The University of Southampton

An Open Access mandate for the UK

Published: 21 January 2005

The need for a nationwide policy to ensure that UK researchers and their universities derive the benefits of providing Open Access (OA) to their research will be examined next week at a two-day workshop on institutional self-archiving at the University of Southampton.

During the event, Open Access Institutional Repositories: Leadership Direction and Launch, academics from the University of Southampton will share their experience and expertise in making scholarly and scientific research freely available online. They will be joined by research funders and other universities and institutions to discuss the way forward to 100 per cent OA in the UK.

The first day (Tuesday 25 January) takes the form of a hands-on tutorial on creating and using Institutional OA Repositories. Many universities will be represented at this event, which will enable them to benefit from the experience already gained at Southampton.

The second day (Wednesday 26 January), will be an all-day symposium opened by Robert Campbell, President of Blackwell Publishing. He will consider how author self-archiving of journal articles might affect learned society journals, and reflect on the balance between providing OA to articles and protecting the journals that publish them.

Other speakers include:

*Bill Hubbard of Nottingham University, who will describe the SHERPA Directory of Publishers' policies on author self-archiving (92 per cent of journals have already given it their green light); *Stephane Goldstein of Research Councils UK and Robert Terry of the Wellcome Trust will report new directions in research funders' policies on the self-archiving of funded research in institutional and central OA repositories, and *Alma Swan of Key Perspectives Ltd. will report the results of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) surveys on author OA self-archiving practices and attitudes as well as on central versus institutional self-archiving.

The OA policies at the University of Southampton and a number of other institutions (including the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries, the British Library, and the Arts and Humanities data Service) will also be presented.

The high-profile event ends with a research colloquium - Research Repositories: The Next 10 Years - in which Professor Stevan Harnad, one of the founders of the OA worldwide movement, and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, a leading expert in knowledge technology, will illustrate the potential power and benefits of institutional OA repositories in maximising and measuring research impact, productivity and progress.

There are two roads to OA: the 'golden road' of publishing in an OA journal (author-institution pays publication costs instead of user-institution) and the 'green road' of publishing in a non-OA journal but also self-archiving the article in an OA archive.

Professor Harnad comments: 'Only 5 per cent of journals are OA journals (gold) today, but over 90 per cent have a green policy on author self-archiving. However only about 15 per cent of articles have as yet been self-archived. To reach 100 per cent OA, self-archiving needs to be mandated by researchers' institutions and research funders.'

Professor Shadbolt will describe how a new generation of web technologies allows researchers to trace and analyze the connections between their publications. He says: 'Publications will be threaded in ways that allow a researcher to find related work, to understand the impact it is having, and even to detect new trends and emerging concepts in an area. Open Access and self archiving are key developments in facilitating a truly global information infrastructure.'

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