Exploring the quality of government open data | Comparison study of the UK, the USA and Korea | The Electronic Library | Vol 37, No 1

Abstract:  Purpose

The use of “open data” can help the public find value in various areas of interests. Many governments have created and published a huge amount of open data; however, people have a hard time using open data because of data quality issues. The UK, the USA and Korea have created and published open data; however, the rate of open data implementation and level of open data impact is very low because of data quality issues like incompatible data formats and incomplete data. This study aims to compare the statuses of data quality from open government sites in the UK, the USA and Korea and also present guidelines for publishing data format and enhancing data completeness.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses statistical analysis of different data formats and examination of data completeness to explore key issues of data quality in open government data.

Findings

Findings show that the USA and the UK have published more than 50 per cent of open data in level one. Korea has published 52.8 per cent of data in level three. Level one data are not machine-readable; therefore, users have a hard time using them. The level one data are found in portable document format and hyper text markup language (HTML) and are locked up in documents; therefore, machines cannot extract out the data. Findings show that incomplete data are existing in all three governments’ open data.

Originality/value

Governments should investigate data incompleteness of all open data and correct incomplete data of the most used data. Governments can find the most used data easily by monitoring data sets that have been downloaded most frequently over a certain period.

UK signals move away from journal subscription model | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The UK could soon follow the example of Norway and Germany in ditching costly journal subscriptions in favour of more “read and publish” agreements, according to its lead negotiator.

Liam Earney, director of licensing at Jisc Collections, said it was clear that UK universities, like those in many other countries, were “no longer willing to pay for outdated systems” pushed by commercial publishers of the likes of Elsevier….

His comments followed news that the UK sector has signed a £9.6 million, three-year agreement to extend its read-and-publish deal with Springer Nature via the consortium. The deal allows UK researchers access to 2,150 Springer titles, but does not include access to Nature journals. Crucially, members will be able to make their articles freely available in Springer’s hybrid-model journals, a move that the publisher said was in keeping with open access guidelines under the Plan S initiative….

“From our point of view, we want to continue to work with Springer Nature. But it’s important that they put a workflow in place to support the transition to open access. That promise cannot just be rhetorical,” he said. “If we renew this next time around, I would hope that upfront [subscription] payments would be redundant.” …”

Common Struggles: Policy-based vs. scholar-led approaches to open access in the humanities (thesis deposit) – Samuel Moore

Abstract:  Open access publishing (OA) not only removes price and permission restrictions to academic research, but also represents an opportunity to reassess what publishing means to the humanities. OA is increasingly on the agenda for humanities researchers in the UK, having been mandated in various forms by universities and governmental funders strongly influenced by advocates in the STEM disciplines. Yet publishing practices in the humanities are unique to the field and any move to a new system of scholarly communication has the potential to conflict with the ways in which humanities research is published, many of which are shaped by the expectations of the neoliberal university that uniquely impact on the practices of humanities researchers. Furthermore, OA does not reflect a unified ideology, business model or political outlook, and different methods of publication based on open practices will inherently represent a variety of values, struggles or conceptual enclosures. This thesis assesses the contrasting values and practices of different approaches to OA in the humanities through a series of case-studies on governmental and scholar-led forms of OA, explored through a critical methodology comprising both constructivism and deconstruction.

The thesis argues that the UK governmental policy framework, comprised of policies introduced by the Research Councils (RCUK) and Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCE), promotes a form of OA that intends to minimise disruption to the publishing industry. The scholar-led ecosystem of presses, in contrast, reflects a diversity of values and struggles that represent a counter-hegemonic alternative to the dominant cultures of OA and publishing more generally. The values of each approach are analysed on a spectrum between the logic of choice versus the logic of care (following the work of Annemarie Mol) to illustrate how the governmental policies promote a culture of OA predominantly focused on tangible outcomes, whereas the scholar-led presses prioritise an ethic of care for the cultures of how humanities research is produced and published.

In prioritising a commitment to care, scholar-led presses display a praxis that resembles the kinds of activities and relationships centred on common resource management (‘commoning’). The thesis concludes with a series of recommendations for how such care-full values could be best realised in an emancipatory commons-based ecosystem of OA publishing for the humanities, which would be cultivated through a range of institutions and political interventions.

Update on UKRI Open Access Review – UK Research and Innovation

As part of the ongoing Open Access Review, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will welcome input from across the sector later this year through a public consultation.

Open Access aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for researchers, the wider higher education sector, businesses and others.

The UKRI Open Access Review concerns open access to formal scholarly research articles, peer reviewed conference proceedings and monographs. It is an opportunity to align policies across UKRI’s councils, with the UK Funding Bodies on future Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy, and to consider how Innovate UK should be included. The current Research Councils UK (RCUK) policy continues to apply over the period of the review. There will be no change to the REF 2021 open access policy.

The Open Access Review is being undertaken in four phases of work, which started in Autumn 2018 and will run to Spring 2020.

Throughout the Review UKRI will be engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders, and a public consultation on the draft UKRI policy will now take place later this year to allow further time for input from across the sector on the draft policy. The review is expected to report in March and 2020 and UKRI expects the revised policy to apply during 2020.

Further information is available on the UKRI Open Access Review site….”

Observing open access | Research Information

However, it is not until more recently that we have seen the emergence of truly international efforts to coordinate OA. The emergence of Plan S, through cOAlition S, is the newest wave of innovation that seeks to break through the impasse that has developed in some countries. In our report, we observed the US had faltered in its progress toward increasing OA, levelling off at around 42 per cent of overall publication output through OA channels in both 2012 and 2016.  

Of course, it will be several years until Plan S is implemented and we still don’t know how it will finally be realised. However, with recent progress in Germany on Projekt DEAL and the new guidelines from REF 2021, it is clear that not only are both the UK and Germany travelling toward an open future, but also that, since those two countries are among the most collaborative in the world after the US, there are many countries who benefit from the stance taken by those with a progressive agenda.

The UK’s overall percentage of OA content has grown rapidly, outpacing both Germany and the US in recent years. As shown in Figure 1, the UK’s approach to policy around OA has paid dividends. This is not to say that this hasn’t taken significant sustained investment and resource – but innovation seldom comes for free….

In 2021, this will inevitably have an impact on the choices that smaller institutions can make regarding their REF returns, the results of those returns, and the potential funding balance going forward. Research England is clearly not insensitive to these challenges, as it has included a number of options for institutions to argue for exceptions and include a percentage of non-OA outputs. However, the direction is clear: open access will form part of the REF for the first time and it has been thoroughly embedded in the most recent guidance on submission, panel criteria and working methods published by Research England. This is a strong signal to the community and a strong ‘measurement’ that pushes the sector toward open access….”

 

Geographic trends in attitudes to open access | Research Information

In the OA report, when asked whether authors had ever published in an OA journal, the majority of researchers from each country responded affirmatively (B, 68% of 1,133 respondents; I, 57% of 213; J, 59% of 708; UK 60% of 111; US, 51% of 419), except for China (34% of 2,085) and South Korea (44% of 409; roughly equal, yes verses no). Overall, across all survey respondents, with Yes at 45% and No at 35%, OA advocates may feel comfortable that the pendulum is swinging in the right direction. However, there are some striking differences in the geographic profiles of whether or not an author chooses to publish in an OA journal, with an overall 9% of responding authors indicating that they don’t know what OA publishing is.

For example, in response to why respondents chose to publish in an OA journal, more than 60% of authors in almost all geographic areas responded “I wanted my paper to be read by a larger audience” (B, 60% of 766; C, 69% of 710; I, 64% of 121; J, 64% of 415; UK, 63% of 67; US, 60% of 215), however in South Korea, only 37% of 181 authors responded in such a manner, and instead, 71% of 181 authors indicated that “I chose the journal that was the best fit for my paper and it happened to be OA”. This was in striking contrast to authors in the UK, for which the “best fit being OA” response was only indicated by 31% of 67 authors. Notably, when authors in the UK who had “never” published in an OA journal were asked why, 65% (of 34) said “I chose the journal that was the best fit for my paper and it happened to be a subscription journal”. …”

A Fast-Track Route to Open Access | Unlocking Research

“By simply knowing what sort of manuscript has been uploaded much of the decision and archiving process can be automated. …

Agents therefore need only make one decision: identify the file version. …

Since launching Fast Track the average time to process a manuscript is 1-2 minutes. …”

A Fast-Track Route to Open Access | Unlocking Research

“By simply knowing what sort of manuscript has been uploaded much of the decision and archiving process can be automated. …

Agents therefore need only make one decision: identify the file version. …

Since launching Fast Track the average time to process a manuscript is 1-2 minutes. …”