September Update

The end of September is rapidly approaching and things are moving forward quickly with the LOCH Project. All three partners have been thinking about workflows and are starting to make plans about how to handle the Open Access requirements for REF in each institution.

September has been a busy month for all the project partners. On Friday 19th September, Jackie Proven and I attended the a Jisc Monitor workshop in London, aimed at supporting the development of Jisc Monitor into something that will help to support Open Access processes in HEIs across the UK.

On September 22nd and 23rd, Janet Aucock, Jackie Proven and Linda Kerr and I attended the Pure UK User Group which was hosted at the University of Edinburgh. LOCH Project partners have all been influential in the development of a new Open Access specification for Pure, which will enable customers to better manage OA compliance and reporting for the next REF, with the side-effect of improving compliance for RCUK and Wellcome Trust requirements too. The specification is ready to be agreed, pending the disclosure of the final metadata and audit requirements by HEFCE. A final face-to-face meeting is being planned for the second half of October. All being well, the specification will be passed to Elsevier for development by the end of October, and the new functionality will be released in June 2015.

On Friday 26th Janet Aucock and I presented at the joint Jisc/Sconul/RLUK event in London, looking at how best to implement the Open Access policy in the next REF. This was an interesting and productive meeting, and it was great to see the approaches taken by different universities. Key points which came up included

  • The need to engage with the policy early on
  • The need to ensure adequate staffing is in place
  • Advocacy and engagement are key to gaining high levels of compliance
  • You could consider writing the policy into researcher annual appraisal documents
  • It would be advisable to treat this as a project and write a plan
  • You might want to consider a mock exercise next year to test compliance rates

As we move into October, partners are hoping to publish initial baseline reports and to finalise the functional specification for Pure.

Dominic Tate, University of Edinburgh

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