Forthcoming Event – GDPR and Openness

There was a discussion point raised at the Open Access Scotland working group ( in September, to consider the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Open Research. In response to this Valerie and I have set up a meeting on 31 January 2018, at the university of Glasgow.

Focusing on implications for practitioners working on open research (articles, data etc.), the GDPR session will offer some insights into how GDPR may affect Higher Education Institutions and how HEI’s can prepare for GDPR.

Draft Agenda

11:00-12:30 Presentation on GDPR

12:30-13:00 Available Resources and steps to compliance

13:00-13:45 LUNCH

13:45-14:45 Brainstorming sessions

14:45-15:30 Knowledge sharing and actions

If you would like to join this GDPR discussion please sign up at

The venue can accommodate approximately 40 people so we kindly ask for just one representative from each institution, once we have an idea of attendance we will invite more people to join us.

If you are not able to join us, but have questions around GDPR please drop me an email. We will discuss various questions on the day and provide a summary of the meeting as soon as possible after the 31st of January.

Kindest Regards



REF Deposit Requirement – Which Date?

Results of a quick poll to see if there was preference to stick with publication date or change to acceptance date.



Some interesting observations including:

  • Both acceptance and publication date can be unclear
  • It can be a long time from acceptance to publication date
  • Preference to retain act on acceptance message regardless on what HEFCE decide for absolute deposit deadline
  • AAM is available at point of acceptance but less easy to obtain later especially if publication comes some time later
  • Concern that decision on portability could affect how and when researchers act



RCUK Open Access Practitoner’s Group 14th November 2016

Hello All,

Here are a few of my own notes on the key points from the meeting this morning:

RCUK say block grants will be paid out 14th November (most organisations set up budgets based on award letters but sharing this in case any wait till they actually get the funds before allowing spend).

Interim report required January. Actual spend to end December 2016  and forecast to end March 2017.  An email was sent out 15th November confirming requirements and deadline.   If you did not receive the email at a suitable address for open access at your organisation let me know. I will ask RCUK to add to the list.

The template for December reporting is here:


If more than a quarter of your expenditure is on staff include information regarding the type of staff you are funding and how they have contributed to implementing the open access policy.  If expenditure on staff is less than a quarter of your expenditure, then there is no need for any additional information.

The group considered how to move to providing actual information versus the estimates provided for compliance in some cases.   There is no common approach.  Some were badging figures as estimates due to lack of clarity of requirements.   Further work will be done to clarify what is expected.  There was some suggestion that ResearchFish could facilitate this.  Valerie made clear that the requirements should be clarified before any solution was agreed.  A sub-group will look at this.  Valerie is on this group and will consult with the OA Scotland Group.

Compliance based on… % Average Compliance reported 2015/16
Estimate 82%
Actual 83%

There was some discussion around reporting of supplements and page charges seperately from the article processing charges.  If this becomes a requirement some of us may require new coding in our financial systems.

There was collective interest in better communicating the benefits of open access ensuring we reach all authors with consistent messages.

Is the block grant going to exist after 2018?  There is an appetite to maintain this method however there are funding reviews and report analysis on-going.  If RCUK are awarded less funding then it is possible there would be less available for open access block grant.

I asked that the key actions from the meetings be made available on the RCUK website as soon as possible.

RCUK Open Access Practitioners Group

This group met for the first time on 4th October 2016.

The group includes representatives from 13 Higher Education Instutions.  Remit and notes from the meeting will be posted at:

Valerie McCutcheon, University of Glasgow is the only member from Scotland and is happy to represent your views at the meetings.

The next meeting will be 14th November.   We will be looking at open access compliance reporting definitions.

RCUK have asked for the 3 main issues with RCUK open access and the following has been collated from those who have contacted Valerie:


    We would like a clear statement of what the RCUK OA strategy for the next 3-5 years beyond March 2018 is.

    This should include early indication of expected budgets for future years and the basis of allocating budgets. It is suggested that committments might be considered as part of spend rather than just firm expenditure.  Many months can elapse between agreeing to pay for open access and the invoice being issued and paid.  Research Organisations are concerned to address the risk of committment without security of knowing costs will be covered.  Would funds not spent or not committed need to be refunded to RCUK?  Would any consideration be give to top-up funds if organisations ran out of budget?


    As already discussed at  the first Practitoner’s meeting research organisations are keen to reach clearer definitions, timeframes, and guidance for reporting (and auditing if that is planned) of OA publications.

    Is RCUK (RIOXX) or OpenAire going to be of use for compliance reporting?  Would it be useful for RCUK harvest information from University systems?


    Will RCUK work more closely with stakeholder particularly publishers?  Publishers are not always fulfilling agreements e.g. CC_BY licencing not being applied, article not being placed in PubMed.  The Practitioner group could also consider which additional charges are appropriate and confirm if there is any threshold to open access costs. Communications with authors are causing some confusion. Stakeholders including research organisations, publishers, funders need to work together better to minimise misunderstanding.  E.g. author not choosing CC_BY

Other points raised:

  • There is considerable difficulty in administering pre-pay deals.
  • Hybrid gold OA is expensive.  There does not seem to be much downward trend.
  • Foreign currency costs are up due to exchange rate fluctuation.
  • Central place to share OA returns and analysis of these.  Here is Glasgow return – –  we provided more info to RCUK but have removed sensitive info from this version.
  • What will be required for interim reporting in December and subsequent reports and can we have hard deadline dates for these please?
  • What would RCUK consider an acceptable level to spend on staffing?
  • We assume on balance that grant holding organisations should pay the fee if there is a mix of grants and authors across several institutions.  Where there is no clear strong candidate Universities generally discuss this and reach agreement on a swings and roundabouts basis.
  • We assume there is no cut off for grant ‘age’ when you cannot pay the OA fee because the grant was >2006 or more for example.