from RPAs in Afghanistan and quietly scrubbed those statistics from previous releases kept on their website.
Last October, Air Force Central Command started tallying weapons releases from RPAs, broken down into monthly updates. At the time, AFCENT spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bender said the numbers would be put out every month as part of a service effort to “provide more detailed information on RPA ops in Afghanistan.”
The Air Force maintained that policy for the statistics reports for November, December and January. But the February numbers, released March 7, contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been.
Additionally, monthly reports hosted on the Air Force website have had the RPA data removed — and recently.
Those files still contained the RPA data as of Feb. 16, according to archived web pages accessed via Archive.org. Metadata included in the new, RPA-less versions of the reports show the files were all created Feb. 22.
Lunchtime listen: Lawrence Lessig's Furman lecture titled "Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age."Submitted by jrjacobs on Wed, 2013-03-06 13:18.
This will be well worth your time! Listen, grok, act!
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Lawrence Lessig marked his appointment as Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School with a lecture titled "Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age." The lecture honored the memory and work of Aaron Swartz, the programmer and activist who took his own life on Jan. 11, 2013 at the age of 26. Swartz spent the last two years fighting federal charges that he violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
On his blog, Lessig wrote, “When a law professor is given a “chair” s/he gives a lecture in honor of the honor. … After Aaron’s death, I asked the Dean to let me reschedule the lecture. But after some more thought, I’ve decided to make the lecture about Aaron, and about how we need to honor his work.”
I was signed up for the Help! webinar on Homeland Security Digital Library, but unfortunately was unable to make the session. But luckily, all sessions are recorded and posted along with slides for future access on their site. This was a particularly interesting session presented by Greta Marlatt, the Outreach and Collection Development Manager for the Naval Postgraduate School’s Dudley Knox Library and the Content Manager for the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL). Greta pointed out several interesting aspects to the HSDL site:
- Compile hearing transcripts, prepared testimonies and video links from Committee pages
- Get permissions for hosting publications from other agencies and organizations (similar to our Everyday Electronic Materials (EEMs) project described earlier)
- Weekly email alerts for targeted search strategies
- Post CRS reports
- Homeland security related blogs aggregated
I think it's especially interesting that Greta and her team are compiling govt information and hosting digital files from other agencies and organizations. I highly recommend going back and listening to this presentation and ALL of the past Help! webinars!!
Kudos to Lynda Kellam and the rest of the group of North Carolina librarians putting out these interesting and informative Help! I'm an Accidental Government Information Librarian Webinars!
The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us all do better reference work by increasing our familiarity with government information resources, and by discovering the best strategies for navigating them.
The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is the nation's premier research collection of open-source resources related to homeland security policy, strategy and organizational management. The HSDL is sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA.
Greta Marlatt is the Outreach and Collection Development Manager for the Naval Postgraduate School’s Dudley Knox Library and the Content Manager for the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL). She has over 30 years of experience working in libraries in various capacities. Ms. Marlatt has published several articles and is the author of a number of bibliographies and help guides for topics relating to Intelligence, Information Warfare, Special Operations, Homeland Security, Mine Warfare, Directed Energy Weapons, NBC Terrorism and more. She has given numerous presentations on topics related to conducting research in the homeland security and military arenas. Ms. Marlatt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Arizona State University, a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from California State University, San Bernardino.
Thanks in part to a We the People petition signed by 65,000 people(!), President Obama's science advisor, John Holdren, issued a directive on Friday to all research funding agencies to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months of publication. It also requires that scientists receiving taxpayer dollars to improve upon the management and sharing of scientific data. This is huge! By my rough count, that means that approximately 20 US agencies will now make the science they fund available to the public. The only thing better would be for President Obama to support FREE access to ALL federal govt publications by assuring that FDsys remains freely available (one of the recommendations of the recent NAPA report was the tremendously backward and short-sighted suggestion that GPO charge for access to their FDsys database!)
See the policy memorandum, Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research
The Obama Administration is committed to the proposition that citizens deserve easy access to the results of scientific research their tax dollars have paid for. That’s why, in a policy memorandum released today, OSTP Director John Holdren has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research. OSTP has been looking into this issue for some time, soliciting broad public input on multiple occasions and convening an interagency working group to develop a policy. The final policy reflects substantial inputs from scientists and scientific organizations, publishers, members of Congress, and other members of the public—over 65 thousand of whom recently signed a We the People petition asking for expanded public access to the results of taxpayer-funded research.
To see the new policy memorandum, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/ostp_publi...
To see Dr. Holdren’s response to the We the People petition, please visit: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/increasing-public-access-resul...
Michael Stebbins is Assistant Director for Biotechnology at OSTP
If you're an aspiring (or accidental) data librarian, or just want to know more about Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), then here's a webinar for you!
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
This session will cover effective search strategies, ICPSR’s bibliography of data-related literature, our growing tools associated with the social science variables database, and more!
This session is for those who are searching for research data or teaching tools and those who are helping others to find data or teaching tools.
Title: Hands-Ons with ICPSR - Discovering ICPSR Data
Date: Monday, February 25, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
The Sunlight Foundation has just released Open States for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The site helps the public find their state legislators, review their votes, search upcoming legislation, and track bill progress. Open States gets their Bill, legislator, committee and event data from official sources, linked at the bottom of each legislator, bill, vote, committee or event page. Check out their methodology for more. They rely primarily on scraping data from sites. Wouldn't it be awesome of all state legislatures had bulk data feeds so that 1000 sites like Open States could bloom? Join the Webinar on February 22nd to learn more about Open States.
After more than four years of work from volunteers and a full-time team here at Sunlight we're immensely proud to launch the full Open States site with searchable legislative data for all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Open States is the only comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills and much more.
If you're interested in your state lawmaker, you'll be able to get notifications for their actions, a map of their district, voting records, committee assignments, campaign finance records from Influence Explorer, local news articles and contact information. If you're curious about a particular piece of legislation, Open States allows you to check on its status, find the sponsors, break down votes, view bill text and all supporting documents. Our powerful search capabilities allow you to find similar topics across states and view overview pages for each state, chamber and committee.
This announcement was just posted to the Global Open Access List (GOAL). We think it's a great move forward in offering free access to federally funded research. Infodocket has several other links of interest, including analysis by Peter Suber. If you support FASTR, please tell Congress.
U.S. Representatives Introduce Bill Expanding Access to Federally Funded Research
Washington, DC, February 14, 2013
U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) today introduced legislation to increase the openness, transparency, and accessibility of publicly funded research results.
The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) would require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
"This bill will give the American people greater access to the important scientific research results they've paid for," Congressman Doyle said today. Supporting greater collaboration among researchers in the sciences will accelerate scientific innovation and discovery, while giving the public a greater return on their scientific investment.
"The scientific research community benefits when they are able to share important research and cooperate across scientific fields. Likewise, taxpayers should not be required to pay twice for federally-funded research," said Congressman Yoder. "This legislation is common sense,
and promotes more transparency, accountability, and cooperation within the scientific research community."
"Everyday American taxpayer dollars are supporting researchers and scientists hard at work, when this information is shared, it can be used as a building block for future discoveries," said Representative Lofgren. "Greater public access can accelerate breakthroughs, where robust collaborative research can lead to faster commercialization and immense benefits for the public and our economy."
Specifically, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act would:
- Require federal departments and agencies with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more, whether funded totally or partially by a government department or agency, to submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a
- Ensure that the manuscript is preserved in a stable digital repository maintained by that agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.
- Require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public online and without cost, no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
- Require agencies to examine whether introducing open licensing options for research papers they make publicly available as a result of the public access policy would promote productive reuse and computational analysis of those research papers.
An identical Senate counterpart of this legislation is also being introduced today by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
"FASTR represents a giant step forward in making sure that the crucial information contained in these articles can be freely accessed and fully
used by all members of the public," said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing Academic Research Coalition (SPARC). "It has the potential to truly revolutionize the scientific research process."
This legislation would unlock unclassified research funded by agencies like the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation.
The bill builds on the success of the first U.S. mandate for public access to the published results of publicly funded research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented their public access policy. It is estimated that approximately 80,000 papers are published each year from NIH funds.
The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act echoes the interest in public access policies expressed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which has examined the mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in scientific research and increase access to information that promises to stimulate scientific and technological innovation and competitiveness.
Click here to read the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act.
Carl Malamud posted the following to BoingBoing today:
"This bill would provide that the full text of the California Code of Regulations shall bear an open access creative commons attribution license, allowing any individual, at no cost, to use, distribute, and create derivative works based on the material for either commercial or noncommercial purposes."
Public.Resource.Org has bulk data for the CCR and the public safety codes (known as Title 24) online, but this would all be way easier if we didn't have to double-key the building codes every 3 years and jump on the West CD-ROM every 2 months to extract the data. This move would lead to tremendous innovation, just like we've seen when the Federal Register went open source in bulk.
The bill sponsor, Assemblyman Nestande, has a long background in public policy and IP. He was campaign manager for Sonny Bono's successful 1994 congressional campaign.