Mapping the Publishing Challenges for an Open Access University Press

Authors : Megan Taylor

Managing a New University Press (NUP) is often a one-person operation and, with limits on time and resources, efficiency and effectiveness are key to having a successful production process and providing a high level of author, editor and reader services.

This article looks at the challenges faced by open access (OA) university presses throughout the publishing journey and considers ways in which these challenges can be addressed. In particular, the article focuses on six key stages throughout the lifecycle of an open access publication: commissioning; review; production; discoverability; marketing; analytics.

Approached from the point of view of the University of Huddersfield Press, this article also draws on discussions and experiences of other NUPs from community-led forums and events.

By highlighting the issues faced, and the potential solutions to them, this research recognises the need for a tailored and formalised production workflow within NUPs and also provides guidance how to begin implementing possible solutions.

URL : Mapping the Publishing Challenges for an Open Access University Press

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7040063

The Impact of Open Access on Teaching—How Far Have We Come?

Authors : Elizabeth Gadd, Chris Morrison, Jane Secker

This article seeks to understand how far the United Kingdom higher education (UK HE) sector has progressed towards open access (OA) availability of the scholarly literature it requires to support courses of study.

It uses Google Scholar, Unpaywall and Open Access Button to identify OA copies of a random sample of articles copied under the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence to support teaching. The quantitative data analysis is combined with interviews of, and a workshop with, HE practitioners to investigate four research questions.

Firstly, what is the nature of the content being used to support courses of study? Secondly, do UK HE establishments regularly incorporate searches for open access availability into their acquisition processes to support teaching? Thirdly, what proportion of content used under the CLA Licence is also available on open access and appropriately licenced? Finally, what percentage of content used by UK HEIs under the CLA Licence is written by academics and thus has the potential for being made open access had there been support in place to enable this?

Key findings include the fact that no interviewees incorporated OA searches into their acquisitions processes. Overall, 38% of articles required to support teaching were available as OA in some form but only 7% had a findable re-use licence; just 3% had licences that specifically permitted inclusion in an ‘electronic course-pack’.

Eighty-nine percent of journal content was written by academics (34% by UK-based academics). Of these, 58% were written since 2000 and thus could arguably have been made available openly had academics been supported to do so.

URL : The Impact of Open Access on Teaching—How Far Have We Come?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7030056

Developing a model for university presses

Authors : Megan Taylor, Kathrine S H Jensen

This article presents a model for developing a university press based around three guiding principles and six key stages of the publishing process, with associated activities.

The model is designed to be applicable to a range of business models, including subscription, open access and hybrid. The guiding principles, publishing stages and strategic points all constitute the building blocks necessary to implement and maintain a sustainable university press.

At the centre of the model there are three interconnected main guiding principles: strategic alignment, stakeholder relationships and demonstrating impact.

The publishing process outlined in the outer ring of the model is made up of six sections: editorial, production, dissemination, preservation, communication and analytics.

These sections were based on the main stages that a journal article or monograph goes through from proposal or commissioning stage through to publication and beyond.

The model highlights the overall importance of working in partnership and building relationships as key to developing and maintaining a successful press.

URL : Developing a model for university presses

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.469

The advantages of UK Biobank’s open access strategy for health research

Authors : Megan Conroy, Jonathan Sellors, Mark Effingham, Thomas J. Littlejohns, Chris Boultwood, Lorraine Gillions, Cathie L.M. Sudlow, Rory Collins, Naomi E. Allen

Ready access to health research studies is becoming more important as researchers, and their funders, seek to maximise the opportunities for scientific innovation and health improvements.

Large‐scale population‐based prospective studies are particularly useful for multidisciplinary research into the causes, treatment and prevention of many different diseases. UK Biobank has been established as an open‐access resource for public health research, with the intention of making the data as widely available as possible in an equitable and transparent manner.

Access to UK Biobank’s unique breadth of phenotypic and genetic data has attracted researchers worldwide from across academia and industry. As a consequence, it has enabled scientists to perform world‐leading collaborative research.

Moreover, open access to an already deeply characterized cohort has encouraged both public and private sector investment in further enhancements to make UK Biobank an unparalleled resource for public health research and an exemplar for the development of open access approaches for other studies.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12955

Establishing, Developing, and Sustaining a Community of Data Champions

Authors : James L. Savage, Lauren Cadwallader

Supporting good practice in Research Data Management (RDM) is challenging for higher education institutions, in part because of the diversity of research practices and data types across disciplines.

While centralised research data support units now exist in many universities, these typically possess neither the discipline-specific expertise nor the resources to offer appropriate targeted training and support within every academic unit.

One solution to this problem is to identify suitable individuals with discipline-specific expertise that are already embedded within each unit, and empower these individuals to advocate for good RDM and to deliver support locally.

This article focuses on an ongoing example of this approach: the Data Champion Programme at the University of Cambridge, UK.

We describe how the Data Champion programme was established; the programme’s reach, impact, strengths and weaknesses after two years of operation; and our anticipated challenges and planned strategies for maintaining the programme over the medium- and long-term.

URL : Establishing, Developing, and Sustaining a Community of Data Champions

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-023

Common Struggles: Policy-based vs. scholar-led approaches to open access in the humanities

Author : Samuel A. Moore

Open access publishing (OA) not only removes price and permission restrictions to academic research, but also represents an opportunity to reassess what publishing means to the humanities.

OA is increasingly on the agenda for humanities researchers in the UK, having been mandated in various forms by universities and governmental funders strongly influenced by advocates in the STEM disciplines.

Yet publishing practices in the humanities are unique to the field and any move to a new system of scholarly communication has the potential to conflict with the ways in which humanities research is published, many of which are shaped by the expectations of the neoliberal university that uniquely impact on the practices of humanities researchers.

Furthermore, OA does not reflect a unified ideology, business model or political outlook, and different methods of publication based on open practices will inherently represent a variety of values, struggles or conceptual enclosures.

This thesis assesses the contrasting values and practices of different approaches to OA in the humanities through a series of case-studies on governmental and scholar-led forms of OA, explored through a critical methodology comprising both constructivism and deconstruction.

The thesis argues that the UK governmental policy framework, comprised of policies introduced by the Research Councils (RCUK) and Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCE), promotes a form of OA that intends to minimise disruption to the publishing industry.

The scholar-led ecosystem of presses, in contrast, reflects a diversity of values and struggles that represent a counter-hegemonic alternative to the dominant cultures of OA and publishing more generally.

The values of each approach are analysed on a spectrum between the logic of choice versus the logic of care (following the work of Annemarie Mol) to illustrate how the governmental policies promote a culture of OA predominantly focused on tangible outcomes, whereas the scholar-led presses prioritise an ethic of care for the cultures of how humanities research is produced and published.

In prioritising a commitment to care, scholar-led presses display a praxis that resembles the kinds of activities and relationships centred on common resource management (‘commoning’).

The thesis concludes with a series of recommendations for how such care-full values could be best realised in an emancipatory commons-based ecosystem of OA publishing for the humanities, which would be cultivated through a range of institutions and political interventions.

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/st5m-cx33

Tough data-driven decisions and radical thinking: how Middlesbrough College’s LRC survived austerity

Author: Tracey Totty

When other libraries had their budgets cut, Middlesbrough College’s Learning Resources Centre (LRC) enjoyed a stable (yet not increasing) budget with minor cuts from 2015–2017. For 2017–2018, the LRC was required to save 50% of its non-pay budget. The cuts were not unexpected, but so much in one go was a severe shock.

As a matter of good practice, we were already making data-driven decisions for all our resources and were trying to get the best deals we could. It was time for consolidation, tougher decisions and, possibly, some radical thinking.

At the beginning of 2017 this process started, and is now reaping rewards. This article will set out how decisions on making the necessary budget cuts were made, what was done to make the reduced budget go further (whilst maintaining the high quality of services) and the results of the exercise.

The author presented this work at the UKSG E-resources for Further Education event in November 2018.

URL : Tough data-driven decisions and radical thinking: how Middlesbrough College’s LRC survived austerity

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.462