David Sweeney: UK right to pursue impact agenda | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Mr Sweeney’s powerful influence in steering the UK sector towards open-access research is a key part of his legacy, helping to set up the Finch report in 2011, which later laid down the “unanswerable” principle that “results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain”. As UK Research and Innovation’s lead on open access, Sweeney was also influential in ensuring the funder was an early supporter of Plan S, the Europe-wide open access drive, while UKRI’s own policies, which took effect in April, pushed requirements further. “The Finch report was significant and moved the dial on open access but without this global collaboration we won’t be able to move the system further,” he reflected….”

Future Research Assessment Programme – UKRI

“The Future Research Assessment Programme has been initiated at the request of UK and devolved government ministers and funding bodies.

This significant piece of work will be led by the four UK higher education funding bodies:

Research England
Scottish Funding Council
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Department for the Economy, NI.

It aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance.

Through dialogue with the higher education sector, the programme seeks to understand what a healthy, thriving research system looks like and how an assessment model can best form its foundation.

The work strands include evaluating the REF 2021, understanding international research assessment practice, and well investigating possible evaluation models and approaches, to identify those that can encourage and strengthen the emphasis on delivering excellent research and impact, and support a positive research culture, while simplifying and reducing the administrative burden on the HE sector.

This programme of work is expected to conclude by late 2022….”

Funding agreed for a platform that will change research culture – UKRI

“Research England grants £650,000 to help build Octopus into a new global service for scholarly communication.

Funding has been agreed to help develop a ground-breaking global service which could positively disrupt research culture for the better.

Announced today by the science minister, Amanda Solloway, Octopus Publishing Community Interest Company (CIC), in collaboration with Jisc, will receive £650,000 over three years from Research England’s emerging priorities fund.

The money will support development of a new platform for the scientific community. Called Octopus, it will provide a new ‘primary research record’ for recording and appraising research ‘as it happens’….”

Royal Historical Society Publishes Guidance Paper on “Plan S and History Journals” – RHS

“The report is designed to assist History and broader Humanities & Social Sciences stakeholders to understand and navigate the current policy frontiers of open access publishing for peer reviewed scholarly journals.

In particular, it is timed to contribute to the two public consultations on open access publication mandates, due to be launched shortly by United Kingdom Research & Innovation (UKRI), the funding body that includes the seven UK research councils as well as Research England.  This consultation process reflects UKRI’s membership of cOAlition S, a consortium of international funders established in 2018 which has articulated a new ‘Plan S’ mandate for open access publication.

The RHS report explains what cOAlition S and Plan S are, and why they matter to Humanities and Social Science researchers, journal editors and learned societies—among other stakeholders.  The report uses granular evidence of peer reviewed History journal publication to examine the potential impacts of Plan S implementation by UKRI.  The report is based on a summer 2019 RHS survey that attracted responses from 107 UK and international History learned society and proprietary journals.  Respondents included both self-publishing journals and journals published by 26 different university and commercial presses.  Additionally, the report uses data from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to explore open access journal publication in History….”