Towards a National Collection

“We write as the united museums, galleries, libraries and archives of the UK.

From famous international institutions to small, local collections, we areproud of our diverse and unique identities, that re?ect the di?erentcommunities whose stories we tell.But times like this, when digital access to culture is all we have, remind usthat our separate collections are also one, single, national collection: yourcollection.Earlier this year the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UKResearch & Innovation (UKRI), began a ?ve-year programme called ‘Towards aNational Collection’, whose goal is to help us, working with UK universities, tobring our collections together digitally in new and exciting ways. When thenational lockdown began that ambition overnight became even more urgentand important – unlocking the power of our collections not only as a vitalresource for research, but to bring beauty, education, inspiration and solaceinto all of our lives.Starting today, for the remainder of the lockdown and, we hope, far into thefuture, we are committing to work together online as never before tocelebrate the connections between us, to bring our treasures together infresh and surprising ways, and to shine a spotlight on some of the little-known wonders of our shared national collection….”

Open and Shut?: The Open Access Interviews: Edith Hall

“Why is open access so contentious? In large part, I think, because although OA began as a bottom-up revolution it was never widely embraced by researchers. However, OA advocates managed to persuade governments, funders and institutions that their colleagues should be compelled to embrace open access. This has seen a series of ever more stringent OA mandates being imposed on researchers, increasing the bureaucratic burden on them (amongst other things).

Monographs are a particularly contested area because of their length, their narrative form, and the licensing issues that this raises.

 

It has not helped that OA advocates promised open access would reduce the costs of scholarly communication. In reality, costs have risen.

 

This last point is particularly troublesome in the UK context as OA policies have been introduced without providing the necessary funding to support them. As a result, researchers can discover that they have been mandated to make their work open access but cannot afford to pay the article-processing charge (APC) needed if they want to satisfy the government’s preference for gold OA.

 

This has been a challenge even for researchers at wealthy and prestigious institutions. Last year, for instance, Oxford University library had to inform faculty that its OA fund had been exhausted and so they should delay submitting to journals until it had been replenished. 

 

At the same time, the bureaucracy surrounding OA compliance has become so complex that universities have had to recruit legions of support staff to interpret and manage the escalating number of policies (some of which have proved contradictory). Indeed, such is the complexity now that even specialist support staff can struggle to decode the rules.

 

In short, the UK OA policy environment is far too complex, and it is seriously underfunded. For researchers, this is frustrating and depressing….”

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentship: Open Access and the Role of the National Library – PhD study – Information School – The University of Sheffield

“AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentship: Open Access and the Role of the National Library

Deadline: Monday 18 June 2018

The British Library and University of Sheffield are pleased to invite applications for a three-year AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD Studentship, available from 1 October 2018. This doctoral award is funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Collaborative Doctoral Programme. The research will be jointly supervised by Professor Stephen Pinfield and Dr Laura Sbaffi of the Information School, the University of Sheffield, and Dr Torsten Reimer, Head of Research Services, at the British Library.

The successful candidate will undertake research and produce a thesis on ‘Open Access and the Role of the National Library’ that centres on addressing the question of roles national libraries currently can and do play in open-access publishing and dissemination of research outputs, and how these might be developed in future. As well as carrying out research which will make a significant contribution to knowledge and an immediate impact on policy, there is considerable scope in the project for the successful student to develop the research in ways that complement and extend the student’s own existing skills-set and interests….”

Guide to open access monograph publishing for arts, humanities and social science researchers

“This guide has been produced to assist arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS) researchers in understanding the state of play with regards to open access in the UK and what it means to them as current and future authors of scholarly monographs.A series of questions commonly asked by researchers or of relevance to researchers are presented with answers. The questions have been drawn primarily from over 250 individual responses by researchers, learned societies, university departments and publishers to the recent Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (www.hefce.ac.uk) consultation on open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework….”