Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Discussing ORCID... and the Gold vs Green controversy


  A new GrandIR technical session was held on Sep 6th at the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC) in Barcelona. This new workshop was devoted to Author IDs and ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) and brought together representatives from the various stakeholders concerned by the launch of the ORCID service, to take place next Oct 15th. The event programme included ORCID themselves (Martin Fenner, Chair of the ORCID Outreach Working Group), National author ID initiatives (Amanda Hill, Names Project UK), funders (Gerry Lawson, Natural Environment Research Council, NERC), National Research Offices (David Arellano, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, FECYT) and publishers/vendors (Philip Purnell, Thomson Reuters). Each of the speakers delivered a presentation (files are downloadable from the session programme) and a round table was held afterwards in order to discuss the requirements for an universal author identifier as well as its implications and challenges.

A summary of the session discussions follows:
    • - ORCID service is set to be launched Oct 15th. Martin Fenner provided an up-to-date view of the ORCID interface as it stands right now, although -he mentioned- it keeps evolving every day.
      - ORCID business model is currently being established along the following lines: the service will be free for individual authors/researchers, and there will be a fee for institutions, to be classified as small or large. Charge for small ones will be $4,000 per year. Overlay services will gradually be made available.
      - ORCID will run different strategies for buiding up an author database: (free) individual registration for authors, collective registration for institutions (for a fee), collection & upgrade from other existing author IDs - such as ThomsonReuters ResearcherID, Scopus Author Identifier, arXiv, etc.
      - ORCID duplication may result from overlapping registration strategies - some dissambiguation work should be required to clear those. ORCID won't be providing this service (at least not at launchtime, although possibly later on), so this might be a potential role for National Author ID projects (such as Names, DAI or Lattes) which lie closer to the authors.
      - Two main workflows have been designed so far for promoting ORCID use: (i) Publisher Workflow, meaning publishers will request ORCIDs to authors at manuscript submission time, and (ii) Funder Workflow, by which funders will request ORCIDs to researchers at grant bid submission time. Several publishers are already working to enable ORCID collection, and research funders are happy to be able to work with a non-profit initiative instead of commercial providers.
    • - Institutions running a CRIS system will be better positioned for ORCID implementation, once the required datamodel updates are performed (euroCRIS CERIF TG is currently working on CERIF datamodel enhancement in order to bring persistent identifiers into the system). For those HEIs not running CRIS Systems (for which CERIF is incidentally not a requirement), Institutional Repositories may as well play a key role for ORCID implementation purposes.
      - There are a number of author ID-related services that ORCID will not aim to provide. Among these, organisation IDs, citations, usage or other value-added services. ORCID actually aims to provide a basic feature (namely author identifier plus attached publications) on top of which other stakeholders are expected to build value-added services. ThomsonReuters ResearcherID (as well as other commercial or national author ID services) is therefore not planned to be superseded by ORCID, but they will co-exist instead.
      - One month away from service launch, there are several important factors that remain unclear, such as the service takeup by authors, the project timeschedule or the level of duplication that may result from overlapping registration strategies. Strategies for service dissemination among the research community remain also to be defined to some extent. However, meetings like the one held in Barcelona or the upcoming one at Humboldt-Universit├Ąt in Berlin will certainly support awareness-raising among the research community.

  • Finally, the meeting in Barcelona also offered the opportunity to discuss with Gerry Lawson, UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), whether the RCUK policy for promoting Gold OA as a default option for complying with their Open Access policy turned the Research Council into "traitors" to the Open Access movement. When offered the opportunity to discuss their view, he said the Coucils were by no means opposed to Green OA - only after ten years work, repositories were still not complying the funders' requirements for tracking Open Access outputs and payments.

    Discussions on the default Gold OA direction the UK has taken following the release of the Finch Report should also account for this current reporting shortcomings in Green OA infrastructures. At the same time, requests for turning the RCUK OA Policy a more balanced supporting tool for both Gold and Green OA seem indeed reasonable enough.

    In summary, the session was very useful for disseminating the current state of the ORCID initiative on the verge of its being released and for discussing its implications and challenges for organisations and initiatives potentially involved in its roll out as a service to researchers and the wider community. Some additional session outcomes are starting to surface as requests for further ORCID dissemination at given universities in Spain - more information on this will be provided in due time. The ORCID Service launch meeting in Berlin next October will also provide new insights on the service that will be dutily reported.

    Video recordings of the interventions will shortly be made available at the UOC O2 Institutional Repository. A useful session summary in Spanish has also been published by Elvira Santamaria at the EPI Blog.

    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Steady progress of Open Access at Kenyatta University and beyond



      As shown in the Open Access trend worldmap in the previous post, Kenya may well be the country where a strongest impulse towards Open Access implementation in a coordinated, cross-institutional way is currently under way. A high number of Kenyan universities are taking steps to issue Open Access policies and to set up their institutional repositories. These include Maseno University, which has recently become the first signatory of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access in Kenya, Kenyatta University, which is about to adopt an institutional Open Access policy and is already running its own IR, Moi University, University of Nairobi and JKUAT, which has recently issued a Digital Repository Policy document so well drafted that it may become a source of inspiration for many other institutions in the continent.

    Efforts during the Open Access activity week at KU were aimed to train the Kenyatta University IR and ICT staff and KU researchers and Management Board on Open Access and on how to deal with the new institutional repository which is being developed by the University Library. The 2-day seminar held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) -organised by Reuben Njuguna, KU Dept. of Business Administration- provided the summit in the OA advocacy sessions held during the week. The first day of this event was devoted to introducing Open Access and its current worklines to the KU Management board, with talks by Gitau George Njoroge, Director of KU Library, Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme manager, William Nixon, Digital Library manager at the University of Glasgow and Brian Hole, manager of the Ubiquity Press Open Access publisher. The second day a round of group discussions was held among the KU VCs and professors in order to establish the guidelines for a draft Open Access policy for KU, which is now under review by the KU Law Department in order to make it final.


    In the meantime KU legacy dissertations are starting to be digitised in order to provide full-text files to the metadata-only items that presently constitute the largest part of the KU IR. Metadata sets associated with different document types are also undergoing an update so they'll fit the requirements for providing a thorough description of the KU research output. Once this processes reach an advanced state, an advocacy campaign for further dissemination of the advantages the IR provides the KU community will be carried out at KU Schools. Ideally this should result in KU researchers and professors having the opportunity to offer their online research profiles and publications in the same way as Dr. Erik Nordman, a GVSU researcher in environmental economics who is currently spending a sabbatical year at KU School of Environmental Studies and whose publications are easy to track at his home ScholarWorks@GVSU repository.

    The setting up of the KU IR will not only provide visibility for the KU scholarly output, but will also help introducing better description procedures for the Faculty members' publications. Once it gets consolidated as a fully operational reporting tool, the IR will also become the default platform for collecting the KU research output, including the journals internally published by KU Schools and Departments which are currently impossible to track online. If the IR Project at KU is able to keep its cruise speed and meet its strategic goals, the Kenyatta University Library should in the mid-term develop a research information management system as inspirating as its actual building.


    With the ongoing EIFL-funded Project “Knowledge without boundaries: Advocacy campaign in Kenya for OA and institutional repositories” providing a solid platform for promoting Open Access and IRs in the country through the Kenyan Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC), a national network of well-populated institutional repositories could soon become a reality, showing the way ahead to other East African countries.