We are getting closer to April and the implementation of the HEFCE open access policy for REF outputs. Jisc has been working with HEFCE, publishers and the community to develop services which will help the sector in complying with this policy to maximise both the outputs which are eligible for REF and, of course, the dissemination and use of UK research. Two services are now moving towards launch: SHERPA/REF and the Publications Router; with additional REF support being developed with a plug-in for EPrints repositories.
The SHERPA/REF service is currently being trialled as a test beta service, with the intention of launching in March before the HEFCE policy becomes fully active. The system is designed to give a simple yes/no answer to check whether publication in any preferred journal will be compliant with REF policy. The service is aimed for use by authors and in the first instance will be an interactive system. Once this is established, then an API will be released alongside, for integration with third-party and other institutional systems.
The development of the new version Publications Router is substantially complete. The service will help institutions capture their research outputs onto their open repositories and CRISs. The migration of content providers and institutions who participated in the earlier prototype is nearing completion ready for launching in beta in February. This includes an improved automated feed from Europe PubMed Central and feeds from the open access journal eLife.
In an important step forward, two major new publishers are now supplying feeds as part of their regular publishing processes – we’ll be announcing the details soon. Yet more publishers will follow.
Our ongoing extensive liaison with publishers has widened, working with international experts to identify ways to accelerate publisher participation. This work is exploring publishers’ systems and workflows in detail to identify how the Router can ingest feeds more flexibly to accelerate their participation.
We are also engaging with Crossref, and the potential of its proposed guidelines on early registration of DOIs.
A new web presence for the Router is about to launch, giving further information and details of how to join the list of those who are getting involved. Watch for announcements soon!
In addition, an EPrints REF compliance checker is now available. The purpose of the REF Compliance Checker is to smooth the process by which EPrints institutions can establish whether an article or conference proceeding deposited by a staff member is eligible for the post-2014 REF. To do this effectively, the Compliance Checker plugin requires some metadata describing key facts such as the date of acceptance and the version type. The relevant metadata are checked against a set of logical rules that faithfully represent the requirements laid down in the Open Access policy of the UK Higher Education Funding Bodies. We are also in discussions with DSpace users whether they would value something similar and ways to support that development community.