Birkbeck plays leading role in project set to increase access of valuable research to the general public — Birkbeck, University of London

“Open Book Futures (OBF) is a new project working to increase access to valuable research through developing and supporting organisations, tools and practices that will enable both academics and the wider public to make more and better use of books published on an Open Access basis. In particular, the project aims to achieve a step change in how community-owned Open Access book publishing is delivered. 

Funded by Arcadia and the Research England Development (RED) Fund, the project marks a shift in the ambition, scope and impact of community-owned Open Access book publishing. It will significantly increase and improve the quantity, discoverability, preservation and accessibility of academic content freely and easily available to all.  

This will be done by building the infrastructures, business models, networks and resources that are needed to deliver a future for Open Access books, led not by large commercial operations but by communities of scholars, small-to-medium-sized publishers, not-for-profit infrastructure providers, and scholarly libraries.  

This includes expanding the work of the recently launched Open Book Collective, which makes it easier for academic libraries to provide direct financial support to Open Access publishing initiatives, as well as the Thoth metadata management platform; the Opening the Future revenue model, piloted with Central European University Press and Liverpool University Press; and the forthcoming Experimental Publishing Compendium….”

Advancing a publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication ecosystem based on the principles of open science

“Joint response by the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe, Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA), Association of ERC Grantees (AERG), Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), cOAlition S, OPERAS, and French National Research Agency (ANR). We welcome the adoption by the Council of the European Union (EU) of the conclusions on highquality, transparent, open, trustworthy, and equitable scholarly publishing. As key public research and innovation actors in Europe, we are committed to supporting the development of a publicly owned, not-for-profit scholarly communication ecosystem in collaboration with policymakers in Europe and beyond….”

OER as Catalyst for Business-University Cooperation

“The event will be an opportunity to discuss the results of the Encore+ Network activities of the past 3 years and to jointly reflect on how open educational resources and practices can contribute to business-university cooperation (& entrepreneurialism).”

Complying with the UKRI open access policy: member experiences – Jisc

“Complying with the UKRI open access policy: member experiences

Representatives from three HEI libraries will share their experiences of implementing the UKRI OA policy at their institution.”

Project TARA | DORA

“Project TARA is supported by a generous three-year grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It will help DORA identify, understand, and make visible the criteria and standards universities use to make hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. This information will be used to create resources and practical guidance on research assessment reform for academic and scholarly institutions.”

Die Berlin University Alliance tritt der Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) bei • Berlin University Alliance

From Google’s English:  “The process of reforming the research assessment of the European Union is supported by well-known national and international scientific organizations, and the BUA will help shape it in the future.

The excellence network of the three Berlin universities, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin has the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment effective April 26, 2023 and is therefore a member of the international Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA).

Since the publication of the agreement on July 20, 2022, this agreement has been signed by almost 500 scientific organizations, both universities and non-university research institutions as well as specialist societies and research sponsors, including the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the European Research Council (ERC).

The science organizations represented in CoARA are united by the goal of jointly initiating a cultural change in research assessment and developing and establishing new principles of research assessment.”

Harnessing the Metric Tide: indicators, infrastructures & priorities for UK responsible research assessment

“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….”

English – Knowledge Equity Network

“For Higher Education Institutions

Publish a Knowledge Equity Statement for your institution by 2025, incorporating tangible commitments aligned with the principles and objectives below.
Commit to institutional action(s) to support a sustained increase of published educational material being open and freely accessible for all to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research.
Commit to institutional action(s) to support a sustained increase of new research outputs being transparent, open and freely accessible for all, and which meet the expectations of funders.
Use openness as an explicit criteria in reaching hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions. Reward and recognise open practices across both research and research-led education. This should include the importance of interdisciplinary and/or collaborative activities, and the contribution of all individuals to activities.
Define Equity, Diversity and Inclusion targets that will contribute towards open and inclusive Higher Education practices, and report annually on progress against these targets.
To create new mechanisms in and between Higher Education Institutions that allow for further widening participation and increased diversity of staff and student populations.
Review the support infrastructure for open Higher Education, and invest in the human, technical, and digital infrastructure that is needed to make open Higher Education a success.
Promote the use of open interoperability principles for any research or education software/system that you procure or develop, explicitly highlighting the option of making all or parts of content open for public consumption.
Ensure that all research data conforms to the FAIR Data Principles: ‘findable’, accessible, interoperable, and re-useable.

For Funding Agencies

Publish a statement that open dissemination of research findings is a critical component in evaluating the productivity and integrity of research.
Incorporate open research practices into assessment of funding proposals.
Incentivise the adoption of Open Research through policies, frameworks and mandates that require open access for publications, data, and other outputs, with as liberal a licence as possible for maximum reuse.
Actively manage funding schemes to support open infrastructures and open dissemination of research findings, educational resources, and underpinning data.
Explicitly define reward and recognition mechanisms for globally co-produced and co-delivered open educational resources that benefit society….”


Knowledge Equity Network – Knowledge Equity Network

Imagine a world in which human knowledge is shared more equitably. Imagine what we can achieve if we work together.

We are a collaborative community of engaged institutions, organisations and individuals across the world. We need to act intentionally to change the way we share knowledge to make the most meaningful impact, for the benefit of all.

Our goal is to tackle global challenges through opening access to ground-breaking research and research-led, challenge-focused education.

We live in a time of climate crisis, economic instability, inequity, poverty and forced population displacements. These are challenges that threaten the health and wellbeing of people all over the world.

The global Higher Education sector can tackle these challenges, but only when knowledge is shared, unhindered by barriers of cost, time or national borders.

The Knowledge Equity Network encourages collaboration over competition in a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion and openness. We believe transformational change is possible.

Working in a global partnership and by sharing the power of knowledge, we will create a fairer and better world.”

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….”

Opening New Paths to Technology Transfer: Open Science, Intellectual Property, and Technology Transfer

“I help Canadian neuroscience research institutes create and adopt an institute-level approach to open science. Inevitably, I end up talking to researchers, administrators, academic commercialization offices, and businesses about open science, intellectual property (IP), and technology transfer. I’ve written this blog post to highlight some examples of what is possible outside of the standard approach in the hope that it gets some people thinking about the much broader horizon of technology transfer that could exist.

These conversations can become a little… tense. The fact of the matter is that the value of freedom that is central to open science (i.e. freedom to access, freedom to use, freedom to adapt and remix) is in direct tension with IP. The basic purpose of IP is to take the most important right from standard property law–the right to exclude others from accessing or using something you own–and import it into the world of information….

When you are making physical tools this approach is known as “open hardware”. There are numerous examples, including the Miniscope,[4] OpenBCI,[5] OpenTrons,[6] the Glia Project,[7] OpenFlexure,[8] and FarmBot.[9]…

One thing that gives me hope is that if you look at the website of most TTOs and navigate to their mission statement you likely won’t find anything about patents or other forms of IP. What you will find is that they exist to help make sure that inventions are transferred out into the world in a way that produces economic and social good. I think that is what we all want. So, when I meet with technology transfer officers, entrepreneurial researchers, or institutional leadership that is where I start. My job then is simply to convince them that establishing open paths should be added to their toolkit. Doing so can often be quite fun! Hopefully this post helps at least some of you do the same.”



Saudi universities entice top scientists to switch affiliations — sometimes with cash

“Research institutions in Saudi Arabia are gaming global university rankings by encouraging top researchers to change their main affiliations, sometimes in exchange for cash, and often with little obligation to do meaningful work. That’s the conclusion of a report that shows how, over the past decade, dozens of the world’s most highly cited researchers have switched their primary affiliations to universities in the country. That, in turn, has boosted the standing of Saudi Arabian institutions in university ranking tables, which consider the citation impacts of an institution’s researchers….”