Open Access Scotland Group meeting

Photo by @hblanchett :

On 27th March the Scholarly Communications Team at the University of Edinburgh were delighted to host the 6th regular meeting of the Open Access Scotland Group at the impressive Paterson’s Land building (pictured above).

The Group aims to provide a voice for open access in Scotland, allow the sharing of best practice, facilitate opportunities for networking between stakeholders, and lobby on behalf of Scottish organisations. It is an open group and comprises members from Scottish HE institutions and other allied organisations, like academic publishers, software vendors, local and national government agencies and research funders. The group also has honorary members from Iceland and Northern Ireland.

The event on 27th March was attended by 40 people representing over 20 organisations.

Photo by @hblanchett

The first speaker was Pauline Ward who gave a well received talk on Open Science Approaches – including the fantastic Research Data Service at the University of Edinburgh.

During the main session we had a facilitated discussion around issues such as the use of research notebooks, how to do open access for Practise-led Research, and updates on Plan S, UK-SCL and Jisc Support.

The draft notes from the event are available online here:

If you are interested in Open Access and are based in Scotland then I would heartily recommend joining up to the Open Access Scotland Group. The next meeting is pencilled in for September and will probably be hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness. Hope to see you there!





Researchers – what’s new for you from the Library

“Researchers – what’s new for you from the Library” is an event being held in the Murray Library at the King’s Buildings to highlight some recent developments in Library services and resources for researchers. Places are bookable for all University of Edinburgh staff and research postgraduates via MyEd (see booking links below) or just drop into the Murray Library Ground Floor. Coffee and buns will be available from 12.30.

When: Wednesday 28th May
Where: Murray Library, Ground floor

Murray Library

Programme of talks

Each session is 15 minutes each plus 5 minutes Q&A. Pick and choose which talks you fancy or come along to the whole event:

13:00 – 13.20 – Research Data Management

13.30 – 13.50 – Open Access: an overview

14.00 – 14.20 – Post 2014 REF: Open Access requirements

14.30 – 14.50 – Library support for researchers – overview

15.00 – 15.20 – Centre for Research Collections: Science and Engineering historical collections

If you’ve not been along to the Murray Library before then this is a great excuse to come and check out the new building and it’s excellent facilities. Also, did we mention the free Tea/Coffee and Doughnuts?

Event report: Open access publication and impact

On 29th November, Edinburgh University Library in conjunction with the College of Humanities and Social Science held an event on Open Access publication and impact.  The two invited speakers (Theo Andrew & Melissa Terras) gave an introduction to open access publishing and the benefits of sharing via social media like blogs and twitter. Full details about the talks including abstracts, slides and an audio introduction can be found on the Digital HSS website at:

Event report: RCUK Open Access – Scottish Collaboration & Planning Meeting

On December 7th 2012 a meeting was held at the University of Edinburgh to discuss the implications of the forthcoming RCUK Open Access policy and to share details of the differing institutional approaches to the BIS allocation plans. This event was convened and chaired by John MacColl of St Andrews, and sponsored by the JISC-funded Scottish Open Scholarship (SOS) project. The event was attended by representatives from the six main Scottish institutions in receipt of these funds.

It was agreed to run the meeting using the Chatham House Rule (information gathered during the meeting may be shared, but it should not be attributed to the individual or institution). The key messages from the meeting were as follows:

Key points from the BIS allocation plans are:

  1. Library to manage the funds (all six, one first year only – then distributed to faculties).
  2. Plan to use the BIS money as a true ‘pilot’ to prepare for the block grants (four of six).
  3. Setting up an institutional fund (all new, no existing – other than Wellcome Trust funds).
  4. Subsuming OA membership schemes – eg  BioMed Central (two out of six, but most likely will) (RP reminded us of the need to remember a possible SHEDL role here; JISC Collections may be working with OAK for OA payment).
  5. APC payment decision-making processes needed (four of six).
  6. Intention to use funds to pay for retrospective Gold (four of six).
  7. Intention to use funds to pay for retrospective Green (two of six, but many do this already).
  8. Intention to fund senior level posts (one of six).
  9. Intention to fund mid-range level posts (two of six).
  10. Archive all Gold items locally (only in one plan, but most likely to do).
  11. Advice to academic community on OA publishing options (four of six).
  12. Intention to build in Research Data Management requirements (three of six).
  13. Part of funding to go towards IR and CRIS technical development (two of six).
  14. Advocacy, as a costed activity (four of six).
  15. Analysis to guide future expenditure, including ‘the missing 20%’ (four of six).

Arguments in favour of Green OA:

  1. ‘The missing 20%’ strengthens the argument for Green and for cost-sharing collaboration.
  2. Signals from at least part of the US academy that they will not follow suit (eg the American Educational Research Association’s rejection of Finch/RCUK in the Times Higher Education, 6 December (‘Finch access plan unlikely to fly across the Atlantic’)).
  3. The anticipated market failure of APCs (excessively high APC charges already being considered by some very high-impact journals, such as Science and Nature).
  4. The particularly high financial impact on net creators – large research intensives – rather than net consumers.

What could Scotland achieve?

  1. Work with SHEDL over prospective APC payments at the time of negotiating collective e-journal deals.
  2. Establish an information service for libraries and academic authors to deliver the following as an initial set of possible services (this service might be set up fairly quickly within Scotland, but be capable of expansion across the rest of the UK in due course).
  3. Develop a model or template OA institutional policy by analysing all available policies provided by institutions.
  4. Develop a model Institutional Open Access Fund Mechanism, based on a distillation of existing institutional models and thinking. To permit most equitable distribution of monies; representation of potentially excluded authors (eg in certain humanities sub-fields; Early Career Researchers); principles for sharing APC costs between the OA fund and academic departments; bidding processes; workflows and management of the Mechanism.
  5. Develop a guidance document for academic authors on best practice, encouraging copyright retention and ‘Responsible Gold’ behaviour (see below).
  6. Shared metrics on compliance rates for RCUK-funded outputs.
  7. Shared metrics on Gold, Green and other OA publications per institution.
  8. Feed information into UK-wide services as appropriate.

What could the UK achieve?

  1. Consider setting up a collaborative ‘Green Mirror’ repository of publisher-provided articles available to universities on the basis of Gold APC payments. Consider the possibilities of this repository acting as an academy-owned archive which could represent the preferred corpus to support research data links, text- and data-mining applications, and preservation copies of UK-authored articles.
  2. Encourage the use of this repository by libraries and academic authors as ‘Responsible Gold’ behaviour.
  3. Expand SHERPA/RoMEO to include information on APCs; also to include trends data on publisher APC pricing and embargo policies.
  4. Work with JISC Collections to secure best pricing on retrospective APC payments.
  5. Develop and maintain best-practice OA-supportive CRIS systems models at a generic level (ie across Atira Pure, Symplectic Elements and Avedas Converis). Include support for ORCID.
  6. Discuss areas of copyright and licensing confusion with RLUK and RCUK, and in particular:
  • CC-BY: what are the commercial possibilities that should be allowed?
  • Would CC-BY-NC satisfy our major requirements for a Green mirror archive?

Immediate steps:

  1. Establish a Scottish Open Access Management email distribution group.
  2. Inform JISC Collections that the six Scottish institutions are interested in participation in a collaborative deal on Gold APC pricing.
  3. Build APC requirements as a standard requirement into new and renegotiated SHEDL deals.
  4. Share this report with RLUK and SCONUL colleagues to encourage collaborative action on the UK-wide points.