Open Science Conference 2019

This week, I attended the International Open Science Conference in Berlin.  I attended this event last year, and found it so inspiring, I was keen to attend again this year.  Open Science, or Open Research, as we tend to refer to it here in Edinburgh is an important development which will fundamentally change the way researchers and those who support them will work over the coming years.

We are in the process of adopting the LERU Roadmap on Open Science and are working with colleagues across the University with the aim of implementing as many of its 41 recommendations as possible.

The programme was comprehensive and there were far too many good ideas to summarise here, so instead I’d like to focus on a number of key take-home messages I came away with in no particular order:

  1. I need to get to grips with the European Open Science Cloud. It’s such a major intiative and I need to get to grips with what it is, how it works, and how it applies in the Edinburgh context (in an increasingly likely post-Brexit world).
  2. I’m very keen to work more closely with our Research Support Office to see what more we can do to ‘hack’ research proposals before they are submitted to make them more open right from the opurset. Thanks to Ivo Grigorov’s FOSTER Open Science CLINIQUE for the inspiration!
  3. Peter Kraker’s powerful presentation highlighted the risks we leave ourselves open to by allowing commercial monopolies to form within the research lifecycle. I’m increasingly worried that we are sleepwalking from a monopolistic market for library subscriptions to an even more dangerous situation with just one or two for-profit companies owning all the tools that are essential to the research endeavour.   We need to do more to make open infrastructure sustainable.  #dontleaveittogoogle

So, from my reams and reams of notes, those are my three key action points to take forward within the University of Edinburgh.

It was really great to hear Eva Mendez re-stress the importance of seeing the transition to open science as a process of manged, complex, cultural change.  I think that is something I and my colleagues already understand very well, but it’s good to have this re-affirmed!  It was also useful to think about how we need a complete picture of vision, skills, incentives, resources and action plans to avoid confusion, anxiety, resistance, frustration and false starts.

I’d highly recommend this conference and would encourage anyone with an interest in Open Research to attend again next year.  #OSC2019

Dominic Tate

Institutionally Authored Books

performingcivilityThe Scholarly Communications Team estimates that staff at the University of Edinburgh write, edit or contribute to over 500 books annually and the Library aspires to hold two copies of each of these books (one for general loan, one for preservation).  In light of this aspiration, Edinburgh University Library has developed a policy relating to the acquisition of institutionally authored books, which encourages staff to donate two copies to the library, wherever this is possible.

Today we received our first donations under this policy, Performing Civility by Dr Lisa McCormick.  Lisa generously sent two copies to the Scholarly Communications Team, which has checked that there is a record of the research output on PURE.  The print copies have now been sent for cataloguing and should be available very shortly.

Congratulations to Lisa, firstly on her publication and secondly for being the first to donate copies of books under this new policy!

Dominic Tate, Scholarly Communications Manager. 

Open Access in Scottish Universities Video

The JISC-funded Enhancing Repository Infrastructure in Scotland (ERIS) was left with some money underspent. University of Edinburgh’s proposal on how use the remaining money to the best possible effect for Scottish HEIs was the Open Access Toolkit for Scotland (OATS). The main objective was to produce a video which included interviews with well-regarded, pro-open access academics from a range of universities in Scotland.

Over several weeks in February, March and April – myself, the filmmaker Marie Liden and her cameraman Nick – met and interviewed Open Access enthusiast academics from Strathclyde University, St Andrews University, Stirling University and the Scottish Agricultural College. In total we interviewed 11 academics and librarians and recorded over 240 minutes of footage out of which, after editing and post-production, only 17 were used for the final video (which is still a wee bit too long). The film was presented at the Repository Fringe Conference (30 & 31 July @ Informatics Forum) and the feedback was very encouraging.

“Producing” a (short) film for the first time was quite a steep learning curve and I started to enjoy it only towards the end. Undoubtedly, we had our fair share of ‘strange’ moments like when we were interviewing one researcher in this beautiful, old meeting room, but where it was impossible to move at all since even shifting your body weight from one leg to the other would make the floor squeak and ruin the shoot!

See the video at Open Access in Scottish Universities

 

Eugen Stoica – Scholarly Communications Team

Open Access in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

My name is Anna Krzak, and I am an Open Access Research Publications Administrator for the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. I have been in this role since March this year. Previously, I worked as an Open Access Publications Assistant (also for MVM) so I am not entirely new to the University and its Open Access (OA) project. I have been assisting academics within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine with the RCUK OA policy implementation since April last year but, since I used to work mostly from home, I should introduce myself properly now.

The main purpose of my new role is to gather Open Access full text versions of research papers and the accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts and to upload the files to the Institutional Repository. As part of that, I ensure that the licensing terms and conditions are adhered to, including any embargo periods, and that any licenses or set phrases are acknowledged in PURE. In addition, I often advise academic staff on research funders’ Open Access policies and relevant Open Access options. If necessary, I consult the publishers in regard to their often unclear self-archiving policies (this is probably my least favourite bit..). As such, my role combines both theoretical and practical aspects of the OA implementation project that’s currently being undertaken throughout the University.

As the RCUK OA policy has been in force since April 2013, I thought it would be a good idea to evaluate the progress of its implementation in my College:

Please note that the collected evidence refers only to peer-reviewed research articles (including review articles) and conference proceedings that were submitted for publication after 1 April 2013 and that acknowledge the RCUK funding (as per the RCUK OA policy).

RCUK Compliance for the reporting period 1/04/13 – 4/06/14:

Approximately 224 research outputs have been identified, of which 192 have open access documents available to the general public. This means an 85% open access compliance rate (as of 4th June 2014).

All outputs All Open Access Gold/Gratis OA Green OA
         223      191      164            27

However, a more detailed analysis of the RCUK requirements for OA has revealed few secondary problems:

  • Licensing: Although the majority of all OA articles have been published under the CC-BY and CC-BY-NC licence (as required by the RCUK), in approximately 18 cases the articles were published under the CC-BY-NC-SA or CC-BY-NC-ND licences
  • Length of embargo periods: In 18 out of 27 cases the embargo periods were 12 months and longer
  • Self-archiving issues: In several cases journals didn’t offer any green options

If we take these points into consideration, the compliance rate for the specified period stands at approximately 67%, as compared to the required 45%. Overall, it’s quite a good result for MVM.

I’m afraid that my introduction has come across all too serious. However, in a face-to-face conversation you may find out that I am not really that bad 😉

-Anna Krzak, Open Access Research Publications Administrator, MVM