UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

UKCoRR Summer 2009 meeting pt 1

Posted by gazjjohnson on 18 August, 2009

It seemed a long way to go, longer than going to Edinburgh for the Fringe the other week, but in the end thanks to my handy in-laws as an overnight venue, getting to Kingston UIniversity wasn’t such a difficult destination after all.  Aside from some early morning shopping, the event today was all about sharing practical experiences of repository managers.

Keynote: Bill Hubbard, UKCoRR Can!

Bill (SHERPA/Centre for Scholarly Communication, Nottingham) talked about the founding of UKCoRR and the purpose of a membership organisation as a safe haven for repository managers to meet and discuss issues, away from other stakeholders in open access.  He went on to talk about the vision and purpose behind UKCoRR – key among that being the professionalism and recognition within HEIs.  He highlighted the RIN Mind the Skills Gap report as one that illustrated a clear role and need for repositories and their staff, not just libraries, as key partners of all those involved in the research process.  The UK remains a significant global player in the world repositories, and potentially gives us the chance to lead the world.  Need remains to get the disciplinary repository people involved in UKCoRR as well.  NECOBELAC (Latin America, Caribbean and Europe Repo collaboration).

 Repositories should remember simple as a key feature – simple to access, simple metadata and simple content; although in particular the REF will seriously change the role of the repository.  As managers we may need to be able to fight our corner and our significance against competing demands, which we might feel isolates us.  How does the repository know when people are mandated to deposit by funders?  There is a need to be involved in the research process from the start, not as an after the fact activity.  And this is a position few if any HEI repositories are in.

Here is where UKCoRR can help by supporting peer networks, by identifying needs, supporting collaboration, seeking funding, sharing best practice and acting as a voice for we repository mangers.  There is a need for organisations like JISC to be lobbied by UKCoRR to support repository managers and processes from the top down.  If senior administrators and academics hear about this from a body like JISC, then they might just take more note of our concerns and expertise.

Following this talk Jenny Delasalle, Mary Robinson and Dominick Tate talked about their role as the inaugural UKCoRR Committee.

Theo Andrews, Central funds for open access publishing

This talk looked at the open access publishing side of open access, with Theo giving an overview of the current situation.  The Gold OAP Route avoids a lot of the problems.  There are a lot of new publishers jumping on board (e.g. PLOS) but also traditional publishers offering hybrid journals; with the option of the author paying a fee to retain rights or not.  How can this be funded, how can this be managed and how can this change be communicated? 

 Mechanisms for payment in this way are not totally new, with page charges for images in articles being around for years.  Often these have been paid from unallocated fund, and this is not really a sustainable nor easily managed way.  Wellcome Trust awarded additional funds to 30 HEIs, and other HEIs can apply to reclaim costs.  At Edinburgh using this as an opportunity to step in for advocacy, and provide support to managing the funding.  Noted that FEC can be included in calculation for researcher fees in grants. 

The feeds issue means that a lot of different departments and stakeholders within an institution are involved in the issue (finance, research, administrative staff, library, committees etc).  No matter what they do, institutions need to coordinate these funds centrally and along the lines of acceptable standard policies.  Edinburgh will be introducing a mandate in Jan 2010 and are spending the 6 months in the lead up to that talking with departments about how this will impact and how the repository can help them to meet the requirements of this.  Noted that once you have introduced the idea of a central fund to pay for publication, top sliced from research grants, you have to maintain it – even if income decreases.

 Glasgow, Nottingham, UCL, Brunel, Edinburgh, Warwick and Kingston are all already or about to start funding open access funding in a central.  Some Northampton academics very much against the idea of paying to publish though, as a matter of principle. Some publishers offer an OA option – but then increase their embargo to a length that means in order to comply with funders’ mandates, authors need to pay for OA option as IR will not be able to meet the requirements.  As Bill Hubbard put it – “They’re back into a double dipping approach to getting money.”

Event slides are here.

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