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Joining up Jisc work on open access

This week, Jo Lambert, Sarah Fahmy and Balviar Notay describe the relationships between some of Jisc’s work in this area.

As articulated in Neil Jacobs’ recent update on Jisc’s scholarly communications work, Jisc is committed to providing support to help UK universities implement and manage Open Access. This includes development of services such as Jisc Monitor, IRUS-UK, CORE and Publications Router; standards development such as RIOXX, CASRAI and V4OA and we’re planning or providing support for institutions through the Repository Support Package and Open Access Good Practice initiative, amongst others. The post demonstrated the breadth of work underway to support HEI against a rapidly evolving OA landscape.

Given the range of work in this area we are often asked about connections between different Jisc-funded initiatives and how they interface with one another. Two complementary developments recently launched, Jisc Monitor and the Jisc funded Pathfinder projects (which form part of the Jisc OA Good Practice initiative); provide a good example of the collaborative approach that characterises development.

Jisc Monitor, initially a one-year pilot that started in May 2014, will develop services to help universities monitor publication activity, comply with funder OA policies and monitor associated expenditure on publication charges. This will be supported by an exploration of the standards and protocols enabling efficient data exchange. The Pathfinder projects, on the other hand, will aim to develop shareable models of good practice with regard to implementation of research funders’ OA requirements. In doing so, the projects will enable their own and associated HEIs to find out what works best in implementing OA, in a variety of institutions across the sector, and will share this knowledge openly thereby aiding other HEIs in the wider sector.

There are obvious synergies between the two initiatives where Jisc Monitor development is informed to a certain extent by the ideas and outcomes of the Pathfinders, and the Pathfinders can potentially use, evaluate and test any tools that might be developed through Jisc Monitor to support them in their work. Both initiatives will seek to reflect the Jisc funded RIOXX application profile which aims to satisfy the open access reporting requirements of RCUK and the REF 2020 reporting requirements of HEFCE. Jisc Monitor will aim to build on RIOXX whereas Pathfinder institutions and others that are part of the Open Access Implementation Community are likely to be early adopters of this standard.

In the same way as HEI managers from across professions (e.g. librarians, research managers, repository managers) within the institution are working hard to share and improve understanding and good practice in the implementation of UK funders’ OA requirements, so too are the teams involved in developing these services to ensure that feedback from one set of projects or developments is shared and that there’s good join up between services. We’re exploring how we can more effectively support institutions and achieve greater efficiencies through information sharing. We are also fortunate that we have so many universities participating in a number of initiatives and this cross-fertilization of ideas is key to the work we’re doing.

Addressing the challenges of the open access environment is not something that can be done alone so Jisc is also working with others both nationally and internationally to make progress in this area. This includes funders, the research councils, publishers, SCONUL, RLUK, ARMA and UKCoRR amongst others. We’re also working with other projects outside the UK, SHARE is one example of this, and we hope that by working together we can exploit the synergies that exist between Jisc’s work in the UK and global initiatives in order to provide mutual benefits.

Jisc has convened a Scholarly Communications Advisory Group to help steer Jisc’s work in the Scholarly Communications area and we hope that this, combined with a succession of events such as the Open Access Implementation Community workshop in June, and Jisc Monitor workshops in July and September will enable us to gather ideas from all perspectives and to inform, validate and evaluate our work as services develop.

By Neil Jacobs

JISC Programme Director, Digital Infrastructure (Information Environment)

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