Well, I have finally delivered my first formal presentation to members of the university research community. I am grateful to Sam Armitage for inviting me to speak as part of the Carnegie Research Institute seminar series yesterday; as I mentioned at the event, one of the difficulties for me is to identify suitable forums (or fora?) at which to engage with colleagues across the university and yesterday’s seminar was an ideal environment in which to begin a dialogue with the CRI (and one or two delegates from other faculties and departments.)
When one has been living on the web, immersed in all things Open Access and Institutional Repositories, it is difficult to anticipate exactly how (often complex) issues will be perceived by those whose support I need most – the academic and research staff at Leeds Met. All in all, however, I felt that it went well; perhaps I tried to cover too much material – you can’t tell the full tale in the first chapter, especially as the story of Open Access is still very much being written!
Here are one or two (Ok four!) specific issues I recall being raised; I shall ask those present to remind me of any others they would like to discuss further that either cropped up during the seminar or have occurred to them since:
- Publisher copyright policies and self-archiving
I referred to the SHERPA RoMEO web-site which can be used to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher’s copyright transfer agreement and is maintained by Nottingham University; there was some discussion as to what proportion of publishers actually allow self-archiving; I believe it is the majority but discovering a more definitive answer is on my ‘to do’ list!
- User testing of potential solutions for our repository
Concern was expressed that adequate user-testing of software is sometimes neglected on a project such as this.
All of the products we are reviewing (commercial and Open Source) have well established user-groups at other institutions and all are fully customisable meaning that it should be possible to conduct user testing once the software has been selected and adapt the user-interface etc to our specific requirements. Also, I do intend to do some testing of my own with a student who is visually impaired and has kindly offered to check accessibility to screen reading software.
I will also make the point that the system specification that we developed in the course of our market analysis of potential solutions was comprehensive – if you are interested it is available to download from the project website.
- Referencing from Open Access material
The version of a self-archived paper (either pre-print or post-print) may (almost certainly will) differ from the published version which raises potential problems when referencing from such material; different pagination, for example. This is something I have seen discussed elsewhere; also on my ‘to do’ list – find relevant discussion of this and related issues!
- What will happen to an individual’s self-archived research when they leave Leeds Met?
Academic staff, of course, are liable to work at several institutions in the course of their career and we will obviously need some sort of formal policy to describe what will happen in this circumstance. Again, this is an issue I have seen discussed elsewhere and I shall endeavour to report back in more detail.
So that’s four more or less arbitrary recollections from my first seminar – as I say, I’m sure those present will remember more and I would very much like to encourage people to use this blog as a discussion forum. You can post comments or, if you would like to become a more formal contributor this can be arranged – please contact me to discuss this further.
I would also ask people to bear in mind any other fora (or forums!) that would be appropriate for further discussion of Leeds Met’s repository project. And very soon we should actually have a repository to show you!
Finally, in the spirit of Open Access I shall make the slides from the presentation available to download (full .ppt as WordPress won’t allow me to upload slides only as .pps) – it is very much a work in progress and any comments/feedback gratefully received.