Archive for the 'In the News' Category

The Future of Free Public Access to Government Information

This tweet and post alerted us to the potential loss of free public access to government information, due to a potential modification of Title 44.

DLF tweet

This PSC blog entry will provide links to all the posts on the potential changes to Title 44 on the freegovinfo.info website, a really valuable site founded by the two Jims (James A. Jacobs and James R. Jacobs). But, first some bonus links:

Link | Audio of James A. Jacobs summarizing the issue
Link | The Digital Library blog post, which gives a nice summary of the audio
Link | Call to sign a petition to protect the public right to government information

Here we go again: GPO wants to change Title 44
James A. Jacobs and James R. Jacobs | freegovinfo.info
July 15, 2017
This piece is heavily referenced, providing a history of previous attempts at re-writing Title 44. It includes the gem of a “Let Me Google That For You Act” introduced by Tom Coburn, R-OK that would repeal the National Technical Information Act of 1988.

Reading between the tea leaves: more about revising Title 44
James A. Jacobs and James R. Jacobs | freegovinfo.info
July 31, 2017
Clarificaiton of GPO’s intentions with revising Title 44. First, not just Chapter 19, but “a thoughtful evaluation of all chapters.” This post is also nicely annotated.

This is not a drill. The future of Title 44 and the depository library program hang in the balance
James A. Jacobs and James R. Jacobs | freegovinfo.info
July 27, 2017
This post provides suggested talking points/letter content for public input. Alas, the deadline of August 31 has passed, but there is still a petition you can sign

Mid-August came 5-posts:

Strengthening the Discussions about Title 44
Strengthening the Discussions, Part 1: Modernize the definition of “publications”
Strengthening the Discussions, Part 2: Ensure Free Access
Strengthening the Discussions, Part 3: Ensure Privacy
Strengthening the Discussions, Part 4: Ensure Preservation

News: Certificate of Confidentiality

Rebecca Clark sent out some news via Twitter today:

Tweet


Here’s the official notice from NIH:

NOT-OD-17-109: Notice of Changes to NIH Policy for Issuing Certificates of Confidentiality

Muzzling Federal Scientists

Breaking news: scientists in selected federal agencies have been told to no longer update their websites with reports, factsheets, etc. Here’s a summary of the memo that the Environmental Protection Agency got:

The memo said there would be no press releases, social media posts or blog messages until further notice. It also asked for a list of external speaking engagements for staff and any planned webinars. It warned that listservs would be reviewed and that staff should “only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press.”

Federal Workers Told To Halt External Communication In First Week Under Trump
Sam Stein | Huffington Post
January 24, 2017

Trump bans EPA employees from giving social media updates
Mallory Shellbourne | The Hill
January 24, 2017

Trump Administration Moves to Muzzle Scientists, Block Research
Union of Concerned Scientists | http://www.ucsusa.org/
January 24, 2017

USDA science researchers ordered to stop publishing news releases, other documents
Jose DelReal | Washington Post
January 24, 2017

Information lockdown hits Trump’s federal agencies
Andrew Restuccia, Alex Guillen and Nancy Cook | Politico
January 24, 2017

[Additional News]

Note, that this happened under the Harper government in Canada [summary]. And Canadian scientists warned US scientists of this possibility a month ago:

Canadian Scientists Warn U.S. Colleagues: Act Now to Protect Science under Trump
Dina Fine Maron | Scientific American
December 20, 2016

2020 Census Program Management Review Broadcast

Press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau will hold its quarterly 2020 Census Program Management Review on Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. Agenda topics include high-level program updates, the address canvassing operation and test, 2020 Census content, upcoming tests and 2020 Census systems readiness.

In order to provide wider access to this event and share information about 2020 Census planning with the public, the Census Bureau will broadcast the review live at  <www.census.gov/newsroom/census-live.html>. If members of the media would like to attend in person, please contact pio@census.gov.

For materials from previous program management reviews, click here.

Follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #2020Census or by following @uscensusbureau on both platforms.

PSC Researchers In the News

Daniel Eisenberg discusses U-M program offering mental health services to student athletes. Huffington Post, 1/28/2015. Related journal article. See also Athletes Connected.

William H. Frey says current minority college completion rates predict decline in college-educated Americans. National Journal, 1/14/2015.

Miles Kimball and an anonymous co-author discuss male bias in economics in an article for Quartz.

Lloyd Johnston discusses the decline in teens’ smoking cigarettes and their increasing use of e-cigarettes in several media outlets. Steve Forbes has a different perspective, calling out Johnston specifically in a Forbes commentary.

Martha Bailey and Susan Dynarski’s work cited in story on sending teams of poor kids to college. The Atlantic, 12/11/2014. Related journal article.

Yu Xie’s work on Asian-American children’s school performance cited in story on parenting styles. Deseret News National. 12/08/2014. Related journal article

David Lam says improving U.S. economy may spur higher fertility, but if not, we shouldn’t worry. NPR – Marketplace. 12/04/2014.

Bill Frey says politics are being reshaped by four demographic trends in the U.S. Washington Post. 11/29/2014.

Apoorva Jadhav comments on recent government-sponsored sterilizations in India. “India sterilization deaths spark outcry for change” – CBC Radio. 11/25/2014. Listen to interview: Apoorva at 18:03.

New Rules for Human-Subject Research Remain a “Priority” But Continue to Be Delayed

By: Christopher Shea
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services had floated some ideas for changes in the rules governing such research. The aim was both to better protect the subjects and to reduce the much-resented bureaucratic burden on professors and university staff members.

… Today, more than two years after the conference, the regulations remain just where they were in 2011: still under development.

Full article

Russell Sage announcing new journal: RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences

The Russell Sage Foundation announced the launch of a new social science journal, RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. “RSF is intended to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations on timely topics of interest to social scientists and other academic researchers, policymakers, and the public at large. Each issue will be thematic in nature and will focus on a specific research question or area of interest. The introduction to each issue will provide an accessible, broad, and synthetic overview of the research question under consideration and the current thinking from various fields. RSF will be a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research by both established and emerging scholars. The first issue is scheduled to be published in fall 2015.”

Demolition as an Urban Strategy

Via The New York Times
by: Timothy Williams

Large-scale destruction is well known in Detroit, but it is also underway in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo and others at a total cost of more than $250 million. Officials are tearing down tens of thousands of vacant buildings, many habitable, as they seek to stimulate economic growth, reduce crime and blight, and increase environmental sustainability.

Full NYT story
Brookings Report (2012)
Berkeley Report (published in 2012 in the Yale Law Journal)

PubMed Commons: Comments Welcome

pmc logo

PubMed Commons has been implemented on a trial basis. This feature will allow researchers to comment on any article indexed at PubMed and read the comments of others. Eligibility is limited to those with an NIH or Wellcome Trust grant or to those who are listed as an author on any publication listed in PubMed. The latter group has to get an invitation from the former.

Read more here:

Join Pub Med’s Revolution in Post Publication Peer Review
James Coyne | PlosOne blog
October 22, 2013

And, for further background on the impetus for this feature:

Stanford professor’s pivotal role in bringing commenting capability to PubMed
Rosanne Spector | School of Medicine News [Stanford]
October 29, 2013

Janet Yellen, Economic Demographer

Janet Yellen was nominated as the first female head of the Federal Reserve yesterday [note, that Rand Paul has put a hold on the nomination] . Here is a paper she and her husband George Ackerloff wrote almost 20-years ago on the increase in unmarried childbearing:

An Analysis of Out-Of-Wedlock Births in the United States
George Ackerloff and Janet Yellen | Brookings Review
Fall 1996
This Policy Brief was prepared for the Fall 1996 issue of the Brookings Review and adapted from “An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States,” which appeared in the May 1996 issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Also of interest is a news story about Ackerloff in the mid-1980s on “efficiency wages” based on their experience hiring babysitters:

Why Unemployment Sometimes Lingers On Stirs Renewed Interest
Alan Murray | Wall Street Journal
December 26, 1985
Note that a young Larry Summers (age 30) is mentioned in this piece. Sticky wages are also mentioned in this summary of her appointment in the New York Times:

Yellen’s Path From Liberal Theorist to Fed Voice for Jobs
Binyamin Appelbaum | New York Times
October 9, 2013
As thorough as this piece is, it fails to mention that Charlie Brown was a teaching assistant for her at Harvard.