Virtual Workshop on Digital Economy and Sustainable Society

The EPSRC, on behalf of the RCUK Digital Economy theme, is inviting expressions of interest to attend a two-stage “virtual workshop” on achieving a work-life balance in a digitally dependent world. Advancements in the digital economy have allowed us to interact and network more than ever, and without regard for spatial and temporal constraints. The question this workshop seeks to address is: has this come at too high a cost on our personal time?

The workshop (or “Creativity Greenhouse“) will take place online in a virtual 3D environment where participants can interact using video and audio. Applicants must submit expressions of interest by 12:00 on 28th May 2012.

The criteria which potential applicants must meet to take part will focus on novel and highly innovative research ideas and the ability to work in a team, collaborating across different disciplines. The intended outcome of the workshop is a number of multidisciplinary and high quality research projects involving the participants. A budget of £1.5M has been set aside for proposals resulting from this event, and the deadline for full proposals will be 13th September 2012.

Here’s some further background to the call, but applicants should read the guidance notes [PDF] in full and contact us for support in putting together their application:

The Digital Economy (DE) has the potential to transform lifestyles and improve quality of life, having an impact on society as a whole… Pressures on work-life balance precede the DE and stem from many facts such as: working harder not smarter; incompatibility between home location choice and employment opportunities; immobility of office environments and resources; inadequacy of (social) support networks; and challenges of accommodating care of children and others. The DE has the potential to restore balance; but is also has the possibility of exacerbating any imbalance. Technological developments harness the art of the possible. However, human behaviour, our understanding of it and its incorporation into technological innovation significantly govern the effects of the DE.


Research Integrity Consultation – Have your Say!

Universities UK has been working with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK), the Wellcome Trust and government departments to develop a concordat to support research integrity.

The concordat outlines five important commitments that those engaged in research can make to help ensure that the highest standards of rigour and integrity are maintained. It also makes a clear statement about the responsibilities of researchers, employers and funders of research in maintaining high standards in research.

The objective of the concordat is to support the research community to maintain the highest possible standards in the conduct of research. It does this by identifying five key commitments for signatories to make. These ensure that all those engaged with research:

  1. underpin their work with common values of rigour and integrity
  2. conform to all legal, professional and ethical obligations
  3. strive to create an environment based on best practice
  4. support the development and application of robust processes to deal with allegations of misconduct
  5. play an active role in an ongoing process to strengthen the integrity of research

Take an look at the draft concordat and have your say. The consultation phase will close Friday 11 May 2012.

For more information download the invitation to comment.


Survey on researchers’ views about open access publishing of research monographs

The following request for survey responses has been circulated from OAPEN-UK, an Arts and Humanities Research Council and JISC funded project exploring the issues impacting upon the publishing of scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences (HSS). The project is working with Taylor & Francis, Palgrave Macmillan, Berg Publishers, Liverpool University Press, University Wales Press, research funders and universities, to understand the challenges and steps required to move towards an open access publishing model for scholarly monographs. Further information on OAPEN-UK is available on the project website:

In an open access model, the monograph is made freely available – readers (or their libraries) do not have to pay to read it online, rather the costs of the publishing process (e.g.  peer review, typesetting, marketing) are recovered through alternative routes such as research grants, institutional funding or perhaps through readers purchasing print editions or particular formats for their iPad or Kindle. Various models are being tested at the moment.

OAPEN-UK has two strands: an open access pilot gathering data on the usage, sales and citations of 60 monographs, and a wider research project which explores the environment for open access publishing.

We’re six months into the project and, following a series of focus groups, have identified some key questions for researchers – both as authors and readers.

We invite you to complete the researcher survey: The findings from this survey will combine with interviews and surveys of other stakeholder groups to help us understand the big issues and priorities that an open access publishing model must accommodate.

To thank you for your help, if you complete the survey you will be entered into a draw for Amazon vouchers – we have three £100 vouchers, three £50 vouchers and three £25 vouchers available to win.

If you’d like any further information, please contact Ellen Collins ( or Caren Milloy ( The OAPEN-UK website also contains more information about the project, and our findings so far.

Twitter: @oapenuk