Archive for February, 2013

White House Directive for open access

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ranit Schmelzer

February 22, 2013 202-538-1065



Ensures that Taxpayer-Funded Research Available to Public

Washington, D.C. – The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) today applauded President Obama for issuing a landmark Directive to ensure that the results of taxpayer-funded research – both articles and data – are made available to the general public to freely access and fully use.

The action today comes about after a ten-year campaign by the “Open Access” movement – scientists, universities, libraries, technology leaders, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, students, and every-day Americans – aimed at making taxpayer-funded scientific research freely accessible and fully reusable in a digital environment.

“ This is a watershed moment. The Administration’s action marks a major step forward towards open access to scientific research,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, which works to broaden public access to scholarly research . “The Directive will accelerate scientific discovery, improve education, and empower entrepreneurs to translate research into commercial ventures and jobs. It’s good for our nation, our economy, and our future.”

“Knowledge is power. It’s the power to innovate, to advance scientific discovery, to promote economic growth, and to create jobs. In 2013, we should be taking full advantage of the digital environment to disseminate the results of publicly funded research, not keep this knowledge locked away.”

Every year, the federal government uses taxpayer dollars to fund tens of billions of dollars of scientific research that results in thousands upon thousands of articles published in scientific journals. The government funds this research with the understanding that it will advance science, spur the economy, accelerate innovation, and improve the lives of our citizens. Yet most taxpayers – including academics, students, and patients – are shut out of accessing and using the results of the research that their tax dollars fund, because it is only available through expensive and often hard-to-access scientific journals.

The potential economic benefits of opening up access to this research are estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In instances where this kind of open access has already been enabled, remarkable examples demonstrate how powerful open access can be. Placing the Human Genome Project in the public domain, for example, enabled scientists everywhere to access the data. The $3.8 billion investment in the project has had an estimated economic impact of almost $800 billion.

Details of the White House Directive

The White House Directive affirms the principle that the public has a right to access the results of taxpayer-funded research and calls on all federal agencies with annual research and development budgets of $100 million or more to provide free and timely online access to the results of that research. Articles reporting on the results of publicly funded scientific research must be made available after a 12 month embargo period.

The Directive builds on the progress made by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the first federal agency to require public access to taxpayer-funded research. Since its implementation, the NIH policy enabled more than 90,000 new biomedical manuscripts to be made publicly available each year, resulting in millions of Americans having access to vital health care information. Demand for this information is extremely high, with more than 700,000 unique users accessing material from this repository each weekday.

The Directive comes as the bipartisan Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), is making is way through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

“The Directive is a major achievement for both open access and open government. We should now take the next step and make open access the law of the land. We commend Senators Cornyn and Wyden and Representatives Doyle, Lofgren, and Yoder for introducing FASTR and call on Congress to pass it without delay,” said Joseph.

To follow the conversation on Twitter use the hashtags #openaccess or #OA. Media questions can be directed to @SPARC_NA or .

Joe Wible

Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University

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Applications for the IODE OTA MIM Training Course: Digital Asset Management, 13-17 May 2013: Deadline extended

Dear colleagues,

 Further to the information about the upcoming IODE OTA MIM training course on Digital Asset Management sent out a few weeks ago, I would like to bring your attention to the fact that in addition to supporting participants from developing countries, IODE now provides full or partial support to a limited number of participants from developed countries.  An application deadline has been extended to 28th of February 2013. Please take advantage and apply for this course. 

 The course description, topics covered, learning outcomes and prerequisites are available on the leaflet attached and also at and

 Best regards,

 Maria Kalentsits

 IAMSLIC President 2012-2013


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IAMSLIC/SAIL Representation to Data and Information Management meeting for Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem

In early January I got an urgent request from Carla Robinson, our outgoing SAIL representative, to ask if I would be willing to be her stand-in for a presentation to the IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] ) meeting in Playa del Carmen, Mexico January 29-31, 2013. This specialty meeting was concerning the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem/Regional Ecosystem Monitoring Program and its information and data management objectives. I agreed to do this with the backing of a Power Point program Carla had already put together.
When I looked more closely at the audience and the time slot allotted I decided I needed to add to the collection and hoped I had enough interesting information to fill a full hour’s presentation – to an audience that, as it turned out, included only myself as a librarian, but was composed of fishery and ecosystem data and information managers from 22 of the countries that are in the Caribbean marine ecosystem.
Since I was spreading IAMSLIC/SAIL propaganda and making offers of helping with this project, I thought you would like to know a little more about my presentation.
I started with a description of who we are, the institutional types we represent, and the geographic regions that make up IAMSLIC. Since the MOU between IOC and IAMSLIC had just been approved we can claim my presentation as an example of how we, as an IAMSLIC/SAIL organization, are sharing our knowledge and expertise with the wider marine science and IOC community.
The Aquatic Commons was front and center as an example of shared information. The Z39.50 catalog and Union List of Serials, and excerpted usage statistics, demonstrate a working project within Latin America.
I demonstrated my emerging data and mixed documents storage capability with the Texas Digital Library. This fledgling project deals with the Sargassum (seaweed) challenge of predicting when large rafts of sargassum will be covering the beaches of Galveston, and whether or not the management practices for dealing with it affects beach erosion.
With NSF and NIH mandates for public availability of scientific data, its management will certainly be of great interest to all of us. I hope this will be a topic of rich discussion and sharing of ideas for our upcoming professional conferences.
From conference presentations, the “3×3” management matrices for ecosystem management considers the transboundary problems of: Unsustainable exploitation of fish and other living resources; Habitat degradation and community modification; and Pollution. Those problems are considered for the three ecosystems: Reef Ecosystems (including mangroves & seagrasses); Pelagic Ecosystems; and Continental Shelf Ecosystems.
Bob Glazer of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute demonstrated the portal he has developed to support governance of the shared living marine resources of the Wider Caribbean with references to data and information on ecosystems and environment. You can see the beta version of this portal at: In this world of high technology, his presentation (and all of the rest of us too) was being simulcast on Internet TV, and who should be listening in but our colleague Pauline Simpson in the Caymen Islands. Ever on top of information technology, she immediately emailed me with a request for information from the GCFI; could I get the metadata and documents Mr. Glazer was talking about, so they could also be made available on Aquatic Commons! Of course I was glad to help in that quest, and so was Mr. Glazer so I was soon emailing Pauline the metadata to make that happen. What a small world! And what a nice addition for Aquatic Commons.
As an example of big science, Doug Wilson demonstrated the GOOS (Global Ocean Observation System, from IOC/IODE) for the Caribbean. Frans von der Dunk joined us via Skype for a very interesting presentation on the legal issues concerning the many different nations surrounding the Caribbean, proposing a European Union kind of solution to working together for the common good. Marvin Fonseca from Costa Rica made a marvelous presentation on the success story of artisanal fishermen working together to solve their common problem and conflict between tourism and large shrimping organizations. Carlos Torres from the Mexican Oceanographic Data Center demonstrated the Ocean Biogeographic System which allows users to search marine species datasets from all of the world’s oceans. Check it out at
I am writing my summary without benefit of the official minutes of the meeting. I hope this is making sense to you; no expense to IAMSLIC or SAIL was involved, and the IOC/CLME-IMS-REMP (and permission of my home institution) made my attendance possible. I was very pleased to be included as a representative of IAMSLIC/SAIL at the table with the marine information and data managers. I hope more of my IAMSLIC/SAIL colleagues may be able to participate in the future.
For further reference, you can see my Power Point presentation at: The Aquatic Commons database is at:; and the inputter’s manual is at:

Natalie Wiest
Texas A&M University at Galveston

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39th IAMSLIC Annual Conference: Invitation and Call for Proposals

We invite you to join us for the 39th IAMSLIC Annual Conference and 2013 SAIL Meeting to be held October 20-24, 2013 at the Nova Southeastern University’s new Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research located in Dania Beach in the Sunshine State of Florida, USA.

The program committee has selected the conference theme Visualizing a Bright Future to examine the transformation of libraries and the new opportunities for information professionals.

The conference website is now live! There you will find a full description of the conference theme and call for proposals as well as information about our host institution and conference hotel (now accepting reservations).

We look forward to receiving proposals for conference papers, panel discussions, posters or workshops. The deadline is April 19, 2013. A list of suggested topics and instructions for submission are available on the conference website.

On behalf of the planning committees, we look forward to seeing you in October!

Sally Taylor
Conference Convener & Chair

Jaime Goldman
Local Host

Maria Kalentsits
IAMSLIC President 2012-2013

Carla Robinson
SAIL Representative 2011-2013

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