Open access: support and training for researchers

A message from Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange:

“My message in July launching the University of Nottingham Publication Framework promised news of further work underway to support publication. I am now pleased to announce a phase of initiatives that will generate fresh momentum and awareness around open access routes to sharing the outcomes of research.

The University has maintained a longstanding commitment to open access, as a way to share your scholarship as widely and freely as possible. The hub of this commitment is Nottingham ePrints, our institutional repository. This has seen a sharp increase in volume of deposits since 1 April 2016, in a positive response to HEFCE’s mandate that articles and conference papers accepted for publication from that date must be available open access in order to be eligible for assessment in REF2021.

The open access landscape can be challenging to navigate. The REF mandate makes it essential that every researcher is able to do so in a timely and informed way. In the coming months you will see a fresh wave of communications and events that aim to assist you in reconciling funder open access requirements with publisher copyright constraints. Led by the LRLR Research Support team, activity will include new training opportunities, social media campaigns and expanded online guidance.

HEFCE has defined a limited number of scenarios where an exception to their open access requirements for REF2021 may be claimed. A new University process for the appraisal and recording of such exceptions will be a key focus of this initiative. Among other outreach events, REF Co-ordinators and APM staff who support research within Schools and Faculties will be invited soon to workshops that will explore how Nottingham will meet the challenges of REF exceptions.

One aspect of HEFCE’s rules around open access that can be especially confusing is the deadline by which articles and conference papers must be deposited in Nottingham ePrints. HEFCE continues to state a preference that deposit occurs within three months from the date of acceptance for publication.

However, until Sunday 1 April 2018 they are conceding a grace period that extends this deadline to three months from the date of publication.

HEFCE has recently confirmed that from Sunday 1 April 2018 a “deposit exception” will have to accompany outputs that take advantage of this concession (i.e. that are deposited after three months from acceptance, but before three months from publication).

I trust these activities will have a positive impact on your confidence to harness the benefits that open access offers. Guidance on a range of open access themes, and FAQs based on issues raised by Nottingham colleagues, may be found within the LRLR research support webpages. If you have a query that is not answered there, please email openaccess@nottingham.ac.uk.”

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