An interview with Rob Johnson, Research Consulting Ltd
For podcast release Monday, May 20, 2013
KENNEALLY: Welcome, everyone. Good morning, good afternoon to all of you joining us today for a very special webinar, part of a series at Copyright Clearance Center has been producing over the last year discussing the challenges and the questions around open access publishing, in particular today talking about the academic market. Joining me in just a few moments will be Rob Johnson, head of research operations for the University of Nottingham, but we’re very happy to have everyone on board.
We’ll let you know briefly what our agenda is about, and we should remind you that there will be a recording made available to everybody listening with us today. In about 24 hours after today’s program, you’ll be able to access that recording and share it with your colleagues. You’ll also receive a copy of all of the slides, so we do hope you will share those with your colleagues internally.
But for the next hour, we’re going to look at open access from a variety of perspectives. We’ll have an update on the latest news on the subject. We’ll speak with Rob Johnson about the challenges that academic institutions face. We’re going to turn to you for a live audience poll, ask you some questions, get a sense of the temperature in the room around some of these important subjects, and we’ll also hear from a colleague of mine, Bill O’Brien, discussing RightsLink and some of the ways that it can assist academics, institutions, and publishers in the open access world.
Very briefly about Copyright Clearance Center, your sponsor for today’s program. We are online at copyright.com, and we’ve been serving publishers and authors since 1978 throughout every stage of the content life cycle. (inaudible) research. We’re a Pubget services player, an especially important role. Through content submission, publication services allows authors to submit their materials and to get reprints in post-publication.
We are obviously very much concerned with rights acquisition, and we have an entire rights holder relations team working very hard to ensure that publishers’ and authors’ rights are enrolled in all of our programs and made the most use of by their readers and consumers.
We announced last fall at the Frankfurt Book Fair that Copyright Clearance Center is now involved in content delivery, and that’s something that has been gathering steam and very much a new and popular adding to our services.
And finally, of course, Copyright Clearance Center has been known throughout our existence as the rights licensing expert. We operate in both the corporate and academic worlds.
And now, I want to invite onto the program from the U.K., Rob Johnson, head of research operations at the University of Nottingham. Rob, welcome.
JOHNSON: Thanks, Chris. It’s great to be here.
KENNEALLY: We’re happy you can join us today and we’re looking forward to your perspective, and we’ll tell people briefly about your own background. As I mentioned, Rob is head of research operations at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. with responsibility for financial and administrative oversight of the university’s 400 million pound portfolio of research projects. I would bet that’s about 600 million U.S. dollars.
The University of Nottingham is a longstanding advocate of open access publishing within the U.K. and was one of the first U.K. universities to adopt an intermediary for handling article processing charges, APCs. Rob’s own role in supporting the shift to open access publishing at Nottingham has encompassed policy setting, systems development, business process redesign, and financial modeling.
He’s a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and prior to taking up his post at Nottingham, spent eight years with KPMG, the professional services firm, working with clients in higher education in both the U.K. and New Zealand. Rob’s recently founded Research Consulting Ltd., which provides consultancy in the field of research management to higher education, health care, and academic publishing.
Again, Rob, very happy to have you join us today, and I think the thing we should start with is to help everybody kind of catch up with some of the news from open access world. Certainly, this is the definition of a developing story, Rob, as we journalists say, of things that are moving quite fast here. Let’s remind people of a few important highlights.
JOHNSON: That’s exactly it. It is moving incredibly quickly. In the U.K., this all sort of started back with the Finch Report, which really was less than a year ago and has moved very quickly since then. We had the original RCUK guidance back in July, and there’s been a lot of push-back from that. That’s the Research Council of the U.K. that provides most of the public funding for U.K. universities.
A lot of push-back on their original guidance, which actually led to a review by our House of Lords Science and Technology Committee that just reported last month and branded parts of that guidance unacceptable. So that gives you a feel for the sort of level of discontent that there’s been over here.
Just in the last couple of weeks, RCUK has issued some revised guidance. They tried to take on board some of the concerns from the academic community, from the publishers. And this, of course, is only three weeks or so before the deadline for implementation of 1 April, 2013, so it is all moving very rapidly.
The other thing that I’d just highlight is our Higher Education Funding Council, which provides block grant funding for research in the U.K. They’re consulting on their own policy on open access, which is going to indicate that they’re going to require any articles submitted to our Research Excellence Framework – that’s a sort of seven-yearly exercise to assess research quality – require any articles to be open access for eligibility in that framework really from next year onward. Again, that’s a big move in the direction of supporting open access publishing and broadening its acceptance.
KENNEALLY: Right. And Rob, lest anybody think that we are unnecessarily emphasizing the U.K. in all of this, it really is true, isn’t it, that as far as open access goes, some of these U.K. policies, government policies, and funder policies really are driving it, not only for publishers and academics in the United Kingdom itself, but around the world.
JOHNSON: Absolutely. I think there’s variations in the way this is being interpreted, but there’s no doubt that it’s funded internationally and other bodies are really moving in a direction of open access, and one of the things we’ll come onto is the distinction between the green and gold route, and the U.K. is looking perhaps a little unusual at the moment in pushing the gold route, but absolutely a number of other policies. NIH, the European Commission, the Australian Research Counsel have all issued fairly strong statements in support of open access, so this is very much an international movement.
KENNEALLY: Thanks for that. Let’s turn now to a slide that gives everybody an idea, Rob, of the complexities involved and why, in fact, some of those challenges that you were just discussing have been coming.
Here, we have a sort of decision chart that was published by the RCUK in its recent clarification and provided by the Publishers Association. What’s going on here? There’s a variety of chains that we need to explore.
JOHNSON: Yes, that’s right. This is something, as you say, prepared by the Publishers Association. It wasn’t used in RCUK’s original guidance, and again, they were more or less told by our House of Lords they ought to put this in there because it introduces some clarification on the decision-making process.
What it’s asking our authors and universities to consider is firstly, who’s funded the research. If it’s publically funded, the implication – and this makes a lot of sense. The implication is if the public has paid for research, then the public, anyone, should be able to access it, so I think most of us can understand the first stage of that process.
But then it starts to get a little more complex. Is there a gold open access option available from the publisher? And of course, publishers are rapidly moving to offer this, but at the moment, perhaps not everyone’s in a position to do so. So RCUK have recognized if there’s no option of paying to make something open access, it’s possible to put that article into the repository.
But one of the very contentious issues here is, of course, the embargo periods that RCUK are demanding. They were talking about a six-month embargo period at most, or 12 months for the arts and the social sciences, and clearly, that’s a very short period of time from publishers’ perspectives, so that’s been one of the very contentious issues.
KENNEALLY: Rob, you know what? I’m going to step in, because I think it’s probably worth pausing for a moment and giving people a very quick bumper sticker on both what gold OA and green OA, what you mean by those two terms.
JOHNSON: Yes, there’s a lot of terminology in this area, isn’t there, which is easy to lapse into.
The gold open access is where we’re making a payment. So we, as universities, whether it’s using our own funds or funds from external funding bodies, make a payment to the publisher up front at the point of publication so that that something becomes open access immediately. And that’s called an article processing charge, the payment that we make there.
The green option is making something available, generally after a publisher’s embargo period has expired, through an institution repository or a subject repository. The article is deposited either in one of those institutional repositories or elsewhere so that people can find it at any point, but generally, that can’t be done until six, 12, 24 months after the point of publication.
The research counsels have said, we want research to be open access immediately, and that’s why they’re pushing the gold route, but as we looked at that, it brings a number of challenges with it.
KENNEALLY: Right. And in fact, I think it’s important to just sort of underscore that the funder mandates are pushing publishers and authors in this particular direction, and the speed of all of this is really what is the concern. It’s meant a lot of challenges both administratively and managerially.
JOHNSON: Absolutely. It is that speed of transition, so, as I said, really in the last year, all of this has started to move very, very quickly and there’s a lot of questions, particularly around that bottom left part of the decision tree there about funding. And of course, as soon as you start to get into questions about funding, you’re talking about, well, here you give access to those funds, what happens if the money runs out? Who makes those decisions? And it starts to impinge upon questions of academic freedom, which many academics are understandably very worried about.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And I think this is a good moment for us, Rob, to turn to our own audience to see how they feel just about the open access movement generally and their readiness for these various mandates that you were just discussing.
So we’re going to pop in a few questions for our interactive poll. You’ll have 45 seconds to give us your answer, and we will see the results displayed immediately. We’ll get a sense of the room here. We have, as I said, the opening participants from around the world. We’ve got people in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and otherwise, so we’re looking forward to getting that sort of instant global sampling.
Our first question is, how much will open access compliance mandates change your business processes? There are four choices: not much at all, a little, somewhat, a lot. Give us an idea, just a sort of personal notion not necessarily based on business information, but our own gut reaction. How will open access compliance mandates change your business processes?
We’re seeing the votes come in. We’d like to see as many people participate as we can get. Use the chat box there and just give us your vote. And we have seen – let’s see here. We’re waiting for participants. About 15 seconds to go. I’m very curious to get this answer, because we have our own sense, but we want to see what people think.
All right. Thank you all for your reply. What we can see here, Rob, is that people are in the middle, really. The largest percentage of people believe that open access compliance mandates are going to change their processes somewhat. We see below that a lot or entirely. So I guess about 40 percent, four out of 10, really expect a reasonable amount of change.
JOHNSON: Yes, and I think that’s about right. The thing to understand at the moment is this is something that’s growing very rapidly, but it’s still growing from a fairly low base, and we’re certainly not in a position where the traditional subscription model-based publication is going to die anytime soon.
So this makes a lot of sense to me, that actually, if you look at the process as a whole, things are starting to change, but there’s an awful lot of things that are going to continue to happen in the way that they have for a while. But this sort of activity is going to start to happen in parallel.
KENNEALLY: Right. And our second question was about estimating your organizational level of readiness for implementing open access. And I’m sorry, I thought the votes were going to come one at a time, so I hope everybody was able to get your votes in for those three questions all at the same time. My apologies if that was your expectation as well.
But we do have some votes in there, Rob, and it seems as if the people voting feel reasonably comfortable that they are more prepared than not, and that’s good news. But how do you respond to that? Do you think people are as prepared as they may think they are?
JOHNSON: The devil is in the detail, isn’t it? I think a lot of people have picked up that this is coming and that we as universities, publishers, funders, all sorts of stakeholders need to be able to accommodate this, and I think a lot of people are starting to think about some of the issues.
But it’s amazing how many people I talk to who are still actually struggling with some of the details about things like splitting payments for article processing charges. What if you have a paper that’s got 12 different authors and they all want to pay a twelfth towards that charge? How does that get handled? Some of the issues certainly here in the U.K. about value-added taxes on those charges.
There’s a number of detail things that I think have really still got to be worked through, and also the relationship between article processing charges and subscriptions. We all know that’s going to be a challenging dynamic over time, but we don’t quite know how that’s going to start to evolve.
KENNEALLY: And finally, the last question we were asking was to estimate the level of understanding among authors for open access policies and procedures. And Rob, we wouldn’t expect authors who are busy with their real work, with is research and so forth, to really be following this closely, and indeed, a recent report from Taylor and Francis, which is available online, a survey of something like nearly 15,000 researchers found that the sort of I-don’t-know category is pretty large.
And indeed, we see that the people online today with us, they estimate that authors probably don’t know very much about all of this. Again, the largest proportion – one third – put the vote in at low or some understanding, and very few actually think that most authors get this pretty well. Would that be again your experience there at Nottingham?
JOHNSON: Yes. I think it’s interesting that the two percent – and that does make sense because there are a few academics I come into contact with who are really very well-informed, particularly those who, of course, are acting as editors on open access journals. They know all about this area and in some cases, are very enthusiastic about it.
Others, to be honest, are skeptical, and then there’s others who are sort of fairly neutral about it and just want to know what they have to do to comply.
But the challenge is getting the message out there, and I think what you said about having research to do and having so many other conflicting priorities, a lot of the challenge is just making people aware of the changing mandates from funders and actually how they go about complying with those, because there’s so many different models to actually deliver something in open access form.
KENNEALLY: Right. Thanks to everyone who participated in our little survey.
And Rob, moving onto our next slide, you have done some surveying of U.K. higher education and library directors. We’ve got some reports for this. This is from June 2011, so of course the situation’s changed somewhat, but I think it gives us an idea of what to expect out there today in 2013. Talk about that.
JOHNSON: Absolutely. I think what this shows is how far we’ve had to come within the U.K. higher education sector, so yes, that’s right. This is a survey that was done by a couple of colleagues of mine at Nottingham about 18 months or just over ago, and at that point, the interesting thing is that really, 90 percent of institutions have no central processes in place for managing open access, and actually, for most of them, this wasn’t even on their radar. They weren’t even thinking about how they might handle these sorts of things.
So really, within a very short space of time, we’re now in a position where probably all of these institutions are having to handle relatively large sums of money, get ready to manage large volumes of article processing charges, and put these things in place very quickly, and I think one of the interesting things is, with very little historical data to go on. So the really interesting thing about the situation in the U.K. is no one really knows exactly what’s going to happen, how quickly authors are going to move to open access, what it’s going to cost. There’s an awful lot of assumptions being made here.
KENNEALLY: It really is a kind of a terra incognita, and I think another point is that who’s responsible for administrating all of this? There’s some question about which particular part of a university is responsible.
JOHNSON: That’s right. Open access falls into an interesting area in that traditionally, publications and subscriptions will generally be managed through institutional libraries, but actually, management of research funds will generally sit in a research support office or equivalent, which is where I myself am based.
So what we found in this survey was that there was a fairly even split between where institutions who did have a central management approach would choose to put responsibility for that. Here in Nottingham, it rests with me and my team, and we align it with the research funds management. In other universities, it sits with the libraries.
I think in any case, institutions are going to have to collaborate very closely internally to link up those two parts of the organization. That does actually make it difficult for publishers sometimes to understand who they should be interacting with within a university.
KENNEALLY: Right. And Rob, because again, you have been part of this very much developing story, you have a sense of the situation in the U.K. today, and we’re going to look at it from two angles, first, from the academic community. Very briefly, just sort of tell us about some of the really high-level challenges that people are feeling.
JOHNSON: I think what we’ve been doing at Nottingham over the last couple of months is running a series of road shows, trying to get the message out to our academics. And what comes across in many cases is what I call these kind of academic community or cultural challenges and the skepticism that many academics have towards this.
The sorts of things you hear about is they’re not really interested in being told to publish in one place or another. As academics, they want to have freedom to publish where they choose, and generally, they want to publish in high-impact journals. Some of the pure open access journals, there’s skepticism about those if they don’t have a high impact rating.
There’s also skepticism about publishers and nonprofits. Why are we choosing to pay money to the people we’re already paying subscriptions to? And some of this comes from relatively low amounts of information and there’s some misconceptions there, but there’s also some people who feel very passionate about this and so are quite resistant to the idea.
There’s a particular challenge in some disciplinary areas. We tended to find that the meds and health sciences are already quite receptive to open access. When you start to move into areas like the arts and social sciences, also engineering, there’s not really a strong existing culture of open access publishing, so this is a particularly challenging transition for academics in those sorts of disciplines.
And even when you get over those sort of challenges, there’s often the, oh, I don’t know how to actually do this anyway. It’s too hard. I’m just not going to bother.
KENNEALLY: And again, those kinds of questions and that sort of pushback is very much evident in that survey from Taylor and Francis and Informa, which I believe is available online. People can take a look for that. We will find you a link and get you that following the program.
Rob, looking at the situation from an infrastructure and management perspective, there are a lot of challenges there as well.
JOHNSON: Absolutely. These are the sorts of things that keep me awake at night at the moment. When you look at this at an organizational level, the volume of transactions that we’re dealing with starts to become an issue. How do we process all of these low-value payments to so many different publishers? Where do we get the resource to do that? How do we actually keep track of the publications that we’ve gotten, who funded them?
There are, as many people will be aware, a growing number of bogus publishers who are seeking to capitalize on this. I’ve seen some often very badly spelled emails that have been sent to our academics trying to entice them to submit articles to fairly bogus journals, so managing that is an issue.
There are issues around metadata, as well. So I think all the parties in this process are interested in getting hold of better data about what’s happening.
KENNEALLY: It seems to me that all the parties involved are so much more closely tied to the activity of publishing than they ever have been before. It was a chain of supply, if you will, but they were sort of siloed. Now, people are kind of finding themselves all in the same place together.
JOHNSON: Absolutely. I think the fascinating thing is this is forcing interactions to emerge that haven’t really existed in the past and forcing linkages to be made, particularly between research funding and research publications, that haven’t always been that evident in the past. So that’s absolutely right, Chris.
KENNEALLY: We are chatting today with Rob Johnson, the head of research operations for the University of Nottingham. My name is Chris Kenneally for Copyright Clearance Center. And thank you very much for joining us for this special one-hour webinar on open access publishing.
Rob, let’s take a look very quickly at your own experience there at Nottingham, because as we mentioned at the top, it was one of the first institutions to adopt an open access policy going back to 2006.
JOHNSON: That’s right, yes. Nottingham has been at the forefront of this area for a number of years. We did take a decision back in 2006 to say we would strongly encourage our academics to publish in open access form, and we put our money where our mouth was and we put some money behind that. So we’ve had a central open access fund for a number of years, which our academics can draw upon to meet article processing charges. And we’ve also had quite a strong role in advocacy for open access within the sector.
KENNEALLY: Right. And in that same period of time, this has been a rapidly growing piece of business for you there at Nottingham. You’ve seen the institutional open access fund, the requests to that fund, rise dramatically, particularly in the last couple of years.
JOHNSON: That’s right. And this has really happened fairly organically up to this point, so we’ve made our fund available. What we tended to find is that word has gone out then of some funders, particularly the Wellcome Trust in the U.K., have mandated open access, and that accounts for a portion of these articles.
But a lot of it is really just academics buying into the concept of open access, finding out about the fact that the university supports this, and managing to access those funds. So, you’re right, we’ve seen a fairly steady but quite significant rate of increase up till this point.
KENNEALLY: And I think the other thing that’s interesting about that particular chart is that BioMed Central was all on its own back in 2006, but today, it’s really just one part of this problem.
JOHNSON: It is, although it’s always been a significant part for us, and I think because that’s primarily in the medical field, as I said, that’s the area of the university and I think generally that’s adopted this most rapidly to date. But obviously, we would expect that proportion to decrease over time as other disciplines start to come on board.
KENNEALLY: Well, indeed. You’ve seen in your experience at Nottingham there the numbers of publishers rise to greater than 75 in the last six years, and apart from BioMed Central, which we just mentioned, we have the list there of some of the top publishers who’ve received payments for 10 or more articles. And frankly, as everybody can get a quick look, it’s all the obvious candidates from Elsevier and Springer to the Public Library of Science and many others that everyone will be familiar with.
JOHNSON: That’s right. I think the interesting point here, though, is actually those top 10 still account for less than half of the total, so we have a very dispersed supplier base. And when you start to look at this from a sort of transaction management, process efficiency perspective, this is a very complicated thing to manage, because we’re dealing with so many different publishers all with their own systems and processes, and trying to manage that in a standardized way is a real challenge to the universities.
KENNEALLY: I can imagine it would be. I see now what you mean by staying up at night.
And the other piece that’s obviously going to keep you up at night is the compliance cost there at the university. What are we looking at here, and explain that.
JOHNSON: What we’ve shown there is our baseline position of what we consider to be our RCUK-funded articles that were gold open access in ’11-’12 of about 200. We missed that ’12-’13 because that’s a fairly unusual year because of some of the funding that’s been put into this area.
But the interesting thing is that the funds that RCUK are providing are only sufficient for about 500 articles or so be published through the gold route open access over the next couple of years. So although they’re saying that everything should be open access, they’re not providing the funds to do that immediately, so we think, actually, it would cost us about 1.6 million pounds to make all of our RCUK articles gold open access, and we’re being given about 600 thousand pounds to do that. The difference there has got to be met through the green method, or else it’s going to be met through noncompliance.
It’s just interesting to see, I think, the shortfall in the funds that are being provided. And this really reflects RCUK’s expectations. Probably realistic, but not everyone is going to buy into this, so some of the things they’ve been saying recently is this is about a journey. It’s not an event. They don’t expect everything to change over time, but they’re looking for a steady progression towards. At the moment, they’re talking about 75 percent compliance by 2017.
KENNEALLY: And you know, Rob, we talk about open access. We’re in the front row right now for all this here at Copyright Clearance Center, as you are. But do you have a sense that Nottingham, or just generally in the U.K., what percentage of all articles published are in open access right now?
JOHNSON: We do from our own experience, so we’re fairly fortunate in that we have that data. We think on average we publish just under 4,000 articles a year here at Nottingham. Only about seven percent of those last year were in open access form, so although you could see that very rapid growth, it’s got to be understood that’s still a pretty small proportion of the total. So about 75 percent.
RCUK, which only funds part of our research, but they’re talking about 45 percent, so you can see the sort of jump that we’re being asked to make in a year is very, very substantial.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. So that’s where we are today here in March 2013, but where are we going, Rob? What are some of the challenges that Nottingham and any institution listening to the program right now are going to need to be watching closely?
JOHNSON: I think the number one challenge is around author uptake. As we said, it’s very, very sensitive to how quickly academics buy into this, whether they resist it, whether they actually recognize this as something they want to support, and how we encourage them to do so.
Interestingly, as I said, we have sums of 45 percent compliance. Actually, if 80 percent of academics decide to do this, then that’s going to give us a bit of a problem, because we haven’t got the money to do that. There’s a delicate balance that we and other institutions will be seeking to strike to ensure that we do spend the funds that have been made available to us, we start to move towards RCUK’s expected level of compliance, but we don’t go too far with that.
So there’s that sensitivity of authors’ uptake. There’s certainly a real concern about the administrative burden that this entails. Because we’re talking, as I said, about so many interactions with so many publishers, potentially in some cases dealing with individual invoices for low-value APCs, and doing a lot of support and guidance for the academic community, that has a real implication for our administration.
The other thing I’d say is the policy formulation. A lot of these things, we’re having to very rapidly put policies in place for some of the gray areas around who are we going to pay for. When we have staff who are associated with the university but not directly employed by us, will we fund their article processing charges? Post-graduate students who aren’t full members of academic staff, will we fund their article processing charges? What happens when we are collaborating with other institutions? There’s a lot of questions around there where we’re having to move very quickly to put policy in place so we can be clear with our academic community.
I think the other thing I’d say is, increasingly, we’re going to be looking at getting value from money from the funds that we have available to us, and we’ll be looking at the balances in article processing charges and the subscriptions that we’re paying to publishers. So I think certainly to any publishers out there, that’s something that I expect most universities and our sector bodies will be staffing to ask more challenging questions about.
The last couple of things I’d say is, we’re going to have to invest in our repositories. So although there’s a big push on the gold route, clearly, the repositories are going to become increasingly important using the green route to comply with RCUK, and particularly if some of the direction travels from our funding counsel comes to fruition, making sure that all of our articles do make it into our institutional repository.
And lastly, we’ve got this part about devolution of budgets. At the moment, we are managing these funds centrally in the university, and I can envision a time – and I know some universities have gone down this route already – where funds start to become tighter and we actually have to devolve responsibility for those funds to local academic units so they can make appropriate decisions on how to use the funds.
So there’s a number of challenges in there that we continue to work through.
KENNEALLY: I wouldn’t look forward to that devolution that you describe. That sounds like that could really be very competitive at the end of the day.
JOHNSON: I think this is one of the big challenges, actually, yes. How do you make decisions if funds are limited? How do you decide who should have access to those? We’re not to that point yet at Nottingham. We’ve got enough funds available to meet the demand, but further down the road, this will be one of the challenges.
The approach we would take there, though, is the last thing we want, is the university administration seeking to make value judgments about academic publications. So that’s something we would look to devolve out to our academic units and let the academics make decisions about that themselves. But there’s no question that will be a very difficult process to manage.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And in summary, Rob Johnson, you’ve put together a brief wish list of the kinds of things you would like to see as somebody who’s been administering this over the last few years. Tell us about those. At the top of the list there is adoption of intermediaries, and that was something that was discussed in a recent report from the Research Information Network.
JOHNSON: That’s right. As I said, I think one of the challenges for us, we’re dealing with 75 publishers. If each of those publishers has their own process, potentially their own sort of online system, if they’re invoicing us separately, that’s an awful lot of interactions for us to manage.
So, from an institutional perspective, we’re very keen on the idea of intermediaries. It may be one intermediary, it may be more than one, sitting in between us and the publishers and introducing some standardization into the process and limiting the number of interactions that we have to manage. For us, I think that’s a very attractive proposition.
The other thing I’ve got there is prepayment accounts and membership schemes, so increasingly, publishers are looking to put in place prepayment accounts, membership schemes, discounts. That is quite attractive for us in some cases, particularly where we have high volumes of articles, but again, if every publisher seeks to put in place their own prepayment account or membership scheme, that starts to become very difficult to manage, and we have to look very carefully at the volume that we’re putting through publishers and whether it’s worth entering into those sort of agreements on a case-by-case basis.
A couple other things I’d point out is, as I’ve said, we really need better data in this area, and that’s something that the Research Counsel has asked for in their recent guidance. I think everyone’s going to be looking to get better information about what’s actually happening in this area, particularly around linking articles back to funding sources, standardizing reporting of metadata.
And the last couple of things. Support for institutional repositories, making it much easier when an article is published that a PDF or something is made available to the author immediately, or ideally, linked straight through to institutional repositories to make it much easier to capture those articles in the place we’re going to need to hold them in the future.
And lastly, making it easier to align journalists on those policies, making it very clear whether or not a journal meets RCUK’s policy, Wellcome Trust, NIH, whatever it may be.
KENNEALLY: All right. Thank you, Rob Johnson. And with that, I think we’re going to have to conclude our program today. It’s been a pleasure speaking to you about some of the very interesting challenges for institutions in the academic world around open access publishing.
Joining me on the line today from the University of Nottingham, Rob Johnson, head of research operations there, and also the founder of Research Consulting in the U.K., his contact information there. Rob Johnson, thank you so much for joining us today.
JOHNSON: Been a pleasure. Thanks, Chris.
For all of us at Copyright Clearance Center, my name is Christopher Kenneally, thanking Alison Anderton for all her help today managing the webinar, and thanking all of you for joining us. Take care and have a great day.