Open Access News from the RSP team
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HEFCE, the State of Open Access in the UK and Post-2014 REF

HEFCE, the State of Open Access in the UK and Post-2014 REF | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Having returned from a glorious week away in Crotia and Bosnia (for Pynchon fans: it was “very nice, very nice, very nice indeed”), I have returned to an inbox that features the current state of play with HEFCE’s thinking on open access mandates for a post-2014 REF. In order to ensure that I’ve got it straight in my own head, I thought I’d write a summary post for quick reference. I’m using the PDF version as my reference. This refers to the 16th July 2013 document."

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Rachel H's curator insight, August 21, 2013 9:48 AM

Very helpful summary from @martin_eve of the current HEFCE consultation doc on OA for post-2014 REF

 

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HEFCE Open Access Mandate Not Narrower: Better Focused - Open Access Archivangelism

HEFCE Open Access Mandate Not Narrower: Better Focused - Open Access Archivangelism | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"1. Model. The HEFCE proposal to mandate immediate (not retrospective) deposit of journal articles in the author's institutional repository in order to make them eligible for evaluation in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) is wise and timely, and, if adopted, will serve as a model for the rest of the world. It will also complement the Green (self-archiving) component of the RCUK Open Access (OA) mandate, providing it with an all-important mechanism for monitoring and ensuring compliance.

2. Monographs. Exempting monographs for now was a good decision. The HEFCE mandate, like the RCUK mandate, applies only to peer-reviewed journal articles. These are all author giveaways, written solely for research impact, not royalty income. This is not true of all monographs. (But a simple compromise is possible: recommend -- but don't require -- monograph deposit too, but with access set as Closed Access rather than Open Access, with no limit on the length of the OA embargo. Author choice.)"

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Open access: brought to book at last?

Open access: brought to book at last? | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"A library-focused effort aims to take monographs off the analogue shelf. 

It would be easy to think of monographs as the scholarly output that the open-access movement forgot.

Mandates for free online access are popping up all around the world, but most relate exclusively to journal articles. A good example is Research Councils UK’s new open-access policy, launched in April and inspired by the Finch report published last year. That report dismissed monographs as too difficult a nut to crack in the absence of “further experimentation”.

The UK funding councils were slightly bolder. Their preliminary consultation on introducing an open-access mandate for the next research excellence framework, expected in 2020, included a question about whether a percentage of submitted monographs should be required to be open access."

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OAbooks

YouTube videos of presentations from Open Access monographs in the humanities and social sciences conference. 1-2 July 2013, The British Library

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"The book is a conversation". Really ?

"The book is a conversation". Really ? | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Par­ti­cu­larly well orga­ni­zed and offe­ring a first-choice pro­gram, the confe­rence will remain in my memory as one of the most inter­es­ting that I was able to attend. Long confi­ned to very mar­gi­nal posi­tion of expe­ri­men­ta­tion, the open access publi­ca­tion of books in the huma­ni­ties is clearly beco­ming impor­tant today. It is true that the debate on open access to research results after the Finch report or the euro­pean recom­men­da­tion, was focu­sed until now not on huma­ni­ties mono­graphs, but rather on jour­nals, and firstly in science. Nevertheless, the great hall of the Confe­rence Cen­ter of the BL was packed and it reflec­ted the gro­wing inter­est in this issue in the aca­de­mic community. And from begin­ning to end of the confe­rence, we felt very clearly that the context was changing. Complementarity with the Ber­lin Confe­rence EPA in 2013 that I was also able to attend ear­lier this year is remar­kable: more tech­ni­cal and more focu­sed on eco­no­mic models, the Ber­lin confe­rence also sho­wed the same trend. In Lon­don, the conver­sa­tion was more theo­re­ti­cal, more intel­lec­tual, and was just as interesting."

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Getting Somewhere: HEFCE Proposals on Open Access for a Post-2014 Research Excellence Framework

Getting Somewhere: HEFCE Proposals on Open Access for a Post-2014 Research Excellence Framework | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"This week, the UK’s Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published their formal proposals for including an open access requirement in any post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Responses to this will be accepted until 30th October 2013. These proposals follow a pre-consultation letter and set of responses which were submitted earlier in the year (link to University of Cambridge response).

Following up our concerns about the policy raised over the last few months (here and here, further posts here) the present iteration represents a decent outcome on some of the details, not least because it defers quite a few of them. That these issues have been deferred does not mean that they do not matter; rather it means that the battles on them will be fought elsewhere – with universities, with journal boards, with learned societies, with publishers and their lawyers and so on. Moreover, there is no cause for complacency around the broader political economy of scholarly publishing, which remains wasteful, restrictive and inequitable on many fronts. And of course, the pernicious REF exercise itself, which this government signalled it would review, must be itself vigorously contested (more on this to come)."

 

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Open access mandate narrowed in formal proposals

Open access mandate narrowed in formal proposals | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Initial proposals published in February envisaged requiring a certain proportion of submitted monographs to be open access. However, among the 260 respondents to an informal consultation on the plans there was “widespread concern about the extent to which open access is reasonably achievable” for monographs.

For that reason, monographs will now be exempt from the mandate. However, the funding councils’ formal proposals, published for consultation on July 24, make clear the exemption will only be temporary “in view of our expectation that open access publication for monographs and books is likely to be achievable in the long term”.

The “overwhelming majority” of respondents to the informal consultation agreed that it is not currently feasible to require data sets to be open access. Hence, the first open access REF mandate will apply only to journal articles and conference proceedings whose authors include UK-based academics."

 

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OA monographs pose challenges for researchers and librarians - Research Information

"Last week’s Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences conference attracted several hundred delegates and a lively discussion, both at the event and online. Caren Milloy reports

For researchers and funders dismayed at the decline in monograph sales and the dwindling impact that this seems to suggest, open access (OA) publishing offers an exciting opportunity to make research available more widely. But, as delegates heard at early July’s Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences conference at the British Library, OA brings with it the need for fundamental new approaches from researchers, libraries and publishers."

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Nigel Vincent reflects on the Open Access monograph challenge

Nigel Vincent reflects on the Open Access monograph challenge | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Monographs are an intrinsically important mode of academic production and must not be sacrificed on the altar of open access, argues Nigel Vincent inDebating Open Access, a new publication from the British Academy. Book chapters are also a valuable and distinctive type of output which could find their visibility, and hence their viability, enhanced by an appropriate OA policy.

There are to date no agreed OA solutions in the domain of books. In developing OA models for books it is important that the peer review process as the guarantee of excellence is not compromised. Adoption of the untrammelled CC-BY licence is not appropriate for monographs and book chapters."

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Making the case for open access books

Making the case for open access books | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Simon Chaplin: The humanities matter. Books matter. Through open access, they can reach a wider audience than ever before. A policy requiring open access to academic books? Surely that's asking for trouble? After all, it was only a few months ago that many humanities researchers were up in arms when Research Councils UK (RCUK) implemented its new policy on open access to journal articles. Although such measures are broadly accepted in the sciences, the RCUK policy was criticised by the Royal Historical Society, among others, for being a blunt instrument, insensitive to the differences that mark out historians from histologists.

Given the anguish that RCUK's policy caused, the announcement last week that the Wellcome Trust – a major funder of biomedical research – has now extended its open access policy to include books and book chapters might seem a little, well, insensitive. After all, the Trust's long-standing policy on open access to journal articles was seen by many as having beaten the path for RCUK's approach. So why books, and why now?"

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