V4OA Public Consultation Paper Released

If you have an interest in scholarly communications then we hope you will find the content of the V4OA public consultation paper relevant and useful. We hope you will let us know your thoughts. You can contact the project team directly using this email address: admin@v4oa.net

In recent years “Open Access” to scholarly information using the internet has become an important aspect of the scholarly information landscape. Typically this means that people discovering research publications of interest may access them online straightaway without having to pay at the point of use. Assessing the nature and scale of Open Access transactions requires the development of means to capture and use relevant metadata. The V4OA project was designed to move towards a common approach towards such metadata, initially in four key respects: embargo periods (during which time free access to an item is not normally permitted); the legal rights of organisations or authors, often expressed in the form of licences; whether an organisation or individual has paid for an item to be published on an Open Access basis; and finally a key goal is to agree on metadata that asserts whether or not an item is currently free to read online.

An advisory panel representing a wide range of scholarly communications stakeholders has deliberated on these issues and the project team has moderated the responses. We are working alongside the National Information Standards Organisation (NISO) which is doing a similar project. This paper outlines four proposals which, to the extent reasonably possible, reflect the common view of the expert panel.

From now until 21st October, 2013, we are seeking the views of a wider audience. You are invited to consider the proposals below together with the brief discussion about each and send any comments you may have to the project team; they will be gratefully received.

Please note that this consultation period is scheduled to finish on 21st October, 2013

Progress in the V4OA project

The key to success in this project is achieving consensus among stakeholder groups which are known to hold divergent views on various issues to do with scholarly communications, particularly in the realm of open access.  We believe, however, that this attempt to smooth the playing field with respect to a shared understanding of the meaning of key metadata terms or descriptors is largely non-contentious.  Furthermore, the successful conclusion of this project will potentially yield benefits for all the key stakeholders.  With this in mind we are currently in the process of recruiting a panel of representatives of key stakeholder organisations to help guide the project and validate the outcomes.  These will include representatives from publisher, funding, library and cross-community organisations as well as senior representatives of JISC.  Further information on the organisations that have agreed to participate will be revealed when their agreement has been secured.

Scholarly communications is a worldwide activity and the project managers are aware that although the UK has particular information management needs and particular uses of metadata in mind, we need to be cognisant of similar developments internationally and, to the extent possible, ensure that UK developments are compliant with developing standards elsewhere.  This approach is exemplified by the significant attempts made by the RIOXX project team to achieve, as far as possible, compliance with the OpenAIRE guidelines while developing the UK metadata guidelines.  With this in mind, developments further afield are being kept under review, notably work currently being done by NISO with its new Open Discovery Initiative to develop standards for library discovery services and the Open Access Agreements and Licenses Task Force run by the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).