Cut university red tape with online research bank 2013-05-31


"A new review announced yesterday by the Minister for Tertiary Education Craig Emerson will examine the regulation of Australian universities. It comes at an important time. Just recently a report commissioned by Universities Australia found that the average Australian university is spending nearly A$1 million every year meeting just part of one department’s reporting requirements. As universities are forced to tighten their budgets, the review will be a vital step. But at the moment, it’s concentrating on just one kind of regulatory pressure – namely that from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) – without considering all the other groups that ask universities for information. But there is one idea that would not only help save universities from their large reporting burden, but also increase the public’s access to research  At the moment Australian universities report their research in three different ways. All Australian universities, the CSIRO and many others have free digital repositories to make their staff’s research publications accessible to the public.

Universities also have a different database to report publications data and make publications available for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessments conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC). All universities are also required to report their publications separately each year for the Australian government’s higher education research data collection.  This multiple reporting is expensive and unnecessary. All these databases report research publications, and yet they are all managed and treated separately.  So instead of three 'research banks' per university, what if there was just one?Of course, things would need to change to create a single source of a university’s publications data. For example, at the moment, these digital repositories include some data on each publication’s author, title, key words, publication venue and date, and other meta data to support search engines. This meta data would just need to be expanded to include all the data needed by government bodies.  There would also need to be a consideration of what research is made available to who and when. In most cases, articles that are accepted for publication are made accessible to the public between six and 24 months after publication. But of course, government and research bodies would need this information more quickly. Institutions would need to lodge a research publication by the deadline most convenient for the harvesting bodies, but in any case no later than 12 months after publication. But this material would be held under embargo until it can be made publicly available. This would mean a date of restricted access, available to ERA, ARC and NHMRC administrators, assessors and referees through passwords. And a date upon which it is accessible to the public.  The Department’s, ERA’s and research granting bodies' administrative staff, assessors and research grant referees would harvest data and publications from institutions’ repositories as they required. This would provide one common source of data on each institution’s research publications for the multiple purposes of the Australian government and research grant bodies. ..."


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.licensing oa.comment oa.government oa.mandates oa.universities oa.copyright oa.australia oa.harvesting oa.metadata oa.preservation oa.reports oa.funders oa.embargoes oa.recommendations oa.compliance oa.era oa.privacy oa.budgets oa.nhmrc oa.arc oa.repositories oa.hei oa.libre oa.policies

Date tagged:

05/31/2013, 06:33

Date published:

05/31/2013, 02:33