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Focusing on European citizens and the impact of Open Access monographs for them


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Keynote at: A Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Open Access and Monographs 7th – 8th November 2018, Brussels, Belgium
This talk will place the citizen at the centre of the debate about the value and potential impact of Open Access for monographs. It will consider how they are or could be effected by OA mandates, policy and infrastructures using the EC’s own impact policy agenda as a focal point to consider the economic, societal/community, innovation and operational.

Published in: Education
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Focusing on European citizens and the impact of Open Access monographs for them

  1. 1. Focusing on European citizens and the impact of Open Access monographs for them Professor Simon Tanner King’s College London @SimonTanner
  2. 2. @SimonTanner Open Access & Unfunded Mandates “What do scholars want?” Whether we work with digital or paper-based resources our basic needs are the same. We all want our cultural record to be comprehensive, stable, and accessible. And we all want to be able to augment that record with our own contributions.” Jerome McGann, Sustainability: the Elephant in the Room. Paper for the 2010 Conference, Digital Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Things to Come, University of Virginia.
  3. 3. @SimonTanner Who is Open Access for? Stakeholders include:  Funders  Policymakers  University administrators  Publishers and booksellers  Libraries  Academics who write and create books  Academics who read and use books & CITIZENS
  4. 4. @SimonTanner
  5. 5. @SimonTanner European Commission Guidelines on Impact
  6. 6. @SimonTanner Impact defined “Impact is about the measurable outcomes arising from the existence of a resource that demonstrate a change in the life or life opportunities of the community.”
  7. 7. @SimonTanner Values are Individual AND Shared Impact is expressed through values. Value is individually understood and attributed BUT collectively shared and thus magnified.
  8. 8. @SimonTanner Balanced Value Impact Model Economic Innovation OperationalSocial Utility Community ExistenceEducation Inheritance
  9. 9. @SimonTanner Can we find impact in Open Access? YES & NO THERE IS LITTLE DATA FOR BOOKS
  10. 10. @SimonTanner Some examples: Health Scientists_It's_For_Everyone/72 Utility
  11. 11. @SimonTanner Health perspectives-matter-in-research Utility
  12. 12. @SimonTanner Environment 100 Stories: The Impact of Open Access. Jean-Gabriel Bankier and Promita Chatterji Inheritance
  13. 13. @SimonTanner Economic 100 Stories: The Impact of Open Access Utility I work on a diversity team inside my small business unit of a multi-national conglomeration... and I am dedicated to the hiring, retention and development of female engineers in my predominantly male-dominated organization. I found a link to this paper's abstract on an Atlantic article and I was immediately excited: this had been the EXACT argument I had made to our male R&D Leader. It'll be nice to have some figures to back up my facts! ++ I am a female CTO and startup founder in Silicon Valley, dealing with the mythology of meritocracy every day. Great to have data about it! Thank you for the open access. I am currently doing research on the mixing and pumping of UHSB’s (Ultra High Strength Backfills) for the ultra-deep mines we have here in Johannesburg and [surrounding areas] in South Africa.
  14. 14. @SimonTanner Social & Education 100 Stories: The Impact of Open Access “I am a high school public forum debater. The topic this month involves nuclear proliferation…. Last weekend, I lost my finals round because I didn’t have the answers to a particular argument. This week, because of this [MIT open access article], I have exactly what I need. My next tournament starts tomorrow, and because of this information, I feel much more prepared for it. Thank you for keeping knowledge accessible to all!” “[It] was incredibly helpful to be able to read [the article] and share it with others at work during a discussion of how our company was addressing gender inequalities through performance bonuses and ‘objective’ pay awards.” Education I'm a programme officer at the Asia Foundation, working at its New Delhi office. We're currently working on the inception of a Civil Society Fund of around $3.3 million, which will fund around 20 CSOs in the Ganges, Indus, and Brahmaputra basins to improve transboundary water governance over the next two years. This piece is quite critical in proving the connection between civil society intervention and better water governance. TAF does not have institutional access to this particular journal, and finding it openly available is immensely helpful.
  15. 15. @SimonTanner UK Research Excellence Framework Publishing data in summary:  8,513 books were submitted to the 2014 REF across the Arts and Humanities (Panel D)  1,180 unique publishers were identified for those books submitted  Only 39 publishers had 20 or more books submitted (61.4% of total)  46% of books were submitted from the top 10 most submitted publishers (3,926 books)  We don’t know how many books were Open Access.  The mean average advertised retail price for the academic books submitted was £52.82. The median average was £49.41.  The top 5 institutions in terms of submission volume were Oxford; Cambridge; King's College London; University of Edinburgh; and University of Nottingham.  Further evidence that bibliometrics remain a very unhelpful means of analysing books for research excellence.
  16. 16. @SimonTanner To find, first we must seek! What don’t we know from the UK Research Excellence Framework  We know that Impact was a new area of focus for REF2014 and drew out many excellent narratives of research impact for the first time.  We don’t know how many of the 7,000+ Impact Case Studies were supported by Open Access publications.  We don’t know how many were supported by books.  Maybe we will be able to make that assessment for REF2021, partly due to mandates? What don’t we know about the impact of Open Access monographs  We know that books have Impact – we don’t have good measures of that impact in place at present.  We aren’t actively seeking to know – either at the institutional or national level.  If we don’t ask impact questions then insufficient data will be gathered.
  17. 17. @SimonTanner Some steps to showing citizen impact 1. We must look for evidence of OA impact on citizens - better research and measurement is needed. 2. Better functionality of OA books to be achieved:  The books need to be full-text searchable (not just when I have it on my device as a pdf or epub) but searchable the way that Google Books is searchable, as if each book is its own website.  If a citizen can't find your book by its content then it may as well remain invisible.  The citations within books need to start turning up in our metrics. At present if I am cited in a book or I cite another academic in my own book then neither gets much credit in the systems of metrics that abound. This is desperately skewing the conceived value of these works.  We need a proper digital unique identifier for books because the ISBN just doesn't cut it. Would DOI be the solution? Maybe, but the current state of affairs doesn't enable e-books and e-resources to be used, cited or referenced in scholarly communications with enough longevity or simplicity. 3. Funders and policy makers should use mandates to nudge behaviour but balanced with the awareness that additional requirements on academic institutions will be largely unfunded.
  18. 18. Focusing on European citizens and the impact of Open Access monographs for them Professor Simon Tanner King’s College London @SimonTanner