22-28 October is worldwide Open Access week. Enlighten, the University’s of Glasgow’s service for managing research publications, is also our Open Access repository offering unrestricted worldwide access to the full text of an increasing number of our publications. To find out more about Open Access, or to ask questions about using Enlighten, University staff are invited to come along this week to our stand in the University Library. Members of the Enlighten team will be there in the Am Fosglan area (just as you enter the Library) on Wednesday 24th October 14.00-16.00 and Thursday 25th October 10.00-12.00. Come along and talk to us and receive a voucher for a free hot drink from Hospitality Services! For more information about Enlighten or the event e-mail email@example.com.
The Government commissioned Finch Report on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings was released yesterday. The working group, which included publishers, funders, librarians and figures from universities and learned societies, was set the task of looking at how the UK might go about adopting an open access approach to publicly funded research, what the benefits might be to the UK as a whole and what the costs might be.
The recommendation of the working group is that the ‘Gold’ approach to Open Access, whereby journal articles are made freely available upon payment of a fee, should be adopted. The report outlines a number of possible scenarios ranging from a situation whereby the adoption of an open acess policy across the HE sector would result in a saving of several million pounds to the possibility of increased costs to the sector depending on the charges levied by publishers to publish in an open access manner and a possible change in the number of articles published each year.
The report is a key indication that the UK government supports the principles of open access – what now needs to be determined is the best manner in which to achieve it. Universities and funding bodies are now considering the report and its implications.
There is not a great deal of discussion of repositories such as Enlighten in the report, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for us.
Comments on the report have appeared in a wide range of sources:
Guardian – Open access is the future of academic publishing, says Finch report
Times Higher Education – Push for gold will cost millions, open-access report says
Wellcome Trust response – Wellcome Trust responds to Finch Report on open access
RCUK response – RCUK welcomes the ‘Finch report’
BBC – Report calls on government to back open access science
The University of Glasgow has been commissioned by JISC to create an Open Access Repositories Resource Pack (OARRPack) for the UK’s Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG). This is aimed at encouraging UK universities to adopt Open Access and the open agenda.
Wide range of Open Access Information
As colleagues will know, there is a vast quantity of information about open access available via numerous websites, reports, videos and other documents but within the UK context this is not available as a coherent whole.
The aim of this project is to survey the guidance currently available to HEIs in the UK and further afield on why and how they can practically implement a more open approach to the release of their research outputs. By analysing what is currently available, synthesising this, talking to key stakeholders and establishing what new content might need to be produced the project team will then develop an OA resource pack.
The pack will be aimed at both university senior managers and at repository managers and other staff charged with implementing open access policies.
It will provide a mix of the high level information necessary to enact institution-wide policy changes and the practical details needed in order to implement these policy changes.
To inform the development of the OA resource pack we would like to encourage the Open Access community and our colleagues to contribute in a number of ways by:
- Sharing details of useful resources with us
- Suggesting OA experts to take part in a small experts group feeding into the development and evaluation of the pack;
- Letting us know if you think your senior management would be willing to talk to us, either about how open access was implemented at your institution or about what they would need from an OA resource pack in order to implement an institutional OA policy
In December I attended the Berlin7 at La Sorbonne in Paris (2-4 December 2009) as part of a panel session entitled “Practical challenges in moving to Open Access: a focus on research funders and universities”.
A Research Institution’s View
The focus of my presentation was the role of institutions and funders in implementing Open Access mandates with a particular focus on our own institutional repository.
It posed 5 questions [with some answers] for institutions and funders:
- How universities can help funders implement mandates
- What the infrastructure implications are for universities
- What the policy implications are for universities
- How funders can help universities
- What are the shared (and different goals) for institutions and funders
One of the key goals of Enrich is to easily link funding data (from our Research System) to publications in the repository and to demonstrate compliance with funder mandates such as the Wellcome Trust.
The panel was chaired by Fred Friend and also included:
- John Houghton (Victoria University)
- Alma Swan (Key Perspectives Ltd)
- Wolfram Horstmann (Bielefeld University)
- Johannes Fournier (DFG, German Research Foundation) and Anita Eppelin (German National Library of Medicine)
- Kurt de Belder (Leiden University)
- Robert Kiley (Wellcome Trust)
- Bernard Rentier (Université de Liège)
All of the presentations from Berlin7 are available online.