Open Access: U.S. Department of Energy Unveils “PAGES” Portal to DOE-funded Scientific Research (Roundup)
From the U.S. Department of Energy:
The Energy Department has launched the Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science – PAGES – a web-based portal that will provide free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles within 12 months of publication.
Note: PAGES is in beta as of today.
“Increasing access to the results of research funded by the Department of Energy will enable researchers and entrepreneurs to capitalize on our substantial research and development investments,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “These new policies set the stage for increased innovation, commercial opportunities, and accelerated scientific breakthroughs.”
As it grows in content, PAGES will include access to DOE-funded authors’ accepted manuscripts hosted primarily by the Energy Department’s National Labs and grantee institutions, in addition to the public access offerings of publishers. For publisher-hosted content, [our emphasis] the Department is collaborating with the publisher consortium CHORUS — the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States.
PAGES contains an initial collection of accepted manuscripts and journal articles as a demonstration of its functionality and eventual expanded content. Additional metadata and links to articles and accepted manuscripts will be added as they are submitted, with anticipated growth of 20,000 to 30,000 articles and manuscripts annually.
The Energy Department’s Office of Science also has issued new requirements regarding management of digital research data by Office of Science-supported researchers. All proposals for research funding submitted to the Office of Science will be required to include a Data Management Plan that describes whether and how the digital research data generated in the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved.
DOE conducts more than $10 billion a year in R&D, and the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) helps ensure a return on those investments by making DOE-sponsored R&D results available in web-based searchable databases. These DOE databases include electronic full-text research reports; energy citations going back to the Manhattan Project era; e-prints (journal article pre-publication drafts, scholarly papers, and more); DOE R&D accomplishments; and DOE patents.
Despite the breadth of these collections, they generally do not include what is considered the “gold standard” of scientific communication — peer-reviewed journal articles or final accepted manuscripts resulting from agency funding. To date, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the only federal science agency that has offered broad public access to scientific publications resulting from its funding (as required by a law enacted in 2008).
But now, that’s all changed with DOE PAGESBeta (Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science). And this is a very significant change. After a twelve-month embargo period, readers will have access to journal articles (the Version of Record) or accepted manuscripts resulting from DOE research funding. Historically, most of this collection of DOE-affiliated articles — we estimate over 20,000 per year — has been available only through subscription, which can run hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a year, or through purchase of a single article. These articles,once behind a perpetual paywall, will now be freely available to the public, after this twelve-month interval.
Our goal is simple: The public will have access to the best available version of a scholarly publication resulting from the research sponsored by its tax dollars. We believe that the best version of an article is that living on a publisher’s website. So, DOE PAGESBeta will link from its homepage metadata to the full-text Version of Record hosted by the publisher’s website when the article is available and easily accessible without charge. Where that is not the case, DOE PAGESBeta will link the reader to a full-text version of the accepted manuscript twelve months from the article publication date, which will primarily reside on DOE Lab and grantee institutional repositories. It is this combination of using DOE’s existing scientific and technical information network (discussed in more detail below) and complementing that with public access offerings of publishers that will help us achieve our goal of “best available version.”
Coverage and Comment
Many of the scholarly publishers participating in the CHORUS pilot program worked with DOE over the last year in the development of its new public access portal–the DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science, or “DOE PAGES,” project. DOE PAGES uses CHORUS to complement this content stream by providing access to scholarly publications that report on DOE-funded research on the publisher’s platform, where they can be read in context and preserved for the long term integrity of the scholarly record.
“The Department of Energy is pleased to collaborate with CHORUS on our implementation of public access to scholarly publications resulting from DOE-funded research,” said Jeffrey Salmon, deputy director for resource management in DOE’s Office of Science. “By engaging the broad participation of publishers through CHORUS and our existing infrastructure for gathering research papers, our goal is to provide the public access to the best available version of a journal article.”
“While we support aspects of the plan, our principal concern is its assumption that a universal 12-month embargo is sustainable for all disciplines. It is not. A major study of journal usage has demonstrated significant variability among disciplines in the time during which articles are accessed by scholars and the public.
“A commitment to expand public access to scholarship requires the ability to sustain the pipeline of vetted, quality content. While the federal government funds scientific research, publishers invest in the significant editorial, technological and financial assets required to produce and preserve the high-quality, peer-reviewed journal articles reporting on that research. Plans built around publishers’ contributions must respect the usage patterns of distinct disciplines to avoid undermining the ecosystem of scholarly communication. We agree with a core principle of the Obama Administration: administrative policies should be evidence-based, not shaped from conjecture.
“We appreciate the agency’s acknowledgement of CHORUS, the public-private partnership conceived by publishers to support and serve the OSTP’s goals and embraced by stakeholders across the scholarly community.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.