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.