Goldsmiths conference: ‘OA mandates will damage academic freedom’ | The Bookseller

“Academics in the arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS) voiced concerns that Open Access mandates will damage academic freedom at a conference held at Goldsmiths, University of London, on Friday (24th May). The conference heard that widening the funder Open Access mandates developed for STEM subjects to cover the humanities fields would actively prevent some researchers from publishing, because they would not have access to funds.

A push has been initiated in the UK to require all monographs to be published Open Access to be eligible for the 2027 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Meanwhile under international initiative Plan S, all government-funded research will have to be published Open Access from 2020.

Sarah Kember, professor of new technologies of communication at Goldsmiths and director of Goldsmiths Press, suggested that funder-mandated OA publishing – as opposed to scholar-led OA initiatives such as Goldsmiths Press – could narrow the range of work appearing and damage diversity. …”

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. …”

Study quantifies the growing traction of open access

Now an analysis shows that researchers in the UK are indeed posting their papers online earlier, as are their colleagues all over the world. The time researchers are taking to post papers online shrunk by an average of 472 days per country between 2013 and 2017, finds a study published on 17 April and to be presented at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in June. Though the authors can’t definitively say what’s behind the trend, they suggest that the Research England policy and other funding eligibility requirements recently announced worldwide are pushing academics to rapidly make their work freely available….”

Do Authors Deposit on Time? Tracking Open Access Policy Compliance – Open Research Online

Abstract:  Recent years have seen fast growth in the number of policies mandating Open Access (OA) to research outputs. We conduct a large-scale analysis of over 800 thousand papers from repositories around the world published over a period of 5 years to investigate: a) if the time lag between the date of publication and date of deposit in a repository can be effectively tracked across thousands of repositories globally, and b) if introducing deposit deadlines is associated with a reduction of time from acceptance to open public availability of research outputs. We show that after the introduction of the UK REF 2021 OA policy, this time lag has decreased significantly in the UK and that the policy introduction might have accelerated the UK’s move towards immediate OA compared to other countries. This supports the argument for the inclusion of a time-limited deposit requirement in OA policies.

REF must ‘bring hammer down’ on open access books, says professor | Times Higher Education (THE)

It is time to “bring the hammer down” and extend open access requirements for the UK’s research excellence framework to monographs, a professor has said.

Cameron Neylon, professor of research communication at Australia’s Curtin University, said that he was “running out of sympathy” for academics who complained that there was not enough time to prepare for the requirement that long-form scholarly works must be made available easily and free of charge, if they are to be submitted to the 2027 assessment….

While open access monographs was a complicated issue that was “the price of being the leader”, he said. “Leadership requires taking risks. If everyone was comfortable all the time, what would be the point?” “

A change of plan for UK open access? | Wonkhe | Policy Watch

“So for me the headline advice expected in a report to the minister from Adam Tickell is that the current ‘preference for Gold OA is expensive – and there is a need for clarity as to whether the UK should maintain this approach….’ 

The fact that Gold OA comes at a cost is a clear disincentive for many researchers despite being a REF requirement – especially where a grant may not cover publication costs or where interesting work is being carried out without a grant. The research councils currently provide block funding for APCs, but this is unlikely to be a permanent feature – we might see a short extension, but only if the Gold OA policy direction continues.

If it does, and if we assume that current price trends and publishing patterns continue – and that OA take-up in the UK were to reach 100% by 2025 – total expenditure would rise to £362m in 2020, and £818m in 2028 – over three times the 2016 figure in real terms. We understand there’ll be some economic modelling published alongside Tickell’s advice, which looks at these figures across a variety of scenarios….”

Guidance on submissions (2019/01) – REF 2021

“106. The four UK HE funding bodies believe that the outputs of publicly funded research should be freely accessible and widely available. Open access research brings benefits to researchers, students, institutions, governments, public bodies, professionals and practitioners, citizen scientists and many others. Open access has the potential to make research more efficient and impactful. In view of these benefits, and to embed open access as an intrinsic part of the research process, the funding bodies have introduced a policy requirement on open access in REF 2021.

107. The intent of the REF open access policy is to provide a set of minimum requirements for open access, while encouraging an environment where researchers and HEIs move beyond the minimum requirements. HEIs can demonstrate where they have gone beyond the requirements in the environment template (REF5b) in the research and impact strategy section (see the ‘Panel criteria’, paragraph 346). The funding bodies encourage institutions to take a proportionate view of the costs and benefits of making other types of outputs (including monographs) available as open access.

108. The open access policy applies to journal articles and conference contributions (with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)) which are accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 and published on or before 31 December 2020. It requires these research outputs to be made open access for those outputs to be eligible for submission in REF 2021. The outputs should be deposited, discoverable, and free to read, download and search within, by anyone with an internet connection. The funding bodies recommend that institutions fully consider the extent to which authors currently retain or transfer the copyright of works published by their researchers, as part of creating a healthy research environment.

109. Authors and institutions can meet the policy requirement without necessarily incurring any additional open access publication costs (such a through payment of an article processing charge).

110. Evidence gathered in 2017 indicates good progress is being made by the sector in implementing the policy, and a range of systems and tools are being developed to assist authors and institutions in making their outputs open. However, the funding bodies recognise that the current structures and software solutions are still at an early stage, and that it will take time to fully establish open access as an intrinsic part of the research process. The funding bodies expect the sector and service providers to continue the momentum to develop new tools to implement the policy, particularly relating to the deposit requirements. In view of this, there are measures and exceptions which have been developed to provide a degree of tolerance of non-compliance.

111. The funding bodies recognise that information on deposit permissions, licences and embargoes can sometimes be unclear, complex, or hard to find. Until significant progress has been made to address this issue (including developing machine-readable licences and permissions), it is reasonable for the sector to rely on shared services, including those offered by SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access). Authors and institutions should feel comfortable acting on the information provided by SHERPA in meeting REF 2021 open access requirements, and should not undertake additional work to verify this information.

112. Institutions are not expected to correspond with previous institutions to evidence that outputs published while a staff member was previously employed elsewhere fulfilled the requirements of the policy. This is the case even if the new employer intends to submit the output to REF 2021. For example, when a researcher moves from the institution where the output was published (X), to another institution (Y), the REF does not expect that institution Y corresponds with institution X to seek and retain evidence of the output’s compliance. Where an institution is unable to ascertain themselves if an output is compliant with the policy, a policy exception can be applied (see paragraph 255.a).

113. The intent of this policy is for the output to be made freely available. The policy encourages outputs which are submitted with a deposit, technical, or other exception to be made open access as soon as possible. However, this is not a requirement of the policy.

114. The REF 2021 audit process will seek assurance that the information and data submitted regarding compliance are accurate and reliable….”