SHERPA RoMEO and Publishers – RSP Event
Writing about web page http://www.rsp.ac.uk/events/romeo-for-publishers/
Thankfully I'm new enough to the whole repository busy that I've never had to try to manage or populate an open access repository without the help of SHERPA's RoMEO service and I hope I'll never have to try! So an event presenting a number of new developments and the chance to engage with Publishers representatives was too good to miss out on!
The event itself gave two really clear messages: we are all on the same side and clarity is everything. The clarity message was raised again and again, all the various players in this community need clarity and consistency in who says what, what means what and what we can do with what (to badly paraphrase Bill Hubbard). Another message that came from both RoMEO and representatives of the Repository community (Enlighten Team Leader Marie Cairney) was that at the end of the day, as much as we care about Open Access, we don't mind being told 'no' as long as it's clear that that is what you are saying.
Some highlights from the sessions:
- "Change is coming" was the title of the latter part of Bill Hubbard's (Centre for Research Communication) presentation and highlighted the many areas (peer-review, end of the Big-Deal (?), social research tools (Mendeley etc.), demands for free access, cross-discipline research, possibility of institutions taking more control of the intellectual property produced by the institution and more) where we might be seeing change that affect the way we work in the next ten years. No doubt there will be others we haven't thought of yet.
- Azhar Hussain (SHERPA Services) continued the theme of opportunity by highlighting some interesting statistics for RoMEO. The service currently stands at 998 publishers covering 18,000+ journals and bringing in nearly 20,000 visits a month. Also highlighted was the growth of usage from within CRIS systems, something RoMEO is tracking closely.
- Mark Simon from Maney Publishing spoke about the reasons behind the companies decision to 'go green' as well as highlighting the fact that for Maney, as they broadly publish for learned societies, the copyright of published work often does not rest with Maney itself, but with the Society. Mark also highlighted the cost of their 'Gold OA' options (STM journals $2000, Humanities journals $800, Some tropical medicine journals $500) stating that the cost disparity was due to the cost of STM journals to produce and the fact that more people want to publish in STM journals.
- Marie Cairney (Enlighten, Glasgow University) spoke about some of the recent developments to Enlighten, including using the 'Supportworks' software to better track enquiries and embargoes. She also highlighted the changes to publisher policies over the years that have caused problems for her team, most of us can guess which ones she mentioned! Marie's final message was that the more clarity we can get on policy matters, the more deposits we can get.
- Jane Smith (SHERPA Services) spoke on a similar subject and touched on many of the common pitfalls that can occur when contacting Publishers to clarify policy. These included, no online policy, no single point of contact, two contradictory responses from different parts of the company and more. Jane ended with a plea for the publishers to let RoMEO know when their policy changes so they can get the information out as quickly as possible and for copyright agreements/policies to be written in clear English.
- Emily Hall from Emerald was up next. One point clearly highlighted from the outset was that Emerald was a 'green' publisher (it couldn't really have been any other colour!). Emily also spoke about the decision not to offer 'Gold OA' options (not felt to be good for the publisher or work for the discipline they mostly publish) and touched on issues with filesharing. (Trivia: Emerald's most pirated book 'Airport Design and Control 2nd Ed.') Emily did mention that Emerald haven't been able to 'see' the content in Mendeley (as of this morning listing more than 100 million papers) yet but they are looking for a way to do this. One thing that came out of the discussion at the end of the talk was an idea for publishers to return versions to authors with coversheets clearly indicating what they can and can't do with that version.
- Peter Millington (SHERPA Services) finished the presentations with a demonstration of a new policy creator tool developed to be used with RoMEO. This tool, based on the repositories policy tool created as part of the OpenDOAR suite of tools, would allow publishers to codify their policies into standardised language as a way of helping people to read and understand the policy of their publisher/journal. I for one hope publisher's start using this tool as standard. The prototype version of the tool is available now and can be found here.
The breakout session that followed the presentations asked us to consider four questions (and some of our answers):
- How can RoMEO help Publishers? (Track changes to policy, Visual flag for publishers to use on their websites to indicate the 'colour' of the journal, act as a central broker for enquiries so one service has a direct contact to the publisher that can be accessed by all creating a RoMEO Knowledge Base of all the enquiries for all repositories to use)
- How can Publishers help RoMEO? (Nominate a single point of contact, create a page for Repository Staff similar to their pages for 'Librarians', ways to identify academics (see previous blog post), clarity of policy)
- What message do Publishers have for Repository Administrators? (Thank you for the work done checking copyrights, don't be scared to talk to us, always reference and link back to the published item.)
- What message do Repository Administrators have for Publishers? (Clarity (please!), make it clear what is OA content on your website, educate individuals on copyright, communicate with us!)
A full run down of the answers to those four questions can be found at the link above.
The final panel discussion raised interesting questions that we didn't really find answers for! Issues on multimedia items in the repository; including datasets in the repository or finding ways to link the dataset repository to an outputs repository - DOI's for datasets (see the British Library's project on this topic); and the matter of what to do in the case of corrects and/or retractions being issued by publishers. The last one at least gave me some food for thought!
The event was another valuable day from the RSP featuring lively discussions on current situations and challenges facing the repository community and an invaluable opportunity to meet and have frank discussion with the Publishing Industry representatives. I think both groups got a lot out of the day along with the realisation that we have a lot more in common than might seem obvious at first glance.