Stakeholder Consultation

A crucial component of the JoRD project is now under way. Central to the building of a case for the JoRD policy bank is an in-depth consultation with stakeholders that have an interest in the policies and practices deployed by academic journal publishers with regards to data produced by researchers. These stakeholders naturally include publishers and journals, but also other players such as research funders, research administrators, data managers and librarians.

The consultation is intended to build on other strands of JoRD which are identifying and categorising current relevant data policies. We will thus seek to tease out the thinking and philosophy that underlies these policies, views about how these might develop and perceptions of what research data represents in the context of the publication process.

In the first instance, the consultation takes the form of semi-structured interviews with a selection of fifteen individuals. The questions that frame the interviews, reflecting the sort of issues outlined above, are attached here for information. The individuals concerned, ten of which come from the publishing world, have now been contacted and, with the exception of a couple of them from which a final confirmation is expected, all have readily expressed an interest and have agreed to take part. An interview schedule is being drawn up, covering the period 17 September to 12 October; indeed, as of today (20 September), the first interviews have already taken place.

The tight timescale of the project, along with budgetary constraints, limits the number of interviews that can realistically be carried out by mid-October. However, to capitalise on the positive reactions which the project has generated, and to enrich as much of possible the range of views that are being gathered, we are also asking an additional ten or so individuals to provide us with written responses to the interview questions. We are thus aiming to collate and synthesise the thoughts of about 25 key people. These will reflect a good diversity of circumstances; within the publishing world, we thus aim to represent the standpoints of commercial and learned society publishers; open-access and subscription based publishers; small and large organisations; university presses; and individual journals, where these have in place policies that are distinct from their parent publishing houses. Figuring among the non-publishing organisations to be consulted will be RCUK, HEFCE, DCC, JISC and ARMA – and hopefully, to provide an non-UK perspective, the Australian National Data Service.

The outputs from the interviews and responses to the questions will be synthesised into an interim report, to be produced during the second half of October. This in turn will form the basis of a discussion at an expert workshop, which will flesh out and refine salient points that will have emerged. The event is expected to take place at a date to be confirmed in late October or during the first half of November. Several of the interviewees have already agreed in principle to take part. More about this in a later post, once matters have progressed in the initial phases of the consultation.

Stéphane Goldstein

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