Since 2007 Library and Learning Services have been offering services to researchers wishing to engage with the Open Access (OA) agenda. This post summarises the policy, services and support now available at the University of Northampton.
Open Access policy:
In December 2015 the University Research and Enterprise Committee approved an OA policy for the University. Aligned with, and supporting, HEFCE’s open access policy for the REF, the University policy states: “the University supports the principle of open access and expects researchers to share their research outputs freely, subject to legal, ethical, commercial or contractual constraints”. The policy requires researchers to ‘act on acceptance‘ in depositing their work in the University’s institutional repository, NECTAR.
The UK Data Service has just released its 2016 programme of webinars. These introduce different aspects of the service and explain their key datasets.
For some specialist training from data management experts without leaving the comfort of your own desk try one of these:
- Introduction to the UK Data Service – 21 January, 20 April, 12 October
- Finding and accessing data in the UK Data Service – 9 March, 28 April, 19 October
- Key issues in reusing data – 4 February, 4 May, 26 October
- Data management basics – 11 February, 12 May, 3 November
- The nature of the research output
- Your funder’s open access policy
- The availability of funds to pay article processing charges (if necessary)
- Your publisher’s open access policy
- The availability of an open access subject or institutional repository
A major consideration is whether you have made use of third party copyright material, i.e. material that you did not create or for which you are no longer the rights holder.
There are a number of useful websites which cover this topic, for example the University of Exeter’s Third party copyright page or Taylor and Francis’ Using third party material in your article, but the bottom line is that, unless you qualify for an exception to copyright, you will need the rights owner’s permission to use third party material in your open access work. If you were publishing your paper in a traditional journal, the publisher would make sure that you sought the appropriate permission; if you are making your work open access yourself (for example by uploading your thesis to NECTAR) then it is your responsibility to ensure you do not break the law.
Ethical data sharing
“Much research data about people—even sensitive data—can be shared ethically and legally if researchers employ strategies of informed consent, anonymisation and controlling access to data.” (UK Data Archive)
The UK Data Archive (UKDA) and its sister service the UK Data Service are great sources of useful information on the creation and management of data. The UKDA’s ‘consent and ethics‘ web pages cover the key principles of research ethics that have a bearing on data sharing; the legal context of data sharing; all types of consent and how to get it; and the anonymisation of quantitative and qualitative data. They usefully provide sample consent forms and information sheets for various types of research project.
Another useful source is the Australian National Data Service’s guide to publishing and sharing sensitive data.
Many funders, especially those awarding public monies, now make it a prerequisite of funding that all published outputs should be made open access. You should make it clear in your bid how you intend to comply with this requirement.
The main issues you need to address at the bidding stage are:
- Does your prospective funder have a policy on open access?
- If so, have they opted for ‘gold’ (made OA by the publisher) or ‘green’ (deposited in an OA repository) open access to published outputs?
- If ‘gold’, are they willing to pay article processing charges (APCs)?
- Do they require open access outputs to be released under a particular licence (e.g. CC BY)?
- Are you and your collaborative partners willing to comply with the funder’s OA requirements?
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.
Whether you already have an idea for a new research area or are uncertain where to start, gaining an overview of the current literature is critical. Fortunately, not all of this is hidden behind paywalls. Thanks to those researchers who have been willing to disseminate their work through open access repositories and journals, there is now a substantial quantity of research available freely to all.
Much of this is harvested by CORE (COnnecting REpositories). CORE’s mission is to “aggregate all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and make them available to the public” (About CORE). CORE currently indexes nearly 25 million open access articles.
Over the last three years the University has been implementing its roadmap for research data management (RDM). This post outlines some of the work that has been undertaken and describes where we are now with respect to support for RDM at Northampton.
The University’s RDM roadmap was created in response to a demand from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) that Universities in receipt of EPSRC funding must conform to a set of expectations concerning the management of research data. Institutions were (by April 2012) expected to produce a roadmap outlining how they would meet these expectations and then (by April 2015) to implement that roadmap.
In its research data policy and principles, the University of Northampton strongly encourages researchers to produce data management plans (DMPs) for their research projects. DMPonline is the recommended tool for this purpose.
Last year the university’s Research Data Working Group discussed the creation of Northampton-specific guidance for DMPonline users. The tool permits institutions to enter local information about support for data management planning which users will see when they create their DMPs.
For Northampton, the local guidance now covers the University’s policies, procedures and responsibilities for research data management, as well as information about related services (such as TUNDRA2 and NECTAR) that can be used in your DMP.
To see the new University of Northampton guidance in DMPonline you will need to take the following steps when you create your plan: