Open and Shut?: The OA Interviews: Keith Jeffery, UK Science & Technology Facilities Council 2012-07-05


Use the link to access the transcript of the interview introduced as follows: “Keith Jeffery has been developing ICT solutions to ‘support, enhance and assist in research and the management of research’ since the 1960s. It is this mission that lies at the heart of his current post as Director of IT and International Strategy at the UK Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Jeffery’s extensive knowledge and experience of how IT systems can be used to assist in the research process has also earned him a place at the table of the research outputs committee of Research Councils UK (RCUK), the umbrella body for the seven UK research councils. There he serves as a special ‘expert’ member of the committee. In light of his professional interests, it is no surprise that Jeffery is a keen advocate for Open Access (OA) ... But Jeffery is not an undiscriminating advocate for OA. He has firm views not just on its benefits, but also on how it can best be realised. Specifically, he is convinced that Gold OA ... risks taking the research community down a very expensive, unproductive and risky cul-de-sac. A far more fruitful and rational approach, he suggests, is to push for Green OA,.. As he puts it, ‘I am firmly pro-Green Libre, anti-Gold and very anti-Hybrid … My arguments against Gold relate predominantly to its cost, coverage, access, and the way it encourages vanity publishing.’ Only Green OA, he adds, can usher in the next logical stage in the development of scholarly communication, which Jeffery characterises as ‘hyperlinked multimedia and Web 2.0’. Importantly, he says, by exploiting institutional repositories, research organisations can ensure that their intellectual property is ‘in a place where it is surrounded by additional relevant information’.  Moreover, when it is located directly in the institution, the information can be ‘managed and curated more appropriately, and within the research business processes of the organisation.’ With exactly this vision in mind, Jeffery has devoted a lot of time and effort (as lead architect) to developing a new information format able to implement his vision — an information standard known as the Common European Research Information Format, or CERIF. CERIF, an EU Recommendation to member states now used in 42 countries, allows the use of rich metadata. This provides greatly improved retrieval capabilities, and enables institutions to create linkages between all relevant data — not just research papers, but information about the authors, research datasets and software, funding information, project information, experiments, and even data on the facilities and equipment used by researchers. Given his belief that Green OA based on a network of sophisticated institutional repositories offers the most cost-effective and rapid migration path from print to electronic for scholarly communication, we should not be surprised that Jeffery is disappointed with the recommendations made in the recently published Finch Report... Jeffery believes the RCUK will now be obliged to follow the Finch recommendations. This would be a retrograde step: earlier this year RCUK — which has had an OA policy since 2006 — released the draft text of a new, stronger OA policy. Amongst other things, this made a commitment to Libre OA and proposed that the Research Councils stipulate an embargo period of no more than 6 months (except in the case of humanities and social sciences). By contrast, the Finch Report argues that it would be ‘unreasonable’ to require embargo periods of less than twelve months. And while Finch encourages non-commercial re-use, there is no similarly explicit support for full CC-BY licencing. As such, it will not facilitate the unrestricted re-use of articles, including text mining, which Jeffery believes to be an essential component of OA. ‘[A]s an employee of a Research Council, I am obliged to support Finch, although privately I have grave misgivings,’ he says. Jeffery expands on his work, and his disappointment with the Finch Report, in more detail below...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

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Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.licensing oa.mining oa.comment oa.government oa.mandates oa.copyright oa.metadata oa.costs oa.standards oa.prices oa.hybrid oa.funders oa.fees oa.embargoes oa.rcuk oa.cerif oa.recommendations oa.benefits oa.curation oa.finch_report oa.cris oa.stfc oa.europe oa.interviews oa.repositories oa.libre oa.policies oa.journals



Date tagged:

07/05/2012, 22:04

Date published:

07/05/2012, 22:56