The paper describes how Charles Darwin University (CDU) used a three-pronged approach to better serve its researchers: it developed a single interface for improved accessibility and discoverability of its research outputs, consolidated its corresponding policies and procedures and implemented training programs to support the new portal. This in turn made its suite of research outputs more openly accessible and better discoverable. The intention was to make CDU research compliant with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) policy statement, affirming the need to make Australia’s research more visible, thereby enabling better access, better collaboration locally and internationally and researchers more accountable to their community.
This paper uses case study methodology and a qualitative approach.
CDU Library collaborated with the University’s Research Office in undertaking a series of strategies towards reframing access to its research. The partners migrated their research collections into a single, new, integrated interface; developed new policies and consolidated existing ones; and to this end, rolled out a training and educational program for the research community. The intention of the program was to introduce the Pure repository to new researchers and to train all staff to self archive and curate their own research outputs. This new streamlined approach ensured a more comprehensive and timely availability and accessibility of the University’s research outputs.
A single source of truth was established through the migration of iCDU’s research collections, ensuring data quality was maintained. At the start of this project, there were few institutions in Australia using the Pure system, and even fewer using it as their sole repository for displaying research outputs.
“Quite simply, open data is information that anyone can find, explore and reuse.
A vast amount of this data is collected during the course of normal government activities, including service delivery, research or administration.
Open data, by definition, should be freely available, easily discoverable, anonymous, accessible and published in ways and with licences that allow reuse.
By releasing this information in a central location – on data.gov.au – it’s now easy to find, explore and reuse.
Examples of how open data is used include creating an app, doing research, in support of evidence-based decision making, developing a business plan for creating goods or services, or simply to improve knowledge and understanding of social, economic and environmental trends.
Government open data does not hold any private or sensitive information as the data is anonymised prior to release. This is done to ensure the highest privacy standards are met, and security is not breached….”
Abstract: Data management plans (DMPs) have increasingly been encouraged as a key component of institutional and funding body policy. Although DMPs necessarily place administrative burden on researchers, proponents claim that DMPs have myriad benefits, including enhanced research data quality, increased rates of data sharing, and institutional planning and compliance benefits.
In this article, we explore the international history of DMPs and describe institutional and funding body DMP policy. We find that economic and societal benefits from presumed increased rates of data sharing was the original driver of mandating DMPs by funding bodies. Today, 86% of UK Research Councils and 63% of US funding bodies require submission of a DMP with funding applications. Given that no major Australian funding bodies require DMP submission, it is of note that 37% of Australian universities have taken the initiative to internally mandate DMPs. Institutions both within Australia and internationally frequently promote the professional benefits of DMP use, and endorse DMPs as ‘best practice’. We analyse one such typical DMP implementation at a major Australian institution, finding that DMPs have low levels of apparent translational value. Indeed, an extensive literature review suggests there is very limited published systematic evidence that DMP use has any tangible benefit for researchers, institutions or funding bodies.
We are therefore led to question why DMPs have become the go-to tool for research data professionals and advocates of good data practice. By delineating multiple use-cases and highlighting the need for DMPs to be fit for intended purpose, we question the view that a good DMP is necessarily that which encompasses the entire data lifecycle of a project. Finally, we summarise recent developments in the DMP landscape, and note a positive shift towards evidence-based research management through more researcher-centric, educative, and integrated DMP services.
In Australia the first challenge is to overcome the apathy about open access issues. The term “open access” has been too easy to ignore. Many consider it a low priority compared to achievements in research, obtaining grant funding, or university rankings glory.
“Scholarly communication is a rapidly evolving field. The people who work in scholarly communication are constantly having to update their knowledge and skills.
Professional education and training have not always kept pace with this evolution. Therefore, for this project we aim to investigate the work, and the scholarly communication knowledge and skills held by professional staff working in universities and other research institutions, with the aim of understanding whether additional education, training and professional development is required.
For the purposes of this research, scholarly communication roles include tasks associated with:
Institutional repository management
Open access policies and the scholarly communication landscape
Data management services
Assessment & impact metrics
This project has received ethical approval from the Australian National University Human Ethics Committee (ANU Ref. No. 2020/450). …”
“For a small, relatively isolated island nation like Australia, with relatively low research funding per capita compared to the rest of the world, we have little to lose and much to gain, through a far more systematic approach to sharing information and expertise with others around the globe.”
“Scott Morrison’s department and his political office have rejected freedom of information requests for access to taxpayer-funded research undertaken by Jim Reed, a long-term researcher for Liberal party pollster Crosby Textor.
Reed, who now runs his own agency, Resolve Strategic, was awarded a $541,750 contract by limited tender in April to undertake market research related to Covid-19 for the prime minister’s department.
Another contract of similar value was awarded to Reed by the Treasury on a recommendation from Morrison’s department. Officials have confirmed the market research has been shared with both the prime minister and treasurer’s offices.
Guardian Australia requested access to the market research and correspondence pertaining to it, but Morrison’s department rejected the application on a number of grounds, including that disclosure would “substantially prejudice the Australia government’s ability and capacity to effectively respond to the most critical issues facing Australia at the current time”. …”
Abstract: While the movement for open access (OA) has gained momentum in recent years, there remain concerns about the broader commitment to openness in knowledge production and dissemination. Increasingly, universities are under pressure to transform themselves to engage with the wider community and to be more inclusive. Open knowledge institutions (OKIs) provide a framework that encourages universities to act with the principles of openness at their centre; not only should universities embrace digital OA, but also lead actions in cultivating diversity, equity, transparency and positive changes in society. Accordingly, this leads onto questions of whether we can evaluate the progress of OKIs and what are potential indicators for OKIs. As an exploratory study, this article reports on the collection and analysis of a list of potential indicators for OKIs. Data for these indicators are gathered for 43 Australian universities. The results show evidence of large disparities in characteristics such as Indigenous employment and gender equity, and a preference for repository-mediated OA across the Australian universities. These OKI indicators provide high-dimensional and complex signals that can be widely categorised into three groups of diversity, communication and coordination.
“We have developed a series of events for Open Access Week across Australia and New Zealand with a timetable of stimulating guest speakers and workshops each day from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd October (11am -1pm AEST). Registration for events is below.
See also our interview with Nobel Laureate, Professor Peter Doherty….”
“This is a submission to the Australian Research Council for the Public Consultation into ERA & EI…
Australia needs to consider how research integrity can be addressed, and adoption of open research practices offers a clear path. * The ERA assessment process can be leveraged to encourage consistent open practices within Australian research.”