Building a successful national network: how we did it in the UK and where we’re going

The Repositories Support Project is hosting a workshop on “building a national network” at the Open Repositories 2012 (OR2012) conference, on Monday July 9th, 1:30pm. This workshop will showcase research repositories in UK higher education. It would demonstrate how widespread the network is, how coordinated the UK is as a community, what the Repositories Support Project has done to encourage this, the role of United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories and what JISC has done in terms of a national approach to support and development.

Delegates from outside the UK will have the opportunity to get an in depth understanding of the repository network in the UK and also to talk to repository staff about their experiences.

Workshop outline

  •   Introduction by JISC to the programmes which have supported repository development over the last seven years and to future plans for repository development and support in the UK – including the UKRepositoryNet+ service.
  • Examples of JISC funded Support projects: SHERPA and RSP
  • Support for institutions: the University of Glasgow case study
  • The role of UKCoRR (United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories)
  • There will then be a number of concurrent sessions where UK staff will use their institutions as a case study to engender discussion about what can be achieved. They will focus on two main themes:
    •  The integration of research repositories with university systems, processes and policies especially those connected with research management.
    •  Projects and initiatives to promote the repository within the institution in order to increase the deposit of full text items. This will have multi-disciplinary focus and include arts and humanities content as well as STEM subjects.

Register here

Contact: Jackie Wickham [Jacqueline.wickham@nottingham.ac.uk], RSP Coordinator, tel:0115 8466389

Scholarly Communications: New Developments in Open Access

On the first day of June, the Wren room, at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), was filled since early in the morning with librarians, repositories specialists, research officers and copyright consultants, who came to attend the Repositories Support Project (RSP) event on scholarly communications and open access.

Photo of the Wren room balcony during the tea/coffee break

During the event, a great number of delegates were active in Tweeting, producing a high traffic, as it is captured in David Clay’s story. All eight presentations explored issues related to scholarly communication and open access and demonstrated innovative projects and ways of disseminating research results.

For those who were not able to attend, all presentations were videotaped and can be viewed online. In addition, two excellent blog posts, one from Stuart Lawson and another one from Neil Steward provide more details about the speakers’ points. For a quick look on the event details and the recorded presentations you can also check our storify story.

UK RepositoryNet+ – a new infrastructure for UK Repositories

A guest post by Andrew Dorward from UK RepositoryNet+

UK RepositoryNet+ is a socio-technical infrastructure supporting deposit, curation & exposure of Open Access research literature. The aim of the UK RepositoryNet+ project is to increase the cost effectiveness of repositories of such literature.  It will do this by offering a sustained and well-used suite of services that enable repositories to operate more cost effectively.  Specifically UK RepositoryNet+ will:

  • scope and deliver repository and curation services via a production environment that offers economies of scale and scope
  • set up a production environment for repository shared services which works closely with the proposed innovation environment
  • provide market research/ intelligence, quality assurance, business case and sustainability planning to support the project.

Sustainability planning is a key outcome, operating at several levels. Institutional support of repositories ultimately requires that they meet institutional objectives – for example, embedding institutional repositories through integration with university research support offices, thereby to ensure compliance with Funders’ mandates and submission to the Research Excellence Framework. The central task for RepositoryNet+ is to provide sustainable infrastructure with service-quality components that assist cost-effective ingest, quality improvement and continuity of access for repository content.

The RepNet project has had a busy 3 months since March, starting with the selection of service providers for Wave One functionality, and the start of development.  Following our recommendations to the JISC Oversight group in January, work has been commissioned with our Services and Innovation Partnership Group (SIPG). This currently comprises Mimas, the University of Nottingham Centre for Research Communications, EDINA and UKOLN. Mimas will be providing benchmarking and reporting functionality through the development of IRUS-UK from a demonstrator to a full service. Nottingham contribute help with deposit through providing information on funder and publisher’s policies through the RoMEO and JULIET databases, while EDINA enable deposit into institutional repositories with the R-J Broker and Organisation and Repository Identification services. UKOLN will be responsible for the Innovation Zone, which will be used as an incubation site for potential new services.

Following a round of workshops in April, we have received business proposals for provision of services, and expect to have these finalised by the end of May to allow funding to kick in and development to kick off in June.

This will provide the first wave of services to be officially launched at OR12 in July, when we will showcase the service to users.  We will be presenting a paper on the RepNet project at the main conference, and will also be running a workshop on the morning of Tuesday 10th July with the SIPG and prospective users. We hope to gain some insight into new services needed as part of our Wave 2 set of components, so would welcome attendance and input from UK-CoRR and RSP.

Further research on user requirements on search functionality has been commissioned from Key Perspectives Ltd.  Their report, due in July, will help decide whether to further invest in a dedicated search tool or in improving repository metadata to be indexed by commercial providers.  Further research on the requirements of research information managers was undertaken by Glenaffric and delivered in April.

Other external projects that will influence the future direction of the RepNet service and Wave 2 components include the RIOXX work to develop an application profile for IR systems to support an extended metadata set to encompass funding data and the UKRISS project on research information management.

More details on the RepNet project can be found on our production website at http://www.repositorynet.ac.uk/ and this presentation: RSP Update on RepNet May 2012

For more information please contact the RepNet Business Manager, Andrew Dorward at andrew.dorward@ed.ac.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promoting open access (OA) scientific publication practices to health sciences librarians, researchers and practitioners

The Network of Collaboration Between Europe & Latin American-Caribbean (NECOBELAC)  countries  is a project that aims to promote open access publishing in Europe and Latin America. The project is sponsored by six institutions; Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Spain, University of Nottingham in the UK, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (bvs) in Brasil, Universidad Nacional De Colombia  in Colombia, and Universidade do Minho in Portugal. In the past, these partners have developed a collaboration scheme and spurred enthusiasm and interest about the open access publishing options in the scientific community of both continents.

Due to the variety of the scientific writing practices in Europe and Latin America, the NECOBELAC project works in the two geographical areas and spreads the word about the publishing options enabled by the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to open access. The project has established two different types of training activities; the first (T1) is a training course where the participants are expected to become trainers in their affiliated institutions and educate others on the available open access publication practices. The second (T2) includes workshops or meetings that aim to replicate activities and develop wide open access advocacy strategies. The success of the NECOBELAC project stems from the interrelation of the activities that take place in the two continents, and the bidirectional approach that is followed to spread best practices and strategies both in relation to the teaching styles and the implementation of advocacy plans for open access.

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Green mandates and gold choices

My doctoral degree arrived by mail this past week in my office at the Centre for Research Communications, where I have been working for two months now as an Open Access Adviser for the Repositories Support Project (RSP).  Thinking back of the whole PhD process I believe that one word describes every part of it well, the adverb “amazingly”! When you are a PhD student, first, you are amazingly poor; second, amazingly enough, you can survive without sleeping; and, third, conducting research and writing a dissertation about open access is amazingly interesting.

I started my PhD in September 2007 at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, a prestigious library school with a long history. My plan was to study the open-access movement with Associate Professor Robin Peek, an open-access advocate and one of the first signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

The title of my dissertation is, “The Influence of the National Institutes of Health Public-Access Policy on the Publishing Habits of Principal Investigators“. The mandatory National Institutes of Health (NIH) public-access policy requires that the NIH-funded principal investigators (PIs) submit to PubMed Central (PMC) immediately upon publication the peer-reviewed copy of their article, which will then become available for public access through PMC no later than after a twelve-month embargo period. The policy has been effective since April 7th, 2008 (Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008).

The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the effect of the NIH public-access policy on the NIH-funded principal investigators’ publishing decisions.

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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.

Polar Research tenders for OA publisher

Polar Research is the journal of the Norwegian Polar Institute. It’s currently published by Wiley-Blackwell. It has recently issued a tender for an open access publisher to take over the publication of this journal as reported in the Norwegian Open Access Wiki .  Is this a first? Will there be more? I came across this on the wonderful open access tracking project developed by Peter Suber. If you aren’t already signed up, I’d recommend it.