Research Plan for Year 3 - oapen-uk

Research Plan Version 3
OAPEN-UK Research Plan Version 3
The OAPEN-UK project has now entered its third year. The research plan was devised to focus on
three questions:
1. How might policies, processes and mechanisms need to change to enable OA publication of
2. What are the measurable effects of a move to OA monographs?
3. How do perceptions of OA monograph publication change among participants during the
The research plan has already adapted to accommodate the rapidly changing environment around
open access for monographs. This is the third iteration of the plan, which was last updated in
January 2013. It reports on progress to date and proposes some changes and some additional work
packages for year three of the project. These amendments have been made in response to
developments within the project, and in the external environment. They also reflect outcomes from
the Open Access Monographs conference, held in July.
Key points
The longitudinal data is already showing signs of being more useful: furthermore, the
publishers have co-operated more efficiently with the data collection this year. This is an
improvement on the situation when we last revised the research programme.
A number of new business models have become operational in the last year: the additional
year three activity within OAPEN-UK needs to explore these business models and
understand how they compare with the OAPEN model in perceptions of all stakeholder
At this stage, the participant workshops have become less useful, as perceptions are
changing due to a number of factors and it is difficult to isolate the OAPEN-UK effect. We
propose to focus our understanding of attitudes and perceptions more broadly.
Year 3 proposals
We propose two new strands of work for the final year of the project, each containing two activities:
Business models:
o A SWOT analysis of the emerging business models, undertaken separately by
librarians, researchers and publishers, in order to provide clarity about these models
and stakeholder attitudes towards them.
o A survey of librarians to understand their appetite for the various roles proposed for
them in different open access monograph business models; and to understand more
generally their priorities for open access monographs which must be addressed if
business models are to succeed.
Work with researchers:
o A repeat of the successful researcher survey of spring 2012, focusing in greater
detail upon changing attitudes to open access and upon researcher reading and
purchasing behaviour around books.
o A guide to open access monographs, which summarises and clarifies the large
amount of work happening in this area to help researchers understand the key
questions that they ought to consider.
Members are invited to discuss and agree the proposed revisions to the research plan as set out
Research Plan Version 3
Members are invited to discuss and agree the participation of OAPEN-UK in the additional
activities outlines below.
Research Plan Version 3
1. Quick Reference Summary of Research Plan Version 3
Year 1 Sep 11 Aug 12
survey baseline
Year 2 Sep 12 - Aug
Sales and usage
data collection and
analysis period
Year 3 Sep 13 - Aug
Sales and usage data
collection and
analysis period
Learned society
case studies begin
Analysis of research
findings and OA
conference feedback
to identify key
themes for year 3
Begin set-up for the
SWOT analysis
HSS researcher
HSS researcher
Case studies/indepth interviews
with publishers and
insitutions focusing
on the practical
elements such as
workflows, policies,
systems, processes
Discussion with
Pro VC of
publishers 'this is
how we work'
documents. Set
up and prep for
participant focus
Set up and prep
for case studies
Year 4 Aug 14 - Apr 15
Sales and usage data
collection and analysis
Analyse data and
prepare final report
and recommendations
Begin prep for advisory
group and interested
party focus groups
Advisory group focus
group; interested party
focus group.
Final draft report
Release report in
conjunction with LBF
and UKSG
Librarian survey.
SWOT analysis
Funder interviews
Monograph guide for
HSS authors
2. Research Plan Version 3
The original research plan was broken down into nine work packages, as follows:
Literature review
Annual benchmarking survey
Initial focus groups
Initial scoping interviews/survey
Quantitative data analysis
Annual participant focus groups
Research Plan Version 3
Planning for year 3
Additional year 3 activities
Final evaluation and report
The majority of these work packages will proceed as planned with slight adjustments to the
timescale, which are noted in the relevant sections. The more significant changes that we propose
affect WP6 and WP7.
2.1 WP4. Initial Scoping interviews / surveys
The January 2013 iteration of the research plan outlined our key activities to engage with the various
stakeholder groups: namely, learned societies, institutions, publishers and funders. Most of this
activity is underway or complete.
2.2.1 Learned societies
In June, we decided to undertake case studies of two learned societies with at least one monograph
series each. This was in response to a finding from our initial focus group, which suggested that the
role of learned societies in the research ecosystem and academic publishing in particular is not fully
understood. We have now completed case studies on the Royal Historical Society and the Regional
Studies Association, providing a novel perspective on the particular challenges facing learned society
presses as they seek to engage with open access, and particularly open access for monographs.
In an earlier version of the research plan we had considered undertaking a wider survey of learned
societies based on the findings of the case studies. However, we found that the relationships
between a learned society’s different roles are very complex and thus best suited to qualitative
research, rather than quantitative.
2.2.2 Institutions
In version 2 of the research plan, we identified case studies rather than a survey as the best way to
explore how open access monographs might affect institutions. This was to ensure that we can
understand how the interlocking processes, systems and policies within institutions might respond
to open access, and to take account of the many external drivers which are likely to affect an
institution’s approach.
We have completed case studies with four institutions: Lincoln, York, Sussex and Nottingham,
undertaking a total of 27 interviews. The Lincoln case study has been approved and will be published
after the steering group meeting on 10 February; the other three are in the process of being
completed. Once they are all written up and approved we will produce an overlay document
identifying the key points for other institutions to consider when considering how to support or
engage with open access monographs.
2.2.3 Publisher interviews
In the previous version of the research plan, we proposed to undertake a series of interviews with
traditional and new open access publishers to understand their ideas and priorities on open access
monographs. This was to understand the likely future development of the market, and to identify
any major cross-publisher issue which might need external support if open access monographs are
to become more mainstream. Within each publisher, we wanted to speak to people in a number of
different roles in order to gain a rounded perspective on everything that a publisher does.
Research Plan Version 3
We have carried out interviews with Sage, Palgrave Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Cambridge
University Press, Liverpool University Press, Open Book Publishers, Bloomsbury and Manchester
University Press. An initial analysis of these interviews will be presented at the steering group
meeting, and we will also produce a series of recommendations for institutions, funders, publishers
(existing and open access start-ups) and third-party service providers, to help them shape the way
they think about supporting and engaging with open access for monographs.
We are using some supplementary data from these interviews to support development of the
infographic, which is designed to help users visualise the different tasks and processes undertaken
by publishers and academics when creating a book. This is to address a clear information need
among participants in our initial focus groups, and in particular to ensure any new entrants into the
publishing market understand the complexity of the environment they will be working within.
2.2.4 Funder interviews:
We believe the funder interviews will still add value. We are planning to speak to the AHRC, ESRC,
HEFCE, Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, an international research funder and the Wellcome
Trust. We will commence this work in spring 2014 but believe that some funders e.g. HEFCE may
wish to wait until later in the year once they have a more formal position on these issues.
Timescale: We propose that the institutional case studies and publisher interviews will be written
up by March 14. The funder interviews will be completed and written up by September 14.
Products: Infographics, case study reports and interview summaries.
2.3 WP6: Annual participant focus groups
These focus groups were designed to test the reaction of project participants to the data. As we
agreed not to release the year 1 data, it was not possible to run the first year of participant focus
groups. We have seen a dropping-off of engagement, particularly among the participating authors.
We believe that persisting with these focus groups would not be a productive use of our time.
Instead, we propose to run a single focus group with the full advisory group at the end of the
project, to review their experience over the entire course of the project. This will give us an
opportunity to analyse their reaction to the full three years of data, and also to review what worked
and what did not in relation to the project itself. Both these things will contribute to the final report.
We will run a similar focus group with people outside the project but with an interest in this work.
Participants might include institutions experimenting with open access, library bodies such as
SCONUL or RLUK, research manager organisations such as ARMA and publisher representatives such
as ALPSP. The aim will again to be to test reactions to our findings, and to inform the final report.
Time allocated to the year 3 participant focus groups will, as last year, be reallocated to other work
Timescale: The focus groups will be held in Jan 2015
Products: Final report
2.4. WP7: Planning for Year 3
Based upon the considerable amount of research undertaken within previous work packages and
analysis from the post-conference survey, completed by researchers, funders, librarians and
publishers, we have identified the following areas as important candidates for further research. We
have been mindful of the rapid developments in this area, particularly around business models, and
Research Plan Version 3
of the other projects undertaking research into open access for monographs, and monographs more
generally. The work we propose is intended to add value to these other activities, and we are
running a focus group with key stakeholders at the end of February to ensure that our research plan
will meet their needs and not replicate work that they are already planning.
Business models
There are two distinct pieces of work we propose here:
SWOT analysis by different stakeholder groups (librarians, researchers, publishers) of the
business models being offered for open access publishing. This work would meet a need,
identified in the research and the post-conference survey, to provide additional clarity
around the various business models, and would ensure that the concerns and priorities of
different groups of stakeholders in relation to specific business models are clearly laid out.
Librarian survey. Many of the business models rely upon involvement from librarians as, for
example, funders, publishers or ongoing purchasers of alternative formats. Yet librarians’
appetite for these roles is not currently understood. The institutional case studies also
identified concerns among librarians about long-term availability of open access content,
which could affect their willingness to promote OA monographs to users. This survey would
help to establish attitudes to open access publishing among librarians in order to further
develop business models that will meet their needs. It would also test how significant a
priority open access monographs are compared to open access journals.
As far as we know, no other project is attempting to look at these issues in an overarching way which
does not focus upon a specific business model. Therefore we believe these two pieces of work will
plug an important gap in the wider debate, and enhance the work that other organisations are
Work with researchers
The conference feedback highlighted this as a particularly important theme. Work is needed in two
core areas; understanding researcher attitudes towards open access monographs and books more
generally, and improving researcher understanding of open access monograph publishing. The
institutional case studies revealed some interesting details in the relationship between researchers
and books which deserve wider testing. Again, we propose two related pieces of work:
Researcher survey. The initial researcher survey, conducted in 2012, received a strong
response and has been widely used by others investigating this area. This time, we propose
to focus upon changing attitudes to open access and a more detailed investigation of
researcher reading habits, to inform development of open access models.
Guide for monograph authors on open access. The guide to Creative Commons licensing has
been well-received and the conference feedback suggests that a similar guide on open
access for monographs would have value. As with the CC guide, this will not attempt to sway
researchers towards a particular point of view: rather, it will provide an overview of the
considerable activity in this area and identify some important questions that researchers
should ask when considering open access monographs. We propose that this piece of work
should happen towards the end of 2014, to ensure that it can build upon the finished
OAPEN-UK project and also the report of the HEFCE group on monographs. The guide’s
format would allow individual institutions to customise information to reflect their own
policies and priorities.
Research Plan Version 3
There is a third theme around technological developments that might be needed in order to support
open access for monographs. Third parties such as metadata suppliers, standards agencies and
library suppliers need to work with publishers and libraries to ensure seamless workflows around
open access monographs. Towards the end of the project, building upon data collected through the
various work packages, we will identify three or four priorities around technology and standards
which future work in this area will need to engage with.
3. Budget and Risk Register
The proposed revisions to the research plan have an impact on the project budget and risk register.
The risk register has been updated as in Annex K and the revised budget is presented in Annex J.
Both items are on the agenda.
Members are invited to discuss and agree the proposed changes to the Research Plan V3, risk
register and budget.