USDA and CHORUS Collaborate to Advance Public Access

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and CHORUS have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to advance public access to content reporting on USDA-funded research.

USDA already links from the PubAg portal to CHORUS-verified, publicly accessible content on CHORUS Publisher Members’ sites. Closer collaboration between the two organizations aims to further increase public access to publications covered by the PubAg/AGRICOLA systems.

USDA issued its Public Access Plan in November 2014, identifying their PubAg portal as a foundation for hosting data sets and articles from extramural researchers who receive USDA funding, and intramural authors who do research as agency staff. The Plan also indicated a strong interest in public-private partnerships to maximize the agency’s investment and balance the needs of all involved in scholarly communications.

“It is gratifying to see that CHORUS’ ongoing discussions with USDA have progressed so quickly into a partnership that promises to yield clear benefits for the public and the research community. We look forward to continuing our work together to define the best approaches to help USDA meet their public access goals,” said CHORUS Executive Director Howard Ratner.

CHORUS enables sustainable, cost-effective, and transparent public access to content reporting on funded research. Built on proven infrastructure, CHORUS operates at no cost to the government, academic institutions, or taxpayers, and minimizes costs to publishers, overheads for funders, and administrative burden for authors. CHORUS verifies public access, the availability of reuse license terms, and long-term archival and preservation arrangements and reports on these metrics in agency and publisher level dashboards; over 288,000 articles are currently monitored and these numbers are growing daily.

ABOUT USDA: USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Since 2009, USDA has invested $4.32 billion in research and development grants. Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research now returns over $20 to our economy. In recent years, research by USDA scientists has led to discoveries of everything from a potential solution for millions who suffer allergies from peanuts to safe mosquito control that can help halt the transmission of diseases they spread, among others.

The National Agricultural Library of the United States Department of Agriculture is one of four national libraries of the United States and houses one of the world’s largest collections devoted to agriculture and its related sciences. PubAg is a portal to USDA-authored and other highly relevant agricultural research. At launch, it delivers over 40,000 full-text journal articles by USDA staff and includes nearly 450,000 citations. The Library will add about 20,000 citations each month. The initial release also previews its directions for intended functionality and will serve as the foundation for further enhancements.

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