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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data

Today the Public Library of Science (PLOS) revised its already-strong data policy. As of March 3, 2014, authors in all PLOS journals will be required to provide a Data Availability Statement. Additionally, all underlying data must be publicly available in 1 of 3 places: the body of the manuscript, in the supporting information, or in a stable, public repository which provides an accession number of Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Kudos to PLOS for furthering public access to research data in the “pursuit of scientific advances.”

Access to research results, immediately and without restriction, has always been at the heart of PLOS’ mission and the wider Open Access movement. However, without similar access to the data underlying the findings, the article can be of limited use. For this reason, PLOS has always required that authors make their data available to other academic researchers who wish to replicate, reanalyze, or build upon the findings published in our journals.

In an effort to increase access to this data, we are now revising our data-sharing policy for all PLOS journals: authors must make all data publicly available, without restriction, immediately upon publication of the article. Beginning March 3rd, 2014, all authors who submit to a PLOS journal will be asked to provide a Data Availability Statement, describing where and how others can access each dataset that underlies the findings. This Data Availability Statement will be published on the first page of each article.

via PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data – EveryONE.

Lessig: “The architecture of access to scientific knowledge: just how badly we have messed this up”

Lunchtime Listen: Lawrence Lessig, speaking at CERN, talks about how hard, expensive, and limited our access is to scholarly information and how we have created this system.

He mentions the problem of prohibiting access to an individual chart in an article posted for free on the internet. (Around the 16 minute mark: slide 189 et seq. [don’t be intimidated by the number of slides; Lessig’s presentation style is wonderful and clear and fast and enjoyable and no slide stays on the screen for more than a couple of seconds].)

We see this same problem in government information that incorporates copyrighted information with the results being anything from limited access to prohibited access to the non-copyrighted information. This is the poison pill problem of copyright.