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February 2020
UKRI launches consultation on Open Access policy

On 13 February UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) launched a consultation as part of its Open Access Review which will close on 17 April 2020. The consultation will inform the development of a new open access policy, aimed at ensuring that the published outputs of research are widely and freely accessible to all. UKRI will use responses to inform its final policy, which it intends to announce in 2020.

UKRI Executive Champion for Open Access, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, said: “Maximising the re-use of publicly-funded research findings is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK... We encourage contributions from across the research and innovation landscape to the consultation, which will help to shape our forthcoming new open access policy.”

Further information for University of Cambridge researchers and staff is available on the Open Access website. 

Researchers call on EU institutions to ensure free circulation of scientific knowledge

A joint statement by the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) was issued on 17 February 2020 calling "on the European Commission to propose legislation ensuring that publicly funded scientific knowledge can circulate freely without embargoes or restrictions to accelerate discovery, strengthen European research, and to tackle global challenges". 

Top universities ink data-sharing pact as virus spread shows need

The coronavirus has sparked discussions at Sorbonne University in Paris between global research-intensive university groups: the Russell Group (UK), the League of European Universities (LERU), the Association of American Universities, the Group of Eight (Australia), the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), the German U15, the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, the Research University 11 (Japan), and the Coordination of French Research-Intensive Universities (CURIF).

As a result the nine groups signed a joint statement called the Sorbonne declaration on research data rights. The statement asks for support from the global scholarly community and begs funding agencies to treat research data management as a “fully eligible activity for funding”.

Report on the data needed to identify Plan S compliance

Earlier this month an independent report commissioned by Jisc and funded by Science Europe on behalf of  cOAlition S was published by Delta Think to enhance the understanding of the data needed to identify publishing venues which support Plan S. The report highlights the information needed to enable researchers to identify publishing venues that support the full requirements of Plan S. Among its findings, the report highlights that the required data for a given publication venue should allow multiple levels of detail.

cOAlition S invites qualified providers to develop a Plan S Journal Checker tool

On 7 February 2020 cOAlition S published an Invitation To Tender (ITT) for the development and maintenance of a Journal Checker Tool inviting qualified providers to develop, host and maintain a journal checker tool that will support cOAlition S funded researchers in complying with Plan S. Individual organisations or consortia with relevant experience and expertise are invited to respond before 6 April and funding to support the development and maintenance of this tool will available for a 3-year period in the first instance.
Further info

The risks of not sharing data are greater than the costs

Paul Ayris, pro vice-provost of UCL library services and co-chair of the League of European Research Universities Info Community highlights in the Times Higher Education about the need for large investments in order to make research data open and accessible. He emphasises that "Research data represent a new currency... Data aren’t just good for science. They are also good for driving the kind of innovation needed to solve some of the biggest issues facing the world today. The outbreak of the coronavirus is a perfect example of how open data can help tackle a major global issue... But, without investment and culture change for managing and sharing data, the risk could be bigger than the return."
Further info

Journal transparency index will be ‘alternative’ to impact scores

Under a new initiative from the Center for Open Science more than 300 scholarly titles in psychology, education and biomedical science will be assessed on ten measures related to transparency, with their overall result for each category published in a publicly available league table. The Transparency and Openess Promotion (TOP) statements represent a different ranking system for academic journals providing what many believe will be a useful alternative to journal impact scores.
Further info

PLOS and the University of California announce open access publishing agreement

A two year agreement was announced earlier this month between the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and the University of California (UC) according to which "the UC Libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the article processing charge (APC) for all UC authors who choose to publish in a PLOS journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the article processing charge from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in PLOS journals".

Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library and co-chair of the team overseeing UC’s publisher negotiations said: "We want to make it easier and more affordable for researchers to choose open access journals like PLOS when deciding where to submit their work for publication. We intend to continue to partner with a variety of publishers so that together we can help lead the transition to full open access”.

Blogs we've enjoyed

Open Code and Peer Review 

Dr. Stephen Eglen from the department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge talks about Code Check,  an open-science initiative to facilitate the sharing of computer programs and results presented in scientific publications.

Making microscopy data Findable Accessible Interoperable and Re-usable: Why? What? How?

Presentation by Katy Wolstencroft and Bernd Rieger during the seminar "Making microscopy data Findable Accessible Interoperable and Re-usable: Why? What? How?" which is part of the series "Future Forward: Science in the Open Era" organised by TU Delft Library.

Dataset Search

Useful tool that allows you to search through open datasets.

Data Management Expert Guide

This guide is designed by European experts to help social science researchers make their research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). 

Open Access Helper

A new application, which enables iOS users to search for scientific articles in their devices without hitting a paywall. More information about this application can be found at the CORE blog webpage.

The Open Science Training Handbook

An open knowledge and educational resource oriented to practical teaching.

Recent articles of interest

Linking Islands of Data second Symposium

St John’s College & The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge,  5-6 March 2020

This event is open to all researchers, as well as software developers, museum professionals and independent scholars. Structured around a series of position papers, extended discussion, and group activities, it will provide a road map for enhancing accessibility, interaction and collaboration between cultural institutions that share similar challenges with the archaeological, historical and museum data.

Cambridge Digital Humanities: Building Critical Mass

Faculty of English, Cambridge,  6 March 2020

This open event is designed for those who are engaged with or interested in digital humanities research. Including, but not limited, to research exploring data, machine learning, digital content, critical theory, gender and technology, software studies, data, distant reading, technoculture, digital methods, computational humanities, open platforms, AI, social media, platforms and automation.

How can open practices help you get published?

Institute of Criminology, Cambridge, 12 March 2020

This workshop is perfect for researchers at any career stage with an interest in learning more about open practices and academic publishing. It will include active discussion and presentations, designed to inspire informed and robust choices when you conduct, publish, and share your research. You’ll leave the workshop with insights into how to publish successfully whilst adopting open research practices.

Professor Chris Abell, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, will formally open the event  with a word on the importance of encouraging open research and reproducibility at the University of Cambridge.

How to Be a Great Peer Reviewer - Everything Editors Want You to Know

Postdoc Centre, Cambridge, 17 March 2020

For Cambridge researchers, postdocs and postgraduates who have recently started peer reviewing, or are ready to get involved, this unmissable session, will provide you with tips and best practices from PLOS, publishers of the world's largest multi-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal.

The session will be delivered by Dr Beatrice Gini, Training Coordinator at the Office of Scholarly Communication and Joseph Donlan, an Associate Editor for the Physical Sciences at PLOS ONE.

C2D3 Research Symposium

Jesus College, Cambridge, 22 April 2020

In this symposium leading Cambridge academics will showcase their latest research alongside lightning talks from early career researchers. Invited industry leaders from innovative businesses will discuss the use of advanced data science methodologies in real-world applied applications.  

Applications to present a lightning talk with a poster are open to PhD students and Early Career Researchers, from across all the University Schools. Lightning talks with posters abstract call closing date is Sunday 1 March 2020.

LIBER Webinar: Research Data - What to Keep?

2 March 2020, online

UKeiG CPD Course: Open access, open monographs, open data, open peer review: overview of a disruptive technology

6 March 2020, London, UK 


Introduction to leadership in academia (residential course)

21 - 22 April 2020, Windsor, UK 

CILIP Copyright Conference 2020 in association with Naomi Korn Associates

30 April 2020, London, UK 

Data Matters: Laying the data foundations to shape the future of higher education

5 May 2020, London, UK 

London Doctoral Summer School

22 June - 3 July 2020,  Birkbeck College University of London, UK 
COPIM Outreach, |Business Analyst, and Engagement Officer, Birkbeck University of London, UK. Apply by 2 March.
Head, Collections and Open Strategies, Iowa State University, U.S.A. Apply by 2 March.
Head of Open Scholarship Support, University of Oxford, UK. Apply by 4 March.
Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Wolverhampton, UK. Apply by 6 March.
Scholarly Communications Coordinator, University of St Andrews, UK. Apply by 11 March.
Development and Support Analyst - Research Technologies, University of London, UK. Apply by 15 March.
The Office of Scholarly Communication sends this Newsletter to its subscribers in order to disseminate information relevant to open access, research data management, scholarly communication and open research topics. For further information on our privacy policy please visit the University Information Compliance website.
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