Perspectives from Funders and from Universities Michael Jubb Research Information Network ALPSP International Conference 10 September 2009
The Political Context
“ developing the UK’s knowledge base and translating this knowledge into business and public service innovation”
UK Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014
“ Governments can improve information flows and support innovation and economic efficiency by encouraging disclosure, and by ensuring that the information and other content that they fund is freely available to maximise its use and the value that others can add to it”
Venturous Australia, 2008
OECD Ministerial Committee for Scientific & Technological Policy 2004
Three key issues
promotion of stronger relationships between science and innovation systems
sustained development of human resources in science and technology
enhancing international co-operation in science and technology
Two key conclusions
improve accountability through more systematic evaluation exercises
co-ordinated efforts to broaden access to data from publicly-funded research
OECD Report on Scientific Publishing, 2005
“ policies for research and innovation are evolving, in response to broader reforms to boost productivity and economic growth as well as to address national concerns ( e.g. jobs, education, health) and, increasingly, global challenges such as energy security and climate change.
“ Governments would boost innovation and get a better return on their investment in publicly-funded research by making research findings more widely available ……….And by doing so they would maximise social returns on public investments”
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Strategic Plan
To develop and sustain a dynamic and internationally competitive research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity and national wellbeing and to the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.
To maintain a research sector with a strong position among the world leaders, which can respond flexibly to the changing needs of stakeholders and lead in developing new and innovative fields of enquiry.
To work with Government and the sector to develop a system for assessing research which informs funding and demonstrates the power of the national research base, helping institutions to identify and foster excellence.
To ensure that research can be supported without prejudice to the sustainability of the sector’s long-term financial, physical and human resources, or the delivery of other activities in the public interest.
HEFCE Strategic Plan (continued)
The UK’s record of excellence in creating new knowledge has not always been matched by achievements in disseminating and applying the results.
To retain more of the benefits of research undertaken in the UK, we need to ensure that effective dissemination and application of research findings are accepted as integral parts of the research process. ……… ensuring that knowledge and expertise …. are made rapidly and effectively available to potential research users, both in industry and public services, and across the wider community.
We will continue to encourage the effective sharing of research findings, both to support research and teaching within HE and to inform the wider public.
We will work with partners to improve systems for researchers to share information and disseminate outputs as widely as possible, including through new technology.
We will support measures to ensure that researchers nationally continue to have access to a full range of printed resources.
We will look for opportunities to encourage and support a dialogue between researchers and the public, so that the development of research activities and policies can reflect more effectively the changing needs of a more informed society.
UK Research Council Strategies
To strengthen the impact of arts and humanities research by encouraging researchers to disseminate and transfer knowledge to other contexts where it makes a difference
To raise the profile of arts and humanities research and to be an effective advocate for its social, cultural and economic significance.
Accelerating the translation of research outputs into business and policy applications to increase social and economic impact
Advance and disseminate knowledge to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the UK
Non-UK Funder Missions and Strategies
expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation’s economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research
enhancing researchers' awareness of research utilisation by integrating communication and knowledge dissemination in programme development
capturing and quantifying the outcomes of research and knowledge transfer and the contribution of research to the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of Australians
Research Councils UK’s Four Principles
Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation, and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable.
Effective mechanisms are in place to ensure that published research outputs must be subject to rigorous quality assurance, through peer review.
The models and mechanisms for publication and access to research results must be both efficient and cost-effective in the use of public funds.
The outputs from current and future research must be preserved and remain accessible not only for the next few years but for future generations.
key theme for Governments, funders and universities
national and institutional rankings and league tables
influence of research assessment regimes
routes to (and consequences of) excellence
co-operation and competition
and the tensions between them
Research Excellence and OA
means of enhancing research speed and efficiency
means of fostering collaboration
showcase for high-quality research
interoperability and linkages with data
because other high-performers are doing it (leaders and followers)
quality assurance through peer review has to be maintained
but dissemination of preprints and working papers raises question of when it’s done: pre-publication or pre-dissemination?
Dissemination and Access
Governments, funders and universities all want to maximise dissemination
increasing tendency to see dissemination (and more) as an integral part of the research process
visibility, exploiting the full potential of the web, including speed of dissemination and access
access for and exchange between all researchers
enhance visibility and access beyond the research/academic communities
promote public outreach and engagement
publicly-funded research as a public good(?)
frustrations with subscription toll barriers
attractions of OA as a means of addressing all these issues
desire to translate new knowledge into innovation
particular focus on SMEs in commercial, voluntary and public sectors
maximise returns from public investment in research
some tension between desires to make research results available as public goods and to ‘exploit’ IPR
attractions of OA as part of the means of addressing these issues (see OECD statement)
Research Assessment and Evaluation
relentlessly-growing feature of most funding regimes
assessing and evaluating research productivity, performance and quality
demonstrating (measuring?) socio-economic impact
role of metrics in general and bibliometrics in particular
KPIs for universities, funders, and nations
funding and reputational implications
impacts on institutions’ and researchers’ behaviours
Research Assessment and OA
bibliometrics and game-playing
chasing the citation advantage
gaming the KPIs
universities’ interest in managing research activity and in maximising assessment scores
“ managing the university’s research information assets”
links between databases of publications and institutional repositories
“ to ensure that research outputs are prepared and curated in a way which helps maximise the value that they have for the university in terms of the external use of bibliometric data, eg league tables, post-2008 RAE” ( University of Glasgow Publications Policy, June 2008 )
Stewardship and Preservation
role of universities and the research community as stewards of scholarly information and knowledge
helping researchers to maintain up-to-date records of their publications
preservation and access
data as well as publications
role of learned societies?
Costs and Sustainability
past decade of increases in investment in research, and in volumes of research outputs
rise in unit costs of research too, giving rise to “over-trading” and sustainability concerns
challenges for libraries, and the legacy of the ‘journals crisis’
fears arising from current, and foreseeable, financial pressures
impacts on research
impacts on library budgets (what’s the library for ?)
increasing interest in shared services, but also dislike of top-slicing
Costs, Sustainability and OA
incomplete understanding of costs and benefits of moving to OA
intuitively it looks as if the benefits should outweigh the costs
but winners and losers in different parts of the research landscape
incomplete understanding of the costs of transition
now may not be the best time to make an ‘invest-to-save’ case
or to try to shift costs borne by libraries onto the research budget
doubts about the sustainability of the current system
doubts about the sustainability of OA (particularly the green route)
OA in principle ticks lots of boxes for Governments, funders, and universities