Exploratory analysis of indicators for open knowledge institutions: a case study of Australian universities | hc:32623 | Humanities CORE

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.

Open Access Week 2020 – Australasian Open Access Strategy Group

“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….”

Open Research: Submission to the Australian Research Council for the Public Consultation into ERA & EI

“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.”

Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI)

“COKI seeks to be the world’s leading hub for analysis and evaluation of open knowledge in higher education.

Founded at Curtin University in Perth, Australia in 2017, the COKI project team collaborate with national and international partners to create fresh insights into Open Knowledge practice around the world.

COKI has developed the world’s leading open knowledge data set, drawing together more than 12 trillion data elements, providing a comprehensive understanding of open knowledge practices and impact.

The COKI project team is has developed insights, analysis and tools which can enable universities to become Open Knowledge Institutions….”

Roadmap to Plan S for Australia: Final Report

“This report, commissioned by the Council of Australian University Librarians, for delivery to the DVCsR Committee, provides an analysis of the challenges and opportunities arising from Plan S for Australian researchers and universities, including high-level recommendations on how Australian universities should proceed in order to meet compliance obligations from 2021. The report considers the scale of the Plan S compliance issue, finding that 5% of Australian university research publications are affected by Plan S compliance obligations, and typically 0-2% of total research funding is from Coalition S funders. However, addressing compliance issues for affected researchers, can provide more open access publication options for all Australian university researchers in line with indications of similar requirements by other funding bodies. This allows for the challenges presented by Plan S compliance to be transformed into opportunities to enhance Australian research visibility more broadly. While a full set of recommendations can be found at the end of the report, the following summarises the high priority, urgent actions required: ? University Executives must set out clear institutional open access policy positions that align with Plan S and align recognition and reward frameworks accordingly. ? University Executives must ensure there is a central research support capability to identify affected researchers and to offer highly tailored advice. ? Universities must adequately support institutional repositories to fulfil Plan S technical and service requirements. ? CAUL must pursue negotiations with publishers to minimise or eliminate transactional APCs for open access journals. ? CAUL must ensure publishing output data and new consortium models are developed to improve the value of transformative agreements….”

A database of zooplankton biomass in Australian marine waters – PubMed

Abstract:  Zooplankton biomass data have been collected in Australian waters since the 1930s, yet most datasets have been unavailable to the research community. We have searched archives, scanned the primary and grey literature, and contacted researchers, to collate 49187 records of marine zooplankton biomass from waters around Australia (0-60°S, 110-160°E). Many of these datasets are relatively small, but when combined, they provide >85 years of zooplankton biomass data for Australian waters from 1932 to the present. Data have been standardised and all available metadata included. We have lodged this dataset with the Australian Ocean Data Network, allowing full public access. The Australian Zooplankton Biomass Database will be valuable for global change studies, research assessing trophic linkages, and for initialising and assessing biogeochemical and ecosystem models of lower trophic levels.


Supporting Academic Research: Understanding the challenges

“While making publications available openly is not the main priority in the research office, researchers’ support for making their own work openly available is growing….

Beyond Open Access and publications, more strategic alliances would be beneficial for both the research office and the library….

7% of research office staff reported that ensuring research is available openly is one of the top three priorities for their office. However, many referred to this as something for which they share responsibility with researchers and other departments within their institution. …

Open Access is the largest area of collaboration between the research office and the library, demonstrating the library’s role in complementing the research office’s priorities and areas of expertise. 35% of research office staff want greater collaboration with the library. Better systems for identifying publications and updating research profiles may be beneficial for enabling a collaborative focus on key priority areas for both parties….

Research office members are contributing more heavily to helping researchers find and apply for funding, and, to a lesser extent, monitoring the impact of their work. On the other hand, the library is helping more with depositing publications to institutional repositories and with Open Access compliance. …”

The final version of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines for Data Sharing, published 30 June 2020 | RDA

“The Research Data Alliance (RDA) COVID-19 Working Group members bring various, global expertise to develop a body of work that comprises how data from multiple disciplines inform response to a pandemic combined with guidelines and recommendations on data sharing under the present COVID-19 cicumstances.  This extends to research software sharing, in recognition of the key role in software in analysing data.  The work has been divided into four research areas (namely, clinical, omics, epidemiology, social sciences) with four cross cutting themes (namely, community participation, indigenous data, legal and ethical considerations, research software), as a way to focus the conversations, and provide an initial set of guidelines in a tight timeframe.  The detailed guidelines are aimed to help stakeholders follow best practices to maximise the efficiency of their work, and to act as a blueprint for future emergencies.  The recommendations in the document are aimed at helping policymakers and funders to maximise timely, quality data sharing and appropriate responses in such health emergencies.

This work was executed in an intense period over just over 6 weeks, with five iterations, all of which were opened for public community comment.  Draft releases and comments are avaialable here (https://doi.org/10.15497/rda00046). …”

Helping data make a difference – ARDC

“In late March, when the European Commission asked the Research Data Alliance (RDA) to develop a set of global guidelines and recommendations for data sharing in response to the crisis, Kheeran Dharmawardena served as one of the moderators in the community participation theme.

Kheeran has been addressing the gap between information infrastructure and users over the past two decades. His background includes providing ICT services across the higher education and research sectors, including Monash University, the University of Melbourne, ARDC’s Nectar Research Cloud and the Atlas of Living Australia. He’s currently the principle consultant at Cytrax Consulting and also co-chairs the Virtual Research Environments and the Social Dynamics of Data Interoperability interest groups at the RDA. He also founded and co-chairs the Australian Geospatial Capabilities community of practice.


Following the RDA’s publication of its report, COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines for Data Sharing, Dharmawardena provided some insight on the project and the importance of data access….”

Industry Report Reveals Challenges among Researchers and Research Office Leaders during COVID-19

“Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce the publication of its annual study on the challenges that academic researchers face, the priorities of research office leaders, and key opportunities for research offices and libraries to support scholarship at institutions of higher education.

The study was commissioned by Ex Libris and conducted by Alterline, an independent research agency. The report presents findings from a survey of 314 researchers across a range of disciplines and 101 senior members of research offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia….

Senior members of research offices want to strengthen relationships with the library. The top areas of collaboration between the research office and the library consist of open-access compliance (noted by 64% of respondents), the tracking of publications by the institution’s researchers (46%), and the updating of researcher profiles (32%).
Researchers’ support for open access is growing. Before COVID-19, 72% of researchers viewed open access favorably, and 18% now report that they view open access more positively since the onset of COVID-19….”