Submitted by dcornwall on Sat, 2013-02-16 07:19.
We all know about the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, but did you know there were Code Talkers in World War I? Or that the very first US military code talkers were Choctaw and Comanche?
Suzanne Marshall, an MLIS student at Florida State University and reference librarian at West Florida Public Library serves up these facts and more in an article titled "A hidden story: American Indian Code Talkers" in the Winter 2012 Student Papers Issue of Dttp: Documents to the People.
The story of the Indian Code Talkers and belated efforts to honor their work is a story interesting in and of itself. But Suzanne uses this story and some unanswered questions as a springboard to explain the current state of affairs in government archival material and to argue for facilitated access to such material.
She concludes with:
Citizens rightfully own government documents and must be granted not only access but facilitated access to those documents. Important facts are, by default, invisible and virtually inaccessible without facilitated access. As this case of the American Indian code talkers highlights, we must strive to reveal the rich heritage we share in our co-owned government documents.
Marshall, Suzanne. A hidden story: American Indian Code Talkers. Dttp: Documents to the People, v. 40, no. 4, Winter 2012, p. 27
Submitted by jrjacobs on Thu, 2013-02-14 21:23.
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.
Submitted by jajacobs on Wed, 2013-02-13 06:23.
From a press release from GPO:
President Obama’s State Of The Union Address Available On Gpo’s Federal Digital System
The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) makes President Barack Obama's State of the Union address available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). The public can access the President’s address in the Congressional Record, which is the official publication of the U.S. Congress.
Direct link to address: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2013-02-12/html/CREC-2013-02-12-pt1-Pg...
Submitted by jrjacobs on Tue, 2013-02-12 21:01.
Carl Malamud posted the following to BoingBoing today:
Assemblyman Brian Nestande of California has introduced Assembly Bill 292, which would open source the California Code of Regulations (including the Building Codes!!). The summary reads:
"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.
Submitted by jajacobs on Tue, 2013-02-12 07:24.
The Obama Administration has launched the Smart Disclosure Data Community at Consumer.Data.gov.
This site is a centralized federal resource for Smart Disclosure. Here you will find hundreds of government datasets that can help enable consumer choice; apps that demonstrate the power of Smart Disclosure; challenges for app developers; and resources to learn more about Smart Disclosure.
- Consumer.Data.Gov is Live!, by Sophie Raseman and Nick Sinai, whitehouse.gov (February 11, 2013).
The Community announced today is a first-of-its-kind centralized platform containing over 400 smart disclosure data sets and resources from dozens of agencies across government. Using the Community, entrepreneurs and innovators can access free Federal data to create the consumer applications, products, and services of the future -- all in one convenient location.
Submitted by jrjacobs on Mon, 2013-02-11 09:06.
Some of you may remember Dr. Joel Weintraub's census talk at the 2012 ALA Annual conference in Anaheim, CA -- complete w a fire alarm and sobbing librarians. Because of that immensely interesting talk, My colleague Kris Kasianovitz and I decided to invite Dr Weintraub to speak about the history of the US census at Stanford University. He came last week (Monday 2/4/13) and gave an amazingly informative talk on the United States Decennial Census Manuscripts aka Enumerators' Notebooks, the history of the Census Questions, including controversial questions, undercounts, and truthfulness. For more on Dr Weintraub's census work see his 1940 census site and his collaborative work with Steve Morse.
The talk was co-sponsored by Stanford University Library, SUL Government Information Librarians and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS).
Submitted by jajacobs on Mon, 2013-02-11 06:57.
The Government Printing Office has joined the social networking site Pinterest that "lets you organize and share all the beautiful things."
The GPO press release says:
The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) expands its social media presence by joining Pinterest. Connecting people through 'things' they find interesting is the founding principle of Pinterest and a natural fit with GPO's core mission of Keeping America Informed on the three branches of the Federal Government. GPO will use Pinterest to share historic photos, videos, products, and Government publications with the public. Pinterest joins GPO's other social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Government Book Talk blog.
Link to GPO's Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/usgpo/
"GPO is constantly evolving and keeping up-to-date on public trends and the popular ways to access and share information," said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. "GPO's expansion of social media supports our mission of Keeping America Informed. Joining Pinterest is one more way GPO can engage the public and continue to serve as the official link between the Federal Government and public."
Submitted by dcornwall on Sun, 2013-02-10 07:39.
This was a mostly quiet week at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases. Quiet enough that I would not normally put out an activity report, but there are two notable things I wanted to share with you.
ORPHANS - THE FINAL FOUR?
The adoption of Florida is pending. That leaves us with just four states waiting for volunteer government information specialists/enthusiasts to adopt them:
If you are interested in adopting one of these pages, please read our volunteer guide and make sure you can accept the responsibilities of a project volunteer. Then contact project coordinator Daniel Cornwall at firstname.lastname@example.org with a statement of interest and your favorite database from the page you are adopting.
CALIFORNIA'S DATABASE FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
As most government information specialists are aware, local government documents are probably the most elusive of all. California has taken a step to try to make their local government documents easier to find and use. I (and any other user of the State Agency Databases wiki) was made aware of this by Joel Rane, the volunteer for California. Here is his annotation of California's new resource:
California Local Government Documents - An extensive database of local government documents across the state; if a document is not online, a scanned copy is hosted by the Berkeley IGS. Includes access to local municipal codes and charters, searchable by city; documents related to land use and development issues, searchable by jurisdiction, type of planning document and year (at both county and city level); and budgets and financial reports for Bay Area cities, county budgets and annual financial reports, and annual reports from county grand juries, all searchable by keyword. A tremendous resource.
Hats off to UC Berkeley for putting this together and thanks to Joel Rane for making the rest of us aware of this new resource for one state's local documents.
Submitted by jajacobs on Fri, 2013-02-08 06:50.
Gregorio Sablan (D), rep of the Northern Mariana Islands has introduced into the House H.R.429, Northern Mariana Islands Federal Depository Library Act of 2013 which would amend Section 1905 of title 44 to permit the Delegate from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to designate Federal depository libraries.