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Commerce Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules

On January 18, 2011, in Executive Order 13563, the President directed each agency to review their "existing significant regulations, and consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned."

In response to this directive, Commerce created and released a preliminary plan for review of its regulations on May 26, 2011. Commerce welcomed the public's comments and feedback on this preliminary plan through July 25, 2011. Commerce published the final version of its regulatory review plan on August 22, 2011, which incorporated responses to public comments and new information about recent accomplishments. Commerce in promoting transparency continues to publish routine status and updates. Commerce has updated the Retrospective Plan Progress Report Table based on progress review of the plan, new information and new developments. Today August 17, 2015, we are publishing our latest updates in the EO 13563, EO 13610 and the EO 13659 progress report. The latest report and all previous reports can be found at the Commerce Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules.

Expanding Access to NIST Research Results

Guest blog post by Katherine Sharpless, Open Access Officer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology


When U.S. taxpayers support research efforts at federal agencies, they should have access to the results of that research.

That’s the basic common sense approach that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has adopted throughout its 114-year history. And as the nation’s measurement science and technology experts, NIST scientists, engineers, and other researchers publish about 1,300 peer-reviewed technical articles and about 200 reports each year to share those results.  

Companies, non-profits, universities, and other government agencies, in turn, routinely use NIST data, measurement methods, and standards to advance their own research efforts or improve their products and services.

So when the President’s Science Advisor, John P. Holdren issued a memorandum in Feb. 2013 on “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research,” it was in keeping with NIST’s well-established tradition of disseminating its results as widely as possible. NIST has long released its data and research results through not only scientific journals and reports, but also conference presentations, measurement standards, public databases, software, and patent disclosures.

What’s new about the memorandum and NIST’s specific response through its Public Access Plan is a strengthened commitment to comprehensive digital access to NIST scientific and technical research products. The plan describes NIST’s intention to make freely available—in publicly accessible repositories—all peer-reviewed scholarly publications and associated data arising from unclassified research funded wholly or in part by NIST. 

Within the constraints of its mission and funding, NIST will also promote the deposit of scientific data collected through unclassified research free of charge in publicly accessible databases.  (Some exceptions to the policy will remain, for example, for certain types of Standard Reference Data where licensing actually may enhance dissemination.) NIST’s Public Access Policy articulates the roles and responsibilities of NIST staff for ensuring public access.

NIST already has more than 35,000 of its journal articles and publications indexed on its website, including many in full text.  Nevertheless, NIST plans to partner with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its existing PubMed Central (PMC) repository system to improve the ease of use, analysis, and comprehensiveness of its collection. NIST currently plans to provide public access to the full text of its scholarly research without charge no later than 12 months after publication, although NIST reserves the right to shorten or extend the embargo period. 

NIST’s Public Access Plan includes data management plans (DMPs) and an Enterprise Data Inventory (EDI). NIST generates data management plans that document plans for storage, archival, and accessibility for NIST’s numerous types of data. The EDI is a catalog of datasets with a user-friendly front end to enable NIST scientists to easily enter metadata about their datasets and an export capability to facilitate feeding that metadata into data.gov, where the public can discover it.

To enhance its ability to store, exchange, and disseminate its research data to external stakeholders and the public, as well as to share it between NIST technical staff and their immediate collaborators, NIST is making foundational improvements to its data management infrastructure. There are four prongs to this initiative:

1)      Analyze data management practices across NIST organizational units, document procedures, and build out flexible and extensible tools to support data management plans and the Enterprise Data Inventory;

2)      Create a robust data management framework for data of all working levels by extending cloud-based storage and network connectivity and deploying easy-to-use interfaces for the management of NIST data;

3)      Pilot development of a NIST public access data portal with improved interfaces, with particular focus on supporting Standard Reference Data; and

4)      Accelerate the identification, assessment, authorization, and deployment process for widely used software tools that support data exchange and research collaboration.

Providing access to NIST research results has always been a priority. With the digital tools now available and under development, it’s time to make sure the public can find those results easily and quickly and be able to use them.

Open Government Directive Benchmarks

The White House's Open Government Directive requires Cabinet-level agencies, such as the Department of Commerce, to pass certain milestones as part of our efforts to be more open and transparent. The timeline below details the specific benchmarks we're moving toward, and shows the Department's progress in achieving them.

2 of 2
Complete

 

45 days—January 22, 2010

  • Completed: Designate a high-level senior official to be accountable for Federal spending information publicly disseminated (Date Completed: 1/22/2010)
  • Completed: Identify and publish online, in an open format, at least three high-value data sets (Date Completed: 1/22/2010)

3 of 3
Complete

 

60 days—February 6, 2010

  • Completed: Launch the Commerce Open Government Website at www.commerce.gov/open, to provide ways for the public to find information and provide feedback on the data sets, our FOIA process, and the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)
  • Completed: Provide contact information for Commerce's designated Open Government representative and create Commerce Open Government email account, open@doc.gov (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)
  • Completed: Launch the Citizen Engagement Tool, OpenCommerce.IdeaScale.com, to solicit feedback and ideas (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)

5 of 5
Complete

 

120 days—April 7, 2010

  • Completed: Select Commerce Open Government Team and begin meeting (Date Completed: 1/08/2010)
  • Completed: Release First Draft template for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 3/12/2010)
  • Completed: Solicit public feedback for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 3/20/2010)
  • Completed: Integrate public feedback for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 4/2/2010)
  • Completed: Publish Commerce Open Government Plan on Commerce Open Government website (Date Completed: 4/7/2010)