Jisc is supporting the development of an open access landscape in education

A move to an open access model in research means that developments and requirements are constantly changing. Jisc is not only supportive of this move, but is taking an active role to work with universities and researchers to help meet any new requirements in a cost effective and joined up way.

In response to the recent OA policy review by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the release of the Higher Education and Funding Council’s (HEFCE) updated requirements for next year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), Jisc is working to help universities and researchers reap the benefits offered from OA practice.

Neil Jacobs, head of scholarly communications at Jisc tells us more:

“There are many benefits offered from an OA model, increased author visibility and improved accessibility to research outputs to name a few. But with such a new and evolving systems we need to get the infrastructure in place to ensure researchers and universities gain the maximum benefit.

“RCUK’s policy review offered various recommendations which will help us to continue to build this infrastructure; including immediately exploring how they can incorporate the use of ORCID, a research identifier that allows you to track research outputs by individuals, in their systems. At Jisc we have recently established a national consortium for ORCID to make it simpler for UK universities to start using it, we already have over 22 universities signed up.

“Alongside this we have been working closely with RCUK, SCONUL, ARMA andUKCoRR to ensure there is join up about what is needed and how it is developed. Today RCUK have released a template which we were heavily involved in developing. It provides details on what is required and a means for HEIs to supply data to them and a range of other funders, about compliance with their OA policy this year. I hope you find it helpful.”

Some current Jisc tools and solutions to support a cost effective and sustainable OA model:

  • SHERPA/FACT – Jisc’s funders and authors’ compliance tool which allows customers to check funder policy information. It has been found to be more than 95% accurate when checking publisher policies against funder mandates for OA.  A similar service for the REFOA policy is scheduled for release in September.
  • Practitioner group – Jisc has supported the emergence of an HE OA good practice community through pathfinder projects and related events and materials, which will help HEIs to play a full and informed role in the practitioner group.
  • CC-BY licences – Jisc’s guide to Creative Commons released from the OAPEN-UK project.

For more detailed information on Jisc activity support OA for research papers take a look at their scholarly communications blog.

Neil concludes,

“There are still additional areas of uncertainty around OA, including around systems interoperability, measures to support compliance in subject repositories and the expectations around staff movement between institutions. I would like to assure those involved that these and other concerns are being considered and say that we will be working with others over the coming months on a common approach.”