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The new Wellcome Trust OA policy and DORA: a UCL webinar

Kirsty18 November 2020

Here at the Office for Open Science and Scholarship we are pleased to announce another webinar!

This time we have David Carr from the Wellcome Trust leading this fascinating webinar based around their new Open Access policy which comes into force in January.

  • David Carr: New Wellcome Trust OA policy outline and overview of changes
  • Ralitsa Madsen: Proposal on DORA alignment across multiple funders
  • Dr Paul Ayris & Catherine Sharp: How we are implementing the new policy at UCL

Join us on Wednesday 16th December at 12 noon for a lunchtime webinar, and plenty of time to ask all of your questions!

Sign up on Eventbrite to get your link to join the session


Full event description:

In their new Open Access policy, which will come into force in January 2021, the Wellcome Trust has introduced a requirement that organisations receiving funding must commit to the core principles set out by DORA.

In this webinar we will be hearing from David Carr, the Programme Manager for Open Research at the Wellcome Trust, who will be outlining this policy and sharing his thoughts on these changes. Following that we will be hearing from Dr Ralitsa Madsen, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCL Cancer Institute about her proposal to develop a protocol on DORA alignment that all research funders should follow. The final speakers of the session will be our own Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice Provost for UCL Library Services and the Office for Open Science & Scholarship, and Catherine Sharp, Head of Open Access Services with an outline of how UCL is implementing both the DORA principles, and the Wellcome policy in general.

We will have plenty of time for discussion among our speakers and for them to answer your questions so please join us for an interesting session before the policy comes into force

Reproducibility events and initiatives from the UKRN

Kirsty11 November 2020

Improve your workflow for reproducible science: We recently hosted this workshop on reproducible data analysis in R Markdown and Git, led by data scientist Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel. The recording can be found here and the materials here.

Open science in covid-19 research, ReproducibiliTea journal club (Dec 2nd):Dr Lonni Besançon will present his paper ‘Open Science Saves Lives: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic’. Further details and registration can be found here.

Funding for activities to develop data skills/software: UCL are offering £3000 for projects (£600 each) that support community-based activities which either contribute to the development of software and data skills, foster interdisciplinary research through the reuse of tools and resources (e.g. algorithms, data and software) or strengthen positive attributes of the community. The aim is also to provide PhD students, research and professional service staff opportunities to develop their leadership and advocacy skills. Deadline to apply is the 23 November 2020 (noon). Further details can be found here. 

 

UUK/Jisc High Level Negotiation Strategy Group

Catherine Sharp13 July 2020

There are now more than 5,000 journals in UCL’s transformative agreements, where UCL researchers can now publish open access without additional costs. They cover all disciplines; departments have been using our subject-specific list to identify journals that are relevant to them.

We’re getting lots of questions about which publishers might introduce an agreement next. Today, Paul Ayris (Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services) writes about the UUK/Jisc High Level Negotiation Strategy Group that oversees negotiation of these agreements, and explains what the Group is hoping to achieve with current negotiations.


UCL Library Services makes tens of thousands of electronic journals, books and databases available to all UCL staff and students. Have you ever wondered how these materials are acquired and how the discussions with the publishers are conducted?

For e-journals, these discussions take place at a national level and are conducted by the Jisc on behalf of UK Higher Education. UK HE spends a lot of money each year with commercial publishers to acquire e-journals – over £100 million. It’s big business and the consortium of universities that Jisc can call together for a deal with an individual publisher can be both large and impressive. In summer 2019, I stood down after many years as chair of the Jisc Content Strategy Group, which oversaw Big Deal purchases for UK HE. I did this because both Jisc and I wanted to move oversight of these deals to a body chaired at Vice-Chancellor level and aligned with Universities UK (UUK). In this way the new UUK/Jisc High Level Negotiation Strategy Group was born.

The membership is diverse. There are University Librarians like me on the Group, and I am happy to say that my colleague Chris Banks (Assistant Provost, Space and Director of Library Services at Imperial) is also a member. There are representatives from other University Libraries with less spending power than UCL and Imperial. SCONUL and RLUK (Research Libraries UK) are also members, as are senior academic figures representing UUK members. The Group is chaired by Professor Stephen Decent, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University.

What are our core aims? These are:

  • Develop and advance strategy for cost-effective publication, acquisition and delivery of research output which takes account of the dynamic nature of the information marketplace and the changing needs of the community
  • Develop and advance strategy for the utilization of negotiations with publishers and societies to facilitate a quick, cost effective and financially sustainable transition to OA
  • Develop and advance strategy for the use of a broad range of innovative approaches in licensing and negotiation to facilitate the acquisition, dissemination and management of research outputs
  • Provide leadership for national negotiations
  • Act as a conduit between the negotiators and the sector (university leaders, researchers, administration and funders) for the agreement, communication, oversight and reporting on objectives, strategy, tactics and progress of negotiations
  • Facilitate debate and action to help implement long term solutions to challenges in publication and acquisition of research output
  • Oversee the conduct of the negotiations on behalf of the UK academic community
  • Provide a focal point for the provision of guidance on the range of institutional responses to a dynamic research, policy and research environment
  • Evaluate options in the event that negotiations do not proceed as planned and further action from the sector may be required to achieve an acceptable agreement
  • Seek transparency in deals with publishers especially in relation to cost and how institutional money is being spent

It’s an ambitious and very demanding role. We have already written to all major publishers, asking for substantial reductions in subscription costs as a result of the pressure on university finances caused by covid-19. We have also set ourselves the target of turning all current subscription deals into Open Access Read and Publish deals. This will allow the UK to be compliant with a growing number of research funder policies, such as the forthcoming UKRI OA policy, the OA policy of the Wellcome Trust and Plan S from Science Europe.

The stakes are high. UCL is committed to Open Science/Scholarship principles as key drivers in the global research and education landscape. The role of the High Level Strategy Group is to deliver that change in the publishing arena, achieving the goal of 100% Open Access as speedily as possible.

Paul Ayris
Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Transforming publishing with new agreements?

Catherine Sharp25 May 2020

When Plan S was announced 18 months ago, requiring all publications from participating funders to be made open access from 2021, a new term – transformative agreement – entered the open access lexicon. The idea is to transform or transition journal publishing away from subscriptions towards full open access.

The Wellcome open access policy from 2021, and Plan S, allow authors to publish in three different types of journal. After their consultation on a new policy finishes, the UK Research Councils (UKRI) might well say something similar. Here are the three routes:

  1. Fully open access journals. All papers in these journals are published open access, often for a fee. Examples are the PLOS and BMC journals, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, SageOpen, Wellcome Open Research, and UCL’s own UCL Open: Environment and UCL Child Health Open Research.
  2. Journals that aren’t open access, but that allow authors to make their manuscripts open access in a repository like UCL Discovery, on publication, under the CC BY licence. Royal Society journals are an example.
  3. Journals that are part of transformative agreements, or are themselves transformative journals, until 2024.

Most publishers still don’t allow immediate open access in a repository, and most that do don’t allow CC BY. Transformative agreements are increasing, though.

Jisc, which negotiates our subscription agreements, has some complex criteria for transformative agreements. Publishers must offer 100% UK open access publishing that’s affordable, sustainable and transparent. Large commercial publishers, as well as society publishers like Microbiology Society and Electrochemical Society, all have agreements.

What does this mean for me?

UCL is trialling lots of transformative agreements this year. These include our long-standing SpringerCompact, RSC and IOP agreements, smaller offers from Brill, Thieme, European Respiratory Journal and the societies we’ve already mentioned, and larger agreements with Wiley and Sage.

These agreements are restricted to UCL corresponding authors. Make sure you give your UCL e-mail address and affiliation when you submit to a journal; you should be recognised as eligible if we have a transformative agreement. See our step-by-step guide to open access funding for more information both about these agreements and about other open access funding arrangements.

Contact us if you’d like to arrange a virtual department visit from us to discuss these agreements.