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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
  News archives across months
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American Chemical Society responds to reports of changes in agency scientific policies
- 26 Jan 2017

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is monitoring, with concern, reports stating the Trump administration is changing scientific communication policy and grant procedures. During this transition, ACS urges the administration to clarify, as soon as possible, its positions on these policies.

The American Chemical Society has established public policies underscoring the importance of unfettered scientific discourse and exchange to ensure the integrity, credibility and reliability of the scientific enterprise.

The ACS Freedom of International Scientific Exchange statement notes: Science and scholarship flourish when scientists collaboratively pursue and publish research and communicate without externally imposed impediment, limitation, or restriction. It is important for organisations that represent scientists and educators to advocate the most open and fair exchange among scientists without limitations imposed by national and global political concerns.

In addition, the Society's Scientific Integrity in Public Policy statement underlies ACS' detailed perspective on science policy, and states in part: Scientists and engineers have an obligation to provide comprehensive, transparent, unbiased, and understandable technical analyses. Policymakers have the responsibility to consider these analyses and any other relevant technical input in a comprehensive, transparent, and unbiased manner.

Related policy materials are available at https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/policy/publicpolicies.html.

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The Optical Society applauds passage of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act
- 09 Jan 2017

The Optical Society (OSA) has issued a statement on the passage and signing of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which promotes investment in research and development innovations that will better allow U.S. companies to compete in the international marketplace. In addition, the bill includes a provision calling for increased partnership among federal science agencies, academia and industry to advance optics and photonics technologies.

In an effort to promote the continued development of the optics and photonics industry, the bill encourages federal agencies to share information on optics and photonics-related programs, partner with the private sector and academia to leverage knowledge and resources, and ensure a highly trained optics and photonics workforce through Federal and private sector sponsored internships and improved educational facilities and programs in colleges and universities. In addition to the promotion of optics and photonics, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act aims to reduce administrative and regulatory burdens on federally funded researchers, provide grants to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM-related fields and increase educational outreach efforts to K-8 students.

The bill received broad bi-partisan support and was passed by a unanimous consent in both the House and Senate.

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More than 600 Springer Nature journals commit to new data sharing policies
- 07 Dec 2016

More than 600 journals across Nature Research, Springer, BioMed Central and Palgrave Macmillan have committed to encouraging good practice in the sharing and archiving and citation of research data by adopting new Springer Nature research data policies. The text of the policies has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license so that they can be re-used by the wider research community.

These easy-to-understand policies encourage the publication of more open and reproducible research, and aim to increase growth and innovation in research and data sharing. They improve services for authors, editors and peer reviewers by standardising policies and procedures, providing more consistent links between publications and data, guidelines and support. In addition, a dedicated Research Data Support Helpdesk for Springer Nature authors and editors has been created.

The policy types include: Type 1: Data sharing and data citation is encouraged; Type 2: Data sharing and evidence of data sharing is encouraged; Type 3: Data sharing encouraged and statements of data availability required; and Type 4: Data sharing, evidence of data sharing and peer review of data required. All types of policy support citation of research data - helping researchers gain credit for data sharing - in article reference lists, and support the deposition of research data in trusted research data repositories.

For instance, Computer Science title Brain Informatics has adopted a Type 1 policy and Transition Metal Chemistry has adopted a Type 2 policy. All of the Nature-branded journals, BioMed Central journals and Palgrave Communications support type 3 policies. Journals with the strictest open data policies such as Scientific Data and Genome Biology support the requirements of the Type 4 policy.

Earlier this year, Springer Nature conducted research published in a report on The State of Open Data in partnership with Digital Science. Of the researchers who have already made their data open, 60% of respondents are unsure about the licensing conditions under which they have already shared their data, and thus the extent to which it can be accessed or reused. In addition, more than half of respondents said they would welcome more guidance on compliance with their funder's policy. These challenges are addressed by the new Springer Nature policies.

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NISO announces new publishers enacting phase two of KBART guidelines
- 22 Nov 2016

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has announced that five publishers are now supplying metadata that conforms to phase two of the recommended practice, KBART: Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (NISO RP-9-2014). Conformance with KBART indicates that the format and content of data supplied by these publishers observe practical recommendations for timely exchange between content providers and knowledge base vendors.

The newest endorsers are: Greenleaf Publishing, Harvard University Press, IEEE, Oxford University Press and Project MUSE.

The NISO KBART (Knowledge Bases And Related Tools) Standing Committee manages and supports Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2014). This publication provides all parties in the information supply chain with straightforward guidance about metadata formatting to ensure the exchange of accurate metadata between content providers and knowledge base developers. Phase II of the Recommendations, published in 2014 builds on the original 2010 publication by supporting consortia-specific metadata and metadata transfer for open access publications, e-books, and conference proceedings.

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Concordat on open research data launched
- 29 Jul 2016

Four of the UK's leading research organisations - Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Universities UK (UUK) and Wellcome Trust - have launched a concordat that proposes a series of clear and practical principles for working with research data.

The Concordat on Open Research Data has been developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group - Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), RCUK, Newcastle University, UUK, HEFCE, University of Warwick, Research Information Network, Springer Nature, British Library, Wellcome Trust, University of Essex, The Russell Group and Jisc - and is a set of expectations of best practice reflecting the needs of the research community.

This concordat will help to ensure that research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible; in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the costs involved.

The ten principles include importance of developing data skills; importance of ensuring data underlying publications is accessible by publication date; rights of data creators to reasonable first use; and expectations of data users to acknowledge use of others' data.

While there are four initial signatories to the concordat, there has been wider consultation with the research community and their feedback and input helped shape the final text. The Concordat on Open Research Data is open for other organisations and groups to sign up to over time.

Open research data is the next step in achieving the UK's open science ambitions and is expected to help improve cooperation and strengthen the UK's position as a global science leader.

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