Event for authors and researchers – Explore open access books

Springer Nature is holding a multidisciplinary event on Monday 23 April in London during Academic Book Week, exploring how open access books can help authors make the most out of their research. The event is open to all researchers and authors of scholarly works.

The half-day event will cover:

– Why should academics publish an open access book?

– How can authors track the impact of their book?

– What is the future of open access book funding?

– Author case studies showcasing OA book authors’ experiences.

Confirmed speakers include:

– Prof. Owen Davies, History Department, University of Hertfordshire

– Dr. Roseli Pellens, Macroecology, Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité, Paris

– Hannah Hope, Open Research Co-ordinator, Wellcome Trust.

*Update – further speakers have been confirmed*

  • Prof. Maureen Mackintosh, Economics, The Open University
  • Tim Britton, Managing Director Open Research, Springer Nature
  • Ros Pyne, Head of Policy & Development Open Research, Springer Nature
  • Martijn Roelandse, Head of Publishing Innovation, Springer Nature

Registration is now open:


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Training Offer: Research Data Management

We’re running a repeat of our training session on ‘Practical strategies for research data management’ on Thursday 19th April 2018, 10:00 to 11:30.

In this face to face session we’ll introduce the basics of research data management, including options for data storage, organising data, and how to write a data management plan.

We’ll also introduce services and tools that the OU has developed to help you manage your data.

The sessions is aimed at researchers, research students and research support staff.

Sign up via My Learning Centre – any if you have any questions, get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk.

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Applying for AHRC funding? Get to know your DMP

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has changed how it wants funding applicants to tell them how they will manage and share their research data. Previously, a Technical Plan was required, which would then be reviewed by members of the Technical College, but AHRC now requires a Data Management Plan (DMP) to be submitted instead, which will be assessed by members of the Academic College as part of the whole proposal.

A DMP will be mandatory for all Research Grants, Follow on Funding and Leadership Fellows proposals, and harmonises AHRC with other Research Councils, most of which require a DMP.

Plans should give information about:

  • Types of data
  • Proposed methodologies
  • Short and long term storage
  • Data sharing
  • Ethical and legal considerations

AHRC has updated its Research Funding Guide to include guidance about what information to include for these sections, the format to use (no more than 2 pages of A4 at font size 11!), and how to name your plan.

The funding guide also describes that when submitting, applicants confirm that their institution has considered and will meet a number of points which support and facilitate good data management. These services and information about them are all available at the OU, so if you have any questions please get in touch.

DMP Online has also been updated and now has an AHRC DMP template with relevant guidance, making it easy to structure and format your plan.

As usual, we are very happy to review DMPs before they are submitted (you can email them to library-research-suppotr@open.ac.uk), and, as we do for other funders, we will add examples of completed plans to our website as soon as we have them. If you’re happy to share yours, please let us know!

Ps. You might want to check out the recording and slides from our recent online training session on Writing Successful Data Management Plans

Posted in Data Management Plans, Funder requirements, Funding bids, Library research support, Research Data Management, Tools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

PGR Tea and Cake Social! 11th April

We’re developing our offering to OU postgraduate researchers and want to know what existing support you find useful and what other support you would like.

So we invite you to drink tea and coffee, eat cake, hang out with other PGRs, meet Library and Grad School staff, and give feedback on the PGR experience!

2.30pm – 3.15pm, Wednesday 11th April,
The Park, 2nd floor, Library

See you there!

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Online drop-in – find out about ORDO, the OU’s research data repository

ORDO (Open Research Data Online) is the OU’s research data repository, where OU research staff and students can upload their data, for:

  • secure long-term storage
  • sharing with others, by creating a metadata record describing it and, where appropriate, making the data itself accessible.

You can use it to publish data supporting a publication, or to archive at the end of a project.

“ORDO has proved incredibly useful for hosting sound clips generated by acoustic simulations and experiments, enabling us to provide a link to those clips within conference papers and journal publications” (Professor David Sharp)

We’ll be having an online drop-in next week on Tuesday 27TH March at 11:00-12:00, where we’ll show you how it works and be on hand to answer any questions you have. Feel free to join us at any time during the hour.

To join the session, go to our Adobe Connect online room page and click on “join room”.

If that time doesn’t work for you, or if you want to get started, you can find ORDO at ou.figshare.com and log in with your OU credentials.

For more information, see the ORDO information on our website or get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk


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UK Data Service training – GDPR and research data

The UK Data Service is running a training session on Friday 4th May, on Managing and sharing research data: What is new with the GDPR?

“In this hands-on workshop you will learn best practices for managing and publishing research data resulting from research with participants. Specific attention will be paid to new requirements of the GDPR when gaining consent, processing and de-identifying data and sharing them for future use”

The UK Data Service is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to meet the data needs of researchers, students and teachers from all sectors – but you don’t need to be an ESRC funded researcher to attend. It takes place at the University of Essex and the costs are £30 for UK registered students, £60 for staff from UK academic institutions.

Full details and the link for bookings are on the UK Data Service website.

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Access to library resources directly from publishers’ websites

Do you want to access library resources directly from publishers’ websites? If so the Library access browser extension is for you.

How does it work?

The Library Access browser extension makes it simple to access academic articles, journals and databases licensed by The Open University Library, wherever you are and whenever you need it.

After downloading, the extension will notify you when you’re on a website that The Open University Library has a subscription for. Then, it’s just a single click to open the site through the library’s systems and get access to all licensed material on that site. Install the browser extension once and enjoy a simpler, faster way to get access.

The browser extension shows an icon in the bookmarks bar. It works almost like a traffic light. If the icon is green, then you have access. A grey icon means that access is denied. If the material you’d like to use doesn’t seem accessible, Library Access will automatically check for open access versions of the article.

Download the Library Access browser extension

Are you interested in downloading the extension? The Library Access page on the Library website has all the information you need.

 What about my privacy?  

By using the Library Access extension you will remain completely anonymous. The Library Access browser extension doesn’t collect any personal information unless you actively share it. And it doesn’t collect your IP address or your device’s unique device IDs.

Do you want to know more? The privacy statement for the extension contains the information you need.


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REF 2021 Open Access Policy – Update

The Open Access policy for the next REF has been amended.

To be eligible for submission to the next REF, HEFCE now requires that the full-text of journal articles and published, peer-reviewed conference proceedings (with an ISSN) are deposited in an open access repository within 3 months from acceptance. This is a change from the previous timeframe of 3 months from first publication (in place since 1st April 2016).

A new deposit exception to the policy has been created to cater for publications being added to an open access repository in accordance with the old timeframe.  Any publication that misses the new timeframe (3 months from acceptance) but meets the old timeframe (3 months from first publication) will be eligible to claim this exception.  This exception will remain in place for the whole of the REF2021 publication period.

This change is required for all eligible publications accepted for publication on or after 1st April 2018.  The version of the publication required by HEFCE to be deposited in an open access repository is the author’s accepted manuscript.

Further details can be found at http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/oa/Policy/.


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ORCID Training

Earlier in the week Alan and I did some more training on ORCID IDs for researchers here at the OU.  ORCID IDs are persistent identifiers for researchers and can be used to:

  • Aid disambiguation in researcher platforms to ensure accurate ownership of research outputs
  • Make connections across researcher platforms to save time

Slides are available:


Further notes from the presentation : ORCIDs at the OU – Notes

Research Support Website: ORCID

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Guest post: Dr Marc Cornock on GDPR

You may have noticed increasing mentions of GDPR lately. The General Data Protection Regulation is the new EU-wide Regulation that will replace the UK Data Protection Act. It’s something we have been reading up on as part of our work supporting researchers in managing their data, and came across an editorial by Dr Marc Cornock, Senior Lecturer in Health at the OU, which neatly summarises GDPR and its implications for research. 

We thought Marc’s piece well worth sharing and invited him to be a guest blogger, to talk about GDPR and link to his editorial. Look out for further information here on GDPR over the next couple of months, but now, over to Marc…

In less than 3 months on 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679/EU comes into force. This is a major piece of legislative reform for 2 reasons: firstly it is the biggest change in data protection law and the rules surrounding the use, storage and dissemination of personal data in over twenty years; and secondly, the actual legislation itself is huge. The Regulation runs to 11 Chapters, 99 Articles and 173 Recitals. A Recital sets out the reasoning within a specific Article or clarifies as aspect of the Regulation.

The GDPR aims to harmonise data protection and privacy laws across all member states of the European Union. Although the United Kingdom has set out its desire to leave the European Union through the Brexit process; at the point at which the GDPR comes into force the United Kingdom will still be a part of the European Union, and as Regulations of the European Union are directly applicable in all member states without the need for further legislation, the GDPR will become law in the United Kingdom as well as the rest of the European Union.

The United Kingdom is making provision for the continued effect of the GDPR after Brexit through the introduction of the Data Protection Bill 2017, which is currently going through Parliament.

One headline fact that has been mentioned numerously is the size of the fine that can be applied for a breach of the GDPR principles. Article 83 provides for fines of €20 Million or 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of an organization, whichever is higher, for a serious breach. This figure is enough to concentrate the mind and because of its importance, and its size and complexity, a lot of people are worried about the implementation of the GDPR and their preparedness for it.

At The Open University, various individuals and departments have been working on the implementation of the GDPR for some time and ensuring that all OU processes are compliant with the Regulation. Because of the issues around Brexit, the Information Commissioner’s Office does not presently have a definitive guide to the GDPR but rather has a living document that provides guidance as it is available. This does mean that organisations are not expected to have every procedure and process in place on 25th May 2018; rather they need to be able to demonstrate that they are working toward it.

The GDPR will affect research and individual researchers. For some of the issues affecting researchers I would direct you to my recent editorial in Maturitas available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2018.01.017


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