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The White House Wants to Know: Features & Technologies Needed to Implement OA

By Heather Joseph, Executive Director, and Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications, SPARC

Washington, DC The White House needs to hear from you! As part of the Request for Information issued two weeks ago, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is inviting your contributions to an online discussion on the “Features and Technology” required to implement “public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by federal science and technology agencies.”
The repository and data communities in particular are urged to respond to this pivotal opportunity to share your uniquely informed perspectives – NO LATER than January 31, 2010. Your input will be critical in helping the administration to form a deep and balanced view of stakeholders’ interest in ensuring public access to publicly funded research.
The following questions are the focus of the online discussion taking place at from now until January 31. You can answer any one or all of the questions. And, feel free to comment on any aspect you feel the questions may be missing.
•  In what format should published papers be submitted in order to make them easy to find, retrieve, and search and to make it easy for others to link to them?
•  Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit?
•  How are these anticipated to change?
•  Are there formats that would be especially useful to researchers wishing to combine datasets or other published results published from various papers in order to conduct comparative studies or meta-analyses?
•  What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international) and what makes them exceptional?
•  Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?
•  What are the anticipated costs of maintaining publicly accessible libraries of available papers, and how might various public access business models affect these maintenance costs?
•  By what metrics (e.g. number of articles or visitors) should the Federal government measure success of its public access collections?
You may engage in conversation online or submit comments by email to (Email comments will still be posted to the blog by the moderator).
General comments, addressing any part of the Request for Information, may also be submitted to the Federal Register no later than January 21. See the full notice at for details.
Thanks in advance for your valuable contributions to this important discussion.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please contact SPARC.
Heather Joseph, Executive Director
Jennifer McLennan, Director of Communications
We’ll look forward to talking with you, and to working with you on this tremendous opportunity for higher education and American public.