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Harnessing FAIR Data Conference – QMUL, 3rd of September 2018

Ruth Wainman6 September 2018

On Monday (3rd of September), I attended the Harnessing FAIR Data conference held at Queen Mary in conjunction with UCL and the Science and Engineering South consortium. The event launched with an opening talk from Prof. Pam Thomas – the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick. Prof. Thomas spoke of her involvement in leading a task force on Open Research Data which will eventually culminate in a final report in early 2018. Whilst the details of the report are yet to be finalised, the talk raised pertinent questions about what will happen to the increasing amounts of openly available research data that the UK universities seek to generate. As one audience member pointed out, there is still a need for specialist software to process this data otherwise it will remain unusable to other researchers in the future. Questions are currently abound as to whether researchers’ data will form part of the REF submission but for the meantime, it will remain more of a gold standard. David Hartland followed by giving an overview of the Jisc funded FAIR data report and confirmed what many in the audience already largely suspected – the difficulties of what adherence to FAIR data principles means in practice.

Another lively talk was given by Dr. Peter Murray-Rust who provided a rallying cry to all researchers to get behind their readers. The fact remains that a vast amount of research can only be accessed via a pay wall. Murray-Rust made the point that closed access data kills especially in countries which do not readily have access to the latest scientific research. Plus, researchers face further problems trying to extract data from articles which continue to be blocked by publishers as a result of access restrictions. Other talks centred more on the individual projects that researchers ranging from doctoral to early career and established are undertaking. Prof. Paul Longley from UCL’s Consumer Data Research Centre provided another interesting discussion about big data analytics. Just think about how much data companies take from our loyalty cards as a way to understand our shopping habits and movements. But how can this be harnessed for the social good? Well, according to Prof. Longley, we might want to use this data to look at people’s mobility around the country. This was later followed by a wide range of researcher lightning talks about their uses of open data. Some disciplines like biology pose more difficulties than others, as Dr. Yannick Wurm from Queen Mary argued, because they are still considered a young data science.

The conference ended with a panel discussion chaired by Robert Kiley of the Wellcome Trust. The panel was interspersed by anecdotes from Dr. Paul Ayris and Prof. Henry Rzepa about their personal experiences of sharing data. Dr. Ayris felt very much that historians continue to be resistant to sharing data. Prof. Henry Rzepa also spoke of his work as a research chemist and how his research later become subject to scrutiny only to discover that there were two ways his results could be interpreted.

All in all, the conference provided enough food for thought about the opportunities and difficulties that lie ahead for making use of researchers’ data in both a FAIR and open way.

FORCE11 Scholarly Communication Institute (FSCI) 2018

Patrycja16 August 2018

A couple of weeks ago I attended the second FORCE 11 Scholarly Communication Institute (FSCI) held at the University of California, San Diego – a week long training course with workshops led by experts in their fields. FSCI was attended by librarians, researchers, students, post docs, and administrators from all over the world. This presented an excellent opportunity to learn about scholarly communication practices and processes at institutions not only in the United States but also in countries like Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Nigeria, and Russia.

Participants of the FORCE 11 summer camp selected three courses from an extensive course list. All classes were very intensive, run in form of workshops and required high level of active participation and beforehand preparation from attendees. Morning classes ran through the whole week, afternoon ones took place over two days; this allowed for in-depth learning experience, and gave an opportunity for stimulating discussions. Evening activities included a slideshow karaoke (which was fun!), do-a-thon (a work-sprint where people with different skills work together on different projects), and a party at Scripps Institution of Oceanograhy that included Scripps Pier tours and famous fish tacos.

FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute at the University of California, San Diego

My morning classes, Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle, were expertly and entertainingly led by Natasha Simmons from Australian National Data Service (ANDS). The sessions were based on the 23 (research data) Things programme developed by ANDS, with guest speakers that introduced specific topics related to data managment. The classes provided us with an opportunity to work with data managment plans, create metadata for existing datasets (which proved more difficult than we all thought!), and of course stimulated many discussions.

We discussed licensing, the approaches to signing the commitment and FAIR data assessment tool, and how the research data lifecycle offers a framework for assisting with how to understand research processes. The highlight of the course was the open data debate, in which we argued for and against making your research data openly available. The classes helped me understand the issues and challanges around making research data open, and the nuances involved in the processes and licensing.

Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle

My first afternoon class, held on Monday and Tuesday, was on the Open Science experience in Latin America and the Carribean, and was taught by a group of librarians and researchers from Argetnina, Canada, Chile, and United States. We learnt about the long history of Open Science in Latin America and the Carribean, and discussed national laws in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru that seek to make scientific knowledge produced with public funds openly available. The instructors also highlighted regional projects such as Scielo and redalyc.org that have played an important role in making open access the most established communication model in the region.

Open South: The Open Science Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean

Micah Vandegrift, Open Knowledge Librarian at North Carolina State University and Samantha Wallace, PhD candidate in English at University of Virginia led my Wednesday – Thursday workshop on Public Humanities as Scholarly Communication. The class turned into a thought provoking discussion on nature of humanities, and the public. It made me reflect on the role of the public in public humanities, and how public is intrinsic to humanities; engaging public and communities should be a natural part of academic investigation.

Open South: The Open Science Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean

Discussions in and outside of classes were inspiring, as is meeting people who are passionate about increasing access to knowledge and learning about the practices that differ from your own. The level of workshops delivery was excellent; observing different styles of teaching and how instructors engage with their audiences made me develop new ideas for training sessions that I provide for UCL academics. I found this intensive and demanding course, converstations with instructors and attendess extremely stimulating. And all of this in sunny California, where you see hummingbirds on your way to the class, on a university campus half an hour from the beach.

La Jolla beach

Further details on the workshops, including links to materials, will be available on the Open Access blog next week.

Open Science at Utrecht University – Erasmus staff exchange

ucyldva10 July 2018

I recently visited Utrecht University as part of an Erasmus Exchange exploring Open Science. The exchange was attended by staff working in libraries across Europe including Croatia, Finland, Malta, Austria, France and Latvia.  The exchange focused on Open Science support being delivered by Utrecht University as part of a national plan for open science.

Open Science in the Netherlands 

The programme was introduced in the context of ambitious plans in the Netherlands to pursue Open Science launched in a ‘National Plan open Science‘ launched in February 2017.

This plan includes focuses on three key areas;

  1. open access to publications which includes the ambitious aim ‘that publicly-funded scientific publications must be accessible to all by 2020’
  2. Making research data optimally available for reuse
  3. Recognition and rewards for researchers.

Open Science at Utrecht University

Utrecht University has developed local plans with the library playing a key role in supporting open science. The library spent time meeting with researchers to discuss how open science could be implemented within the university. This ensured researchers could outline their concerns and their own visions of open science. The chair of the project to implement the project is a researcher and will be supported by library colleagues. The library believed that this strategy of in-depth engagement which included meeting with 45 researchers/groups ensured that there was true buy-in from the research community when the project was launched.

The library has taken a distributed approach to work on Open Science with staff across the library taking ownership of particular areas of open science support. This approach has allowed the library to have a bigger impact than could be achieved by limiting open science support to one team and has made a broader range of support services possible.

Utrecht University Library

Utrecht University’s city centre Library

Areas of Open Science support

The schedule during the week included sessions on a range of topics:

Open access

This session introduced the work being done within the university and in particular focused on the coordinated work being carried out by Dutch universities to negotiate national deals with publishers for Hybrid Journals. These deals mean that researchers are able to publish without paying APCs themselves. Some publishers have helped this process by introducing workflows that make it easy for researchers to understand that they do not need to pay for an APC whilst also reducing the workload for the library in processing APCs.

The library also funds APCs for full Open Access journals but has set a maximum APC of a 100 Euros. This approach  – similar to that of other funding bodies including the Austrian Science Foundation – is intended to positively impact the market for APCs and push down the price. This type of policy was the topic of my Master’s dissertation so it was nice to revisit the topic and see how these approaches are currently being pursued by university libraries.

Research Data Management support 

Utrecht University has a policy on Research Data similar to that of UCL. Alongside helping develop and advocate for this policy the library provides training and support across the research data lifecycle including Data Management Planning and the publication of Research Data through various repositories.  A recent project by the library to build a pool of Data Managers based in the library but working on projects within the university was a particularly interesting approach to delivering practical support to projects in a sustainable way. This allows smaller projects who would struggle to hire a data manager themselves to get access to support as part of a funded project and also ensures that knowledge about systems, processes and policies are not lost at the end of a project when temporary staff leave.

Data Storage infrastructure at University of Utrecht and Research IT services

Utrecht University has also worked to develop IT Services to support research. This is still a relatively new area of support but has already resulted in some impressive projects. This includes YODA a platform that allows researchers to store, manage and share data on one platform. It leverages iRODS a data management technology which allows researchers or data managers to set rules for how data will be managed. YODA includes options to take snapshots to be archived at particular points in the project, options to share data with collaborators with a range of access permissions and to publish metadata or the full data through a repository. A major advantage of the platform is that it is also suitable for holding sensitive data. This means researchers don’t need to engage with different systems when they are working on projects that contain sensitive data and they can also easily publish metadata only records of projects to allow other researchers to request access to this data.

Digital Humanities support, Open Education Repository and other experiments by the library

The library is also experimenting in a number of other areas related to open science. This includes providing support for digital humanities projects, particularly by providing legal advice for text mining projects and facilitating access to materials. The library is currently launching an open education repository to support the dissemination of potentially reusable teaching materials. Utrecht University Library is also in the process of becoming an early example of a library without a catalogue. Instead, they have moved their collections to WorldCat this approach was taken in recognition of the fact that most researchers and students won’t necessarily begin searching for information through a university library catalogue.

Lessons learned

Attending this Erasmus Staff Exchange was a valuable learning experience, particularly in helping me think about how to link the Research Data Management support within the library to open science. Some of the lessons picked up on the exchange will feed into a course I run on open science and open notebooks.  The approach of developing a programme for a group of visitors meant that experiences of supporting open science could be exchanged between participants and it was particularly interesting to learn about how open science was being approached across different insitutions accross Europe. I hope that the Erasmus Exchange will continue to be available to people based in UK universities in the future and would encourage anyone interested to apply to the scheme. If you have questions about how it works I would be happy to answer them.

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris7 July 2018

LIBER Conference 2018 (Association of European Research Libraries)

4-6 July saw the 47th LIBER Annual Conference take place in Lille. The theme of the meeting was Research Libraries as an Open Science Hub: from Strategy to Action.

The venue for the Conference was the LILLIAD, the Learning Centre for Innovation at the University of Lille. With easy metro links from the centre of Lille and Lille Europe, which is serviced by Eurostar, Lille is one of the easiest cities to reach from London on the continent of Europe.

The theme of the meeting, attended by 430 delegates from across Europe, was centred on turning Open Science theory into practice. The meeting started with a speech by Professor Dr Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in France. The Minister launched A National Open Science Plan for France at the meeting – a great coup to have European libraries host such a prestigious launch.

I was joint author of a paper at the Conference, along with our UCL Press European representative, Dr Tiberius Ignat, on the cultural change needed in universities and by Society to embrace the changes that Open Science brings. The photo to the left shows our audience (including 2 members of UCL Library Services) assemble in sweltering (!) heat to listen to the paper, which we intend to publish in the coming months. This is important because attendance at the LIBER Conference each year forms one of my 3 training activities required by the UCL Appraisal process. To this requirement, I personally add into my Appraisal objectives that I speak at one international meeting each year, where the written text of the presentation is peer reviewed and published in Open Access.

The Conference was full of discussion about the role of libraries in offering a leadership role in introducing Open Science practices into universities. There were also many practical examples to offer Best Practice. One excellent example came from the libraries of Catalonia, presented by Anna Rovira and Dr Ignasi Labastida from Barcelona. The Catalans have developed a collaborative model for measuring levels of compliance with Open Access by academics, allowing benchmarking across Catalonia.

But back to the LILLIAD. The recent merger of 3 universities in Lille has created a wonderful opportunity for the University Librarian of the merged libraries, Julien Roche, to create a blueprint for what the 21st century library looks like. A central theme is one of Innovation. The picture to the left shows a typical set of learning spaces in this impressive building. In many ways, it mirrors what the learning spaces in the UCL Student Centre, to be run by the Library from the New Year, will look like. But UCL has gone one step further than Lille. The LILLIAD houses paper collections, largely in science and technology, but the Student Centre in UCL will be a 100% digital learning experience, open 24 hours a day.

I have returned from the 47th LIBER Conference full of optimism about the leading role that libraries can play in the Open Science agenda. UCL Library Services is already seen as a European leader in this space, and this activity will develop further as we adopt a new Library Strategy. It is an exciting time to be leading such a monumental change in European universities.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

 

 

 

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris28 June 2018

UCL Open Science Workshop

25 June saw the first UCL Open Science Workshop take place in Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House. 60+ people attended the sessions, a mixture of library staff, academic colleagues and external visitors.

The day was opened with a welcome from Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), a great supporter of UCL’s emerging Open Science agenda. I then followed with an analysis of the LERU Roadmap for Open Science from the League of European Research Universities. We were then treated to a masterly view of Open Science from the point of view of a publisher, led by Dr Catriona MacCallum from Hindawi. Professor James Wilsdon from the University of Sheffield ended the session with an overview of the responsible use of metrics in an Open Science environment.

After the break, we heard from Simon Hettrick on Open Source software and an academic, Dr Emily Sena from the University of Edinburgh, on how Open Science approaches can help in pre-clinical work.

The morning’s plenaries set the scene for a lot of detailed discussion of Open Science issues by those attending. In the afternoon, we had 5 Breakout Groups:

  • How do we make Open the default at UCL?
  • How to make your data Open and FAIR
  • UCL Press: engaging in Open Peer Review
  • Open Education: Introducing OpenEd@UCL
  • Citizen Science

The feedback from the audience in each of these 5 areas was great and will seed lots of development work in the coming 12 months. A UCL Panel – Dr Paul Ayris (Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Library Services), Professor David Bogle (Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Doctoral School), and Clare Gryce (Director of Research IT Services, UCL ISD) – then fielded questions from the audience about the emerging role of Open Science in UCL. The day ended with a final plenary from Rebecca Lawrence from F1000 on embedding Open Science in university culture.

This was the first Open Science Workshop organised by UCL, with financial support from UCL HR. It will certainly not be the last. Open Science, which embraces all academic disciplines including the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has the power to transform the way that research, teaching, learning and outreach are undertaken, and how their outputs are disseminated, made available and curated for all members of an enquiring Society. UCL has an ambition to be a leader in Open Science across Europe and the holding of this first Workshop was an important step towards achieving that goal.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost

UCL Library Services

Join us for a Twitter debate: Open Access Books: The authors’ side of the story

Alison Fox21 June 2018

Hashtag: #OAauthors

Date: 27th June 2018 

Time: 14:00 – 15:00 BST

Open Access monograph publishing has been steadily gathering momentum over the last few years. Funder policies are being introduced to promote an increase in OA publishing, new OA publishers and university presses are being set up, and publishers around the world are escalating their OA output. As a result, scholarly content is now becoming readily accessible to an extremely diverse global audience, able to reach some of the most isolated and impoverished areas of the world.

Yet we rarely hear from academics and researchers about their experiences with publishing Open Access monographs. Why do authors choose to publish via OA? What are the main benefits they’ve witnessed? And how does publishing OA books and monographs differ from publishing traditionally?

In this compelling Twitter debate, host Alastair Horne will welcome a distinguished panel of academic authors from around the world and explore what it is like to publish their books via Open Access. Whether you are a researcher considering your publication options, a publisher wanting to know more about the academic’s perspective on OA, or an institution weighing up the pros and cons of OA publishing models, this session will provide a great insight into academic authors’ current attitudes towards OA.

Confirmed participants include:

  • Dr Paul Breen (University of Westminster), author of Developing Educators for The Digital Age (University of Westminster Press); @CharltonMen
  • Professor Owen Davies (University of Hertfordshire), author of Executing Magic in the Modern Era: Criminal Bodies and the Gallows in Popular Medicine (Palgrave); @odavies9
  • Professor Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster); author of Critical Theory of Communication (University of Westminster Press); @fuchschristian
  • Dr Haidy Geismar (UCL), author of Museum Object Lessons for the Digital Age (UCL Press); (@haidygeismar)
  • Professor Bob Sheil (UCL), editor of Fabricate (UCL Press); @bobsheil
  • Professor Laura Vaughan (UCL), editor of Suburban Urbanities: Suburbs and the Life of the High Street (UCL Press) and author of the forthcoming book Mapping Society: The Spatial Dimensions of Social Cartography (UCL Press); @urban_formation

 

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s view

Paul Ayris13 June 2018

Open Science is launched

12 June saw the launch of an important paper on Open Science in Brussels. This was Open Science and its role in universities: a roadmap for cultural change, which can be found here. As chair of the Editorial Group which wrote the paper, I worked with 3 colleagues from LERU (League of European Research Universities) – Dr Ignasi Labastida (University of Barcelona), Katrien Maes (LERU) and Alea López de San Román (LERU).

The paper looks at the opportunity for cultural change in universities to enable Open Science, and how that change can be introduced with the support of all stakeholders in the academic community. Open Science represents a fundamental shift in how research, teaching, learning and support activities are undertaken at institutional level. It is a global agenda, but one which is particularly being promoted by the European Commission. It will form one of the main pillars of the new European framework programme Horizon Europe.

The launch began with a presentation which I made on LERU’s understanding of how Open Science makes a difference at university level, using the 8 pillars of Open Science as defined by the European Commission. Whilst this list of issues is not an exhaustive list of themes covered by the topic of Open Science, it does represent a good starting point for any investigations:

  • Future of Scholarly Communication
  • EOSC (European Open Science Cloud)
  • FAIR data
  • Skills
  • Research Integrity
  • Rewards
  • Altmetrics
  • Citizen Science

I then described the opportunities and challenges that Open Science brings in each of these areas. In Scholarly Communication, I cited the work of UCL Press as an example of the transformative changes that institutional Open Access publishing can deliver. In the area of Citizen Science, I described the importance for universities of re-engaging with Society in order to enable the results of teaching and research to help solve the challenges which we all face.

Open peer review of the LERU paper

Following the presentation of the paper, we had a session of Open Peer review where 4 panel members commented on the paper – one senior official from the European Commission, one representative of a university association, one research funding organization and one publisher. Everyone was unanimous in agreeing with the main conclusions of the paper. One of the comments was that this was one of the best papers written on the impact of Open Science in a university setting. The LERU Secretary General was also fulsome in his praise for the ideas in the paper, as revealed by his tweet after the event:

A fantastic lead author and speaker @ucylpay, a fantastic panel @evamen @BurgelmanJean @Researchkuster @StefEurope, a fantastic paper and a fantastic audience ! Great launch event this morning @Alea_LdSR @katrien_maes @ignasi @BartValkenaers ! Thanks all ! @bertvanderzwaan

But now the work really begins, because the Editorial Group has been commissioned to construct an Open Science Toolkit to support universities in acting on all the 41 Recommendations which the paper contains.

In the 15th century, the invention of moveable type printing in the West revolutionized the way ideas were disseminated across Europe. In the 21st century, Open Science has the potential to do the same at a global level. Open Science is an area where UCL is taking a lead at a European level, and UCL Library Services is making an outstanding contribution in embedding Open Science approaches across the university.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

 

 

Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris22 May 2018

UCL Press celebrates 1 million downloads

21 May 2018 was a very special day for UCL Press, because this is when we officially celebrated 1 million downloads of our research monographs, textbooks and journals.

The Press was founded in 2015 and has now been in production for 3 years. It is a tremendous achievement to have reached the magical figure of 1 million downloads so quickly. Initially, I thought that it would be a result if we achieved 10,000 downloads any time soon. How wrong can you be? The festive party for UCL Press was attended by senior members of the university, UCL academics, our authors, UCL students, and honoured guests. It was held in the North Cloisters on a sunny, warm Spring evening.

There were three speakers at the event. Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), congratulated the Press on achieving its remarkable impact figures and pointed out that UCL Press titles were now downloaded in 222 countries and territories. This includes North Korea, where UCL Press titles even there have been downloaded 15 times.

The second speaker was Georgina Brewis. Georgina has just revised The World of UCL, which is UCL’s institutional history.

As Georgina explained, she did more than add an extra chapter to bring the history up to date. She rigorously pruned the number of images in the book, many of which are from UCL Special Collections, and ensured that UCL’s commitment to equality and diversity are reflected in the earlier materials in the book. Beautifully designed and produced, the new institutional history of UCL is a worthy addition to the UCL Press stable.

Finally, I was able to complete the trio of speeches with a few words of my own.

At the present rate of download (90,000 per month), we will reach 2 million downloads this time next year. So, certainly time for another party. I also recounted a story about the European Commission, who were represented at the latest meeting of LERU Rectors. On Saturday, I was present with the Provost in Edinburgh to seek acceptance by the 23 Rectors of LERU (League of European Research Universities) of the new LERU Roadmap for Open Science. Lessons from UCL Press figure largely in this Roadmap. Open Access publishing performed by an institutional Press has the power to transform the way research outputs are stored, disseminated and used by all those in Society with an enquiring mind.

So congratulations to UCL Press colleagues, to our authors and to everyone in UCL who helps to make the Press such a fantastic success. Let’s look to the next 1 million downloads, coming your way soon…

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Pro-Vice-Provost’s view

Paul Ayris9 March 2018

The role of libraries in Open Science

One of the new responsibilities of my role as Pro-Vice-Provost is to steer the introduction of Open Science principles and practices into UCL. Open Science is a European term, and it covers all academic disciplines, including Arts, Humanities and all the Social Sciences. In the UK, we would more easily talk about Open Scholarship.

Burghley House, Lincolnshire

Open Science is the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible at all levels of an enquiring society (definition from the FOSTER project).

I am often asked what the role of libraries is in this new movement. So I have tried to answer this in a jointly-authored article which was first given as a Conference presentation in the 2017 LIBER Conference (Association of European Research Libraries), which took place in Patras in Greece:

Paul Ayris and Tiberius Ignat, ‘Defining the role of libraries in the Open Science landscape: a reflection on current European practice’, in De Gruyter’s Open Information Science, vol. 2 (1), at DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2018-0001.

The piece has lots of UCL examples and covers areas such as Open Access, Open Access publishing, Research Data Management, the European Open Science Cloud and Citizen Science. The paper ends by suggesting a 4-step test through which libraries can assess their engagement in Open Science.

Later this academic year, I am planning a 1-day Workshop on Open Science for academic and academic support colleagues across the whole of UCL. Please watch this space for more details, if you want to join us.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris17 January 2018

UCL Press Megajournal platform

16 January 2018 saw the soft launch of the UCL Press megajournal platform to an audience of 55-60 people in the JZ Young Lecture Theatre.

What is a megajournal and why is UCL Press launching a megajournal platform? Essentially, a megajournal is a platform where cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work can be brought together and where the outputs are characterised by openness – of peer review (where the reviewers’ reports are available for scrutiny), of readership (when the final output is freely available for sharing and re-use), of scope (where, for example, underlying research data can be made available alongside the published output), and of evaluation (where responsible metrics are used to help evaluate the quality of the outputs).

If that is the ‘what’, then why is UCL Press taking this road? The megajournal platform looks very unlike traditional journals. The reason is this – there is a growing acceptance that the future of scholarship is best served by the Open Access and Open Science agendas. What is the best mechanism to achieve this transition to full Open Access? Research funders have started establishing their own Open Science platforms and research-intensive universities like UCL can do the same. This has the power to change the culture in academic publishing by bringing publication and dissemination back into the academy.

It was these questions and potential solutions that the Megajournal platform launch sought to celebrate and investigate. Three external speakers set the scene – Robert Kiley, who talked about the Wellcome Trust’s Open Research platform; Stephanie Dawson from Science Open, which is the company selected by UCL to deliver its Megajournal platform; and Dr Catriona MacCallum from Hindawi. The plenary session concluded with a presentation by Ian Caswell of UCL Press, announcing the broad details of the planned UCL Press provision, which will work initially with the environmental science research domain in UCL to create an environmental science Megajournal.

The Town Hall meeting ended with a Question and Answer session with the speakers plus Paul Ayris as CEO of UCL Press, which was chaired by Professor David Price (Vice-Provost, Research). This session showed very lively engagement in Open Science by the audience of 55-60 attenders – journalists, commercial publishers and academics.

The UCL Press Megajournal platform will be formally launched in the autumn of 2018 to co-incide with Open Access week. It is an important development in the Press’s mission to change the pattern of scholarly publishing in the academic community as Open approaches gain momentum in a global move towards Open Science.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)