Optimising the UK’s university research infrastructure assets – Jisc

“This summary report brings together a range of perspectives from the UK’s higher education, research and innovation sector and stakeholder organisations.

It highlights some opportunities for collective approaches to optimise the use, sharing, efficiency and sustainability of research infrastructure assets, from the perspective of stakeholders in universities, regional consortia, funders and sector bodies from across the UK. It is intended as the beginning of a conversation and is for anyone interested in the opportunities we have identified….”

New Jisc research infrastructure assets report will drive collaboration | Jisc

“For the first time, UKRI-funded report brings together views of 15 major stakeholders from across the UK research community.

To gain an unprecedented insight into the UK’s academic research infrastructure assets, Jisc has collected the views of leading bodies from across the sector.

The new report, Optimising the UK’s university research infrastructure assets, aims to help identify more opportunities for collaboration, attracting investment, developing skills and reducing bureaucracy.

The UK’s university research infrastructure assets include equipment, facilities and the laboratories commissioned for research use across all disciplines.

The report outlines a range of perspectives from interviews with leaders and experts at 15 groups and stakeholder organisations from the UK’s higher education, research and innovation sector.

It highlights opportunities for new collaborative approaches to optimise the use, sharing, efficiency and sustainability of research infrastructure assets, and was funded by UK Research and Innovation.

The report identifies four key areas of opportunity for the research sector, which it recommends should receive extra investment to promote knowledge exchange and the commercialisation of research and development….”

OASPA Equity in Open Access Workshop 1 Report | Zenodo

“This first OASPA workshop in the Equity in Open Access series took place on 7 March 2023, with publishers, librarians, funders, and other stakeholders. Participants came from a wide range of countries: Bangladesh, China, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Malawi, Morocco, Norway, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, the UK, the USA, and Zambia.

Participants discussed why equity is important, current challenges to global equity, examples of good practice, and priorities for increasing equity in OA.”

Report from Equity in Open Access workshop 1: the APC debate, reflections and rainbows – OASPA

“One consensus view that emerged from the conversations was that APCs (Article Processing / Publishing Charges) are a barrier to participation in OA publishing for authors in every region. This was in line with the global views OASPA has been gathering that were shared earlier this year. 

OASPA notes a raft of evidence and views supporting the problematic nature of the APC, from this 2020 commentary to this 2022 review and this 2022 study stating that open access is leading to closed research. 

OASPA also notes this 2019 blog post that asserts “unfairness lies at the core of the APC problem”, and talks about particular disadvantages to scholars based in the Global South. This 2020 study examining content published by US-based researchers between 2014 and 2018 in over 25,000 academic journals reveals that, in general, the likelihood for a scholar to author an APC-OA article “increases with male gender, employment at a prestigious institution, association with a STEM discipline, greater federal research funding, and more advanced career stage (i.e., higher professorial rank).” Meanwhile, we know that authors from the Global South are underrepresented in journals charging APCs from this study in December 2021. 

The APC model, and publisher deals that rely on APC-based computation, are therefore in danger of reinforcing a pattern of exclusive participation in open access. OA done this way leaves out the vast majority of the world’s researchers….

In other words, if APCs are inequitable, then so are fully-OA agreements (pure-publish) and transformative agreements (Read & Publish) when these are struck without principles of global inclusion and equity at their core….”

Open Access in Berlin und Brandenburg : Klappe, die zweite

Thanks to various measures, the Berlin-Brandenburg region is very active and present when it comes to OA. One feature of this commitment is numerous exchange and communication formats. The virtual Open Access Week “Quo Vadis Open Science”, which runs from November 2021 to March 2022, is an example of this.

New from WorldFAIR: Cross-national Social Sciences survey FAIR implementation case studies report – CODATA, The Committee on Data for Science and Technology

“New from the WorldFAIR project (https://worldfair-project.eu/), this report provides an overview of the data harmonisation practices of comparative (cross-national) social surveys, through case studies of: (1) the European Social Survey (ESS) and (2) a satellite study, the Australian Social Survey International – European Social Survey (AUSSI-ESS).  To do this, we compare and contrast the practices between the Australian Data Archive and Sikt.no, the organisations responsible for the data management of ESS and AUSSI-ESS.

The case studies consider the current data management and harmonisation practices of study partners in the ESS, including an analysis of the current practices with FAIR data standards, particularly leveraging FAIR Information Profiles (FIPs) and FAIR Enabling Resources (FERs).

The comparative analysis of the two case studies considers key similarities and differences in the management of the two data collections. Core differences in the use of standards and accessible, persistent registry services are highlighted, as these impact on the potential for shared, integrated reuse of services and content between the two partner organisations.

The report concludes with a set of recommended practices for improved management and automation of ESS data going forward—setting the stage for Phase 2 of WorldFAIR Work Package 6—and outlines the proposed means for implementing this management in the two partner organisations.

These recommendations focus on three areas of shared interest:
• Aligning standards
• Establishing common tools
• Establishing and using registries
in order to advance implementation of the FAIR principles, and to improve interoperability and reusability of digital data in social sciences research….”

Publication of the French National Fund for Open Science’s activity report

The French National Fund for Open Science’s first activity report provides a summary of the work carried out over the 2019-2021 period covered by the first National Plan for Open Science.

The National Fund for Open Science (FNSO) set up in 2019 is one of the first major achievements deriving from the First French Plan for Open Science. It is a scientific interest group managed by the CNRS’s Open Research Data Department. Its governance has been entrusted to a Steering Committee made up of the heads of France’s main higher education and research institutions and chaired by Claire Giry, the Director General of Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

French National Fund for Open Science activity report

“The first report on the French National Fund for Open Science (FNSO) activities covers the period 2020-2021.

After reminding us of the organisation and the functioning of the scientific interest group, the origin and the amount of the financial resources, the activity report presents the results of its actions for the period. In order to financially sustain projects and initiatives contributing to the development of open science, the FNSO has set up two key actions: calls for projects, where projects are financed after a selection process, and direct financial support to initiatives structuring the open science landscape. These actions are complemented by dedicated funding.

The activity report concludes with the commitments of the FNSO for the period 2022-2023…”

WorldFAIR and a Festival of Data – Looking back on 2022 and forward to 2023: a report on CODATA activities and achievements | Zenodo

“WorldFAIR and a Festival of Data, looks back on 2022 and forward to 2023.  It provides a report on CODATA activities and achievements and highlights the most important upcoming events.

2022 has been another busy and successful year for the CODATA community.  We are very grateful for your committed collaboration and engagement with our mission.  As a global, membership organisation, CODATA depends on the generosity of our funders and collaborators and the often voluntary efforts of committee, Task Group and Working Group members.  

In 2023, the International Data Week theme will be ‘a festival of data’ and an occasion to celebrate the richness and diversity of our community.  That starts with this expression of gratitude.  We are very fortunate to have an extremely committed group of Officers and Executive Committee members, dynamic leadership throughout our various initiatives and a secretariat that works beyond the call of duty.  Through all these factors, and more, CODATA is genuinely greater than the sum of its parts and achieves a great deal more than our budget would suggest.

As is customary, we would like to provide a summary of activities and achievements and take the opportunity to alert you to events in the coming year.  This is a genuinely exciting time, as we see the vision for a Decadal Programme on Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges begin to come into fruition with the WorldFAIR project, a set of related Case Studies, and important work on units, vocabularies and a Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework.  Also notable is new impetus and direction for our International Data Policy Committee and the new International Programme Office to support the Open Science initiatives.

The report published here ended up a bit longer than intended!  I hope it provides an informative and interesting snapshot of CODATA activities.  An updated version and a revised CODATA Strategy will be published in 2023 in preparation for our General Assembly, Salzburg, Austria, 27-28 October.”

Curry, Gadd, and Wilsdon (2022) Harnessing the Metric Tide: indicators, infrastructures & priorities for UK responsible research assessment.

posted on 2022-12-12, 06:12 authored by Stephen Curry, Elizabeth Gadd, James Wilsdon

This review was commissioned by the joint UK higher education (HE) funding bodies as part of the Future Research Assessment Programme (FRAP). It revisits the findings of the 2015 review The Metric Tide to take a fresh look at the use of indicators in research management and assessment.  While this review feeds into the larger FRAP process, the authors have taken full advantage of their independence and sought to stimulate informed and robust discussion about the options and opportunities of future REF exercises. The report should be read in that spirit: as an input to ongoing FRAP deliberations, rather than a reflection of their likely or eventual conclusions. The report is written in three sections. Section 1 plots the development of the responsible research assessment agenda since 2015 with a focus on the impact of The Metric Tide review and progress against its recommendations. Section 2 revisits the potential use of metrics and indicators in any future REF exercise, and proposes an increased uptake of ‘data for good’. Section 3 considers opportunities to further support the roll-out of responsible research assessment policies and practices across the UK HE sector. Appendices include an overview of progress against the recommendations of The Metric Tide and a literature review. We make ten recommendations targeted at different actors in the UK research system, summarised as:  1: Put principles into practice.  2: Evaluate with the evaluated.  3: Redefine responsible metrics.  4: Revitalise the UK Forum. 5: Avoid all-metric approaches to REF.  6: Reform the REF over two cycles.  7: Simplify the purposes of REF. 8: Enhance environment statements. 9: Use data for good.  10: Rethink university rankings. 

What LPC accomplished under our first strategic plan | Library Publishing Coalition

by Melanie Schlosser

LPC’s current 5-year strategic plan (PDF) is winding down. Published in summer 2018, it was our young community’s first concrete statement of our strategic goals. From LPC’s seed-funded project period (2013-14) through our first two years as a full-fledged membership association (2015-2017), we relied for guidance on our original scoping materials and focused much of our energy on getting the community’s infrastructure and ongoing programs on solid footing. By 2017, it had become apparent that we were ready to think more strategically about the future and put in the work to make sure we were pulling in the same directions across the community. The strategic planning process we undertook was a traditional one, involving a SWOT Analysis, an environmental scan, and community consultation. The outcome was a traditional 5-year strategic plan consisting of three goals, with nested objectives and action items.



Library Publishing Coalition: Annual Report 2021-2022

“While scholarly publishing is a core function of academia, the commercial companies that have traditionally controlled a majority of publications often hold values that run counter to those of the faculty whose work they publish. This includes the publication of content behind paywalls, which ties breadth of dissemination to profits. In efforts to better serve their parent institutions, faculty, and the common good, libraries began establishing publishing programs that support the publication needs and efforts of their institution while maximizing access to publications. While each library publishing program differs in its structure, goals, and focus, these programs build on the skills of librarians in scholarship, metadata, and publishing, and align with the values of their institutions, often prioritizing open access, open source software, and new and emerging publication types. This scaffolding and expertise ensure that those producing the scholarship have increased control over the production, publication, and ownership of their publications….”