Update on UCL (Pathways to OA) and Manchester (opeNWorks) Pathfinder Realignment plans

Further to our last blog post on the Pathfinder Realignment plans in June, the Manchester opeNWorks project (partnered by Liverpool, John Moores, Salford, Edge Hill) and UCL Pathways to OA project (partnered by Nottingham and Newcastle) are now in a position to reveal more detailed plans on how they plan to approach specific, identified challenges that are currently face the sector.

As a reminder, both projects will be focusing on some of the challenges identified by the review of progress towards implementation OA policy for REF undertaken by Research Consulting in May.

Outlined below are the areas that each project will be working on, along with what outputs you can expect to see and when and, where possible, how you can engage with this work:

Manchester (opeNWorks):

1) Approaches to deposit

Institutions are taking a range of approaches to deposit, with varying roles for researchers, library staff and departmental administrators. At present there is no clear evidence of the relative costs and benefits of each approach. A summary of the pros and cons of each method, based on actual pilots completed in different departments, would be extremely valuable to other institutions trying to determine the most appropriate deposit workflow.

Output: Based on a range of institutional case studies, a report on approaches to deposit adopted to support the REF OA policy

When will this be available: March 2016

How to engage further: Manchester is seeking volunteer case studies to take part in this work in order to gauge the types of deposit models being adopted. If you would like to take part, please contact Helen Dobson: Helen.J.Dobson@manchester.ac.uk

Whilst this work will focus on specific case studies, a survey will also be circulated to assess deposit models being used already by the wider community. Further updates will be available from the opeNWorks project blog and twitter (@h_j_dobson)

2) Benchmarking of institutional OA support services:

Many institutions are seeking to increase resource in order to meet the requirements of the RCUK and REF policies, but lack access to benchmarking data in this area. Institutions would therefore value benchmarked data on levels of resource to support OA, both in terms of FTEs and costs, but also the skill-sets, backgrounds and responsibilities of staff members, and the use of permanent, fixed-term and temporary staff.

Output: Based on institutional case studies, a benchmarking report on OA support services

When will this be available: March 2016

How to engage further:  Manchester is seeking volunteer case studies to take part in this work in order to inform what adequate resourcing for OA support looks like within a range of different types of institutions. If you would like to take part, please contact Helen Dobson: Helen.J.Dobson@manchester.ac.uk

Whilst this work will focus on specific case studies, a survey will also be circulated to assess deposit models being used already by the wider community. Further updates will be available from the opeNWorks project blog and twitter (@h_j_dobson)

UCL (Pathways to OA)

1) Exploration of the proportion of outputs treated as REF exceptions

The REF OA policy update in July 15 contains an assurance that ‘Numbers of exceptions claimed within a submission will not affect the REF results’. However, many institutions are still keen for the sector to develop a consistent approach to how the different exceptions are implemented. The project will gather evidence of REF exceptions from the community, and develop best practice on applying them.

Output: Toolkit on applying exceptions to the REF policy

When will this be available: January 2016

How to engage further: A workshop on REF exceptions and subject repositories is planned for December 2015 and institutions will be invited to feed into the discussion on OA listservs (e.g. oagoodpractice@jiscmail.ac.uk) over the autumn. Further updates will be available from the Pathways to OA project blog and twitter (@UCLopenaccess).

2) REF OA policy and the use of subject repositories

Deposit in subject repositories is permitted under REF OA policy, but institutions are unsure which subject repositories comply with the REF criteria, and how subject repositories could be used to monitor compliance.

Output: Report on using subject repositories for compliance with the REF policy.

When will this be available: February 2016

How to engage further: A workshop on REF exceptions and subject repositories planned for December 2015. Further updates will be available from the Pathways to OA project blog and twitter (@UCLopenaccess).

3) Payment of APCs on multi-author/multi-institution papers

The RCUK review has recommended that RCUK revisits its guidance on multi-author/multi-institution APC payments in dialogue with the sector. There are number of different practices in determining eligibility for APC funds. A comprehensive report for funders and institutions on the approaches that are being taken would help to inform future guidance.

Output: Report (in the form of a blog post) on different institutional practices in managing eligibility for APC funds and paying for multi-institution papers.

When will this be available: February 2016

How to engage further: You will be able to contribute to a survey on different institutional practices in managing eligibility for APC funds and paying for multi-institution papers which is planned for release in September. Further updates will be available from the Pathways to OA project blog and twitter (@UCLopenaccess).

UCL may also look into implementation of the Springer off-setting deal after the first few months of its implementation. More details will be released on this as appropriate

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