At the end of last year's session, Congress passed
an Omnibus Appropriations Bill which includes a provision requiring the Office
of Management and Budget to amend Circular A-110 to "ensure that all
data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the
procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act." Although
well-meaning in its intent to promot public access to scientific data, it has
raised concerns among researchers and their institutions about how it would
be implemented. Questions arise regarding the costs of implementation, the confidentiality
of human subjects research data, and its impact on intellectual property rights
and university-industry relationships. To address these and other issues as
well as the proposed rule issued by OMB, the American Association for the Advancement
of Science and Federal Focus, Inc. will convene a briefing on February 26, 1999.
Representatives from OMB, the House Committee on Science Staff, National Institutes
of Health, industry, and the research community will be present.