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What researchers want, and how to pay for it...

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  • I’ve already mentioned the uphill struggle we have in many disciplines to get researchers to take the management and curation of data seriously But funders of research are showing much more interest in the value of data as one of the key outputs from research, and in the importance of sharing it with other researchers and indeed more widely The problem is that researchers tend to see data as a by-product rather than the primary product of their research, and that the data themselves are meaningless until they (the researchers) have manipulated and analysed them And they are the only ones who really understand their data,
  • So many of them are very reluctant to share their data with others
  • So while we hear a good deal about moves towards more openness in the research process, we need to recognise that there is some way to go before we reach the promised land where everything is open There are undoubted benefits to be gained but from the researchers’ perspective there are real constraints as well
  • And that differential is even sharper when you normalise for size and look at usage per head
  • But there are of course differences in patterns of use by discipline and (perhaps more surprisingly) between institutions. On the left hand table we show differences in patterns of usage across five disciplines of Elsevier and Oxford Journals Note that researchers in physics and chemistry view around the same number of journals, but that in chemistry the top 20 journals accounted for just under 40% of use, whereas in physics they accounted for only 26% of use On the right hand chart we map volumes of downloads against university size, in this case in physics. If you take Cambridge as the base, what is interesting here is that Manchester is three-fifths the size of Cambridge in physics, but has nearly 30% more usage. But UCL is 70% of the size of Cambridge, but has only just over a third of the usage. Usage per head is four times higher at Manchester than at UCL. Why???

What researchers want, and how to pay for it... What researchers want, and how to pay for it... Presentation Transcript

  • What researchers want, and how to pay for it..... Michael Jubb UK Research Information Network Charleston Conference 5 November 2010
  • Some propositions
    • the volume of research undertaken worldwide has increased, is increasing, and will continue to increase
      • and more of it will be done collaboratively
    • researchers are both producers and consumers of research outputs
      • but they don’t necessarily share the same interests
    • Governments invest in research because they believe it has a positive impact on society and the economy
      • and they want to maximise that impact
    • the costs of research, and of higher education, have increased, are increasing (and ought to be diminished?)
      • cost-effectiveness an increasingly-dominant theme in current economic climate
    • Researchers as creators
    • Researchers as users
    • Costs and funding
  • 1. Researchers as creators
  • where, when and how to publish/disseminate?
    • key motivations
      • register claim
      • maximise dissemination
      • peer recognition (and the rewards that flow from that)
      • tensions between effective dissemination and recognition/prestige
      • power of disciplinary cultures
        • and some important disciplinary differences
      • mixed messages from funders and institutions
  • publications by type 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 2003 2008 Biosciences &-medicine Physical sciences Engineering Social sciences Humanities Education Total Article Book Book chapter Proceedings Book review Editorial Meeting abstract Other
  • importance of scholarly journals
  • importance of conference proceedings
  • importance of monographs
  • What’s published and what’s submitted to the RAE
  • What’s published and what’s submitted to the RAE
  • What about data?
    • increasing interest from funders, and some researchers, in data management and sharing
    • most researchers spend much of their time searching for, gathering, organising, and analysing data
    • but producing – and sharing - data is not the primary objective
      • general assumption that data do not have intrinsic meaning until analysed, interpreted, described…….
    • data curation/stewardship/management important to researchers only (at best) intermittently
  • Data sharing: ownership, protection and trust
    • responsibility, protectiveness and desire for control
      • lack of rewards for data sharing
      • concerns about inappropriate use
      • preference for co-operative arrangements and direct contact with potential users
      • decisions on when and how to share
      • commercial, ethical, legal issues
    • belief that only researchers themselves can have the knowledge necessary to take care of their data
      • intricacies of experimental design and processes
      • data management plans required by funders, but not much sign of adoption
      • role of publishers?
    • trust in other researchers’ data?
      • “ I don’t know if they have done it to the same standards I would have done it”
  • Sharing data?
  • Data sharing: benefits and constraints
    • increasing the efficiency of research ,
    • promoting scholarly rigour and enhancements to the quality of research
    • enhancing visibility and scope for engagement
    • enabling researchers to ask new research questions
    • enhancing collaboration and community-building
    • increasing the economic and social impact of research
    • lack of evidence of benefits and rewards.
    • lack of skills, time and other resources
    • cultures of independence and competition
    • concerns about quality.
    • ethical, legal and other restrictions on accessibility.
  • prospects of change?
    • publish/disseminate work in progress?
    • shifts in scholarly communication practice?
    • Web 2.0?
    28% 27% 27% 31% 19% No opinion 51% 50% 52% 49% 47% Unlikely 21% 23% 21% 20% 34% Likely Open access online publication supported by an 'author-pays' funding model will predominate 5% 14% 16% 11% 11% No opinion 13% 18% 7% 20% 18% Unlikely 82% 68% 76% 69% 72% Likely New types of online publication, using new kinds of media formats and content, will grow in importance 26% 18% 18% 9% 15% No opinion 38% 41% 38% 54% 42% Unlikely 36% 41% 45% 37% 44% Likely Formal peer review will be increasingly complemented by reader-based ratings, annotations, downloads or citations 5% 18% 11% 14% 6% No opinion 56% 52% 50% 51% 63% Unlikely 38% 30% 39% 34% 31% Likely Existing peer review processes will become increasingly unsustainable Research Fellow Lecturer Senior Lecturer Reader Professor
  • Disseminating and communicating: some conclusions
    • dominance of traditional forms of publication
      • driven by career rewards and incentives
    • disciplinary differences and power of disciplinary cultures
    • strong influence of performance assessment regimes
      • written policies vs perceptions of how it’s done
    • Web 2.0 as a supplement to traditional channels of communication
      • relatively small groups of early adopters
    • increasing interest in data curation and sharing
      • but constraints on openness
    • strong(ish) sense that further change is on the way
  • 2. Researchers as users
  • what do they want to find and use?
  • e-journal usage in the UK
  • but access still causes problems….
  • Intensity of use
  • Patterns of usage vary………..
    • between disciplines
    between institutions
  • profile of journals varies too…….
  • What do they do with the articles they download?
  • three key messages……..
    • we haven’t come to the end of the success story for e-journals
    • we haven’t entirely cracked the access issue
    • we don’t understand enough about reasons for variations in patterns of usage
  • 3. Costs and Funding
  • overall costs of the current system
  • UK contribution to meeting publishing and distribution costs
  • Increases in article production over 10 years: funding consequences
    • Sources of funding and other contributions
  • The last decade for UK libraries
    • expenditure on libraries has risen in real terms
    • rise sharpest in research-intensive universities
  • The last decade for UK libraries
    • but universities have increased in size, and so has their overall expenditure
      • student numbers and teaching
      • research activity
    • so libraries represent a declining share of university budgets
  • Usage and cost
    • as usage goes up, so cost per usage has fallen
    • downloads of e-journals rose by 160% in UK between 2004 and 2008
      • 250% in research-intensive universities
    • cost per download fell by 40%
      • 60% in research-intensive universities
      • big differences between individual libraries
  • Levels of usage and indicators of research outcomes
  • Usage and outcomes: research income
  • Usage and outcomes: publications
  • Linking expenditure, usage and outcomes?
    • Six hypotheses:
      • levels of library expenditure influence subsequent levels of use of e-journals
      • levels of e-journal use influence subsequent levels of library expenditure
      • levels of library expenditure influence subsequent research performance
      • successful research performance influences subsequent levels of library expenditure
      • levels of e-journal use influence subsequent research performance
      • successful research performance influences subsequent levels of use of e-journals
  • Linking expenditure, usage and outcomes?
  • Linking expenditure, usage and outcomes?
  • some conclusions…….
    • we should really look at the bigger picture
      • costs of research and scholarly communications as a whole
    • but for libraries
      • the decade to 2009/2010 a good one
      • usage up, unit costs down
      • how to sustain this in difficult times
    • increasing interest in links between expenditure, usage and outcomes
      • statistical relationships
      • indications of causal relationships?
  • Questions? Michael Jubb www.rin.ac.uk