Our bill on citizen science (that started with my briefing the awesome AAAS fellow Rose Mutiso in Sen Coons’ office in early 2014) was incorporated into the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (COMPETES) (see Sec 402), and is now on its way for signing by the President.
Full Text (see also section 402 pasted below)
Thanks to citizen science champions Sen Coons, Rose Mutiso, Allison Schwier and Franz, to Darlene Cavalier and the American Chemical Society for helping to organize subsequent congressional briefings, to Jenn Gustetic who helped from her position at OSTP, and to Sophia Liu, Amy Kaminski, John McLaughlin, Ellen McCallie, Jennifer Couch, Jay Benforado and other CCS federal staff and CSA members who offered their technical expertise to inform congressional staff’s efforts (through *multiple* rounds of review and comments).
(a) Short Title.—This section may be cited as the “Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act”.
(1) the authority granted to Federal agencies under the America COMPETESReauthorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–358; 124 Stat. 3982) to pursue the use of incentive prizes and challenges has yielded numerous benefits;
(2) crowdsourcing and citizen science projects have a number of additional unique benefits, including accelerating scientific research, increasing cost effectiveness to maximize the return on taxpayer dollars, addressing societal needs, providing hands-on learning in STEM, and connecting members of the public directly to Federal science agency missions and to each other; and
(3) granting Federal science agencies the direct, explicit authority to use crowdsourcing and citizen science will encourage its appropriate use to advance Federal science agency missions and stimulate and facilitate broader public participation in the innovation process, yielding numerous benefits to the Federal Government and citizens who participate in such projects.
(A) enabling the formulation of research questions;
(B) creating and refining project design;
(C) conducting scientific experiments;
(D) collecting and analyzing data;
(E) interpreting the results of data;
(F) developing technologies and applications;
(G) making discoveries; and
(H) solving problems.
(2) CROWDSOURCING.—The term “crowdsourcing” means a method to obtain needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting voluntary contributions from a group of individuals or organizations, especially from an online community.
(3) PARTICIPANT.—The term “participant” means any individual or other entity that has volunteered in a crowdsourcing or citizen science project under this section.
(1) IN GENERAL.—The head of each Federal science agency, or the heads of multiple Federal science agencies working cooperatively, may utilize crowdsourcing and citizen science to conduct projects designed to advance the mission of the respective Federal science agency or the joint mission of Federal science agencies, as applicable.
(2) VOLUNTARY SERVICES.—Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the head of a Federal science agency may accept, subject to regulations issued by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, services from participants under this section if such services—
(A) are performed voluntarily as a part of a crowdsourcing or citizen science project authorized under paragraph (1);
(B) are not financially compensated for their time; and
(C) will not be used to displace any employee of the Federal Government.
(3) OUTREACH.—The head of each Federal science agency engaged in a crowdsourcing or citizen science project under this section shall make public and promote such project to encourage broad participation.
(C) MODE OF CONSENT.—A Federal agency or Federal science agencies, as applicable, may obtain consent electronically or in written form from participants under this section.
(5) PROTECTIONS FOR HUMAN SUBJECTS.—Any crowdsourcing or citizen science project under this section that involves research involving human subjects shall be subject to part 46 of title 28, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation).
(A) IN GENERAL.—A Federal science agency shall, where appropriate and to the extent practicable, make data collected through a crowdsourcing or citizen science project under this section available to the public, in a machine readable format, unless prohibited by law.
(i) of the expected uses of the data compiled through the project;
(ii) if the Federal science agency will retain ownership of such data;
(iii) if and how the data and results from the project would be made available for public or third party use; and
(iv) if participants are authorized to publish such data.
(7) TECHNOLOGIES AND APPLICATIONS.—Federal science agencies shall endeavor to make technologies, applications, code, and derivations of such intellectual property developed through a crowdsourcing or citizen science project under this section available to the public.
(A) to assume any and all risks associated with such participation; and
(B) to waive all claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except for claims based on willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits (whether direct, indirect, or consequential) arising from participation in the project.
(9) RESEARCH MISCONDUCT.—Federal science agencies coordinating crowdsourcing or citizen science projects under this section shall make all practicable efforts to ensure that participants adhere to all relevant Federal research misconduct policies and other applicable ethics policies.
(10) MULTI-SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS.—The head of each Federal science agency engaged in crowdsourcing or citizen scienceunder this section, or the heads of multiple Federal science agencies working cooperatively, may enter into a contract or other agreement to share administrative duties for such projects with—
(A) a for profit or nonprofit private sector entity, including a private institution of higher education;
(B) a State, tribal, local, or foreign government agency, including a public institution of higher education; or
(C) a public-private partnership.
(11) FUNDING.—In carrying out crowdsourcing and citizen science projects under this section, the head of a Federal science agency, or the heads of multiple Federal science agencies working cooperatively—
(A) may use funds appropriated by Congress;
(i) other Federal agencies;
(ii) for profit or nonprofit private sector entities, including private institutions of higher education; or
(iii) State, tribal, local, or foreign government agencies, including public institutions of higher education; and
(C) may not give any special consideration to any entity described in subparagraph (B) in return for such funds or in-kind support.
(A) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANCE.—The Administrator of the General Services Administration, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall, at no cost to Federal science agencies, identify and develop relevant products, training, and services to facilitate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science projects under this section, including by specifying the appropriate contract vehicles and technology and organizational platforms to enhance the ability of Federal science agencies to carry out the projects under this section.
(i) consult any guidance provided by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, including the Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit;
(ii) designate a coordinator for that Federal science agency’s crowdsourcing and citizen science projects; and
(iii) share best practices with other Federal agencies, including participation of staff in the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall include, as a component of an annual report required under section 24(p) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3719(p)), a report on the projects and activities carried out under this section.
(A) a summary of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project conducted by a Federal science agency during the most recently completed 2 fiscal years, including a description of the proposed goals of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project;
(B) an analysis of why the utilization of a crowdsourcing or citizen science project summarized in subparagraph (A) was the preferable method of achieving the goals described in subparagraph (A) as opposed to other authorities available to the Federal science agency, such as contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and prize competitions;
(C) the participation rates, submission levels, number of consents, and any other statistic that might be considered relevant in each crowdsourcing and citizen science project;
(i) the resources, including personnel and funding, that were used in the execution of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project;
(ii) the project activities for which such resources were used; and
(iii) how the obligations and expenditures relating to the project’s execution were allocated among the accounts of the Federal science agency, including a description of the amount and source of all funds, private, public, and in-kind, contributed to each crowdsourcing and citizen science project;
(E) a summary of the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science by all Federal science agencies, including interagency and multi-sector partnerships;
(F) a description of how each crowdsourcing and citizen science project advanced the mission of each participating Federal science agency;
(G) an identification of each crowdsourcing or citizen science project where data collected through such project was not made available to the public, including the reasons for such action; and
(H) any other information that the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy considers relevant.
(1) to affect the authority to conduct crowdsourcing and citizen science authorized by any other provision of law; or
(2) to displace Federal Government resources allocated to the Federal science agencies that use crowdsourcing or citizen scienceauthorized under this section to carry out a project.
Watch the LIVE WEBCAST of “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People”, hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (@WhiteHouseOSTP), on Wed, September 30th from 8:10am-12pm ET. Learn more
Only a small fraction of Americans are formally trained as “scientists.” But that doesn’t mean that only a small fraction of Americans can participate in scientific discovery and innovation. Citizen science and crowdsourcing are approaches that educate, engage, and empower the public to apply their curiosity and talents to a wide range of real-world problems. To raise awareness of these tools and encourage more Americans to take advantage of them, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Domestic Policy Council will host “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People,” a live-webcast forum, on Wednesday, September 30th.
Follow on Twitter #WHCitSci
by Mikeal Rogers, Wired Magazine, March 7, 2013
GitHub was intended to be an open software collaboration platform, but it’s become a platform for much, much more than code. It’s now being used by artists, builders, home owners, everyone in between, entire companies … and cities. GitHub is doing to open source what the internet did to the publishing industry.“ Anyone can now change the data when new bike paths are built, when roads are under construction, and new buildings are erected,” the city of Chicago recently announced. … Perhaps not so surprisingly, he has about 17 open “pull” requests for changes. And of course, GitHub is still used by programmers and developers flying AR Drones with Node.js or building websites with jQuery.
For full text of this article, visit The GitHub Generation: Why We’re All in Open Source Now | Wired Opinion | Wired.com.
- The GitHub Revolution: We’re All in Open Source Now (wired.com)
- Chicago Using GitHub Has Potential For More Citizen Participation in Government (architects.dzone.com)
by Joe Francica, Directions Magazine, March 4, 2013
FedGeoDay, held in Washington, D.C. this past week, can best be described as an advocacy forum for open source geospatial technology and data. Some of the leading organizations, government agencies and companies invested in open source tech sponsored the conference. Editor in Chief Joe Francica attended this first-time event, which drew over 250 people.
For full text of this article, please visit FedGeoDay: Advocating for Open Source – Directions Magazine.
Two articles by the Wilson Center highlighting the need for #opensource and #agile (#FedGeoDay) include:
1) Mike Byrne’s report “The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy”
2) “Too Big to Succeed: The Need for Federal IT Reform“
- FedGeoDay Schedule Out, Jam Packed (mapbox.com)
All Points Blog, Feb 25, 2013
Tim de Troye from the State of South Carolina offered a presentation that is an ongoing issue among states and local governments about how they distribute geospatial data collected with taxpayer money. He recognized that some organizations copyright their data and that data in South Carolina, for example, is available but through different agreements depending on whether it is spatial or not.
The big question in licensing geospatial data is to license or not to license?
For full text of this article, please visit To License or Not to License Geospatial Data: Still a Challenge for Government Agencies – All Points Blog.
- Spatial experts added to Immigration’s skills shortage list (computerworld.co.nz)
- New NRC Report: Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy
The National Broadband Map is a powerful consumer protection tool developed by the FCC to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections. Through consistent public engagement and the use of emerging crowdsourcing technologies and open-source software, the project was able to promote government transparency and trust in government, while finishing on time and avoiding cost overruns. The National Broadband Map is a vital example of the benefits to all when government prioritizes transparency, allows itself to be guided by the public, and directs national policy based on robust and reliable data. Published by the Commons Lab of the Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC September 2012.
To download a copy of the REPORT, click on the Commons Lab Scribed webpage here.
To watch the archived VIDEO on the rollout event, visit the Commons Lab YouTube page.
- Commons Lab and FCC Releases New Report on the National Broadband Map (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
The following is part of a special series of policy briefs by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars running until inauguration day. This piece, written by Commons Lab Early Career Scholar Zachary Bastian, tackles the need for reform in federal information technology.
As the world has become more dependent on information technology (IT), so has the federal government and its constituencies. Leveraged effectively, technical tools can engage the public, create cost savings, and improve outcomes. These benefits are obscured by regular reminders that federal IT is fundamentally flawed. It is too big to succeed. For IT to become sustainable, the federal government must enable change in three categories: 1) embracing agile development, modular contracting, and open-source software, 2) prioritizing small business participation, and 3) shifting the federal IT culture towards education and experimentation. The adoption of these reforms is vital. The current state of federal IT undermines good work through inefficiency and waste.
- Too Big to Succeed: The Need for Federal IT Reform (disaster-net.com)