A new book the Future of Scholarly Communication, edited by Deborah Shorley and Michael Jubb, was published by Facet Publishing at the beginning of April. It aims to provide an overview of a huge and complex topic; and it draws together contributions from a wide range of specialists on subjects ranging from sharing research in chemistry, cybertaxonomy, and qualitiative research in the humanities and social sciences, to the changing roles of publishers, editors, libraries and research funders. Only the foolish would dare to predict precisely what the future holds for scholarly communication; but we hope the book will be of interest to librarians, publishers, research funders, universities, and all who have a stake in that future.
Under the auspices of strand 4 of the RIDLs initiative, RIN will be contributing to a workshop on the digitial futures of HEIs, run by the UK Council for Higher Education (UKCGE), in Manchester on 17 January 2013. This contribution will take the form of a session on facilitating research in an informed world, which is intended to help researchers and institutions develop an understanding of how they can promote better knowledge about research information issues. Futher details about the event can be found here.
A two-day workshop on ‘Implementing Finch’, organised by the Academy of Social Sciences, has been taking place over the past two days, 29-30 November. Janet Finch chaired the first day, and speakers included Dame Lynne Brindley and Rita Gardner of the Royal Geographical Society, who was a member of the Finch Group. RIN’s Ellen Collins has blogged about the event. No doubt we shall hear more about the discussions in due course. In the meantime, the presentations and an audio record of an earlier discussion meeting for learned societies in the humanities and social sciences on open access and its implications are now available on the British Academy’s website. Michael Jubb was among the speakers.
We undertook a study in August and September on the processes involved in the payment of APCs for open access publications, and the scope for improving efficiency and effectiveness by the use of intermediaries. The study involved workshops and interiews with a range of universities, publishers, funders, and possible intermediaries including subscription agents, reproduction rights organisations, a start-up company, and JISC Collections. The report has now been published and is available here.
We would like to apologise to users who may have experienced problems in accessing parts of the RIN website these past few days. Unfortunately, we were the victims of an automated hacking attack, which temporarily replaced some of our content with malicious material. The issue has now been resolved, and the site is now functioning normally again – with enhanced security features, to reduce the risk of this happening again.
Thank you for your understanding!
Some of you may be interested in a new volume of 20 essays, edited by Robert Campbell, Ed Pentz and Ian Borthwick, on the key trends and challenges in scholarly publishing. It includes a chapter by Michael Jubb on the scholarly ecosystem, which examines trends in the funding of research; how and where research is conducted; how researchers both create and consume information in the course of their research; and how the resesarch process is changing in different disciplines.
The Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs), which is coordinated by RIN, has formulated a draft set of criteria to help training practitioners in higher education describe and assess their training and development interventions and resources. These criteria relate to all interventions aimed at developing researchers’ information-handling knowledge, skills and competencies, whether in the form of face-to-face sessions/courses or digital/online resources.
From September 2012, the criteria are being tested in a number of environments, with RIDLs members using their networking capacity to promote selected piloting; On the basis of this trialling and of perceived need, it is anticipated that they will be refined and adapted further, ready for further dissemination and, we hope, more widespread usage, from the early part of 2013.
If you feel that you would like to try out the criteria within your own institutions, please do not hesitate to do so. For further information, including a copy of the document, please click here.
Research Fortnight published on 25 July a ‘View from the top’ article by Michael Jubb responding to some of the crticisms of the Finch Report and setting out the rational underlying some of its recommendations. The full text of the article is available from the link below
Recruitment of a project officer, digital scholarship and information literacy – September 2012-December 2013
RIN and SCONUL seek to recruit a Project Officer to deliver a small number of key outputs relating to the development of digital scholarship skills for researchers and information professionals. £10,000 is available for this activity which is anticipated to require 40 days’ work undertaken on a flexible basis expected to conclude by December 2013.
This project, which amounts to 40 days’ work over the above period, aims to deliver a small number of key outputs contributing to a wider investigation into the support available to students, staff and researchers to enhance digital literacy.
Further information can be found here.
The Government announced on 16 July 2012 that it has accepted the recommendations of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch. The RIN provided the secretariat and drafted the report Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications which was published on 18 June. The full Government response accepts all the report’s recommendations and looks to the Funding Councils and Research Councils to implement them in consultation with universities, research institutions, researchers and publishers.
Research Councils UK have also announced a new open access policy to come into effect for all research articles submitted for funding from 1 April 2013 that arise from Research Council funding. The policy includes new arrangements, in the form of block grants paid to UK Higher Education Institutions, approved independent research organisations and Research Council Institutes to support payment of the Article Processing Charges (APCs) associated with Gold open access. Universities and other institutions will be expected to set-up and manage their own publication funds.
The Higher Education Funding Councils have announced that they are developing proposals for implementing a requirement that research outputs submitted to a REF or similar exercise after 2014 shall be as widely accessible as may be reasonably achievable at the time; and that they will consult their partners in research funding, and a wide range of other interested bodies, before finalising their plans.
Dame Janet Finch has issued astatement, below, welcoming these developments.
Implementation of the Finch Group’s recommendations will require co-ordinated action from all the key stakeholders in the research and scholarly communications landscape. The Group itself will meet in a year’s time to review progress.