Processing the Gold Route: Open Access at the School of Advanced Study

This post takes a quick look at what the School is doing to enable its researchers to publish Open Access. As most of you will know scholarly publication is in the process of change. For a long time now we’ve accepted the subscription service route; institutions pay for access to the research that they and others publish. This has kept much research out of the public domain, but requirement of publishing Open Access is now upon us. Each institution will handle Open Access differently and it is therefore important to check with your own institution. Almost a year ago now the School of Advanced Study (SAS) set out in a statement its current stance on the subject. “The School recognises that major research funders in the UK encourage if not increasingly demand Open Access, as do most international funding bodies, and therefore encourages its researchers, wherever possible, to take account of Open Access when deciding where to publish. In its willingness to comply with these mandates, the School is, now and for the foreseeable future, in favour of Open Access by means of the Green Route.” The full statement can be read here In short, SAS has confirmed that it is dedicated to the Open Access routes and has now set out how it will be initially achieving this aim. If you are a member of SAS and currently work on a Research Council UK (RCUK) project then you NEED to be thinking about Open Access and which route you will need to take. As SAS Space manager I’m here to help so please feel free to contact me...

Managing and sharing data at the School of Advanced Study

 This post takes a quick look at some of the things that the School of Advanced Study is doing to enable researchers to think about the research process and to consider their underlying ‘data’ as a commodity in its own right. What is ‘data’ and why should we care about it? In the humanities ‘data’ is a term often restricted in our thoughts as relevant only to research outputs in statistical form. If a Database is created to manage and interpret evidence then that is considered data. If a series of index cards are used or a series of text documents or images are produced, that is often thought of as our evidence, but not as data as such. Yet, in essence our underlying research is data and what we do with that ‘data’ is equally important as what we do with the publications that result from it. I wear two hats at the School of Advanced Study but both concern the research process. The first is as manager of SAS Space and SAS Open Journals. These services provide online spaces for researchers to share and preserve their underlying ‘data’ and opens up a space for Open Access publication. The second hat focuses on training as a means to better enable researchers to make use of such tools (and to understand why they are useful and necessary) and (hopefully) to help them manage their own research more efficiently for their own benefit and for the benefit of the humanities community in general. The School of Advanced Study (SAS) recognises the importance of enabling humanities researchers to manage, preserve, and...

Getting to grips with Open Access

Getting to grips with Open Access requires a step-change in the way we do things. In this post the new SAS-Space manager considers this issue and shares with us some of his thoughts as he took up the appointment in February. It would seem that Open Access is a process that continues to worry and confuse researchers. Its core idea is a great one: free academic work from the confines of a select few who can access subscription services and make it available to everyone. What’s not to like? That I think is the wrong question. Whether or not we like the idea of open access is academic. Open Access is here to stay. What matters now is to understand what it means to us and how we can make best use of what should be an exciting but challenging change in the way we do things. When I took over the managerial role for SAS-Space and SAS Open Journals back in February I knew that I had a steep learning curve ahead of me. Like many in the discipline I knew that the UK government wanted all academic research to be made open access as quickly as possible. The Research Councils are already demanding open access publication and other areas of academic funding/accountability will soon follow. I also knew that there were discipline-specific issues that meant that the humanities sat uncomfortably within the framework the government were putting forward; although I didn’t know what those issues were as such. That was about all I knew. Like many of you (I’d imagine) I was aware that open access was...