HEFCE Adjust REF Open Access Policy

HEFCE have today published a letter to universities outlining key changes to their Open Access policy for the next REF. These include: deposit on acceptance now comes into force in April 2017, rather than 2016; there is now an exception to the deposit requirement for outputs available via Gold OA; “inadvertently non-compliant” outputs can be made compliant retrospectively.

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Research Support: The Essentials – 30th June – 2nd July 2015

Longleat Maze by Antony Theobald CC BY-NC-ND 2.0The University Library, Research and Business Services and the Graduate School are joining up to present a series of workshops, briefings and drop-ins for postgraduate research students, early career researchers and academic staff.

We will also be holding a lunchtime showcase highlighting the various services and materials available to researchers internal and external to the University.

Please take a look at the programme for further details and to book sessions.

Places are limited, so please book early!

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Pilot Launched: Funding Open Access for Post-Grant FP7 Publications

Launching in Spring 2015, a pilot aimed at stimulating publishing in Open Access journals in Europe will provide funding to cover all or part of the costs of post-grant open access publishing arising from projects funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The pilot forms part of the EU-funded OpenAIRE2020 project.

The €4m fund is aimed at European researchers to cover the costs of Open Access publishing for post grant FP7 publications.

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Next ECR Forum on Friday 16th January

The next Northumbria Early Career Researchers Forum will be held on Friday 16 Jan from 12.30-2.00 in the auditorium on the ground floor of Mea House.meeting

It will be the first forum meeting of 2015 and a chance to meet the ECR working group representatives from each faculty.

Ellen Cole, Scholarly Publications Librarian from the University Library and David Young, Research Funding and Policy Manager from RBS, will present Northumbria’s Open Access Policy and how it will work in practice. This is a great opportunity for you to ask any Open Access questions you may have.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available. Feel free to bring your lunch with you.

Please let me know if you plan to attend.

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Open Access Pathfinder Workshop Report

At the end of October our Jisc-funded Open Access Pathfinder project, in collaboration with the Pathfinders led by the University of Hull and Coventry University, ran a full-day workshop on How to be innovative in Open Access with limited resources.

Participants

The event brought together representatives from 5 universities, most of which fall under the “modern university” heading. Among the attendees, backgrounds in open access and institutional responsibilities varied, with most attendees from a Library background, although three worked in central research offices:

  • Nick Woolley (Head of Academic Library Services, University of Northumbria, lead for Northumbria-Sunderland Pathfinder)
  • Barry Hall (Institutional Repository Coordinator, University of Sunderland)
  • Chris Awre (Head of Information Management, University of Hull, lead for HHuLOA Pathfinder)
  • Julie Bayley (Impact Manager, University of Coventry, project manager for 02OA Pathfinder)
  • Ellen Cole (Scholarly Publications Librarian, University of Northumbria)
  • Bev Jones (Research Repository and Information Officer, University of Lincoln)
  • David Young (Research Funding and Policy Manager, University of Northumbria)
  • Christine Downes (Research Support Coordinator, University of Northumbria)

It was a lively and engaging workshop and the smaller scale afforded more opportunity for detailed discussion and debate of the various issues.

You can read the full report for each of the three sessions on this blog:

Some pictures from the event are included below (yes, the cake was tasty!):

Draft Recommendations for Comment

At the end of the workshop we sketched out the following set of draft recommendations which we are publishing here for consideration and further comment from the sector, and in the spirit of the Jisc OA Pathfinder programme which is to “release outputs early and often”:

 

Best Practice Recommendations Sector Recommendations
Champions for OA among academic staff are relatively widespread, however we should consider OA champions among admin staff outside of Library, particularly research office. OA week: current positioning conflicts with start of term and reduces engagement. Suggestion for alternative UK date in Spring. Possible OA event in April 2015 (one year to go until HEFCE REF policy)
Avoid vague “want to know more about OA?” messages. Focus on producing short guides explaining process, what to do when, and FAQs. Coordination needed in negotiations with publishers to avoid “divide and rule”
Currently many institutions have piecemeal policies addressing OA, impact, IPR. There would be value in having an overarching “dissemination strategy” incorporating all of the above. Guidance on support staff roles and levels for OA from HEFCE?
Top-level webpages/intranet pages on OA – don’t split guidance between Library and Research Office. Pathfinder coverage of licensing and rights – there may be a gap here and Jisc needs to ensure this is covered
Create and disseminate template texts/OA slides for academics
In advocacy it is important to focus on the benefits of OA generally, and not just REF/RCUK compliance issues. Otherwise you risk creating a “REF divide” and disengaging staff who are not being considered for REF submission
Systems vs. Behaviour: expectation management is needed around the introduction of new systems (e.g. CRIS). No one system solves all problems. It’s crucial to focus on behaviour.

Next steps and Collaboration

Going forward, we have invited all participants to contribute a case study of their institutional approach to OA, issues specific to each institution, and how they are addressing them. Interim versions of these will be released in Spring next year, with the final versions in 2016. This aligns closely to the HHuLOA approach of capturing baseline data and updating this at regular intervals. Our Pathfinder is planning to contribute to this output for the HHuLOA Pathfinder.

In addition, Julie Bayley, project manager of the Coventry-led Pathfinder, is currently working on an intervention map, which will be a further joint output of the event.

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British Academy highlights the need for variety of Open Access

British Academy highlights the need for variety of Open Access: “This includes consideration of the types of open access licences that should be permitted, the submission says. It believes the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivations (CC-BY-NC-ND) licence will usually be more appropriate for humanities and social science publications because this offers more safeguards against the misuse of work.”

More information here (via Research Professional).

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Collaboration, balance and compliance: our Jisc Open Access Pathfinder project update

This project update is cross-posted from our Jisc OA Pathfinder blog:

Looking Back by Dr Wendy Longo CC BY-ND 2.0
Looking Back by Dr Wendy Longo CC BY-ND 2.0

We’re now just over three months into our Jisc OA Pathfinder project and it’s a good time to reflect on the progress we’ve made so far against our Project Plan as well as looking ahead to what’s in store over the coming months.

As a reminder and a starting point, it’s worth restating our project’s main aim“We will develop shared tools and best practice policies and procedures to enable HEIs with limited external funding to effectively and creatively respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by recent Open Access policies.”

Working together

Way back in June/July there was a series of events which collectively kicked off the Jisc Pathfinder programme. The first was the inaugural meeting of the Open Access Implementation Community, which is a Jisc-hosted gathering of primarily library and research office colleagues who have some responsibility for setting and implementing open access policy in their institutions.

At the event each Pathfinder was asked to do a short (“lightning”) presentation of their project. This was incredibly useful as it enabled us to start to get a sense of where our project fits within the programme and where there are overlaps and potential synergies with other projects.

Following this my colleague, Ellen Cole, attended the first Programme Meeting on behalf of our Pathfinder. Here the theme of working together was picked up and a number of alignments between the projects were highlighted.

One of the first priorities for us following these events was to identify partners to work with us to build case studies – one of the key outputs of our project. In our bid, we had planned to hold a first case study workshop in September, but this clashed with various other Pathfinder events and it made sense to align our workshop with the plans of other Pathfinder projects. We therefore deferred the workshop until late October and are now in the planning stages, following initial discussions with the Hull and Coventry-led Pathfinders. These Pathfinder projects are both focusing on complementary areas to our own: Hull’s HHuLOA project looks at how OA can further research development at partner institutions, while Coventry’s O2OA focuses on understanding the requirements to implement OA in a modern university setting.

Like us, both of these projects have been carrying out some form of “baselining” (i.e. working out where they are currently and what the key issues are in order to address their project objectives). For us, some of this analysis has focused on our institutional repositories – which have been central in driving forward the OA agenda at our respective institutions. At our workshop we will build on this to explore questions around setting and implementing institutional OA policy in a modern university, and how we can go beyond compliance with limited external funding for OA.

A balancing act?

Our project team has also been busy designing a methodology for our case study work package. Part of this was assessing our current situation – as mentioned above – but we have also used the opportunity presented to us by this year’s Repository Fringe in Edinburgh. As one of the OA Pathfinders, we were asked to run a short session introducing our project to the delegates (a mix of library professionals, developers, publishers, and funders).

Our workshop focused on a few key questions which have arisen from our project team’s initial discussions as well as the work that we’ve already undertaken around open access advocacy and policy development:

  1. In our institutional OA policymaking, do we aim to strike an “optimal balance” between Green and Gold OA, or do we favour one over the other?
  2. Do all stakeholders in our institutions see this the same way as us?
  3. As institutions with limited resources to address the challenges posed by OA, can we use these policies to positively influence other aspects of our institutional culture, e.g. publishing behaviour?

The workshop provided some expected and some unexpected answers to these questions. It also helped to highlight many common themes and issues which are shared by a variety of stakeholders. The full report includes a summary and commentary on the findings – as well as copious pictures of coloured post-it notes!

Compliance and evidence

It’s been a busy time in our universities over the past few weeks, with preparations for the beginning of the new term. Those of us with an open access remit have been especially busy contributing to a number of reports and consultation documents primarily linked to the RCUK compliance monitoring report (due on the 12th September) and their related call for evidence on implementing the RCUK OA policy.

I’ll be writing another post about the various sector-wide consultation responses we have contributed to. For Northumbria, putting together the RCUK OA compliance report presented challenges in terms of linking ouputs and funding data. We have certainly made significant progress this year – an OA policy has been officially agreed by the University Executive, and this is supported by a significant internal OA APC fund. However, we still have work to do to make the whole OA lifecycle work smoothly.

What’s next?

  • Our project workshop in late-October will bring together 6-8 institutions with complementary aims to explore the challenges of implementing OA in a modern university setting. This will be the starting point of the case studies which will become a key output of the project.
  • We will start to look at cost modelling for OA, which will likely include further collaboration with another Pathfinder. Watch this space for more details.
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