Wednesday 12 November 2014

CIAO - Collaborative Institutional Assessment of Open access the Pilot version is published

CIAO is ready!

CIAO - Collaborative Institutional Assessment of Open access is a benchmarking tool for assessing institutional readiness for Open Access (OA) compliance. The tool is based on the CARDIO (Collaborative Assessment of Research Data Infrastructure and Objectives- This tool has been produced as part of the JISC OA Pathfinder: Making Sense: a researcher-centred approach to funder mandates.  

Where can I find it?
This resource is available from here:
and is licenced under  CC BY
Here you will find a version which you can download and a sheet about how you can use it.

We need feedback
This is a pilot version so we are very keen of getting feedback on how it has been used in different institutions. How useful is it, how can we make it better? Email

What Next?
We are looking at alternative ways of delivering this tool. We are also developing similar tool to be completed by individuals. MIAO - My Individual Assessment of Open access .

Friday 26 September 2014

OA Baselining at institutional and individual level

More questions than answers 
It seems like a long time since our first project meeting way back in July when we started on our journey. Having each given some background to  where each university was with systems, structures and processes, we started to think about how we could explore researcher behaviour at each of our universities. It was decided that Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and University of Portsmouth would draw on the experiences of Oxford Brookes who had successfully used structured interviews for their research data audit and to use these techniques to discover more about researchers and the publication process. At the same time Oxford Brookes would conduct some more in-depth ethnographic studies on a number of researchers at different levels using a set of cultural probes which could be observations, diary keeping - video or written, recording open access pain points. We will be making  more progress on this in the next six months.

OA Baselining
OA baselining has been our main concern over the summer months. We have been trying to create a CARDIO type tool for Open Access Compliance. Here’s an extract:

The idea is that each institution gathers together all the stakeholders for Open Access and then uses this tool to assess their institutional readiness for open access. We are concentrating on a version that could be used in a workshop-type setting - perhaps it could be tested at a community workshop if one is being held on OA baselining. A test version should be ready by the end of September 2014.

We explored the possibility of a re-run of the ‘Unlocking attitudes’ survey which was conducted in 2011 by the Repositories Support Project(RSP) and there was some interest in this from fellow pathfinders. Each of the institutions that took part in that survey had data that could serve as a baseline to attitudes now. For Oxford Brookes, if we were going to do this, we had to move fast as our Pro Vice- Chancellor was planning to run research roadshows for each REF Unit of Assessment starting in October 2014 and this was likely to affect researcher attitudes. Sadly we decided not to do it and to focus on the institutional baselining however we have a new academic/research staff induction gathering next week and would like to find out their understanding of OA as they are new to Oxford Brookes and then follow-up with another survey just for them a year later. Just a short survey of about 5 questions .

What next?
By December, we hope to be testing a number of cultural probes with a pilot group of researchers, Stuart Hunt, the project director will be presenting at the RLUK conference in November and the Collaborative Assessment for Institutional Readiness for Open Access will be ready for use. Our community workshop is booked for May 20 2015 at Oxford Brookes University.

Monday 4 August 2014

Connecting and communicating with other projects

One of the great things about being a JISC-funded project is the ability to network with other projects in the programme.  There are many areas of common ground across all the Pathfinder projects and talking to institutions is a rewarding experience.  It is relatively easy to carry out and complete a project in isolation but, without interacting with other projects in the programme, a real opportunity is missed.

Interacting with other projects is a chance for support, advice and, most significantly, the exchange of ideas.  This was the case in point for us recently when we had a conference call with colleagues at Coventry University working on the O2OA project.

We were able to explain our methodology and approach but also to receive suggestions and encouragement from colleagues with interests similar to our own.  We are clear that we see the methodology that we develop and use during our Making Sense project will itself be an output.  We hope that it will strike a chord with other institutions, particularly those similar in mission to our own, and help in embedding OA compliance to support our researchers.

We were particularly pleased to talk about behavioural change and pick up advice on normalization process theory.  We hope that this will inform our work on sensemaking.  It was also good to discuss our concerns about process maps and how they do not reflect the researcher experience.  Both our projects are more interested in putting the researcher at the centre and understanding this as a constellation is central to our thinking and our work.

We look forward to more equally rewarding exchanges with other projects within the programme and welcome the opportunity to talk with colleagues.

Friday 11 July 2014

Project Meeting no 1: Introductions and methodologies ,

A successful kick-off meeting was held on Wednesday 2 July 2014 with our associate universities - Nottingham Trent University and University of Portsmouth. There was much talk about our local situations and how we were going to get started. Building on our experiences at Oxford Brookes of conducting research data audit interviews with some 90 researchers, we decided that stage one of the project would be to conduct semi-structured interviews with some researchers.

Who to interview?
Our next job was to decide who to interview so we considered all projects which were funded by RCUK or Wellcome Trust. We then organised the list of projects by gender of Principal Investigator (PI) and their research career position (junior, middle, senior) so that our sample had a mix of these. The day ended with each associate university having a list of tasks, the main one being deciding who to interview. For Nottingham Trent and Portsmouth, the use of semi-structured interviews is new as well having a team of interviewers made up of subject librarians, research support staff, IT staff so we have offered to visit each institution to support  this.

As for sensemaking, we are considering using a variety of tools: observation; interviews, semi-structured; research process interviews; research journals/diaries ; recording activities; cognitive maps; cultural probes; artefacts and self-recording. We are now thinking that this more in-depth study will probably be on a smaller number of researchers although we were still concerned about what would make up a reasonable sample.
Openaccess@ emails

At the OA community workshop last month, it was suggested that all universities ought to create an openaccess@ email as a single point of contact so we now have . Has anyone else done this yet?

Monday 30 June 2014

Open Access Communicating and Collaborating

Last week was full of OA events and discussions. All the OA pathfinder projects (2 via Skype) met up in London to introduce our projects to each other. We all took part in a 'speed dating exercise' where we identified any common threads  between projects and opportunities for sharing and jointly communicating. We thought that  the Coventry and Northumbria projects were the most interesting from our perspective, maybe because they are similar universities to us.

Friday 20 June 2014

Sensemaking and Open Access goes Public

On Tuesday 17 June, all the JISC OA pathfinder projects gathered in London to introduce their projects. Sarah Fahmy form  JISC  has put together a Netvibe which shows all the blogs for the projects -

This was the first time that we had presented about the project. One of the key points that we wanted to make was that this project was centred around researcher behaviour and the need for change in behaviours as expressed by Ben Johnson in his Post 2014 OA webinars and vociferously by researcher, Stephen Curry

 Most academics are failing to adopt the principle of open access, according to Stephen Curry, a structural biologist at Imperial College London and campaigner for open access. He says the RCUK policy may not be forcing enough academics to change their behaviour to publish more work—but the inclusion of open-access requirements in the next Research Excellence Framework certainly will. “Every single university in the country is going to make sure their submissions are REF-compliant,” he says. “The REF grabs everybody by the balls.” Research Fortnight, 11 June 2014

The other key point about our project, presented by Stuart Hunt, was that it was going to be taking an ethnographic approach and we would be trying to use a sensemaking method as described in the recently published.
Madsbjerg, C, Rasmussen,  M B (2014) The moment of clarity.Harvard Business Press

After our presentation, we had a workshop session looking at the problems of OA compliance. Interestingly academic engagement came up as one of the major problems. Another observation by one of the delegates was that there hadn't been much talk about the 'green' route, which for most non-research intensive universities like us with only a small block grant if any would be the OA route that we would be following.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Making Sense - A Researcher Centred approach to funder mandates - JISC OA Pathfinder

Here in the Directorate of Learning Resources at Oxford Brookes University, we are very pleased to have received the good news earlier this month that we have been selected as one of the 8 JISC OA Pathfinder projects to  look into how we can help researchers in  UK Universities conform with Open Access funder mandates.

Making sense:a researcher centred approach to funder mandates

Lead Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Project Director: Stuart Hunt
Project Manager:  Rowena Rouse 

Associate institutions: 
Nottingham Trent University, University of Portsmouth

About the project
Our project will provide the infrastructure and processes to support researchers working within non research-intensive universities to conform to OA funder mandates. We will consider human behaviours and how engagement with OA processes can be improved, putting the researcher at the centre, building within and around the research context.

We will apply an ethnographic sense-making approach to work with, and observe, the researcher in their own context.  The aim of this approach is to integrate with, rather than impose upon, the researcher and the research environment, enabling conformance with specific funder mandates as a part of the research workflow.

We will:

Develop a methodology and create a toolkit for a researcher-centred approach.
Create a dataset from our investigation of researcher working practices
Communicate with the wider OA community via an iterative case study and 
   hosting a workshop for the OA Implementers Community.
Release all project outputs via open access under a Creative Commons license

Project Timeline - June 2014 -May 2016

Create project

Conduct research and gather data

progress (via blog)

Create researcher-based toolkit

Launch of

Host OA community workshop

Evaluate toolkit and

Launch roadshows
at project sites