The UK Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG) held its seventh meeting on 23 October 2012. This is a summary of that meeting.
The group heard that sector attitudes toward the Finch Report and RCUK policy were becoming more supportive and focusing increasingly on the practical steps to implement it. Outstanding questions remain, however, for example around compliance monitoring, funding APCs, and ensuring reductions in subscription costs as aggregate UK APC payments increase. These need to be addressed if the sector as a whole is to be fully behind moves toward Gold OA.
Members considered a draft report on progress toward open access in the UK, covering the targets set in the group’s 2012 strategy. This report is part of a study that is developing methods in this area, and will track trends over a year. Once the report is complete, then it will be released, and will be important information for the sector and wider community.
The OAIG report (written by RIN) on the potential of intermediary roles in managing Gold OA was reviewed by members, and potential next steps considered. The report will be released very soon, and crystallises very well the variety of requirements from publishers, universities and funders.
Three events are planned in the new year, two on Gold OA and one on the future of repositories in the context of universities’ wider mission. These will review what infrastructure, workflows, policies and skills are likely to be needed to support OA in a post-Finch world, and share this information among universities, funders and publishers. Changes are likely to be needed in infrastructure, organisational and staff capacity, which these events, and the preparation and follow-up around then, should illuminate. Some of these events will be open, but some may need to be invitation-only, to ensure that the right experts and stakeholders are in the room where specific work needs to be done.
The group reviewed the information resource on good practices for universities adopting OA, recently released by Harvard University, and agreed to endorse this as a detailed guide for institutions seeking to adopt policies in this area.
Members of the group raised the issue again of publishers approaching institutions to require bilateral agreements for self-archiving, where OA policies are in place. This practice appears to be persisting in some cases, despite a call by OAIG last year for it to stop. Some members of the group have agreed to clarify the position with their members.
The group discussed its role with respect to research data. At present, its work focuses on OA to published research outputs, but there might be related areas wherein it could complement policy work going on elsewhere, such as the Cabinet Office Research Sector Transparency Board. There was a consensus that this deserved further consideration, and it will be a full agenda item at the next meeting.
Members of the group also considered the evolution of the Gold OA market, in the light of industry analysis and other developments. This is a fast-changing environment, as witnessed for example by the implementation of the SCOAP3 initiative. Existing business models are going to continue to be challenged by innovation in the sector. OAIG supports this innovation, and will work on a summary of the attributes of a fully transparent and competitive market for Gold OA that could help guide it in the future.
The group welcomed Kitty Inglis, librarian at Sussex University, as the new SCONUL representative, replacing David Ball who is retiring.
The group will meet next on 11 January 2013. If anyone has issues they would like to raise for this meeting, they should contact one of the group’s members in good time.