2 February 2011

Open Access hot topic at Research Management event

Closing discussions were focussed on Open Access and compliance with research funder mandates at a recent event organised by the Centre for Research Communications.

Research Management: Smoothing the Way brought together library, IT and research managers to look at integrating research management in institutions and best practice in research support. The work at St Andrews to implement Pure and provide a joined-up service was presented as one of the case studies. We emphasized the close working relationships and sharing of knowledge that characterises our approach. Presenters from Glasgow and Newscastle provided useful insight into development of systems including features to support research assessment.

Representatives from Wellcome and NERC provided the funders' perspective, and both speakers highlighted the need for good acknowledgement practice. When data on funder names and grant IDs is properly exposed and linked, systems can make 'magic happen' by linking projects and resulting publications. The Grant Lookup feature in UK PubMed Central is an example of how this can work.

We also heard from Stephen Pinfield on funding streams for open access; reminding us that publishing models are in transition. Institutions will need to provide solid support to help researchers build open access publishing costs into their normal practice, from grant application to possible extended 'writing up' periods. Background and further discussion is in the article 'Paying for open access? Institutional funding streams and OA publication charges'

A roundup of the day with representative of CRC, ARMA, RLUK and SCONUL noted the need for shared systems and services where possible as we prepare for REF, while acknowledging the competitive nature of research assessment. Continued advocacy for compliance with funder mandates is needed from both institutions and the funders themselves, with better support for claiming open access costs. Open Access is undoubtably seen as a driving force for enhancing scholarly communication, and final thoughts turned to what can be done to continue bringing OA into mainstream practice.

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