On Tuesday 24th October the second annual ISG Recognition Awards ceremony was held at the spectacular McEwan Hall. The ISG Recognition Awards are intended to celebrate the achievements of the 800 staff that work in the Information Services Group. The awards are peer–led with staff volunteering their time to be judges.
With over 200 nominations received the Library’s Scholarly Communications Team were lucky enough to be selected for the shortlist. At the in person event attended by over 100 staff we were humbled to find out that we actually won the Outstanding Team prize.
Catalyst for change
The nomination was submitted in recognition of the team’s internationally recognised leading work in championing rights retention for the University’s academic staff. The Scholarly Communications Team were the architects behind the ground-breaking Copyright and Research Publications policy, which was formally accepted by the University Executive and introduced on 1 January 2022. The University of Edinburgh was the first UK university to adopt an institutional rights retention policy, and since then over 30 other institutions have followed suit, including the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, and in Scotland the Universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow, with lots more actively planning a similar approach.
A positive and immediate impact
Traditionally the copyright to research outputs, like journal articles, is signed away to commercial publishers by authors. This copyright assignation is normally a requirement to publication, and often goes against the authors (and research funders) wishes. Where publishers do not offer open access options the authors research is then locked away behind journal subscription paywalls. The Copyright and Research Publications policy allows the author and institutions to retain and assert the rights to their own work. Authors are able to use and re-use their work as they choose, granting them the freedom to share their research as they wish. This is increasingly important as major research funders – like UKRI and Wellcome Trust – now require immediate open access to research publications that acknowledge their support.
Our policy is an affirmation that the University of Edinburgh fully supports authors in their open access practices.