RIN to wind up

A decade after we first started at the British Library, and four years since we established ourselves as an independent Community Interest Company, the RIN will wind up at the end of December 2015. It’s been a great time for all of us involved in the RIN, and we like to think we’ve made some important contributions to changing policy and practice in many areas of scholarly communications. The three of us who now work at RIN – Michael Jubb, Stéphane Goldstein and Ellen Collins – are looking to pursue new opportunities in the various areas of scholarly and research communications, and information literacy, in which we have built up expertise. Please contact one of us if you would like to talk about such opportunities.

Monitoring the transition to OA: new report

A report has been published on monitoring the transition towards Open Access in the UK. Commissioned by the Universities UK (UUK) OA Co-ordinating Group and produced by a team of experts led by RIN, further details about the report may be found here. Findings include:
  • There has been strong growth in both the availability of OA options for authors, and in their take-up.
  • UK authors are ahead of world averages, particularly in their take-up of the OA option in hybrid journals, and in their posting of articles on websites, repositories and other online services.
  • Take-up of OA publishing models means that universities’ expenditure on article processing charges (APCs) has increased too, and it now represents a significant proportion of their total expenditure on journals.
  • It is too early to assess the extent of any impact of OA on the finances of learned societies.

It is hoped that this comprehensive piece of work will provide useful evidence and a solid basis for the further elaboration of OA policies and practices among higher education institutions and publishers.

New project on value of IL for employers

InformAll, in association with the University of Manchester, has been awarded a grant to undertake a small-scale study on determining the value of information literacy for employers. The award, from the CILIP IL Group Research Bursary scheme, will fund a project which will run from March to June 2015. Its purpose is to develop a methodology that will allow for the identification of quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate the benefits of developing information literacy in workplace settings and assess the return on investment  of such initiatives.

For further information, click here.

Impact of Jisc Managing Research Data programme

In collaboration with Loughborough University, RIN has undertaken a high-level analysis of the initial impact of the Jisc Managing Research Data (MRD) programme. This takes the form of a mapping between the deployment of research data management (RDM) policies and practices in UK universities (as described in a recent Loughbrough study covering 38 institutions), and the incidence of institutional project funding from the Jisc MRD programme.

The brief analysis is described in a series of posts on Loughborough University’s Research Data Management blog (see entries dated 8, 26 and 27 November). Not surprisingly, this suggests correlation between the RDM-readiness of institutions and those that have received Jisc funding from the programme over its duration, between 2009 and 2013.

This is no more than an initial assessment, and we welcome reactions about how further work might be undertaken to provide robust evidence on the benefits of the Jisc programme. For further information, please contact [email protected] .

Implementing the recommendations of the Finch report


Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: A Review of Progress in Implementing the Recommendations of the Finch Report

The Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings – the Finch Group – has today published a review of progress in implementing the recommendations of its original Report which was published in June 2012. That original Report  – Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: how to expand access to research publications  – recommended a series of measures to accelerate and manage a transition to open access (OA) over an extended period that would be characterised by a mixed economy that would provide OA via a variety of routes, along with extensions to current licensing arrangements.

The review is based on a rigorous analysis of evidence from a wide range of sources. It finds that research funders, universities, libraries, learned societies and publishers have all made substantial moves to facilitate and promote the transition to the kind of mixed economy we advocated. The policy positions adopted by the Government, Research Councils UK, and the UK Funding Bodies – and the responses to those policies from universities, publishers and learned societies – mean that there is now real momentum behind the moves to OA across all parts of the scholarly communications system.

Much still remains to be done, of course; and in some areas, as we anticipated, the progress in implementing our recommendations has been mixed, and has given rise to issues and problems that have not as yet been fully resolved. It is important that all the key stakeholders should continue to work together to resolve those issues and to ensure that the UK continues to benefit from world-leading research communications services. Our key recommendation is that a formal co-ordinating structure should be established to avoid duplication of effort and divergent work-streams; to deal with problems as they arise; to develop an interoperable system of repositories and an infrastructure that supports both Gold and Green OA; to monitor the impact of OA policies on  learned societies; to co-ordinate communications with the research community;  and to oversee the collection and analysis of data from different parties in order to create the evidence base that is essential to the further development of effective policies.

Dame Janet Finch said, “I am delighted that our review demonstrates the rapid progress that has been made over the past year, and the co-operation that is evident across all the major players involved in research publications. It is pleasing that all parties agree on the need to continue and cement that co-operation in a formal framework  that I am sure will bring further progress towards the kind of open access environment that we all wish to see.”