ARL Welcomes Researcher-First Policies in Bills to Reauthorize US National Science Foundation
July 7, 2021
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 the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.