Repository Fringe 2014

Repository Fringe 2014 promised to be ‘two busy days of talks, discussions and our Developer Challenge’ and certainly did not disappoint. Below are just some of the highlights from presentations and discussions, however for a more thorough overview and discussions, please see the Repository Fringe live blog or refer back to the twitter feed #rfringe14.

One clear message that came across in Yvonne Budden’s presentation (University of Warwick) was that whilst most institutions were engaged with the practical implementation of OA, that the rainbow panoply of OA options (Diamond and Platinum OA were mentioned, in addition to Gold and Green) was inhibiting the sector from ‘speaking with one voice’ and was potentially putting in place, largely unintentionally, inequalities between HEIs.

An interesting development to circumvent this had been a perceived renaissance in the university press and further investigation into new paradigms for publishing research, especially research outputs that were not the traditional journal article but were more interactive or participatory in nature.

The good news however was that based on the Taylor and Francis OA survey, researchers were more aware and generally more in favour OA at least as a concept. She observed that OA was no longer just an issue for the library or research management department, but an ‘academic’ issue in itself- certainly as APC costs are far more viable to the researcher than library journal subscription costs.

Pathfinder Sessions

The Pathfinder sessions spanned both days of the conference. Northumbria was a workshop session, hence the more in-depth notes, however presentations from all featured projects can be found below:

Northumbria University

The Northumbria project is working with Sunderland to enable HEIs with limited external funding to develop evidence-based, creative responses to the challenges and opportunities of Open Access.

In their workshop session, they asked attendees to discuss who, within the institution were the key stakeholders for OA implementation. Here were the responses:

  • Definition of OA drives who stakeholder is.
  • Stakeholders should be prioritised (as could be everyone) in terms of what we’re trying to achieve within HEI
  • If there is OA funding either from the institution or RCUK- where does this sit? With the library or faculty or research office?
  • Some institutions simply did not have institutional fund or RCUK block grant for research for Gold APCs at all.
  • It is difficult to influence academic independence in terms of where the research is published- journal prestige is always key here. However, could there more advocacy around positive usage statistics amongst academic peers to push researchers towards OA journals?
  • OJS platforms were being used more, but usually only within Arts rather than STEM subjects
  • Was there a role for funders to be clearer about what they expect and the information provided to the academic?
  • There was a changing academic culture towards increasing the role and profile of university  press
  • HEIs would welcome a standardised outline from each publisher of what services were covered by the APC charge

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University of Glasgow

The Glasgow project (E2OA) is working with University of Southampton, Lancaster University and University of Kent to improve OA metadata management via EPrints whilst considering transferability of outputs to other platforms.

The project is currently developing a metadata community collaboration spreadsheet with listings of necessary fields for inclusion (e.g. date of acceptance and what is the proposed description) which will reflect what HEIs need so that developers can work on solutions. They are also looking at workflows i.e. where there are the gaps in the process, what can adopted/ adapted from others and what the key concerns are so that this can feed into best practice agenda. This will all be discussed at the workshop on 4th September: Open Access Issues and Potential Solutions

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University of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh project (LOCH) is working with Heriot Watt University, University of St Andrews to produce re-usable resources for OA practitioners.

The LOCH project will share experiences of three HEIs which have extensive experience of running repositories (all use DSpace), CRIS systems (all use PURE), OA journal hosting and publication funds.  It will aim to provide case studies of evidence of best practice in relation to OA workflows and financial management.  In addition, the project will provide a range of tools to help practitioners improve their services and make it easier for academics to comply with new requirements.

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Coventry University

The Coventry University project (O2OA) is working with University of Northampton and DeMontfort University to enable HEIs with limited financial and human resources considering aspects of impact with regard to Open Access implementation.

The project is interested in the links between the impact and the OA agendas and the positive correlation/ interaction between each. The project will also be considering aspects of ‘behavioural change theory’ to positively influence how researchers interact with OA and implement within their workflows.

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University of Hull

The Hull project (HHuLOA) is working with the University of Huddersfield and University of Lincoln to identify and implement a range of OA initiatives across three non RLUK research intensive partners.

Amongst other aspects, the project is interested in the links between the institutional research strategy impact and OA implementation and the positive correlation/ interaction between each. The project will also be considering how the changing policy landscape can be best articulated to researchers.

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