Friday 18 December 2015

Portsmouth University does it differently

Thanks to Emily Bennett  for the following blog about how the University of Portsmouth manage their research outputs .

We’ve been busy at Portsmouth this term with all things open access related.  I expect we have much in common with other universities; for example, we’ve got a web page about open access, an open access policy, a team in the Library who manage the validation of publications, a CRIS (Pure), website showing content from Pure - Portsmouth Research Portal, all-staff emails sent from our Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, and so on.  Also, similar to other universities we have a cross-department OA Working Group which includes the Library, Research and Innovation Services, and our OA champion and academic representative, and which drives the direction of open access within the University.

But there are few things we’re doing that I think may be less common in other universities.  So I thought I’d share a few things we’re trying -

     Research Outputs Manager (ie. me!) has a dual role between the Library and the Research and Innovation Services (RIS) department. I work 2 days in our RIS department and the rest of the time in the Library. This arrangement has been really helpful in facilitating collaboration, which was crucial when setting up Pure.

     As the Research Outputs team in the Library is small, we tend not to offer one-to-one sessions with academics - initially at least.  Instead, academics are first encouraged to come along to a workshop, which I run each month on our Researcher Development programme, managed by our RIS department.  To guide the design of these workshops, academics are asked to fill in a short pre-workshop questionnaire which looks at what they know about already, and then a post-workshop questionnaire which explores what they will do differently as a result of the workshop.  If after coming along to a workshop, they would like a one-to-one, then we’re more than happy to meet up with them.  But I tend to find that most people are happy that the workshop gave them an overview, and they just want to ask short, specific questions afterwards.  This approach makes delivering training more manageable than trying to offer lots of one-to-one sessions.

     We chase academics for full-text versions if they upload the details to Pure without a copy of the article itself. Although sometimes the academic doesn’t have a copy, it gives us the chance to engage in a conversation with the academic and explain to them why they need it for future articles.  Of the 2014-2015 journal and conference articles on Pure, approximately 90% of them have the full-text attached.

     Snapshot comparison between Scopus and Pure to get an estimate of the percentage of Portsmouth articles are missing from Pure. For example, if this comparison were to indicate that around 50% of our research articles may not be REF-eligible as they are missing from Pure, this would be difficult for the faculties to ignore.  We will complete this comparison each 3 months, and (hopefully!) see the percentage of articles in Pure rise.  The 3 monthly report, which is on an article level, is sent to research leads in faculties to help them chase their academics. I know there are limitations in this approach, not least Scopus’s patchy coverage of a few subject areas, but I feel that we need to start somewhere. The aim is not to get an incredibly accurate breakdown; instead, it’s to gauge or estimate our overall open access ‘performance’.

     Like most universities we have an openaccess generic email address. I’m starting to analyse the kind of questions we’re being asked. This is at an early stage, and it’s nothing more fancy than using the labels in gmail (our email system) to divide the emails into categories.  This is very quick to do, and should help us identify key themes in the issues academics are having, which inform the design of our website, training etc.

These are a few things we’re working on at Portsmouth. Some of them are very much a ‘work in progress’, and I’ve included them here to hopefully give people ideas.  

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Taking advantage of open access week to increase engagement at Nottingham Trent University (NTU)

Here Sharon Potter, one of the Research Support Librarians at NTU writes about what they did in OA week.

NTU OA Poster
NTU OA Poster

As anyone working in a UK university knows, open access week falls at an incredibly busy time in the academic cycle. Nevertheless, we wanted to take advantage of OA week as our open access advocacy plan stresses the need for a multi-pronged communication strategy. Within open access week we wanted to explore how well drop-in sessions could act as a supplement to the more formal sign-up sessions we provide as part of the wider Researcher Development Programme at NTU, so decided to run our standard one-hour session on open access and IRep (NTU’s institutional repository) followed by a two-hour drop-in slot providing researchers with the opportunity to ask questions around open access and upload their  documents into the repository.  With the offer of coffee, Kit-
Kats, and help from their friendly Research Support Librarians, we had good attendance
at our two largest sites.  The drop-in sessions were facilitated by three Research Support
Librarians who were kept busy from start to finish.  The range of help varied from a few
researchers asking general questions around copyright issues, to requesting help in
registering to use our online submission form and uploading documents. There was a
definite increase in IRep engagement after open access week, and one of my colleagues
was embedded into the research seminar slots for one of the Schools she supports as a
direct result of the OA week activities. Was it a success?  We think so!
Find out more about OA at NTU

Here at Oxford Brookes, OA content was promoted  on our institutional repository RADAR via OA teapot cat and a new twitter account was created specifically for open access @BrookesOA .

Our monthly biscuit bar for Learning Resources staff was hosted by the Scholarly Communications team during OA week providing an opportunity to update staff  on latest developments.
Find out more about OA at Oxfored Brookes

Monday 14 September 2015

Project Update September 2015

Following our successful workshop in May, the end of the academic year was upon us, some of the JISC OA pathfinders were realigned, and many of us took a well-earned summer break.

Institutional Baselining: Collaborative Assessment of Open Access (CIAO)

It's been a busy year for CIAO having been used in at least 50 HEIs in the UK.  Research Consulting conducted a series of regional workshops to review the key challenges that faced HEIs in implementing the REF OA policy. CIAO was used to aid identify and categorise the challenges. See

Over the summer months, many of the Pathfinders were on tour, meeting at various locations around the UK. In July a presentation was given at the Arma Good Practice workshop in York, followed by a presentation at the Loch workshop in Edinburgh in August, Attending thesepresentations has been a great way of finding out what is  going on around the UK and how we are tackling OA issues. Coming from a modern university with a growing research profile, it feels like we are just finding our way through a thicket and have the most empathy with similar universities such as Nottingham Trent, Portsmouth and Coventry.

With the Hefce amendments, then maybe now is a good time to re-examine your current procedures, using CIAO as a means of assessing them.

Lessons Learnt
One of the key things that has been learnt over the past year is nothing stands still, it seems that we are in continuous state of flux and people and systems need  to be flexible in order to adjust to changes. Last autumn here at Oxford Brookes, our Pro Vice- Chancellor research, Alistair Fitt offered to run 15 post REF roadshows which included coverage of the new Hefce OA  requirements. The most powerful part of the presentation was when he logged on to the CRIS  and uploaded the postprint version of one of his papers just to show how easy  it was and also to say that no matter who you are, it was the academics responsibility to add their research at the point of acceptance. Each academic that attended received a bookmark with some simple instructions. A good number of academics have since uploaded their publications, but it is now nearly a year ago since the roadshow and more advocacy needs to be done. That's where My Individual Assessment of Open Access (MIAO) – a tool for individuals to assess their readiness for open access could prove useful as an icebreaker at departmental meetings. Having produced a pilot version in March,  a fully editable one has now  been created which means that it can be adjusted to suit local needs. So that's the next job is to edit MIAO and add information that is Oxford Brookes specific. Here is the link to the editable versions of MIAO and CIAO. Any feedback would be helpful and any examples of MIAO's offspring.

Interviews, getting your timing right and researchers behaving badly
At the workshop in May, Nottingham Trent University reported on the results of the interviews that they conducted in December/January 2014/15 and work has been done over the summer to further analyse these. Meanwhile Portsmouth have also been conducting some interviews. At Oxford Brookes, it was decided to concentrate on the ethnographical interviews where researchers are interviewed about how they disseminate their research, how do they decide where to publish. Do they consider OA? It was decided to invite researchers who were in receipt of RCUK funding for interviews. email invitations went out at the end of May but the timing was wrong. It was the end of semester, exams needed to be marked and then researchers wanted to get on with their research. Not one positive reply was received. A case of researchers behaving badly! So invitations followed up with a phone call will be sent out again this month. Let's hope there’s a better response.

Our next project meeting is on 22 September so more specific information should be available after this date

Monday 10 August 2015

Research Support at Nottingham Trent

Here's a guest blog one of our associates, Ruth Stubbings who writes about how the Nottingham Trent University Library supports researchers and the reasons for getting involved with the 'Making Sense OA pathfinder project'.
Stop Press - the team is growing  - Research Data Manager wanted, closing date 23 August. more details

As in other Alliance Universities, the research agenda has continued to grow in prominence at NTU.  Support for research staff is offered through a range of teams and roles – the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, the Associate Deans for Research, Head of the Graduate School, School Research Coordinators, the College Research Support Teams, the Grant capture Team, the Graduate School, the Centre for Professional Learning and Development (CPLD), and Library & Learning Resources.

Within the library there has been a growing recognition that the research agenda at NTU was going to continue to develop, so in July 2014 a Library Research Team was created to provide dedicated support to research active staff.  Members of the Library Research Team were drawn from what was originally the Academic Liaison Team who had been responsible for supporting learning, teaching and research.

The Library Research Team consists of four members of staff who provide specialist support and advice to researchers in the following areas:

  •  How to find and trace subject specific information;
  • Managing research information, including the management of bibliographic references; standards for citing references and ethical use of information;
  • Managing their online identity:
  • Finding other research groups to collaborate with;
  • Advice on maximising and measuring the intellectual, scientific, economic, social and cultural impact of their research outputs

The Library Research Team work closely with:

  • Senior members of the university to develop new policies and procedures, especially in relation to open access publishing, measuring impact and research data management;
  • Other research support teams to provide support and guidance to research staff;
  • Researchers, both on a one-to-one, but also through research committees

Support is provided through:

  • Training sessions and workshops offered through the Research Continuing Professional Development Framework (NTU version of the RDF) and the Professional Research Practice Course for PGR students. Bespoke workshops and training sessions developed for Schools, Divisions and Research Groups, or cohorts of PGR students
  • One-to-one guidance
  • Library web pages aimed at Researchers:

The specialist support offered by the Library Research Team is held in high regard,
illustrated by a comment from Steph Walker, an Associate Dean for Research in November 2014 -

 “It is about relationship/partnership-building – I can see that my academic colleagues are beginning to see their Research Support Librarian as being an integrated part of their (research-oriented) team – and this can only be a very positive step as we move towards increasing our research-related activities”
 We wanted to be part of the Jisc Making sense project, because although we have a strong collaborative working relationship with research staff, we wished to develop a more in-depth understanding of how NTU researchers select where to publish, their views on Open Access (OA) and their publishing practices in relation to OA.  We believe the outcomes of the project will influence the development of tools and work flows to assist our researchers make their research outputs more readily available through OA publishing.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

CIAO and MIAO - fully editable versions are now available

CIAO and MIAO are at the Fringe 2015
Just had a stimulating couple of days at Repository Fringe here in Edinburgh where there was much talk about the role of repositories/ the CRIS, open access and research data management. Now going to the LOCH - Open Access for the REF Planning workshop and what better place to launch the fully editable versions of CIAO  -  and MIAO - . Both are now available as word documents which means that you can customise them to meet our own institutional needs. Adjustments to the Hefce policy means that we need to possibly tweak our message to academics slightly. Now you can edit MIAO  and tailor for your own institutional needs so that's what I will be doing on my return to Oxford Brookes. 

The change in the Hefce policy does gives us some time to ensure that all our resources and systems are in place so it may be time to review progress so far using the CIAO framework.

Good to see that there is a cat presence  at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015!

Friday 29 May 2015

Researcher behaviours revealed and their engagement with Open Access. What happened at the Open Access workshop on 20 May 2015, Oxford Brookes University

Around 50 delegates from UK universities attended the 'Uncovering researcher behaviours and engagement with Open Access' a Joint Jisc OA Good Practice Pathfinder Workshop for the Making Sense Project and the O2OA Project

The workshop was run with our project partners, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Portsmouth, and in co-operation with the O2OA project led by Coventry University.The event opened with a welcome and three provocations from our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alistair  Fitt. Attendees were then introduced to the outputs so far from each of the projects before moving on to identifying and analysing the barriers to OA compliance for researchers and formulating solutions.

Working with the O2OA Project we were able to take advantage of areas of mutual interest, particularly around the issue of behavioural change and how we can support our researchers.

Here's a link to a writeup of the day from one of the delegates, thanks to Jennifer Gallagher from Oxford University

and see how the day developed via tweets and images thanks to Alison McNab's storify.

The following presentations are now available from RADAR.
Morning Sessions
Jisc OA Good Practice - Sarah Fahmy
Researcher Behaviours and Attitudes – evidence so far. 
  • Making sense: a researcher centred approach to funder mandates
  • Project aims - perspectives and methodologies - Stuart Hunt, Oxford Brookes University
  • Open Access interviews - the practicalities, findings and conclusions Sharon Potter Nottingham Trent University
  • Making sense at Portsmouth - Andrew Simpson,University of Portsmouth
  • What next? - ethnographical interviews and cultural probes - Rowena Rouse, Oxford Brookes University

Groupwork - OA – Understanding what needs to change and how

  •  Individual brainstorm: write down on post-it notes all the problems with OA that they are currently experiencing.
  • Group reviews all problems and group them as:

  1. Problem from university perspective (e.g. ‘academics don’t deposit)
  2. Problem from researcher perspective (e.g. academics unclear on Green vs Gold)
  3. If both, break it down into what the problem is for each group

  • Group identifies top 3 university problems and top 3 researcher problems: discussion - are they the same problems? Are there additional problems? 
  • Group selects top 3 researcher problems to take forward to the afternoon session 
Open to Open Access (O2OA) - Julie Bayley, Coventry University
Using intervention development approaches: intervention mapping - Julie Bayley, Coventry University

Groupwork : Practical Intervention Mapping

The resources that delegates were supplied with are now available from RADAR and include the following:

Tools and techniques for effective understanding and communication
  • CIAO
  • MIAO
  • Interview Questions from NTU
  • Coding from NTU
  • Hefce poster – Portsmouth
  • Researcher Lifecycle – Northampton
  • Open Access and your published paper – Northampton
  • Intervention Mapping – worksheet and grid 

Monday 23 March 2015

Booking open: Uncovering researcher behaviours and engagement with Open Access, 20 May, Oxford Brookes University

Booking is now open for 

Uncovering researcher behaviours and engagement with Open Access: a Joint JISC OA Good Practice Pathfinder Workshop for the Making Sense Project and the O2OA Project

on Wednesday 20 May, to be held in the recently opened John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University 

Follow this link to book a place

Last April the Hefce report - Policy on open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (2014/7) highlighted the need for behaviour change if researchers are to engage with the OA agenda. One year on, what have institutions done to encourage behaviour change?  

Do you want to understand researchers better? 

Do you want to learn new techniques to embed culture change and improve your services? 

Come and hear about how you can use ethnography and behavioural change analysis to understand your researchers, analyse your current practices and achieve the behaviour change required. 

 At this workshop, participants will: 
  • Learn about techniques and methodologies to investigate researcher behaviours 
  • Share their own experiences and learn from others' strategies for implementing open access 
  • Gain practical experience of analysing and interpreting OA problems using intervention mapping 
  • Be equipped with a range of tools to apply in their own institutions 
Target Audience 
Librarians, research managers and administrators involved in implementing open access in their institutions We also welcome the participation of researchers who are able to share their thoughts on what OA means to them. 

9.30 Registration 
10.00 Welcome. Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University 
10.15 - 11.15 Researcher Behaviours and Attitudes – evidence so far. The Making Sense project and the O2OA project . 
11.15 - 11.30 Break 
11.30 -12.30 Groupwork - OA – Understanding what needs to change and how  

12.30 – 1:30 Lunch 

1.30 - 1.50 Introduction to Intervention mapping - Julie Bayley, O2OA Project Manager
1.50 - 2.50 Practical intervention mapping
2.50 - 3-30 Tools and techniques for effective understanding and communication

3.30 Q&A and close

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Making Sense: Project Update March 2015

Open Access Base lining

Having launched CIAO - Collaborative Institutional  Assessment of Open Access in November last year, we now have evidence that a number of institutions have already used it and have fed back comments. So far there have been 193 clicks on the link to CIAO and Zoe Clark from Edge Hill University has sent this feedback:
'When I first saw CIAO I was delighted as it is just what  I needed to establish where we needed to go with OA. So it is an excellent guide in that respect as I was worried there were areas of OA I may be blissfully unaware of, so CIAO re-assured me which areas needed to be covered. I sent a copy to the Head of our Research Office, and we then met to go through it. It was a really good document to have in the meeting, as it meant we did not need to define for ourselves what we needed to do, we just needed to work through CIAO to see what progress we had already made, and what we still needed to do. It made the meeting really straightforward – and we were able to agree what progress we had already made with OA and identify areas that needed more work.'   (Zoe Clark from Edge Hill University)
Following on from this, we launched MIAO My Individual Assessement of Open access in February 2015 which is a self-assessment tool aimed at researchers so that they can gauge for themselves what they know about Open Access and how do they think their institution is supporting them with Open Access. We haven't had any feedback from this yet but there have been 93 clicks on the link.

Having a Design team available within Learning Resources has helped us immensely in creating attractive outputs. As we now have a series of outputs and there will be more then we now have some feline project branding.

Highlighting how universities work in different ways, we decided early on in the project that here at Oxford Brookes, having recently completed 90 interviews for research data management that we wouldn't conduct any more interviews straight away but both Nottingham Trent University and Portsmouth University were keen to conduct some interviews to get a sense of researcher  attitudes to open access. For Nottingham Trent, it was an opportunity for their newly formed dedicated research support team within the library to get to know their researchers and raise awareness of their services. The team  managed to conduct 50 interviews across faculties which were recorded, transcribed and are now being coded.

Learning from each other - preparing for our workshop on 20th May
At the end of last week we set aside two days to talk about our results so far and planning for the workshop on 20th May. To me this is all about the value of being part of a pathfinder project and so having the excuse of discussing with colleagues from other institutions what they are doing to support open access, why are they doing it that way and what can we learn from this. On the second day we invited Julie Bayley along from Coventry (O2OA  pathfinder) , who has extensive experience of behaviour change with health, and we are collaborating with her on 'intervention mapping for OA' which we will be sharing at the workshop.

Looking ahead
The programme for the our workshop will be announced on 20 March. Intervention mapping is being tested with Portsmouth University and coding continues at Nottingham Trent. At Oxford Brookes, the first ethnographical interview has been conducted and the feline family is expanding as we  develop our cultural probes for the longitudinal study of researcher behaviour around the publishing process.

Thursday 19 February 2015

MIAO - My Individual Assessment of Open Access

Introducing  MIAO - My Individual Assessment of Open Access

MIAO is self-assessment tool for researchers to assess how prepared they think they, and their institution, are for Open Access (OA) compliance. This is based on CIAO - Collaborative Institutional Assessment of Open Access - a benchmarking tool for assessing institutional readiness for Open Access (OA) compliance. It can be downloaded   from .

How can it be used?
You can download it and print it out on  an A4 sheet of paper and then get researchers to rate themselves. I'm planning to use it with new researchers to gauge  OA awareness when they join Oxford Brookes.  We may also use it as an ice-breaker with smaller groups of researchers. Note this is the pilot version so we are interested in any feedback and how other institutions have used it.

We are planning to create a form so that the survey can be conducted online and we can collect the data too.