In February 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memo titled, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research.” The goal of the policy is to ensure that, as stated in the memo, “to the greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible and consistent with law and the objectives set out below, the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community. Such results include peer-reviewed publications and digital data.” The memo goes on to require that any research project utilizing federal funds must include open access research data management and publication plans and must provide for the long-term preservation and access of data and publications.
The transportation sector has only recently begun to look at issues of long-term research data preservation and open access, although there are a number of transportation agencies and organizations that have experience with quite large research data sets. Some federal agencies and organizations that receive federal funding have had data management requirements in place for several years, creating a pool of knowledge and experience from which the transportation research community can draw.
Research is needed to develop useful guidance and implementation activities to assist state departments of transportation (DOTs), other public agencies, and transportation research organizations to efficiently and effectively ensure access to the results of federally funded transportation-related research.
The objective of this research is to develop guidance and activities to assist state DOTs, other public agencies, and transportation research organizations to efficiently and effectively ensure access to the results of federally funded transportation-related research.
Such results include but are not limited to research-generated data and literature such as peer-reviewed publications and project final reports.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
Task 1. Prepare a technical memorandum that identifies and analyzes common existing tools, data management methodologies, policies, and models used for providing open access to federally funded research data such as those used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other mission-oriented agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE). Also identify applicable library and information science practices that address digital curation for long-term access. It is expected that the technical memorandum will at a minimum require (a) a literature review; (b) identification of key stakeholder information requirements and needs; (c) identification of the availability and usability of appropriate data management plans; and (d) review of the availability and usability of information and training materials coming out of NIH, NSF, DOE, and others that may be suitable for adaptation to guide state DOTs, other public agencies, and transportation research organizations to efficiently and effectively ensure access to the results of federally funded transportation-related research. The technical memorandum should describe the benefits, resource requirements, and risk management of data preservation and data sharing as documented by others. Task 2. Based on Task 1, develop a conceptual framework and a detailed outline for the activities to be carried out and the materials to be developed in Phase II. Task 3. Prepare an interim report providing (a) a summary of results from Tasks 1 and 2: (b) a draft stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note C): and (c) an updated work plan for Phase II. The interim report should be accompanied by an appendix providing, as an illustrative case study, any raw information collected in Phase I, in accordance with a data management plan for this project that aligns with the U.S.DOT data management guidance available at the time of work inception.
Task 4. Carry out the approved Phase II work plan to develop the guidance and to carry out panel-approved initial implementation activities. If proposed, any training items or outreach materials must be provided in outline and detailed draft for NCHRP approval prior to development. Task 5. Prepare (1) stand-alone guidance to assist state DOTs, other public agencies, and transportation research organizations to efficiently and effectively ensure access to the results of federally funded transportation-related research. The guidance should illustrate (a) factors to be considered for development of policy and programs; (b) ways to delineate responsibility for monitoring and preservation of data; (c) how to maintain reliability as an authoritative source (e.g., through use of permanent links); and (d) a data management plan for this project that aligns with the U.S.DOT data management guidance available at the time of work inception, to serve as a case study example; (2) a final report documenting the research effort; and (3) an executive summary (two pages, maximum). In addition, a webinar reporting project final results will be required during the contract.