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