SHARE Proposal Would Create Access to and Allocation of Federally Funded Research

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Posted: 06/13/2013

On February 22, 2013, President Obama issued a directive for each federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the federal government. To assist in this process, a consortium of library associations and universities including the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Association of Research Libraries recently proposed a mechanism called Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE). This proposed mechanism leverages some of the existing infrastructures some universities have already adopted, built, and implemented; such as reliable scanners and green deposit digital institutional repositories. This proposal also encourages other universities to get involved in the consortium that want to create institutional repositories but that do not have the time or funding to build such infrastructures. In essence, these time and funding strapped entities can partner with universities that have a ready working infrastructure and that can support the digitization and archiving of scholarly works. Under the SHARE method, each participating entity that receives federal research money designates a repository (whether their own repository or a partner entity’s repository) to receive and store items available for public access and long-term preservation. Ultimately, the proposed federated SHARE system could connect universities and other research entities across the nation by allowing the sharing of and access to research that is federally funded.

A consortium of publishers have also proposed an apparatus for helping meet this presidential directive called the “Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States,” or CHORUS. However, publishers may have differing opinions as to what documents and how much of a deposited item should be made available to the public. Time will tell if either proposal is attractive to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which issued the directive.