Unlocking attitudes to Open Access – survey results

You may remember earlier this year that the RSP and UKCoRR invited UK repositories to carry out a survey of academic staff with a particular focus on informing advocacy plans and “joined up” institutional developments for Open Access in higher education institutions. The questions focused on attitudes toward open access and institutional repositories. The RSP blogged about this in March.

The results of this survey have now been collated and there are some interesting results. Unsurprisingly (other surveys have shown this), the majority of academics are in favour of open access:

85% strongly or mildly in favour of open access in principle

80% strongly or mildly in favour of open access repositories

69% strongly or mildly in favour of publishing in OA journals

However, rather less reported actually acting upon this: 59% make some of their publications available in the institutional repository but 41% don’t make any available. This is despite the fact that 73% were aware of their institution’s repository. Question 7a gave respondents the opportunity to give reasons why in their own words. The results of this were categorised and the most common reasons were:

Haven’t published yet/material not suitable (99)

Copyright concerns (94)

Lack of time/haven’t got round to doing it (58)

Lack of knowledge (48)

Use other method (28)

The questions on copyright and versions provided some encouraging results – the majority, 70%, thought that authors should own the copyright to the material and although we know that most authors sign away their copyright, it’s interesting to see that they don’t necessarily think that is a good thing.  The fact that 86% kept a copy of their own author, peer reviewed final version is also supportive to self archiving. In addition, 77% felt that this version was acceptable for deposit in the repository. These latter responses help to counter some commonly held beliefs that authors don’t keep a copy of their work and that only the publisher’s PDF is worthy of sharing.

Twenty institutions participated with a total of 1676 respondents. A summary of the results is attached here Attitudes to OA – Basic summary report. A fuller report is in progress which will be published in due course.

Murder at Miskin Manor



Well actually, it was the RSP Autumn School and there weren’t any murders. But I did see a trail of what looked like blood in the corridor outside the conference room! And the Manor is reputedly haunted – was anyone in the bar between 12 midnight and 1am?

I digress. The RSP Autumn School took place this week from 7th – 9th November at the said Miskin Manor near Cardiff. Over three days about 40 participants and speakers gathered to discuss the themes of the school: bringing the emphasis back to open access and demonstrating value to the institution. In the last year or so, repositories have become more embedded in their institutions, in particular with their contribution to research evaluation and reporting. The school focused on how we can continue to demonstrate the value of the repository to the institution without losing the impetus to make that research open access.

In this post I want to highlight a number of key points that emerged over the three days:

  • David Prosser from RLUK, in the keynote address, showed how academic libraries have done an excellent job of providing seamless access to online subscription journals. Everything is now on the researcher’s desktop. However, this has hidden the costs and made it more difficult to demonstrate the need for open access. A suggestion was made that we have a “Closed Access” week just before Open Access week where access to subscription journals is turned off!
  • Universities have a real appetite for business intelligence about how they are doing in comparison to other institutions and about trend in research performance. We can provide this using bibliometric tools and repository statistics. Niamh Brennan demonstrated how Trinity College at the University of Dublin has done this using some really stunning visualisation tools. She also tested our knowledge of wizarding spells from Harry Potter! She’s kindly agreed to run an online RSP master class on this – keep an eye on the RSP events page for more details.
  • Cava, cakes and chocolate. These are not enough – well not enough to make sustainable changes in academics behaviour, although they can provide a short term incentive to deposit.
  • Open Access enhances the impact of research. “Impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and economy” (RCUK). Josh Brown described some, as yet unpublished, findings from three studies commissioned by JISC on behalf of the Open Access Implementation Group which looked at the benefits of open access to the private sector, the public sector outside HE and the voluntary and community sector.
  • The importance of good narratives and anecdotes to demonstrate the value of open access generally and the repository’s role in particular. The studies that Josh described provide case studies which can be used by repository staff but many people have examples of how exposure by the repository has benefited the institution and individual academics e.g. through increased opportunities for collaborative research.
  • The need for sustainable support services for repositories. Edina at the University of Edinburgh have been commissioned by JISC to develop UK RepositoryNet, a socio-technical infrastructure to support repositories. Theo Andrew from Edina and Veronica Adamson from Glenaffric (via Skype) ran a workshop to gain input from the delegates as to what they wanted from such a service.
  • We all felt enthused about bringing the emphasis back to open access. The final sessions on Wednesday morning were devoted to this. Lots of original ideas were generated as to how we can make it happen. These will be the subject of a future blog post.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend three days with old and new colleagues discussing these very important issues. Thanks to all the speakers and participants for making it a really worthwhile event.

Slides and notes will be made available over the next week on the event page.

Focus on Open Access at the University of the West of England

As part of Open Access week, yesterday I presented at a lunchtime session at the University of Western England  (my slides are below) as part of a week of activies. The attendees were an even mix of academic and library staff which made for a lively discussion. I was very impressed by the high level of support for the repository and the engagement of the staff at UWE. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion – it’s a real treat to delve into the issues that are critical in making OA really work. So thanks to those who took part and to Anna Lawson and Alex Clarke (the repository team) for inviting me.

I’ve summarised the issues below:

  • The current system of academic reward based on publication in high impact journals supports the status quo. There is a need to widen this to include other impact measures such as engagement with business and influence on policy making. Although, the difficulty of measuring this was acknowledged.
  • The importance to societies of the income from journal subscriptions.
  • The repository or “Green route” was viewed favourably but it was important to make self deposit as streamlined as possible – rekeying of information is a real barrier.
  • There was a lot of interest in the costs of gold publishing and the likelihood of this business model becoming the norm.
  • One academic was reluctant to deposit their own final copy rather than the published version as it hadn’t been copy edited. Although for the end reader, they may not be too worried about a few mistakes if the alternative was a cost to view it. Another academic recounted an experience where the publisher’s editing had had the opposite effect and the author’s final version was the more correct one.
  • The cost of closed access was discussed – particularly its impact on library budgets.
  • Metrics on use need to include a full picture e.g. downloads from publishers sites plus downloads from the repository. The JISC funded PIRUS 2 project has been exploring just this scenario. There was some concern that downloads may detract from use of the published version but it was agreed that the repository downloads could well be in addition to the traditional subscription access.
  • Mandates which required staff to deposit their research in the repository were seen as a valued indication of institutional support but the most important thing was the enthusiasm among the academic community.
  • The curation of research data and the issues around making this open access were raised. UWE has recently been awarded JISC funding for a Managing Research data project.
Slides UWE_261011

Photo by Hopeless128

Hydra in Hull

My next visit to a JISCrte project partner took me to the University of Hull where I met Chris and Richard, the project team working on Hydrangea in Hull (the Hydra demonstrator).

There is a wonderful statue of Philip Larkin (poet and former University of Hull librarian) at the Hull railway station, quite captivating and definitely worth viewing if you ever visit the area. Further information on Philip Larkin is available from the University of Hull archives, see here.

The current repository at the University of Hull is called eDocs  and the Hydra project is developing a new repository for digital materials,  see Hydra in Hull.

The University of Hull is one of the founding partner institutions of the Hydra multi-institutional collaboration and it is hoped that their new repository will facilitate the sharing (openly or on a restricted basis) and preservation of materials for the medium to long-term.

They are using Blacklight as their discovery interface, enabling a single-search interface of the library catalogue and the repository. Further details on Blacklight and Hydra can be found in the links below.

Useful links

  • Hydra in Hull project blog
  • Blacklight – a free and open source Ruby on Rails based discovery interface
  • Hydra Project – a community-driven project “one body, many heads” is part of their vision

If you are interested in exploring more on the open source DSpace software and Fedora framework for building digital repositories then why not register for a free online workshop? It will be held on Friday September 9, 10.00 – 11.00 UK time, further information is available from here.

Two new toolkits to ‘Kultivate’ artistic research deposit

Guest Post by Marie-Therese Gramstadt, KULTIVATE Project Manager, VADS.

Funded through the JISC Information Environment programme 2009-11, the Kultivate project makes available two new toolkits for the UK Higher Education community: an advocacy for arts research toolkit aimed at repository managers; and a decision-making toolkit for artistic researchers. The Kultivate project has arisen out of the Kultur II Group, which consists of researchers and repository staff engaging with arts research deposit in institutional research repositories, and is led by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), a Research Centre of the University for the Creative Arts. Read more of this post

JISCrte and De Montfort University Open Research Archive (DORA)

My second JISCrte visit was to the project partners at De Montfort University (DMU) where I met Beth and Alan who are working on the EXPLORER (Embedding eXisting & Propriatary Learning in an Open-source Repository to Evolve new Resources) project. It is hoped that EXPLORER will enable the enhancement and embedding of the DORA repository within the DMU research environment.

DORA uses DSpace open source software and two key areas of this project are:

  • Development and implementation of workflows and processes in order to embed DORA within the DMU research environment
  • Adaptation and integration of tools from other JISC projects – they are looking at an appropriate CERIF4REF tool and will investigate outputs from the KULTUR project to see if they are appropriate for DORA and displaying non-text items

You can follow project progress via the EXPLORER blog and twitter channel, all accessible from here.

JISCrte and a subject-based repository

As the newest member of the RSP team I have been spending some time visiting the six projects involved with the JISC Repositories: take-up and embedding strand of the JISC Information Environment 09-11 Programme.

Jackie blogged about these projects earlier in the year and I thought it would be useful if I provided some detail about each project visited and progress made thus far.

My first visit was to Middlesex University where I met Sharon and Jade, members of the project team working on MIRAGE (2011) – a subject-based repository of more than 100,000 medical images.

MIRAGE (Middlesex medical Image Repository with a CBIR ArchivinG Environment) aims to enrich the current repository with two key features:

  • a 3D viewer
  • a plug-in for uploading image queries

Feedback from their users indicated that the visualization of 3D images and uploading queries were essential for their needs and MIRAGE (2011) aims to integrate various types of textual metadata and ontology in addition to image data.

Further information on MIRAGE (2011) can be found here, this includes presentations, conference papers, and details of the open source software and tools used.

The project hashtag is #jiscrte and the MIRAGE project runs from February through November 2011.

State of the Nation

 

Photo – State records NSW

State of the Nation – well at least the UK repository bit of it.  Repository staff find it helpful to have information about how others manage and deliver their research repositories and frequently ask questions of the Repositories Support Project or post questions to mailing lists. Questions such as What level of mediated deposit do you provide? and How many staff work on your repository? are common.

At the RSP, we are aiming to support this need by collating some key data about individual institutions. This week, we issued a survey to repository managers asking for information about their repositories, staffing, policies on such things as mediation, full text requirements, preservation etc. We’re also asking for details on how far the repository is integrated with other university systems, for example research management systems.

We’ll then publish the responses on the RSP website – it will be specific to institutions and will not be anonymous. The existingting RSP Wiki will house the data so that individuals will be able to update their own information in the future. It is hoped that it will become a valuable source of information provided by the community for the community and save people time asking similar questions on mailing lists.

The survey invitation was sent to individual institutions so if you think you should have received it and haven’t please do get in touch with us at support@rsp.ac.uk.

Unlocking attitudes to open access in the UK

 

The United Kingdom Council for Research Repositories and the Repositories Support Project invite repository and library staff in the UK to participate in a nationwide initiative to guage researcher’s attitudes to open access generally, funding for open access publishing and the institutional repository specifically.

We are asking you to carry out a standardised survey of researchers in your institution between April and June 2011. This is based on a survey carried out at the University of Huddersfield during Open Access week 2010 which revealed some interesting results. There are benefits for participating institutions such as raising the profile of the repository and also nationally in creating a body of evidence about the researchers’ attitudes.

All the information you need to participate, including the survey questions,  is here:  Nationwide survey – Open Access

JISC Repositories: takeup and embedding projects

Yesterday, I attended the start up meeting for this new tranche of JISC projects (more details below). The RSP will be coordinating the communication both between the projects and to the external community. The basic premise is that they will all “enable lessons and benefits from the most successful repository applications, tools and good practice” 

In the morning each project gave a brief introduction outlining their proposed areas of work. In the afternoon, William Nixon, described the work at the University of Glasgow and how far they have come over the last few years in integrating the repository into the culture and systems of the university. He listed criteria which might be used to judge whether you are embedded. He asked the question “Do you have an institutional repository or do you have a repository at your institution” (credited to Steve Hitchcock of Southampton University). I then led a group session to explore the best ways the projects could comminicate with the RSP and each other and also ideas for dissemination of the learning outcomes.

Read more of this post

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