Two of Jisc’s OA pathfinder projects (those led by UCL and Manchester) have agreed that, to reflect specific challenges currently facing universities in implementing OA, they will over the next year take on additional work in the following areas:
1. Approaches to deposit (Manchester): reviewing pilots of different approaches to depositing items into repositories in different universities and departments, and providing guidance on the pros and cons of each;
2. Benchmarking of institutional OA support services (Manchester): providing data on the levels of resource, staff skills and responsibilities in place in a range of universities to implement OA, as a benchmark for other universities;
3. Exploration of the proportion of outputs treated as REF exceptions (UCL): reviewing a sample of publications to assess which might fall under specific REF exception categories, and why, to inform universities and HEFCE on the likely use of exceptions;
4. REF OA policy and the use of subject repositories (UCL): clarifying how deposit into subject repositories might, in practice, enable compliance with the REF OA policy under certain conditions and how such compliance might be tracked;
5. Payment of APCs on multi-author/multi-institution papers (UCL): following the release of the independent review of the implementation of the RCUK OA policy, contributing to a dialogue between RCUK and universities on this topic.
In part, the new directions for these two pathfinder projects reflect some of the recommendations from a recent report on universities progress in implementing the REF OA policy.