6,000 and counting: Cambridge Vice-Chancellor joins Stephen Hawking in making his PhD ‘Open Access’

University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, has become the 6,000th graduate of the 810-year-old university to make his thesis freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, via Open Access …

The announcement of the 6,000th thesis also coincides with the ratification and publication of the University’s position statement on Open Research, which has been published here. The University statement sets out the key principles for the conduct and support of Open Research at the University of Cambridge, which aims to increase inclusivity and collaboration, unlock access to knowledge and improve the transparency and reproducibility of research….”

Open Research Position Statement | Scholarly Communication

Open Research Working Group – Position statement on Open Research: Approved by Research Policy Committee at its meeting on 22 November 2018 and by the General Board of the Faculties on 16 January 2019….

2.1 The University recognises contributions from researchers at all career stages, working collaboratively across a wide range of disciplines. Across the disciplinary spectrum there are a wide range of cultural settings that influence both capacity for and appropriateness of fully Open Research. Open publications and open data l take different forms, and require different approaches, in each of these settings. The University supports the academic freedom of researchers to pursue new knowledge, and to choose the means of dissemination; but within that free choice, the University encourages outputs of research, and where appropriate the accompanying data, to be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

2.2 The University relies on its researchers to uphold principles of scholarly rigour so that open materials are of the highest research quality and, where appropriate, will aid reproducibility. This may include:

 

  • where possible, ensuring all publications are Open Access;
  • where appropriate and possible, making openly available the underlying data relating to these publications;
  • sharing protocols openly;
  • collaborative approaches including blogging, online editions, releasing teaching materials, pre-print deposit….”

‘A truly exciting time’ | Research Information

Danny Kingsley, deputy director at Cambridge University Library, looks back at her early days at Australian National University – and forward to the many challenges facing librarians…

My PhD looked at why researchers overwhelmingly said that open access was a good idea, yet only 10 to 15 per cent of research was openly available. My findings (spoiler alert) were that disciplinary differences are incredibly important and that whatever solution you offer to the research community will need to be easy to use, not the risk status quo and demonstrate clear improvement to, and greater benefit than, the current system. (I’m not sure we have cracked that, by the way.)…

One of the advantages of working at Cambridge has been that it provides a huge stage: rightly or wrongly, what happens at Cambridge is big news. So we have been able to accelerate progress across the sector by acting openly, transparently and inclusively….

The nine strong open access team [at U of Cambridge] process more than 1,000 articles a month into our institutional repository, and answer thousands of queries from our research community. …

[T]he significant focus on open access and, increasingly, open research, potentially puts the library once more at the heart of the institution….”

Report presented to Research Councils UK for article processing charges managed by the University of Cambridge, 2017-2018

“This Excel spreadsheet records the applications made for open access article processing charges (APCs) through the Research Councils UK (RCUK) block grant at the University of Cambridge, via the Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Library, between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.”

Cambridge’s journey towards Open Access

“Presentation given at Open Repositories 2017, Brisbane, Australia. General track 13: Evaluation and assessment. This presentation discusses the open agenda supported by funder policies in the United Kingdom (UK), how these policies interact with one another and the resulting implications for higher education institutions using the case study of the University of Cambridge. The University of Cambridge has responded to the challenges of open research by founding the Office of Scholarly Communication and dedicating specialized teams to manage compliance with both Open Access and research data requirements. Since 2013 the Open Access Service has processed over 10,000 article submissions and spent more than £7 million on article processing charges. The experiences at Cambridge in responding to these challenges are an important lesson for anyone engaged in open research. This talk offers some insights into a potential way to manage funder mandates, but also acts as a cautionary tale for other countries and institutions considering introducing mandates around Open Access and what the implementation of certain policies might entail. The skills around management of open policies are significantly different to traditional library activity, and this has implications for training and recruitment of staff.”