National Science Board Ends Year With Epic Fail On Public Comment Request

ETA – January 3

The National Science Foundation has repaired the bad link in its announcement and extended the deadline for comments to January 18.


Original Post – December 31

Yesterday the National Science Board (NSB) circulated this news announcement asking for comment on a report on data policies.  Comments are requested by January 10, continuing a particularly annoying trend in this administration of very short public comment periods.  The icing on this particular cake is not that the announcement was made on the Friday of a holiday weekend, but that the link to the report in the news announcement was broken.  Thanks to Peter Suber and Cliff Lynch for the correct link.

The report reflects the work of the NSB Task Force on Data Policies, which was charged in February 2010 with refining and improving National Science Foundation (NSF) data policies related to digital research data.  (The Office of Science and Technology Policy will shortly close a two month public comment period on public access to digital data generated by federal research.)  While I don’t think the NSB is anti-public, a review of the recommendations found in the report suggesst that the Board is still quite focused on the needs and interests of the scientists and engineers that receive NSF support.

And because I’m still a little annoyed, the highlighted language in this recommendation particularly struck me:

Provide leadership to Federal agencies and other national and international stakeholders in the development and implementation of digital research data policies, including the promotion of individual scientific communities to establish data sharing and management practices that align with NSF data policies.”

I would think the Office of Science and Technology Policy should be/is providing leadership to Federal agencies, but given the subdued public presence of that office, I can see why the NSB might think the NSF should fill the leadership vacuum.

Happy New Year, everyone!


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