“In previous blog posts, I have discussed the value of open research, the reasons behind its complexity, and the importance of retaining rights over our research outputs. In this final post of my short series, I look to the future, with an optimism….
I am timing this post to align with the news that the sector has struck a landmark deal with Elsevier for continued access to ScienceDirect. This agreement both saves the sector money and increases its ability to publish openly in Elsevier titles. It is policy compliant and removes a layer of administration, saving time for researchers and for librarians. The work across the sector to achieve this has been enormous, but the result more than vindicates the efforts we have put into it. I am delighted that Aberdeen played a significant part in this work. My colleagues have contributed to a national initiative to test an alternative to a bulk subscription, and I have represented the sector at the strategic level through membership of the Jisc/UUK Content Negotiation Strategy Group. As well as being a major success for this round of negotiations, our collaborative work has also delivered a framework for all future negotiations with major publishers.
This is very timely, as we are now close to the launch date of the new UKRI Open Access Policy, on 1 April. I discussed this in my most recent post, but as a reminder, this policy will restrict your Gold Open Access publishing options, and it will require any Green Open Access deposits to have no embargo imposed on the date of their open access release. The Library has been doing a lot to communicate this, but if you are unaware of the changes and need advice or information, visit our web page about UKRI OA policy.
This is not a reason to rest on our laurels, however pleased I am about what we have achieved with Elsevier. There are four reasons I remain enthusiastic to do more….
The best way to guarantee we can achieve open access to our research, in all circumstances, is to stop giving away our control over it. I discussed this in my previous blog, and can now announce that Research Policy Committee have supported my proposal to enshrine this in University policy. I will now start to develop a draft and consult on whether this can replace our existing policy (which is now extremely out of date). From my perspective, asserting that we will no longer give our rights away seems like a blindingly obvious thing to wish to do, but it’s really important that I hear other perspectives, and provide reassurance where there are concerns. You will have formal opportunity to comment as the draft makes its way through the committees, but I’d really like to hear from you now, whether it is to learn more, to express support, or to challenge my views….”