Open Research Scotland spring meeting

The Edinburgh Napier University repository team attended the Open Research Scotland meeting last week, which was hosted by the Scottish Funding Council in Edinburgh. ORS members had a chance to talk about the next REF and the state of Open Research in their institutions.

The meeting started with REF2029 discussion, as the consultation on Open Access Policy is now open until 17 June. Attendees had an opportunity to have a conversation with Rebecca Fairbairn, REF 2029 director, and discuss proposed changes to the assessment, such as introduction of an open access requirement for longform publications and shortening the permitted embargo period for journal articles. The REF team will be in dialogue with Higher Education sector representatives in the upcoming months and will publish the final Open Access Policy in autumn of 2024.

Open access for longform publications has been a hot topic not only in the context of REF. Since the UKRI Open Access Policy applies to monographs, book chapters and edited collections from the beginning of 2024, there has been an ongoing discussion on how to best enable authors to meet this requirement. ORS group members shared their experiences and talked about tools such as the Jisc Sherpa resource and Open Book Environment Dashboard that might be helpful finding publishers for open access books. Present was a representative from Scottish Universities Press which was established to publish open access books in a cost-effective way. The ORS group was updated on SUP upcoming publications and their plans for future development.

The conversation continued on fostering open research in Scottish institutions. Attendees talked about ways to support academic colleagues in making their work openly available and exchanged ideas on how to enable it further, for example by adopting rights retention policy by universities. It was a good opportunity to discuss challenges, share experiences and showcase successes on the way to opening up knowledge in Scottish universities.