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USGS Increases Public Access to Scientific Research

News release:  “The U.S. Geological Survey is implementing new measures that will improve public access to USGS-funded science as detailed in its new public access plan. The plan enables the USGS to expand  its current on-line gateways to provide free public access to scholarly research and supporting data produced in full or in part with USGS funding, no matter how it is published. The USGS plan  “Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research at the U.S. Geological Survey: Scholarly Publications and Digital Data,” stipulates that, beginning October 1, the USGS will require that any research it funds be released from the publisher and  available free to the public no later than 12 months after initial publication. The USGS will also require that data used to support the findings be available free to the public when the associated study is published. The plan applies to research papers and data authored or co-authored by USGS, contract employees, award or grant recipients, partners and other entities. It includes materials published by any non-USGS entity, including scientific journals, professional society volumes, cooperating agency series, and university or commercial publishers. Exceptions are permitted only if the USGS agrees that a demonstrated circumstance restricts the data from public release, for example in rare cases where access must be restricted because of security, privacy, confidentiality, or other constraints. The plan responds to a February 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum that directed federal agencies with annual research and development budgets above $100 million to increase public access to peer-reviewed scientific publications and digital data resulting from federally funded research. On January 8, OSTP approved the USGS plan. Specifically, this plan requires that an electronic copy of either the accepted manuscript or the final publication of record is available through the USGS Publications Warehouse. Digital data will be available in machine readable form from the USGS Science Data Catalog. The plan will require the inclusion of data management plans in all new research proposals and grants.”

The Flash Crash: A New Deconstruction

Aldrich, Eric M. and Grundfest, Joseph and Laughlin, Gregory, The Flash Crash: A New Deconstruction (January 25, 2016). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2721922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2721922 “On May 6, 2010, in the span of a mere four and half minutes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost approximately 1,000 points. In the following fifteen minutes it recovered essentiallyContinue Reading

Comparative International Law, Foreign Relations Law and Fragmentation: Can the Center Hold?

Stephan, Paul B., Comparative International Law, Foreign Relations Law and Fragmentation: Can the Center Hold? (February 2016). Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 18. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2728494 “This chapter represents my contribution to a book provisionally entitled Comparative International Law, scheduled for publication by Oxford University Press in 2017.Continue Reading

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: An Overview

CRS – Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program: An Overview. Kirstin B. Blom, Analyst in Health Care Financing; Ada S. Cornell, Senior Research Librarian. February 3, 2016. “The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program provides health insurance to federal employees, retirees, and their dependents. This report provides a general overview of FEHB. It describes theContinue Reading

CRS – What Does the Gig Economy Mean for Workers?

What Does the Gig Economy Mean for Workers? Sarah A. Donovan, Analyst in Labor Policy; David H. Bradley, Specialist in Labor Economics; Jon O. Shimabukuro; Legislative Attorney. February 5, 2016. “The gig economy is the collection of markets that match providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in support of on-demand commerce. InContinue Reading

Personal Income Shows Broad but Uneven Economic Recovery

Pew Charitable Trusts – “In a sign that the U.S. economic recovery is widespread, personal income in all states is back above levels seen at the Great Recession’s onset. But growth has varied among states, ranging from a constant annual rate of less than 1 percent in Nevada to more than 5 percent in NorthContinue Reading

NY Fed – Survey of Consumer Expectations February 2016

“The New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) provides timely and comprehensive information about consumer expectations through three broad categories: inflation, labor market and household finance. The SCE contains monthly insight about how consumers expect overall inflation and prices for food, gas, housing, education and medical care to change over time. It also providesContinue Reading

Additional Economic Census Subject Series Reports

“The Census Bureau today released three additional reports from its 2012 Economic Census Subject Series. The first, Retail Trade — Establishment and Firm Size, presents sales, payroll and employment data for the United States by various categories. For establishments, the categories are sales size, employment size and legal form of organization. For firms, the categories are sales size, employment size, concentrationContinue Reading

Prominent Authors Join Amicus Brief in Google Book Scanning Case

Via FindLaw via WSJ Law Blog – “Several famous authors filed a brief with the Supreme Court, asking it to hear a lawsuit over Google digital book library. Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, Steven Sondheim and others lent their names to the brief, contending Google is guilty of “massive copyright infringement…One of the writers’Continue Reading

Paper – Food Insecurity, Health, and Health Care

Hilary Seligman MD MAS, January 24, 2016. Lead Scientist and Senior Medical Advisor, Feeding America; Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco; Director, Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program, UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital Food Insecurity, Health, and Health Care. “Summary – ThisContinue Reading

Dive Against Debris: Employing 25,600 scuba divers to collect data

Via Data Driven Journalism – “To date, Dive Against Debris surveys have been conducted in over 50 countries, with the top reporting countries being the United States, Thailand and Greece. As more divers get involved with Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE continues to bring visibility to the problem of marine debris and helps to identifyContinue Reading

State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law

CRS report – State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: Historical Precedents and Pending Litigation in Texas v. United States. Kate M. Manuel, Legislative Attorney, January 27, 2016: “States and localities can have significant interest in the manner and extent to which federal officials enforce provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) regardingContinue Reading