Authors : Vincent Traag, Ludo Waltman
When performing a national research assessment, some countries rely on citation metrics whereas others, such as the UK, primarily use peer review. In the influential Metric Tide report, a low agreement between metrics and peer review in the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) was found.
However, earlier studies observed much higher agreement between metrics and peer review in the REF and argued in favour of using metrics. This shows that there is considerable ambiguity in the discussion on agreement between metrics and peer review.
We provide clarity in this discussion by considering four important points: (1) the level of aggregation of the analysis; (2) the use of either a size-dependent or a size-independent perspective; (3) the suitability of different measures of agreement; and (4) the uncertainty in peer review.
In the context of the REF, we argue that agreement between metrics and peer review should be assessed at the institutional level rather than at the publication level. Both a size-dependent and a size-independent perspective are relevant in the REF.
The interpretation of correlations may be problematic and as an alternative we therefore use measures of agreement that are based on the absolute or relative differences between metrics and peer review.
To get an idea of the uncertainty in peer review, we rely on a model to bootstrap peer review outcomes. We conclude that particularly in Physics, Clinical Medicine, and Public Health, metrics agree quite well with peer review and may offer an alternative to peer review.
URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.03491
Authors : Julie Baldwin, Stephen Pinfield
Whilst take-up of open access (OA) in the UK is growing rapidly due partly to a number of funder mandates, managing the complexities of balancing compliance with these mandates against restrictive publisher policies and ingrained academic priorities, has resulted in UK higher education institutions (HEIs) often struggling with confused researchers, complex workflows, and rising costs.
In order to try to address this situation, the UK Scholarly Communication Licence (UK-SCL) was formulated to bypass the root causes of many of these challenges by implementing a licensing mechanism for multiple-mandate compliance in one single policy.
This is the first empirical study to focus on the genesis of the UK-SCL and how its implementation has been conceived thus far. A qualitative research method was used, taking the form of 14 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from the initiative across the UK.
The results indicate that those working within UK HEIs are concerned with the complexity of the current OA policy landscape and are frustrated with the inertia within the current system, which has resulted in higher costs, further publisher restrictions, and has not addressed the underlying tensions in academic culture.
The UK-SCL is seen by its initiators as a way to achieve further transition towards OA and take back some element of control of the content produced at their institutions.
The study concludes by modelling the ways in which the UK-SCL is intended to impact relationships between key stakeholders, and discussing possible implementation futures.
URL : The UK Scholarly Communication Licence: Attempting to Cut through the Gordian Knot of the Complexities of Funder Mandates, Publisher Embargoes and Researcher Caution in Achieving Open Access
Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/3/31
Authors : David Walters, Christopher Daley
The UK open access (OA) policy landscape simultaneously preferences Gold publishing models (Finch Report, RCUK, COAF) and Green OA through repository usage (HEFCE), creating the possibility of confusion and duplication of effort for academics and support staff.
Alongside these policy developments, there has been an increase in open science services that aim to provide global data on OA. These services often exist separately to locally managed institutional systems for recording OA engagement and policy compliance.
The aim of this study is to enhance Brunel University London’s local publication data using software which retrieves and processes information from the global open science services of Sherpa REF, CORE, and Unpaywall.
The study draws on two classification schemes; a ‘best location’ hierarchy, which enables us to measure publishing trends and whether open access dissemination has taken place, and a relational ‘all locations’ dataset to examine whether individual publications appear across multiple OA dissemination models.
Sherpa REF data is also used to indicate possible OA locations from serial policies. Our results find that there is an average of 4.767 permissible open access options available to the authors in our sample each time they publish and that Gold OA publications are replicated, on average, in 3 separate locations.
A total of 40% of OA works in the sample are available in both Gold and Green locations. The study considers whether this tendency for duplication is a result of localised manual workflows which are necessarily focused on institutional compliance to meet the Research Excellence Framework 2021 requirements, and suggests that greater interoperability between OA systems and services would facilitate a more efficient transformation to open scholarship.
URL : Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services
Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/2/23
Author: Liam Earney
Jisc Collections has had agreements with open access (OA) publishers since the mid-2000s. In 2014, following the UK government’s response to the Finch Report, it started to target hybrid OA via ‘offsetting agreements’ that covered both subscriptions and article processing charges for OA.
This article will provide a status update on OA negotiations in the UK in the context of the UK’s progress towards OA. It will look at some of the concerns about the progress of OA in the UK, how negotiations have evolved in response, and will look at prospects for their future direction.
URL : National licence negotiations advancing the open access transition – a view from the UK
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.413
Authors : Rosalyn Bass, Sarah Slowe
Open Access has been supported at the University of Kent from an early stage with the establishment of the Kent Academic Repository in 2007.
Initially, this work was accommodated within the existing library staff structure, but the pace of change, funder requirements, and a new university plan meant that support for Open Access needed to become explicit.
Therefore, a research support team was established using a matrix working system. This article details this new structure and reflects on the benefits and challenges it brings.
URL : Supporting Open Access at Kent—New Staff Roles
Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/2/17/htm
Authors : Megan Taylor, Kathrine S. H. Jensen
In this paper we explore how the development of The University of Huddersfield Press, a publisher of open access scholarly journals and monographs, has enabled the sharing of research with a wider online audience.
We situate the development of the Press within a wider research environment and growing community of New University Presses (NUPs) where there is an increasing demand for demonstrating research impact, which drives the need for improved analysis and reporting of impact data, a task that often falls within the remit of library and academic support services.
We detail the benefits of the University Press Manager role in terms of ensuring professional service that delivers consistency and sustainability. We go on to outline the experiences of engaging with different online spaces and detail the extensive support for student authors.
We argue that in order for the Press to support building a strong and engaged scholarly community and provide new spaces for emerging research, continued investment in both platform development and infrastructure is required.
URL : Engaging and Supporting a University Press Scholarly Community
Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/2/13
Author : Diane (DeDe) Dawson
There are many compelling reasons to make research open access (OA), but raising the awareness of faculty and administrators about OA is a struggle. Now that more and more funders are introducing OA policies, it is increasingly important that researchers understand OA and how to comply with these policies.
U.K. researchers and their institutions have operated within a complex OA policy environment for many years, and academic libraries have been at the forefront of providing services and outreach to support them. This article discusses the results of a qualitative study that investigated effective practices and strategies of OA outreach in the United Kingdom.
Semistructured interviews were conducted with 14 individuals at seven universities in the United Kingdom in late 2015. Transcripts of these interviews were analyzed for dominant themes using an inductive method of coding.
Themes were collected under the major headings of “The Message”; “Key Contacts and Relationships”; “Qualities of the OA Practitioner”; and “Advocacy versus Compliance.”
Results indicate that messages about OA need to be clear, concise, and jargon free. They need to be delivered repeatedly and creatively adapted to specific audiences. Identifying and building relationships with influencers and informers is key to the uptake of the message, and OA practitioners must have deep expertise to be credible as the messengers.
This timely research has immediate relevance to North American libraries as they contend with pressures to ramp up their own OA outreach and support services to assist researchers in complying with new federal funding policies.
URL : Effective Practices and Strategies for Open Access Outreach: A Qualitative Study
DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2216