IRUS-UK Newsletter, June 2020

“IRUS-UK collects raw usage data from UK Institutional Repositories (IRs) and processes these data into COUNTERconformant statistics. This provides repositories with comparable, authoritative, standards-based data and opportunities for profiling at a national level. The IRUS-UK service is a community-driven development, responding to user needs….

In response to your feedback, the current Shibboleth authorisation mechanism will be removed so that the IRUS web portal is fully open and supports easier access to data and tools….”

Database launched to share early-stage UK Covid-19 research – Research Professional News

“The Academy of Medical Sciences has launched a database for tracking early-stage UK Covid-19 research.

Announced on 1 June, the Covid-19 preclinical drug development database aims to help researchers identify collaborations, share expertise, materials and methods, as well as prioritise research and avoid duplicating effort.

The academy is calling on researchers from across academia and industry to submit projects to the database through an optional survey….”

Unforgotten: the people, lost and found, in receipt of social care – Future Care Capital

“Our own work has made extensive use of publicly available data and, to help others, we have produced a Social Care Data Finder which comprises of a timeline with links to social care datasets that have been openly published in the UK since January 1st 2020. The aim is to maintain a data finder that can be used as a resource for social care research, so the timeline will be updated at regular intervals to capture the publication of new datasets and we welcome suggestions for inclusion. At present, our Social Care Data Finder serves as a portal to data published by pertinent national bodies, but we will move to incorporate local datasets and others in due course….”

Supporting Open Access Monographs: Ingredients for a Prototype? – University of Westminster Press blog

“Calls to support public publishing infrastructure, ‘new’ ‘business’ models and alternative approaches to monograph publishing are popular. With the work of COPIM progressing well and building on established ventures like the Scholar-Led consortium, OBP and OLH (in journals) here are some thoughts about what a ambitious pilot scheme could look like. Caveats abound. Agreement between parties, governance and practicalities would be difficult in context. But could it be useful to think of values in the sector and consider the merits of a carrot- rather than stick-based approach? 

I have called it COUL after a long search for an upbeat acronym. 

Collective Open University Library – ­UK (Monographs Publishing) ….”

How can we understand the different effects of UKRI’s open access policy on small learned societies in the humanities? | Samuel Moore

The UKRI open access consultation deadline is this Friday and we’re likely to see a flurry of responses leading up to it. One response to the consultation caught my eye today from the Friends of Coleridge, a society that ‘exists to foster interest in the life and works of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his circle’. I wanted to jot down a couple of thoughts on this because I think it represents something quite interesting about the way that open access is playing out within UK humanities organisations.


Jisc Collections and Brill reach Transformative Agreement for UK Libraries

“Jisc Collections and the international scholarly publisher Brill have reached a Transformative Agreement for 2020, which covers the SHEDL consortium as well as all other eligible UK university libraries.

Under the Agreement, academics at participating institutions benefit from reading access to the Full Brill Journal Collection, as well as unlimited Open Access publishing in all Brill journals for 2020. Brill’s journal portfolio consists of more than 330 hybrid and fully Open Access titles in the Humanities, Social Sciences, International Law, and Biology. Articles which have already been published in 2020 will be made available in Open Access retroactively….”

If I could radically reshape copyright law for research | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“So what, as a thought experiment, might it look like to rethink copyright? What would I suggest if we could get new primary legislation in the UK to change research and copyright arrangements?

I would make it so that research produced by employees at publicly funded research universities could not be placed under copyright. (i.e. were committed to the public domain.) A downstream provision could be included that would mean that no new copyright could be placed on such work by dint of design, typography etc.

I would abolish the implementation of EU Directive 2001/29/EC, at least for academic researchers. This directive makes it a criminal offence to break Digital Rights Management/Technical Protection Measures on digital files. Without the modification or abolition of this criminal directive, even public-domain work can be unusable for text mining.

I would allow academic researchers to re-use and to re-publish material, even that in copyright, that is necessary for their work. In other words, I would absolve academic researchers and institutions of copyright offences that are necessary to conducting their work. This would include distributing in-copyright articles and books to colleagues; publishing in-copyright images and videos that are necessary for work. I would include a clause that such re-use must include attribution credit.

I would extend the current copyright exemptions for text and data mining to a blanket non-commercial research exemption. I would add an allowance to circumvent any API rate limiting or other technological protection measure for the purposes of mining material for research purposes….”

Brits demand openness from government in tackling coronavirus – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“A new opinion poll has revealed that people across the UK want openness from the government as it tackles the coronavirus pandemic.

The Survation poll for the Open Knowledge Foundation found that in response to COVID-19, people want data to be openly available for checking, they are more likely to listen to expert advice from scientists and researchers, and they oppose restricting the public’s right to information.

The poll found:

97% believe it is important that COVID-19 data is openly available for people to check
67% believe all COVID-19 related research and data should be made open for anyone to use freely
64% are now more likely to listen expert advice from qualified scientists and researchers
Only 29% believe restricting the public’s right to information is a necessary emergency measure
63% believe a government data strategy would have helped in the fight against COVID-19….”

Journal subscription expenditure in the UK 2010-2019 | Zenodo

“This dataset contains payments made by UK higher education institutions for access to academic journals from ten publishers from 2010-2019. The data was obtained by sending Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to institutions through the website What Do They Know. The requests, and all original source data, can be found at

The total expenditure with these ten publishers from 2010-2019 was over £982 million. This includes some gaps in the data, so the true figure is almost certainly greater than £1 billion.

The data was originally produced in three stages:

– Data for 2010-14 was published at

– Data for 2015-16 was published at

– Data for 2017-19 was published at

These three datasets contain direct links to the original FOI requests. The present dataset is a combination of these three datasets and contains no additional data….”