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Improving the Scientific Enterprise

Tue 23 September 2014 by Rick Gilmore

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has asked for information from the public about how best to maximize the benefits to the public stemming from investments in science and technology. Here are the brief comments I submitted.

I believe that the Federal government has a key role to play in ensuring that public investments in scientific research have the maximum benefit. I speak to these issues as the grateful recipient of Federal support for my research from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

I believe the following would help increase transparency and reproducibility in the scientific enterprise:

  1. Make all data and materials collected with Federal support, whether published or unpublished, available to the public to the maximum extent possible.

    Some data or materials may contain sensitive or identifiable information, and so may not be easily shared with the public. However, there are new approaches to the sharing of identifiable research data that may make some of these eligible for sharing with other researchers (http://databrary.org) under special circumstances.

  2. Set aside a portion of Federal research dollars for replication studies of important findings.

  3. Set aside a portion of Federal research dollars for the curation and preservation of research data and materials in open data and material archives.

  4. Direct Federal agencies involved in the support of research to examine legislative, regulatory, or policy barriers to data sharing and open scientific practices among their awardees and to reduce or eliminate them.

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