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|The I-WIRE Project - A Repository Enhancement Project|
This is the second in a series of three blog entries that will summarise the findings of the I-WIRE project's User Needs Analysis phase, continuing with this summary of the Current State process that was captured during the group session with academic authors, and the issues associated with it.
1 Lean Group Session
During the Lean group session with academic authors, the management of research publications was examined end-to-end, from the initial research opportunity through to the various reports that are produced by the Schools. While the scope of the I-WIRE project is only one part of the end-to-end process - specifically around the deposit of items into the Repository - the end-to-end process was examined in order to identify any opportunities for improvement or automation of the deposit workflow by potentially integrating with other processes, and also to identify opportunities for re-use of the publication data and elimination of wasted effort.
The following two diagrams illustrate the main steps in the end-to-end process.
2 Summary of Issues with Current State Process
The following issues were raised during the group session and continually throughout the interviews, and are perceived as blockers to Open Access depositing:
- Complexity and uncertainty around the whole area of copyright policies and which version of articles can be deposited where. Some authors admit to often signing away copyright with little attention to it, and would like the School or University to manage copyright negotiations on their behalf, freeing them up to get on with the next piece of research. This could include retention of copyright (particularly for conference papers) or permission for deposit in Institutional Repositories.
- The final version of an article is 'king', and generally cannot be deposited anywhere other than with the publisher. And it's important to be published in the right journal that has a good impact and the right audience. However, there can be up to a year between submission and publication, and differences between on-line and paper versions.
- The perception that target audiences will have access to articles through journal subscriptions anyway, so depositing to an Institutional Repository is an unnecessary step.
- Academics don't have the time to deposit so anything beyond a single click is too time consuming, and there are databases that already collect this data (Web of Science, etc.) on behalf of the author.
The current process is seen as taking too long and requiring too much data to be keyed by the depositor. Academics want 'maximum output with minimum effort'.
Any new process needs to be flexible enough to cater for different approaches and requirements across the different schools. For example, the School of Medicine are running Symplectic which gathers their publication data for them, and are happy that final versions are available from the publishers through existing subscriptions. In contrast, outputs from the School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies won't neccessarily be covered by a single database, and therefore have to be deposited manually. Plus they have a lot of conference papers that could be included in the repository if an expert could help with the less-than straightforward copyright policies.
It's not feasible for the repository to serve the needs of every School in terms of the reports that they have to produce. This is due to local organisational hierarchies and the application of local data and rules to enhance the publication data, and therefore there will be a need for ORCA to provide raw publication data for the Schools to enhance and manipulate themselves. However, the many different outputs proposed, and access to metrics, may not be as valuable for the humanities based Schools as the sciences.
Research Administrators often have to chase academics for up to date publication lists to be used in a variety of processes such as reports to School Boards, web site updates and appraisals. Academics get annoyed if they feel they are giving the same information to a variety of places.
Balancing the needs of:
The science based Schools, focussed almost exclusively on final versions in journals made available through subscriptions; with little concern for copyright and wanting to have very little manual input (if any at all).
The social science and humanities Schools, with a variety of output types and destinations and no single database giving them complete coverage, so more open to having to capture their publication data themselves, and therefore with more concern for copyright.
The next and final blog entry in this series will summarise the requirements captured during the Future State modelling group session, and during interviews with Research Administrators.
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|« May 2013|