OA and the research lifecycle 2: producing the research proposal

OA Lifecycle: Research Proposal

Your research proposal is likely to address a range of issues arising throughout the research lifecycle, some of which are covered by the other posts in this series.  To avoid repetition, in this post I will focus on some of the things to consider if you plan to engage with open access in a collaborative project.

Finding a research partner

In an environment where collaborative research is increasingly encouraged, whether across disciplinary, institutional or even national boundaries, you may find yourself looking for a research partner outside of your usual domain.  One way to find out about a prospective collaborator’s current work is to check it out in their institutional repository.

The OpenDOAR service lists nearly 3000 repositories worldwide. It is searchable by keyword, with filters for subject area, content type and country.  Links take you straight to the institutional and repository home pages.  Someone visiting, for example, the University of Northampton’s institutional repository (NECTAR) would then be able to browse outputs by School, Department, Research Centre and Research Group, enabling them to see which staff are research active and their areas of research interest.

OpenDOAR also has a search tool, which uses Google indexes to search the content of the listed repositories.  This is worth a try, but personally I prefer the more structured results available from CORE.

Planning for open access

bee_in_flowerIn addition to NECTAR, the University  supports open access to its research outputs by hosting a collection of online journals (Northampton Open Journals) and promoting a research data policy and set of data principles which support research data sharing.

It is important that you and your research partners consider early on in the process whether the outputs you produce are to be made open access. Some institutions have open access mandates in place for published papers and central funds to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs).  Others, like Northampton, stop short of a mandate but strongly encourage researchers to deposit the full text of their articles in their repository.

With respect to research data, matters to consider at the proposal stage include where the documents and data will be stored for the duration of the project and how they will be accessed by all parties.  At Northampton, TUNDRA2 is especially recommended for those working with external research partners since it offers a high degree of security and control over access, including access by partners at other institutions.  Using TUNDRA2 and NECTAR it is possible to secure your datasets for the duration of a project and make them openly available at the end.

To avoid problems down the line, it is recommended that you discuss at the start whether you plan to share the data either openly or on a restricted basis at the end of the project.

The UK Data Service has some helpful advice for those responsible for collaborative research centres and programmes.


Related posts:

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Posted on October 20, 2015, in Library and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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