Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Digital Developments blog has moved!

This blog now lives at the LSE Library blog, the official blog of the Library, featuring a mixture of news, opinion, information and research related to our work: 
We will still be posting on digital developments, open access, research data management, and all related topics, so please update your bookmarks and feeds.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Open Access in Horizon 2020

This blog now lives at the LSE Library blogthe official blog of the Library, featuring a mixture of news, opinion, information and research related to our work:

The European Commission recently opened calls for projects under Horizon 2020, the framework for research and innovation worth more than €15 billion over the first two years with a seven year budget worth almost €80 billion.The 2014 funding call concentrates on three key research areas: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges.

The Horizon 2020 open access policy has a strong focus on deposit in institutional repositories, such as LSE Research Online. A summary of the open access policy is as follows:  

  • All peer-reviewed 'scientific' research publications resulting from Horizon 2020 must be made open access by making the publisher or final peer-reviewed version of the paper freely available in a repository, such as LSE Research Online, within 6 months of publication or 12 months for HSS (green open access route)
  • If the paper is freely available via the publisher website, often when an article processing charge (APC) has been paid to the publisher, this must be deposited in a repository upon publication (gold open access route)
  • Bibliographic metadata must be in a standardised format and reference the funder

This ensures researchers have the choice to make their work available via green or gold open access, as illustrated below.

Fact sheet: Open Access in Horizon 2020

Full details of the open access policy can be found in the Mono-beneficiary General Model Grant Agreement (see section 29.2, page 58). 
The policy also strongly recommends making research data available at the same time as the publication enabling 'third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate' the data and associated metadata. See section 29.3, pp. 58-59 of the Grant Agreement for further details.   

For more information see: Fact sheet: Open Access in Horizon 2020 or contact the LSERO team:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Open Access Realities and Online Information 2013: Conference reflections

This blog now lives at the LSE Library blogthe official blog of the Library, featuring a mixture of news, opinion, information and research related to our work: 

Recently I attended a one-day conference organised by UK Serials Group (UKSG) on Open Access Realities. The conference aimed to explore how publishers, libraries and their partners have been reacting to global policy developments and working towards Open Access implementation. The day evolved around three key thinking points:

  • What are the implications, strategically and operationally, of introducing new mandates and business models?

 Damian Pattinson, PLOS ONE, in his talk demonstrated Article Level Metrics(ALM) Reports, which PLOS ONE are introducing as a way of responding to HEFCE and funder’s emphasis on demonstrating wider research impact. The challenge for publishers then lies in learning to place less emphasis on the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), which was described as a marketing gift for journals. I thought the ALM Reporting tool was smart and effective, and demonstrated the extent to which OA empowers authors to see the impact of their research beyond the academic community. There was scepticism though from Michael Jubb, Research Information Network, during the panel Q&A session that academics do not take Open Access and ALM into account when choosing where to publish - that the JIF still reins higher than OA. Representatives from the University of Birmingham – Adam Tickell and Jill Russell – highlighted well for me that a top-down and bottom-up approach is required to bring about cultural change in academic publishing.

  • What have been the challenges – and surprises – so far?

 Two of the major challenges from the Library’s point of view were identified: one being that librarians can advocate and facilitate OA, but the decision on where to publish lies with the researcher, another major challenge lies in balancing commitments between OA support and Big Deals. Jill Russell spoke of the ways in which UoB are addressing the first challenge through advocacy, making the message known that the library supports OA via green and gold routes, welcoming OA enquiries and monitoring the amount of OA materials in their institutional repository. Jill has found that by encouraging more grey literature into their repository, the levels of both green and gold OA deposits are rising. Lars Bjornshauge, SPARC Europe and DOAJ, suggested libraries take a bolder approach to the second challenge; pushing forward the OA agenda by reallocating budgets and other resources to consortia-based models.

  • What existing strengths have proved useful, and what skills or knowledge gaps have emerged?

Caroline Edwards, Open Library of Humanities (OLH) acknowledged how useful strong relationships across the sector have been in initiating the OLH, a PLOS ONE-style mega-journal for the humanities. The OLH model takes a DIY approach to Open Access publishing, financed through library partnerships and not Article Processing Charges (APCs). A significant knowledge gap emerging from the panel Q&A was identified in author’s knowledge of licencing. Both the DIY approach and Gold OA model has put added emphasis on authors to understand and select the relevant Creative Commons licence for their work. Suggestions from the audience were to put onus on the library and funders to provide this training and support.

I came away from the day with feelings of anticipation for the changing landscape that will continue in OA publishing, and the broadening role that the library will play in supporting the OA movement. Things I will be looking out for include the result of the HEFCE consultation on OA in reference to REF2020, RIN’s report on the second Finch Committee meeting (published here since writing) and recommendations from the Open Data User Group to the Cabinet Office. On the home-front I’m encouraged to increase our support of grey literature in LSE Research Online, continue our work to capture data on OA publications resulting from RCUK funded research at LSE and enhance our IR Stats package and Altmetrics measurements. I predict we can contribute well to the bottom-up approach of OA advocacy.

This year’s Online Information conference (19-20 November) covered many useful and interesting topic. However there was a resounding shared message, which was most evident form keynote speakers, Mark Stevenson and Jacob Morgan: think more like engineers and less like politicians, in other words – do not shy away from change and innovation. If you have an idea, whatever your role or responsibility in the organisation, try it out and see what happens, learn from mistakes then try again. These were inspiring words to be backed up by the variety of talks that unfolded throughout the two days.

It is difficult to summarise a two-day conference into half a blog post, so I thought I’d highlight some key points and messages from three of the tracks I attended. To ensure I haven’t missed or misinterpreted anything, all the lecture slides will be available on the Online Information 2013 website at a later date.

  • Ellyssa Kroski, The New York Law Institute

Library patrons are changing their information seeking behaviours – away from browsing to borrow single or multiple books, which we assume they will go away, read entirely and bring back – and towards a Do It Yourself culture, where users will share, review, list and interact with information on their own devices. Libraries have already begun adapting to this new information seeking behaviour by implementing new resource discovery systems, eBooks, online training courses, etc. But as this new behaviour is much more open and transparent than before, libraries must take steps further to interact with patrons online, at the point at which they are seeking information. Some good examples were provided on Ellyssa's presentation slides. 

  • David Nicholas, CIBER Research and Theresa Regli, Real Story Group

 Results from studies by David and colleagues at CIBER Research shows that the young generation are mixing scholarly with social behaviours – they are hopping between resources and scanning information. A controversial suggestion to publishers in the audience was that they would make more money by giving away PDFs for free and charging for abstracts! Another controversial statement, this time to librarians, was that researchers see libraries as providing a subset of information they need not a whole set, and so, what relevance do libraries have for researchers now? A second question he posed was, ‘are mobile devices making us stupid?’ in other words, are future generations losing the skill of deep critical thinking and evaluation? In my opinion these are not so much questions, but challenges to us as information professionals. Theresa provided some helpful examples from the commercial sector on how to use technology to go out and meet users in their new social/research space, her slides on the Online Information 2013 website will be worth a look at.

  •  Max Espley, Royal Society of Chemistry and Lucy Montgomery, Knowledge Unlatched

Open Access developments have posed well documented challenges to royal and learned societies as non-profit publishers (see examples here and here). The RSC have launched their own Gold Open Access initiative, RSC Gold for Gold. The initiative works whereby institutions, for a subscription, receive voucher codes to pay for Gold Open Access articles. One article costs the equivalent of £1600 in vouchers, there is also a bulk buy option for those who don’t wish to subscribe to the premium package. It’s early days for the initiative, and as yet there are no plans in the pipeline to convert their journals to Gold, making this is a hybrid OA model at risk of ‘double-dipping’ (institutions will be still be subscribing to the journal as well paying for Gold OA vouchers). But I don’t want to be critical here, Max also described how RSC support green open access and have developed a chemical sciences repository (currently still in BETA) for peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts. Gold for Gold is an initiative that highlights the overarching message of Online 13 – embrace change and try something new. It will be interesting to see if this model is successful enough to allow the RSC to convert their journals to Gold OA, releasing libraries from journal subscription costs. Lucy Montgomery introduced another bold OA initiative, this time for Open Access books. Knowledge Unlatched is a global initiative, similar to Hoopla mentioned above, whereby libraries sign up to pay a Title Fee to participating publishers. The books are then fully downloadable and Open Access via OAPEN Library. The project is in the pilot stage and they are currently looking at sustainable ways of running the model, beyond grants and funding applications.

I and others at the conference also tweeted lots over the two days, see #online13 for highlights. I’d recommend too looking at slides of Andrew Cox’s talk on Research Data Management at The University of Sheffield and Arthur Weiss’s slides on Google versus the rest. My tweets on these two talks are available here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Passing on the Baton of LSE Data Management

This blog now lives at the LSE Library blogthe official blog of the Library, featuring a mixture of news, opinion, information and research related to our work: 

As I am now leaving the School to pursue new opportunities at the University of Oxford, I thought it would be useful to note some of the recent initiatives in data management. These are indicators of the growing importance of this area in research development, practice and governance. Since the beginning of the year this has included;

  • Establishment of a Research Data Management page as part of the Academic Services website,
  • Creation of a training course for Academic Liaison Librarians in RDM,
  • Development of a moodle course on data management and data management planning,
  • Creation of an RDM workshop aimed at research active staff,
  • Re-inforcement of links between use of the LSE Data Library and RDM training,
  • Improved understanding of terms and conditions of using data supplied by the Data Library,
  • Effective use of this blog and others to promote data awareness,
  • Appointment of a project manager to oversee the RDM infrastructure pilot project

My successor as Data Librarian will continue this work and, in collaboration with colleagues in the Library and specifically Academic Support, will be able to continue developing services for data management within LSE. These will include;

  • Further training workshops aimed at research staff,
  • Continued development of practice orientated training materials for staff,
  • Increased web based guidelines and advice on RDM tailored to LSE research needs,
  • More departmental events on RDM support,
  • Continued expansion of LSE blogs to promote ‘data awareness’,
  • Further development of the Data Library web page encouraging more effective use of data in research,
  • Development of practical and useful support services as a result of the infrastructure pilot project.

 So watch this space for more developments that will aid colleagues, in the development and completion of research projects, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I will look on from my new post, as Data Librarian at the Bodleian Social Science Library, with interest.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Research Data Management: Introduction to Concepts and Practices

This blog now lives at the LSE Library blogthe official blog of the Library, featuring a mixture of news, opinion, information and research related to our work: 

An hour long training session for LSE staff is planned for the morning of Friday 25th October at 10:30 in the training room of the Library- LRB.R08 on the lower ground floor.

This session is aimed at staff and introduces some of the main principles of research data management. It includes orientation to this approach to creating and working with research data, as well as a consideration of its effective use in research.

A mix of discussion and practical activities will allow participants to reflect on their own research needs. There will be opportunities to discuss data management planning, curating data, sharing data and related ethical and legal responsibilities. The growing importance of research data management in funding applications is also addressed.

There will be potential for future sessions aimed at particular research departments or even projects subject to interest from participants. If interested please book a place through the LSE Training System.