Science and Technology News

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NSF Reaches Out to the Public on Federal Government-wide Digital Strategy

Agency asks citizens to help prioritize its data sets for expanded access

NSF is working to make agency data and services more useful and dynamic, key goals of the recent Digital Government Strategy, and is seeking the public's input to decide what information should be first in line for expanded openness.

The Digital Government Strategy, announced on May 23, 2012, sets forth a bold plan to give citizens and an increasingly mobile federal workforce access to high quality, digital government information, data and services, and also build an information technology (IT) infrastructure that supports digital government in the 21st century. Ultimately, the Digital Strategy aims to enable more efficient and coordinated delivery of digital information across all federal agencies.

Starting today, NSF is asking the public to help it prioritize which data sets, or digital collections of information, to open more broadly through the use of interactive search and display functionality. The foundation has set up a new website,, to allow everyone to vote for collections of information that are under consideration for expanded access. Broader access would be achieved through the use of technologies known as APIs. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a type of code used by one computer or device to access or retrieve information from another computer or device. Web developers can use APIs to join previously unrelated data from disparate online sources, enabling government information to be viewed and "mashed up" in new and innovative ways.

The public can provide feedback on which NSF data sets it considers to be of highest value until Aug. 22.

Additional information about NSF and the Digital Government Strategy, including updates on data set priorities will be available on a new website, NSF Digital Strategy.


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