SCI – UKUS science agreement

“Jo Johnson, Universities and Science Minister, has signed a pioneering UK-US Science and Technology Agreement, in a commitment to strengthen the relationship between the two nations and their respective economies, and help boost scientific research….

The agreement acts as the first umbrella agreement based on scientific research collaboration between the two countries, with an emphasis on building ‘world-class’ research and continuing existing successful collaborations. Focusing on the value of open-access papers and shared data between the US and UK was also deemed a priority….”

New version of Jisc collections data (2013-2016) included into OpenAPC – Datasets on fee-based Open Access Publishing

Jisc Collections has been gathering and releasing data on APC payments made by UK higher education institutions (HEIs).

Following the publication of a new data set (2013-2016), OpenAPC has decided to replace all its existing Jisc collection data with the new version.

Since the data format employed by Jisc differs from the OpenAPC standard in several ways, a comprehensive pre- and postprocessing had to be conducted. The README in the Jisc data folder provides more details.

 

OA Dashboard feasibility study: Our findings and conclusions | Jisc scholarly communications

“As work comes to a close on the OA Dashboard project, we wanted to share our findings and conclusions and give an outline of what we are planning to do next in this space. Taken forward by Research Consulting in partnership with Pleiade Management and Consultancy and Digirati, the project aimed to assess the feasibility of a dashboard that would support institutions by combining and visualising data on OA. Such a system has the potential to improve institutional workflows by providing easier access to information on OA….

We reached the conclusion that a full business case cannot be built at this time, as the strength of the available evidence is, on average, low, and does not enable a strong case for further investment to be made. A key factor is that, although there is a gap in terms of analysing data on OA, open data sources are not mature enough to power a dashboard and may undermine the validity of its outputs.Whilst it is recommended that the development of a dashboard of this nature is put on hold and re-evaluated in the future, Jisc recognises the importance of centralised systems that enable libraries in being able to monitor their OA activity, encourage the discovery of OA content and support decision-making relating to their library holdings more generally. Therefore, the sector should be assured that work will continue in earnest to investigate new, innovative ways of working in this area….”

Paola Di Maio, Toward shared system knowledge : an empirical study of knowledge sharing policy and practice in systems engineering research in the UK

Abstract:  Research in Open Access (OA) to Scholarly Publications has flourished in recent years, however studies published to date tend to be quantitative, statistical analyses over undifferentiated corpuses, that monitor the overall uptake (Bjo?rk et al. 2010; Laakso et al. 2011). This doctoral thesis explores a different path of inquiry: it examines the effectiveness of OA policies in relation to the perspective of a ‘knowledge seeker’ and considers them in the context of the wider regulatory landscape that motivates their existence, specifically monitoring the availability of shared resources – journal publications, as well as other knowledge sharing artefacts adopted in technical domains – in relation to systems engineering research in the UK. Research Funding Councils adopt Open Access policies and display them prominently on their website, yet not all funded research projects seem to share knowledge by publishing Open Access resources. The main hypothesis driving this thesis is that a gap exists between Open Access in theory and Open Access in practice. A unique research methodology is devised that combines evidence based research (EBR) with a wide range of mixed method techniques, including FOI (freedom of information) requests. A novel collection instrument, a set of heuristic indicators, are developed to support the empirical observation of the gap between ‘Open Access policies in theory’, corresponding approximately to what the funding body state on their website, and ‘Open Access policies in practice’, corresponding to the level of adoption of these policies by grant holders. A systematic review and a meta-analysis of a 100 publicly-funded projects are carried out. The research demonstrates empirically that in the majority of the audited publicly-funded projects, no Open Access resources can be located.

REF2021: much still to be decided | Wonkhe | Policy Watch

“The rules for the next Research Excellence Framework were supposed to be done and dusted a long time ago. Instead, we are looking at yet another consultation exercise covering institutional eligibility, staff submission, and the hotly contested question of output portability. These are questions that HEFCE and the other UK funding councils have been very publically wrestling with since the publication of the Stern Review of Research Funding.”

Open Access, Books, and the Tricky Transition | School of Advanced Study

“The Third Research Excellence Framework, scheduled for the mid-2020s, now has a mandate for open access books. Despite calls from the digitally enlightened, however, most humanities long-form writing remains very much ensconced within the traditions and economics (both symbolic and financial) of the printed book. In this talk, I will discuss the challenges of a migration from conventional books to an open access model and the range of approaches that are currently being taken.

In the age of data mining, distant reading, and cultural analytics, scholars increasingly rely upon automated, algorithm-based procedures in order to parse the exponentially growing databases of digitized textual and visual resources. While these new trends are dramatically shifting the scale of our objects of study, from one book to millions of books, from one painting to millions of images, the most traditional output of humanistic scholarship—the single author monograph—has maintained its institutional pre-eminence in the academic world, while showing the limitations of its printed format. Recent initiatives, such as the AHRC-funded Academic Book of the Future in the UK and the Andrew W. Mellon-funded digital publishing initiative in the USA, have answered the need to envision new forms of scholarly publication on the digital platform, and in particular the need to design and produce a digital equivalent to, or substitute for, the printed monograph. Libraries, academic presses and a number of scholars across a variety of disciplines are participating in this endeavour, debating key questions in the process, such as: What is an academic book?  Who are its readers? What can technology do to help make academic books more accessible and sharable without compromising their integrity and durability? Yet, a more fundamental question remains to be answered, as our own idea of what a ‘book’ is (or was) and does (or did) evolves: how can a digital, ‘single-author’ monograph effectively draw from the growing field of digital culture, without losing those characteristics that made it perhaps the most stable form of humanistic culture since the Gutenberg revolution? Our speakers will debate some of these questions and provide their points of view on some of the specific issues involved. After their short presentations, all participants are invited to bring their own ideas about, and experience with, digital publishing to the table.”

COAF Block Grant – August Update

“Please note that due to high demand, our block grant funding for several COAF partner charities has been depleted as of mid-August 2017….We are pleased that so many LSHTM publications in the past year have been made open access via the ‘gold’ (paid) route. Funding is expected to become available again for the aforementioned COAF partner charities from October, but in the mean time we encourage you to apply for APC waivers from your chosen journals, or follow the ‘green’ (self-archiving, free) route to open access by forwarding your accepted manuscript and acceptance email to publications@lshtm.ac.uk.”

New tool could standardize the process of sharing research materials – Tech Transfer e-News – Tech Transfer Central

“Developed by the UK OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre and the BioBricks Foundation, OpenMTA honors the rights of researchers and promotes safe, responsible laboratory practices. In addition, the tool is designed to work within the practical realm of tech transfer and to be adaptable to the needs of multiple groups globally.

Goals for OpenMTA include:

  • Free access to the tool, with no royalties or other fees except for appropriate and nominal fees for preparation and distribution;
  • The ability for researchers to modify or repurpose materials available through OpenMTA;
  • Unrestricted selling and sharing of materials, whether it’s part of a collaboration or derivative work;
  • Availability to all kinds of institutions including academic, industrial, federal and community research centers

In its approach to tech transfer, Open MTA is designed to reduce transaction costs, support research collaboration across institutions and even nations, and provide a way for researchers and their labs to be credited for the materials they share.”