14 November 2012

Interesting times for open access repositories

The UKCoRR (The United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories) held its annual meeting at Teesside University on 9th November 2012. After a summer of high visibility for open access issues and recent activies during Open Access Week, the introduction by UKCoRR Chair Yvonne Buddon was aptly titled "Living in interesting times?". The role of UKCoRR membership in raising awareness of both 'gold' and 'green' options for open access was a particular focus, with one of the top questions from researchers currently being 'which journals are compliant with the new RCUK open access policy?' A wishlist of enhancements for the Sherpa/Romeo service is hoping to address this need.

Yvonne highlighted how Universities can analyse and present statistics to make the case for continuing use of Institutional Repositories (IRs), and later in the day we heard details of the IRUS-UK service which is developing COUNTER-compliant reports on article usage. IRUS-UK is part of UKRepositoryNet+ "a socio-technical infrastructure supporting deposit, curation & exposure of Open Access research literature." We heard about exciting new developments that will harness the power of IRs and improve efficiency for 'green' open access. Presentations on the services in development from Andrew Dorward and Pablo de Castro are available online at http://ukcorr.org/2012/11/13/uk-repositorynet/

Keeping things interesting, we heard more details on the RCUK open access policy from Gerry Lawson of NERC. Gerry emphasised the underlying aims of the policy for research outputs - improving accessibility, quality, efficiency and preservation - and reviewed the requirements for proper acknowledgement of funding source in articles, along with details on location of underlying data. The plans for monitoring compliance are still in development, but it is likely we will need to provide metadata on 'open access status' via our repositories or Current Research Information Systems (CRIS). Data requirements will include funder name and project ID, OA version, embargo and reuse rights, with additional information on payment of APCs. This ties in with work currently under way for repositories and CRIS on OpenAire compliance and metadata specifications to come out of the RIOXX project, and should allow data to be captured by the RCUK's Research Outcomes System and ResearchFish. Busy times ahead!

The final sessions provided an interesting view of developments in Hull - taking advantage of the flexible Hydra infrastructure/set of services - and work at LSE to enhance their repository to support REF reporting.

One of the things I took from the day was a real desire to make IRs more interoperable: to harness the power of aggregated content, use recognised standards and link or extend exisiting registries for authority control (such as CrossRef and FundRef, or ORCID and other researcher ID schemes such as ResearcherID and the Names project). It is exciting to see how well 'green' open access continues to be supported by this community.


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