Assessing progress towards implementation of the HEFCE OA policy for the post-2014 REF

With the date at which HEFCE’s policy on open access in the next REF comes into force just under a year away (1st April 2016), now seems like a good time to ‘temperature test’ how much progress has been made across the sector to address this and to consider if there may be opportunities to do more to support institutions in this area.

To help Jisc and other stakeholders understand in a deeper way what the ‘on the ground’ challenges are for institutions in implementing the policy, Jisc has commissioned Rob Johnson of Research Consulting to undertake a short, focused study to assess progress towards meeting HEFCE’s requirements and clarify a critical path for potential support activities over the next 12 months.

In a nut-shell, the work will have the following objectives:

  • Assess the current readiness of the UK higher education sector for implementation of the REF OA policy in April 2016.
  • Identify any further cultural/technical developments that are needed to enable successful implementation of the policy
  • Assess the risks to delivery of these developments and any mitigating actions that can be taken by institutions and/or Jisc over the next 12 months.

The outcomes of the review will be reported to Jisc and shared with HEFCE, and key findings from the work will be made available on this blog in early June. Depending on the outcomes of the study, Jisc will be enabling the work of the Pathfinders to contribute to ongoing efforts to align with the evolving requirements of the sector and will consider how resource can potentially be refocused/ reallocated to address the most urgent issues faced by institutions.

Rob will be working closely with Jisc staff to evaluate the existing initiatives underway to support institutions in this area, but also the Pathfinder projects to collect evidence and information in relation to implementation of the REF OA policy.

In view of the tight timeframes and the focused nature of the work, the project will be taking a targeted approach to feedback via the Pathfinder projects, who will be collating and sharing feedback with Research Consulting on behalf of the sector.  In view of this, the project may not be able to take up and respond to all offers of assistance, but further information will be available on request.

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