On the afternoon of Monday 23rd October 2017, sixteen people from across the RGU attended a CIAO workshop. CIAO means “Collaborative Institutional Assessment of Open Access” and is a discussion tool for reflecting on an institution’s support around Open Access – further information about the tool is available here. Of those present, there were thirteen participants (of whom ten were present for the entire discussion) and three faciltators. The workshop was facilitated by George Bray (responsible for OpenAIR@RGU), Richard Milne (Systems Librarian) and Colin MacLean (Research Support Librarian).
Due to time constraints, the workshop considered only two of the three areas covered by the CIAO tool, namely “[general] capabilities” (i.e. policy, funding and support services) and “capabilities: communication and staff development”. Within these areas, RGU was generally felt to be towards the middle or lower end of the spectrum in terms of its current progress. The least-developed aspects included formal considerations of Open Access funding, understanding and structured recording of the impact of Open Access, and processes for outputs other than journal articles and conference papers. On the other hand, the group considered RGU to be doing relatively well in terms of the existing support services for Open Access – specifically the work done by the Publications Team.
During the discussion, several other points emerged, which will feed into our plans going forward. One of these was the relative lack of policy documentation for Open Access at RGU, which could be addressed by increasing the prominence of Open Access within existing policies that relate to research. Another point was the issue of how best to communicate with researchers; while it was stated that the existing systems and processes worked very well for those who were aware of them, it was also felt that current communication strategies were failing to meet all researchers. Some suggestions were made and we will review our communications strategy with these in mind – trying to arrange more face-to-face conversations with researchers, for example.
Overall, we felt the workshop was a very successful starting point for future conversations and developments around Open Access, which we hope will be continued alongside the implementation of the new current research information system.
Any questions about this workshop or Open Access in general can be sent to the Publications Team.