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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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Conference Presentation (Slides): “Research Trends and Open Access Publishing” | LJ INFOdocket

"The character of the international research environment as an increasingly open and interoperating system is becoming more apparent. Funders are increasing their accountability requirements. An entirely new array of approaches, systems, metrics and standards for measuring research productivity and impact based on open content and metadata has emerged. The growth of the field of computational bibliometrics is being driven by social and political forces that do not appear to have reached a plateau. The large commercial publishers are aggressively marketing their research assessment products to universities and other research organizations."

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We cannot afford to keep research results locked away in ivory towers

We cannot afford to keep research results locked away in ivory towers | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Opening up British research may seem obvious, writes science minister David Willetts. But it is not just inertia that blocks this. The UK government is committed to greater transparency across the board. That is partly because, as David Cameron says, sunlight is the best disinfectant. There are other reasons for more transparency too, such as giving people the tools to fulfil their aspirations. Choosing the wrong course can be an expensive and dispiriting error. So we have published 17 pieces of comparable information on each university course. People from families with little history of higher education no longer have to fill in their UCAS forms in the dark."

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Why open access makes no sense

Why open access makes no sense | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"The fundamental argument for providing open access to academic research is that research that is funded by the tax-payer should be available to the tax-payer. Those who have paid for the research, it is urged, should not have to pay a second time for access to the publication of that research. Proponents of what has come to be called 'open access' claim that this is simply obvious, but in fact this argument mistakes the fundamental nature of academic research, it mistakes nature and process of academic publication, and it mistakes what is involved in providing access to academic research. I shall limit my claims here to research in the Humanities, but very similar arguments apply to research in the sciences also."

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Willetts: I don’t want research restricted

Willetts: I don’t want research restricted | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Funds are allocated on project quality not desire to support elite, says minister. Chris Parr reports. 

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has maintained that he does not have an agenda for further concentrating research budget allocations on elite institutions.

Speaking as part of a launch event for the Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 2013 rankings of young universities, Mr Willetts said that research funding should be based on the projects that were bidding for money, not just the institutions where they were based.

The government has been accused of creating a concentration of research in elite universities by asking for funding to be cut for lower-rated research and focusing capital investment on large projects involving such institutions"

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Picture emerges over ‘gold’ open-access allocations

Picture emerges over ‘gold’ open-access allocations | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"The first signs are emerging of how UK universities are earmarking the £100 million allocated by Research Councils UK to pay for open-access publishing.

Introduced in April, the block grant pays the article fees required by journals to make papers freely available instantly under the “gold” open-access model. The sum comes on top of an initial £10 million outlay awarded to 30 universities in 2012.

At a session of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators annual conference, held in Nottingham on 11 and 12 June, eight delegates indicated that their institutions had decided on the mechanisms to apportion the cash"

 

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Open communities bring the Open Access Button to life

Open communities bring the Open Access Button to life | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Running into a publisher’s paywall is one of the biggest daily frustrations that many in research tend to encounter. Students and health advocates David Carroll and Joe McArthur decided to take these dead ends and turn them into something useful. With the help of the open source and open access communities, they have just created a prototype of a tool—the OA Button—to map article access denials and help users track down a version of the publication available for their use.

 

David Carroll took a year out of his medical studies at Queen's University in Belfast to gain research experience in the lab. For his study on cystic fibrosis, he read only papers for which his university had a subscription or those published in open access. At $35 a paper, everything else written on the topic fell by the wayside. “That gap in my knowledge probably ended my research,” he says, “because I didn’t have the opportunity to read everything [that would help me] generate hypotheses. I could only use what I had.”

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Busting the top five myths about open access publishing

"Rather than lock up knowledge in costly journals, increasingly universities and governments are recognising that publicly funded research should be open to all.

This past year has seen new open access policies in the United Kingdom, the United States and from the European Commission. In Australia too, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) now both have open access policies.

Despite this activity, there remains a large amount of confusion about open access, with many misunderstandings persisting in the academic community and in universities"

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Open Access and the looming crisis in science

"Foundation essay: This article on the open access and science by Björn Brembs is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the UK. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look at key issues affecting society.

There is a looming crisis in science, and we must act now to prevent it.

Currently, the number of scientific papers retracted from a large database of thousands of biomedical journals is a mere 0.05%, a low rate. But recently this rate has been rising. That rise is so quick that, if the trend were to continue, as many scientific publications will have to be retracted as are being published by about 2045."

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Open Access Publishing: A Catalyst for Scholarly Research Publication

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Bridging the gap between academia and Wikipedia | Jisc

Bridging the gap between academia and Wikipedia | Jisc | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Jisc and Wikimedia UK are collaborating on a project to bring the academic world and Wikipedia closer together. This will create opportunities for researchers, educators, and the general public to contribute to the world's freely available knowledge.

Jisc, the UK education charity championing the use of digital technology in education and research,  is supporting this initiative so that the widest possible audience will benefit from the world-leading projects that it supports. These include open educational resources, online repositories of research, and collections such as the 19th century newspapers archive and Manuscripts Online, which holds British written and early printed materials from 1000 to 1500AD."

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