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NTIS Expands Free Access to Federal Technical Reports

The National Technical Reports Library (NTRL) is now offering the American public free public access to a searchable online database of approximately three million federal science and technology reports. The library is a service of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service. NTIS, a federal agency that does not receive appropriations from Congress, previously charged a fee to provide full-text electronic copies of federal documents in its collection. The…

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Obama administration requests 2014 STEM overhaul

A proposed reshuffling of federal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs in the United States would move the Department of Education (ED) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the head of the class. Their new status would be a major change for the federal government, which now spends nearly $3 billion on 226 STEM education programs run by a dozen agencies. Many of those programs were created…

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NSF to expand access to federally-funded research

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), along with federal partners, announced its commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research. Public access is intended to accelerate the dissemination of fundamental research results that will advance the frontiers of knowledge and help ensure the nation’s future prosperity. This announcement follows a memorandum issued from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directing science-funding agencies to…

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Federal Budget Limits Affect Scientific Conferences

After General Services Administration workers were found splurging on hotels, food and catering for a regional conference near Las Vegas two years ago, the Obama administration imposed new guidelines that limit the amount of money that federal agencies can spend on such events. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that the directive saved more than $600 million in the first two quarters of this fiscal year, compared with the…

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Feds must stop writing gibberish under new law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is rolling out a new official language of sorts: plain English. That’s right: Pursuant to regulations promulgated thereunder and commencing in accordance with a statute signed herein by President Barack Obama, the government shall be precluded from writing the pompous gibberish heretofore evidenced, to the extent practicable. That sentence contains 11 new language no-nos. Obama signed the Plain Writing Act last fall after decades…

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