USDA to host listening sessions on public access to scholarly publications and digital scientific data

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comment on the USDAdevelopment of a policy to increase access to the results of federally-funded agricultural research. Dr. Catherine Woteki, the USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE) announced that USDAwill receive comment at two live teleconferences and via email through Dec. 9, 2015.

“Our goal is to help stakeholders understand and participate in planning for an increase in public access to scholarly publications and scientific data funded by USDA,” said Dr. Woteki. “We see this increased access as an opportunity to raise the profile of the field of agricultural research, highlighting its many contributions to scientific innovation and its value to society. Stakeholder insights are vital to planning this new era of open access so we can best meet the needs of society and of scientists.”

The two webinars and their topics have been scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, Nov.23, 2015, 2 p.m. EST: Policy impacts related to scholarly papers

Participant Instructions

The conference begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 23, 2015; you may join 10 minutes prior.

Step 1: go to this website

Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer. If you will be connecting via the AT&T Connect Participant Application, we strongly recommend that you install version 11.5 prior to the conference. If you are unable to do so, we recommend you join the conference using the Web Participant Application. If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0387588# or Find an Alternate Number. If you need technical assistance, call the Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

  • Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, 2 p.m. EST: Policy impacts related to scientific data

Participant Instructions

The conference begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 4, 2015; you may join 10 minutes prior.

Step 1: look at this website.

Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application – there is no software download or installation required. If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0392090# or Find an Alternate Number If you need technical assistance, call the Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

The public can also submit comments in writing by either sending them online to: (USDAresearchaccess@nifa.usda.gov) or mailing them to:

United States Department of Agriculture
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
c/o Paul Tanger, Institute of Food Production and Sustainabilit
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 2240
Washington, DC 20250-2201

Comments will be received through Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.

In 2013, the current Administration directed federal science agencies to develop plans to increase access to the results of federally funded scientific research. Since then, USDA has been drafting a public access policy for federally funded scholarly publications as well as for scientific datasets produced with the use of federal funds.

The listening sessions should be of particular interest to stakeholders who have an interest in the public access of federally funded agricultural research data. These stakeholders include federally funded researchers, industry scientists, producers, universities, libraries, publishers, users of federally funded research results, and civil society groups.

For more information on public access to scholarly publications and digital scientific data policy development and implementation plans, visit this website.

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