Created by on 11/15/2011 12:00:00 AM

Over the last several weeks, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has released three new requests for information (RFI’s) seeking comments from the scientific community about a range of policy questions. Following President Barack Obama’s September announcement of the development of a “National Bioeconomy Blueprint” to be completed by January 2012, OSTP issued an RFI to solicit input to inform the development of the plan. The Blueprint will detail a new, administration-wide effort to harness biological research innovations to address national challenges in health, food, energy, and the environment while growing the economy. Comments are due to OSTP by December 6, 2011 and should be submitted to bioeconony@ostp.gov.
In early November, OSTP published two additional RFI’s as part of the agency’s effort to implement the public access policy and data standards requirements specified in the America COMPETES Act Reauthorization passed by Congress in 2010. The Public Access to Digital Data Resulting from Federally Funded Scientific Research RFI notes that an Interagency Working Group on Digital Data is considering steps that can be taken to encourage and coordinate the development of agency policies and standards to promote long-term preservation of and access to digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research. OSTP is seeking input on a dozen questions ranging from what specific steps can be taken to protect intellectual property to how funding mechanisms could be improved to better address the real costs of preserving and making digital data accessible. Input provided by stakeholders in response to the RFI will be included in a report that OSTP will provide to Congress next year. The deadline to submit comments is January 12, 2012.
A second RFI, Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting from Federally Funded Research, requests feedback by January 2, 2012 on eight questions related to how the federal government can maximize the benefit of public access polices to taxpayers. This solicitation is seeking input on the appropriate embargo period for public access policies and steps that can be taken to encourage accessibility and interoperability across disciplines and existing publisher archives.   
FASEB President Joseph C. LaManna and Past President William Talman met with OSTP staff to discuss all three requests. The Federation was encouraged to respond and is in the process of drafting comments on the bioeconomy blueprint RFI. In addition, President LaManna encouraged FASEB constituent societies to submit comments on the public access RFIs.