Open Access: An Evaluation of its Impact, Obstacles, and Advancements

Author: Rachel A. Miles

Comments: A detailed article providing reviews on OA and Impact Metrics, and discussions on their misconceptions and misunderstandings. A review on OA mandates and policies is also provided. Other interesting discussions include those on Altmetrics, Eigenfactor, SNIP, JOI. An extensive list of potentially useful references are given.

Abstract: Access to research results is imperative in today’s robust digital age, yet access is often prevented by publisher paywalls. Open Access (OA) is the simple idea that all research should be free for all to access, use, and build upon. This paper will focus on three critical areas of the OA landscape: its impact on scholarship and the public, the obstacles to be overcome, and its advancements. The impact of OA actions and initiatives has been difficult to quantify, but the growing number of studies on OA have shown mostly overwhelmingly positive results. Cultural norms within academia, such as the reliance on the journal Impact Factor (IF) to assess the quality of individual research articles, have impeded the progress of OA. Conversely, federal mandates and institutional policies have supported the OA movement by requiring that scholarly publications be deposited into institutional or subject repositories immediately following publication. As information professionals, library and information science (LIS) professionals have a responsibility as practitioners, authors, and editors to support OA and encourage other academics to do the same.

Cite as: Miles, Rachel. (2016). Open Access: An Evaluation of its Impact, Obstacles, and Advancements. Bibliotekar, 58: (1-2).

Source: Open Access: An Evaulation of its Impact, Obstacles, and Advancements

Turning FAIR data into reality: interim report from the European Commission Expert Group on FAIR data | Zenodo

Authors: Hodson, Simon; Jones, Sarah; Collins, Sandra; Genova, Françoise; Harrower, Natalie; Laaksonen, Leif; Mietchen, Daniel; Petrauskaité, Rūta; Wittenburg, Peter

Notes: Extensive report that provides a large set of recommendations likely to be taken up by the EC. Focus is on large scale institutions and infrastructures more than universities as well as the broader ecosystem but many of the recommendations have implications for university policy and actions.

Abstract: Interim report of the European Commission Expert Group on Turning FAIR Data into reality. The Group has a remit to provide recommendations, indicators and input on the financing of activities required to turn FAIR data into reality at an EU, Member State and international level. A FAIR Data Action Plan has also been proposed. See

The interim report will be formally released at the EOSC Summit on 11 June 2018 in Brussels, where a workshop will be run to consult on the recommendations and Action Plan. The report will be open for comments via a stakeholder consultation in June-August 2018.

The FAIR Data Expert Group was also asked to contribute to the evaluation of the Horizon 2020 Data Management Plan template and future revisions in light of harmonisation with funders across the EU, including the development of additional sector/ discipline specific guidance (if desired). A separate report was published on this in Spring 2018. See

Hodson, Simon, Sarah Jones, Sandra Collins, Françoise Genova, Natalie Harrower, Leif Laaksonen, Daniel Mietchen, Rūta Petrauskaité, and Peter Wittenburg. “Turning FAIR Data into Reality: Interim Report from the European Commission Expert Group on FAIR Data,” June 7, 2018.

Source: Turning FAIR data into reality: interim report from the European Commission Expert Group on FAIR data | Zenodo

Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

Author: Erin C. McKiernan

Comment: An interesting article in which describes the author’s idea of an open university and suggests practices/interventions for it.

Abstract: Open scholarship, such as the sharing of articles, code, data, and educational resources, has the potential to improve university research and education as well as increase the impact universities can have beyond their own walls. To support this perspective, I present evidence from case studies, published literature, and personal experiences as a practicing open scholar. I describe some of the challenges inherent to practicing open scholarship and some of the tensions created by incompatibilities between institutional policies and personal practice. To address this, I propose several concrete actions universities could take to support open scholarship and outline ways in which such initiatives could benefit the public as well as institutions. Importantly, I do not think most of these actions would require new funding but rather a redistribution of existing funds and a rewriting of internal policies to better align with university missions of knowledge dissemination and societal impact.

McKiernan, EC (2017) Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education. PLoS Biol 15(10): e1002614.

Source: Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

Open Science and its role in universities: a roadmap for cultural change | LERU


  • Paul Ayris (University College London)
  • Alea López de San Román (LERU Office)
  • Katrien Maes (LERU Office)
  • Ignasi Labastida (University of Barcelona)

Notes: The League of European Research Universities (LERU) provides and advice paper on the move towards Open Science/Open Scholarship in Europe. Emphasises coordinated action and culture change, including a check list for universities to address in the seven areas for change that the paper identifies.

Summary: Open Science opens up new ways in which research/education/innovation are undertaken, archived and curated, and disseminated across the globe. Open Science is not about dogma per se; it is about greater efficiency and productivity, more transparency and a better response to interdisciplinary research needs. The LERU universities are convinced Open Science brings new and exciting opportunities for the scholarly community and for how academics interact with society. They also  realise, however, that this transition will not be straightforward to deliver. There are challenges that lie ahead. For universities and other stakeholders to embrace Open Science principles, policies and practices, there needs to be a culture change in these organisations if this transition is to be successfully negotiated.

This paper discusses the eight pillars of Open Science identified by the European Commission (the future of scholarly publishing, FAIR data, the European Open Science Cloud, education and skills, rewards and incentives, next-generation metrics, research integrity, and citizen science), analyses what the introduction of Open Science approaches means at university level in each of these eight themed areas and identifies possible benefits and challenges. For each of the eight Open Science areas, recommendations about what universities can do are formulated. Evidently, they imply a broader supportive environment and productive interactions with external stakeholders, too. Next to the recommendations in these eight areas, the paper offers some high level conclusions and recommendations to transition at the institutional level and provides a set of questions which universities can use to measure their progress in implementing Open Science approaches institutionally.

The LERU universities fully acknowledge that Open Science represents a complex and multi-dimensional process of transition, different for every university. The 41 recommendations in this LERU paper do not represent a prioritisation of topics, nor an exhaustive list of actions to be taken by universities. They, and the paper as a whole, are intended to serve as a roadmap to accompany universities´ efforts towards Open Science, leaving room for each institution to carve out its own path, strategy and actions.

Ayris, Paul, Alea López de San Román, Katrien Maes, and Ignasi Labastida. 2018. “Open Science and Its Role in Universities: A Roadmap for Cultural Change | LERU.” Organisation. LERU. May 2018.

Source: Open Science and its role in universities: a roadmap for cultural change | LERU

Integrated advice of the Open Science Policy Platform on 8 prioritised Open Science ambitions

Author: EU Open Science Policy Platform

Notes: The integrated recommendations of the main European expert policy group on Open Science. Includes a focus on rewards and incentives but primarily at the individual level. Amongst the release documents associated with this is a reference to a Norwegian proposal to kitemark universities based on their open science performance.

Summary: The Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) adopted on the 22nd of April 2018 a set of prioritised actionable recommendations concerning the eight Open Science ambitions of Commissioner Moedas. These recommendations constitute an integrated advice on all Open Science ambitions of Commissioner Moedas.

These actionable recommendations from the OSPP are the next step towards the longer-term vision articulated by Open Science consultations and expert groups set up by the EC and other organisations in Europe and worldwide. The recommendations have been split up into the eight priorities identified from the European Open Science Agenda , namely:

  • Rewards and Incentives
  • Research Indicators and Next-Generation Metrics
  • Future of Scholarly Communication
  • European Open Science Cloud
  • FAIR Data
  • Research Integrity
  • Skills and Education
  • Citizen Science

Source: Integrated advice of the Open Science Policy Platform on 8 prioritised Open Science ambitions