One of the issues for planetary scientists with affiliations outside of the large research universities continues to be lack of access to journals to which their institutions do not subscribe. In talking with colleagues just last week, this issue came up for a scientist at a NASA Center – and this worries me, as we want all of our planetary science colleagues to have access to the journals that they require for their research.
Is this a problem for you? Does last week’s letter to the community from Max Bernstein, or the original OSTP request, hint at any ideas for solving this problem, at least as far as NASA data and NASA grant-supported-publications are concerned? I *think*that the time for reaching a solution may be close, now that OSTP and NASA are interested in this issue — but for OSTP to take action, they will need to be convinced that this is a problem for NASA-funded researchers. They are asking today for input from you — is this a problem for our community? In what circumstances? Would making these publications and/or digital data publicly available solve the problem or improve journal access significantly?
This is the letter from SARA, a short update for NASA scientists. Today I
want to tell you about two important requests for information released
recently that will allow you to set the direction for research publications
in the coming years. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
(OSTP, an office of the President) recently released two requests for
information about increasing public access to results of federally funded
research, specifically, peer-reviewed publications and digital data
resulting from federally funded scientific research. The idea is that OSTP
is trying to assess what information should be accessible to the public,
when, and how. For example, peer reviewed publications from NIH funding are
available to the public in manuscript format a year after publication (via
PMC (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/public-access-info/), with links
back to the official journal version. There is no such public electronic
library for NASA (or any other Agency). Thus, access to articles depends on
the publisher. For example, articles published in some journals e.g., The
Astrophysical Journal (ApJ http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X), become
available after a year, even to those who don’t have subscriptions. Those in
some other journals never become available to those who don’t have
subscriptions. Since publishing papers and generating data are the major
tangible products of the grants given by SMD we want to encourage our
grantees to know about and respond to these RFIs.
For your convenience I have created these tiny URLs:
For more information on this topic see the links at the SARA science matters
page at http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/science-matters/
To join the R&A update mailing list, please submit the form at https://lists.hq.nasa.gov/mailman/listinfo/r-and-a-update.
Additionally, if you have input that you would be comfortable sharing with the community before or concurrent with your submission to OSTP, please feel free to post it here (or email it to us privately with a request to post) so that your colleagues can also be made aware of where the problems lie, and perhaps sign on to your letter in support (if you wish).