As well as the recording above, please scroll down in this post for speakers’ key takeaways and the links to the visualizations shared by Lucy Montgomery.
OASPA is pleased to announce our next webinar which will direct its focus Down Under, specifically considering how Australia is travelling towards an open agenda and what specific drivers are affecting progress.
Monday 22 March (Northern Hemisphere), Tuesday 23 March (Southern Hemisphere), 2021
Date: Monday 22 March
Time: 9:00pm – 10:15pm UTC
Tuesday 23 March
5.00 am Australian Western Standard Time; 5:00am China Standard Time; 7.30am Australian Central Daylight Time; 7.00am Australian Eastern Standard Time, 8:00am Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time; 10:00 am New Zealand Daylight Time
Monday 22 March
2:00pm Pacific Time, 4:00pm Central Time, 5:00pm Eastern Time, 6:00pm Brasilia Time, 10:00pm Central European Time, 11pm South Africa Standard Time
In the early 2000s Australia was seen as a leader in open initiatives – with one of the first OA university presses, the first country to systematically make PhD theses available, having the first institution with an OA policy as well as enormous investment on research data infrastructure.
But the last decade has seen universities increasingly relying on the income from international students. While the pandemic has dramatically undermined this strategy, it has left a legacy of a clear Australian focus on university rankings. During the same period, the UK and the Netherlands have introduced strong national open policies, translating today to over 75% of research outputs being open access. The Plan S push is happening in Europe and US institutions are dramatically changing the nature of their subscription negotiations.
So, how is Australia faring comparatively?
The webinar will be chaired by Dr Danny Kingsley who will also speak about a research project she is undertaking to analyse Australian university open access policies.
We welcome our speakers: Professor Lucy Montgomery who will place Australia into the global context in relation to the meta-research their group has been doing on progress towards open access globally, Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb will be talking about his decision to establish one of the world’s first fully open access university presses and Martin Borchert will conclude with the recent approaches that have been made in Australia towards an end goal of open access/ FAIR/ open science.
The panelists will each speak for 10 minutes, and then we will open it up to questions from the audience and discussion.
Speaker Key Takeaways
- Australia has been forward looking in terms of the need for research infrastructure, with investments and thinking dating back nearly two decades
- The relatively low amount of federal funding for research has resulted in Australian universities disproportionally relying on income from overseas students over the past 10 years
- Recruiting overseas students relies heavily on university rankings, which reward and value publication practices that are not aligned with open practices, and university approaches reflect this emphasis
- The Australian open access policy landscape is inconsistent and unaligned, with no agreement even on the definition of what open access is amongst the fewer than half Australian universities that actually have an open access policy.
The newly in post Chief Scientist has identified open access as one of her four areas of focus because ‘Australia is lagging’ behind other areas in the world
- OA rates in Australia have increased from ~30% to ~45% over the past decade. But we have some way to go if we want to ensure that the majority of Australian research is OA
- Green is playing a significant role in OA in Australia
- The effects of the OA policies of Australian national funders are not as strong as the effects of some international funders on the OA status of publications by Australian authors. For example ~60% of publications that acknowledge Australian Research Council funding are OA, compared to ~90% of publications with an Australian author that acknowledge US National Institutes of Health funding
- Funder policies can make a powerful difference to OA trends. For example, the data shows a dramatic shift in UK green OA rates following the introduction of the HEFCE OA policy in 2015
- OA infrastructure investments can also make a huge difference. The impact of an investment in the SciELO OA journal infrastructure in Latin America is associated with outstanding gold OA performance for Latin American countries in our data
- Countries over time: Scatter Plot
- Institutions over time: Scatter Plot
- Australian OA over time: Bar Chart
- Australian OA over time: Line Graph
- Knowledge should be as widely shared as possible
- Ability (or capacity) to pay to access research outputs should not be a barrier
- Open access to publications, and to underlying data, leads to greater access and so greater scrutiny – improves research and its compliance with the ’social licence’
- ANU Press shows it can be done successfully at an individual institutional level
- Scaling up will need to include changes to institutional (and disciplinary) cultures and therefore a suitable national framework and incentive
- There is a lot of work to do
- 2021-2022 is looking like a promising time for OA in ANZ
Professor Lucy Montgomery (@LucyMontgomery_)
Professor Lucy Montgomery leads the Innovation in Knowledge Communication research program at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University. She is also co-lead of the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative: a major strategic research project exploring how big data can help universities to understand their performance as Open Knowledge Institutions. Montgomery’s research focuses on the ways in which open access and open knowledge are transforming landscapes of knowledge production, sharing and use, including in China. Her most recent, collaboratively authored, book Open Knowledge Institutions: Reinventing Universities is now open for community review MIT Press.
Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb
Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb AC FAA FTSE has been a strong and effective advocate for government and industry support of innovation and research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) over several decades. Throughout his career, including as Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (2001 to 2011) and as Chief Scientist of Australia (2011 to 2016), he made significant contributions to improving the infrastructure for scientific research and training and was conspicuous in raising the public profile of science in the media. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1999 and then a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2006 for his ‘service to higher education, including research and development policy in the pursuit of advancing the national interest socially, economically, culturally and environmentally, and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy’. He was the ACT Australian of the Year in 2011 and has received six honorary doctorates.
Mr Martin Borchert (@martinborchert)
Martin Borchert is the University Librarian at UNSW Sydney, a position he has held since June 2016. He is a strong advocate for transformation in scholarly communication via open access, open science and open infrastructure. He is the Chair of the Executive, Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG), the Chair of the Board, Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) and the Chair of the Group of Eight (Go8) Librarians Committee.
Chair – Dr Danny Kingsley (@dannykay68)
Danny is an expert in developing strategy and policy in the higher education and research sector with extensive international experience, with a particular focus on Open Research and research communication. She holds a Visiting Fellowship at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and has recently consulted for the University of Queensland, QUT, University of Melbourne and the Australian Academy of Sciences. Until April 2019 she was the Deputy Director of Cambridge University Libraries (Scholarly Communication & Research Services). She established the Australasian Open Access Support (now Strategy) Group in 2013. She is a member of the Board of Directors of FORCE11.