January 22, 2022

Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Welcomes Researcher-First Policies in Bills to Reauthorize US National Science Foundation

From ARL:

On behalf of the leaders of 125 major research libraries, the Association  of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to see that the US House of Representatives included the following policies in the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act (H.R. 2225), which center researchers and create public value by promoting the availability of publicly funded research:

  • Criteria for trusted open repositories to be used by federally funded researchers sharing data, software, and code. According to the House bill, the criteria would be developed with input from the scientific community. Research libraries look forward to partnering with NSF and the scientific community to develop these criteria.
  • Data management plans to facilitate public access to NSF-funded research products, including data, software, and code.
  • Clarification that the bill’s research integrity and security policies shall not prohibit international collaboration. This type of collaboration is essential to solving global problems.
  • A “sense of Congress” that the director of NSF should continue to identify opportunities to reduce the administrative burden on researchers.
  • Building capacity for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and encouraging partnerships with research-intensive universities.

We strongly support public access to publications resulting from NSF-funded research with zero embargo, and we are heartened to see language in the Senate-passed US Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260) requiring the publication of federally funded research data within 12 months, “preferably sooner.” Making research outputs publicly available to the widest possible audience in the timeliest manner possible, and machine-accessible for computation, is critical for developing scientific insights and solutions for public health, climate, technological advancement, and more.

As Congress reconciles its versions of NSF reauthorization during the coming months, we look forward to working with our partners in higher education to ensure the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities are represented as these bills advance.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.