Updating OA procedures

We’re all agreed that Open Access compliance is getting increasingly more complex and time-consuming. At Southampton, our Open Access requests have doubled compared to this time last year, policies have changed and more funders are bringing out Open Access policies, in particular HEFCE’s next REF Open Access requirements.

In light of this, the Open Access team at Southampton had an Away Day to look at our policies and procedures to ensure they were up-to-date and to attempt to streamline them. We took as a framework for this the workflows we used at the E2E workshop in September.

We then divided this into key themes:

  • Information

How do we receive it? Requests from academics, but also alerts from publishers

  • How do we store it?

(e.g. alerts for our prepayment accounts, emails from academics)
Which information do we need to keep? This ties in with the next E2E workshop in January, focusing on REF metadata requirements, continuing the work done at the September workshop.

  • Processing requests
  • Communication

Internal – communicating updates to policies and procedures
Contacting academics – the creation of more sample replies will save us a lot of time and provide greater consistency

  • Finance

Complexity around split payments
Processing page charges and publishing charges besides APCs

  • Pre-payment accounts
  • Compliance checking

The main requirements that came out of our discussions were the need for clear procedures, consistent sample replies and a robust system to store requests and replies.

Given the number of different Open Access requirements (institutional, funders’, REF) and different publishers’ payment systems, it is difficult to produce one clear procedure, but our next step is to write an overarching procedure which links out to individual funders’ and publishers’ requirements.

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