The scholarly communications system as we know it has changed; Open Access is now the new paradigm. The commitment from UK research funders to support Open Access (OA) however, provides universities with opportunities as well as risks in implementing OA requirements. Whilst HEIs have generally responded quickly, more action is needed so that universities can exploit these opportunities and manage the implicit risks.
The OA Good Practice project aims to reduce the burden on HEIs in implementing funders’ OA requirements through enabling universities, working with others both within and beyond the sector, to develop improvements in IT tools, standards and services, and the related workflows and organisational arrangements for OA implementation.
In doing so, we will aim to reduce the fragmentation of practice and put in place mechanisms to capture and share lessons quickly and iteratively around the dynamic OA environment.
How will we achieve this?
1) A suite of institutional Pathfinder projects will be commissioned to develop to find out what works best in implementing OA, in a variety of institutions across the sector, and to share this knowledge openly. These will enable universities to:
- Comply with funders’ and institutional mandates, thereby reducing risk to the HEI and researcher.
- Monitor and manage institutional publication activity so that accurate reporting of research activity can be facilitated (particularly with relation to the REF), thereby saving staff time.
- Monitor and manage publication charges to enable fair and accurate payment to vendors, publishers and intermediaries thereby potentially reducing institutional direct costs.
- Gather information around block grant publication fund distribution (if applicable) from across the institution so that informed decisions about fair allocation across disciplines and research units can be made.
- Identify, facilitate and manage interoperability across the relevant IT repositories and services (and necessary IT tools and standards).
- Improve awareness and clarity of research funders’ OA policy and the ramifications for all those involved in the creating or consuming research.
2) We will be a setting up a series of workshops/ events and online interactions – from webinars, to guest blogs- by which, HEI managers (e.g. librarians, research managers, repository managers) are able to share and improve understanding and good practice in the implementation of UK funders’ OA requirements across different professions and institutions.
This community will enable research and information managers to learn from the Pathfinder projects and each other, thereby making the most of the knowledge and experience from across the wider community, and providing a forum by which discussion, debate and knowledge- exchange can be shared across the sector.
3) Throughout the project, we will assessing the likely resulting reductions in the burden on HEIs through a range of impact and value evaluations to make sure that our activities are providing maximum value to Jisc’s customers and stakeholders.
4) This project will also make the most of related Jisc and other work. For example, we will provide technical support of various kinds to repository managers, prototype and test shared services supporting HEIs as they implement OA policies, and provide a set of established shared services such as SherpaFACT and IRUS-UK.
As you would expect, Jisc will also work internationally on issues such as metadata standards and protocols, and interoperation with the European OpenAIRE infrastructure, ORCID and others.
For more information on how the initiative is being supported, directed and driven via an Advisory group who have a shared aim in supporting OA implementation guidance, please see here
Jisc Open Access Good Practice Blog by Sarah Fahmy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.