Friday, June 1, 2012

EPA Identifies Work Plan Chemicals for 2013 and 2014

From the USEPA:

As part of EPA’s comprehensive approach to enhance the Agency’s chemicals management program, EPA has identified 18 chemicals for review and assessment in 2013 and 2014.  This follows the March release of the Agency’s work plan of 83 chemicals for review and assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act.  The work plan identified seven chemicals on which the Agency will conduct risk assessments in 2012 and indicated that EPA would identify the 2013 and 2014 chemicals this spring. These draft risk assessments will be posted for public review and comment as they are completed.  

I'll have more analysis on this shortly.

Additional information on this effort, including a list of the 18 chemicals, can be found at on EPA's web site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Elsevier Discusses "Article of the Future" - Is This Open Access?

In the last post I talked about the efforts of some people to shift published research from the firewalled journal article to an open access format.  The argument is that the public, who indirectly fund a lot of basic scientific research via taxpayer-funded research grants, should have access to the research without having to pay for expensive journal subscriptions.  The blog I linked noted a significant scientific boycott of Elsevier, one of the major scientific journal publishing houses.

Today I'll introduce something that Elsevier is doing to harness the power of online publishing for its scientific journals.  In what they call the "Article of the Future" project, Elsevier notes their "ongoing initiative aiming to revolutionize the traditional format of the academic paper in regard to three key elements: presentation, content and context."  They have provided a short video on their web site as an overview of their progress:

As the video notes, the new access systems significantly enhance the amount of information that can be derived over the traditional "flat page" journal article.  But is it open access?  Not really since a subscription to the journal is still required, or at least access through academic libraries that have purchased online subscriptions for use by students in their individual schools.

So what is the solution?