Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Cost of Open Access ?

++All of the information that follows is already in the public domain other than a few anecdotes from myself today++

(Sourced from Flickr)

The last time I visited the University of Glasgow, I was 16/17 years of age when my first band played their first 'proper' gig there in the Student's Union Bar during freshers week.

(May I throw in this pic of my brother, Richard from with the 'Biotechies' in TBS (Technology and Business Studies) year of '88 at Strathclyde University? I think I can) !!

(Unrelatedly uploaded and sourced from Flickr)

My second visit was today at the Sir Charles Wilson Building which is directly opposite the above (building, not photos). !!

The reason for returning was to attend the first of four UK workshops organised by the Centre for Research Communications (CRC), University of Nottingham and Alma Swan of Key Perspectives. I enquired from the onset (of today) if it would be OK to tweeet during the event. Given that these events will be collating brand new unpublished data, the answer was no. Fair enough.

(Sourced from Flickr)

At the end, I asked if it would be OK to blog about it, no problem although for the reason mentioned, those present won't be able to go into finite detail.


Great information pack I have to say. Loads of good stuff in there that I haven't had a chance to properly read, but from a 'scan over' this is goooood.

EG How to build a case for university policies and practices in support of Open Access - JISC 2010

The format for this one was intense but informal/relaxed, which was nice.

A brief Welcome/Introduction by Bill Hubbard, Director of the CRC.

Next up was a really excellent PPT talk/presentation by Susan Ashworth, Library Assistant Director, University of Glasgow entitled:- "Implementing Open Access". (note, must contact Susan to see if this one can be archived on the web).

Took some notes though ;-)

Now it was time to get ours brains really into gear with Alma's "the economic model: introduction and practical session".

The primer to all of this was The Houghton Report (2007) published in January 2009.

From the blurb here:-

"The cost of open access?

Disseminating the results of scholarly research through open access may benefit your institution - but what would it cost?

We'd like to invite you to an event that will help you find out.

Your VC or PVC for Research may be planning to attend an event on June 15 at Woburn House in London organised by Universities UK and JISC, where evidence will be presented on the business case for open access publishing and repositories. The Houghton Report last year identified significant sectoral savings (over £200M pa) possible from the adoption of Open Access, but it was not clear of the implications for individual institutions. What is the balance of cost and benefit for research-led institutions? does the size of an institution alter the projections? Consultant Alma Swan, from Key Perspectives Ltd, will be introducing an economic model at this event to help individual institutions identify the costs and savings involved.

To discover how the figures work out for your own particular institution, you would be very welcome at one of our four regional follow-up events. These workshops are aimed at Research Support Offices and financial modellers, who are asked to collect certain data to bring with them to build their own customised models. All data used will be kept confidential to each institutional delegate".

At the event in Glasgow today, we split ourselves into three groups:-

University of Glasgow
University of Nottingham (plus muggins)
University of Edinburgh

Nice lunch was provided for all and before we knew it, back into the nitty gritty.

Cutting a two hour-ish story short, by the end, all three 'groups' came up with differing results as one might expect, but (I think) I am allowed to say that these were indicative that (and I'm watching what I'm saying) whilst I know it's a cliche, 'the times are a changin'.

During the whole process, we ironed out some wee minor niggles in the enhanced version of the model used in the Houghton Report which will make the next three events run even more smoothly than this one, great as it was.

Despite my layman status, this was a really worthwhile event to have attended and I think that I am allowed to say that this will cause a 'ripple effect' at least in Scotland so far. But this gig (three more) only started this afternoon !!!

So, to conclude. The CRC are holding/hosting three more of these events in the coming weeks in London, Birmingham and Leeds. If you are at all interested in any of this, please do make contact with the folks in charge and consider attending these free of charge events.

* Glasgow - 15th July - Booking & Programme >> (COMPLETED)
* London - 21st July - Booking & Programme >>
* Birmingham - 23rd July - Booking & Programme >>
* Leeds - 29th July - Booking & Programme >>


For further information on these events, please contact Mandy Hodgson (email:, phone: 0115 84 68601).

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Oh Paul, you seriously fucked up this time.

Like a substantial number of folks in the UK, I was following the dramatic events as they unfolded during the eventual capture of man-on-the-run, Raoul Moat last night.

2010 Northumbria Police manhunt - Wikipedia

The stand-off between mister Mooot and Northumbria Police

continued way beyond midnight and other than those who continued to follow the mainstream media/Twitter coverage into the night, I awoke this morning and switched on teh interwebz for an update.

What didn't surprise me was that Mister Mooot had allegedly turned his gun on himself.

As armed Police and trained negotiators allegedly attempted to, well, negotiate the peaceful arrest of said Mr Moat, in an utterly bizarre twist (which I did not believe at first), it would appear that ex-England/Newcastle United/Glasgow Rangers/Lazio/Sunderland soccer legend, Mr Paul Gascgoine (now known even more for all the wrong reasons) appeared in person at the scene of the stand-off in an allegedly drunken state.

From The Sun:- Gazza brings Moat chicken.

"Gascoigne - who had apparently come by taxi from Newcastle - said he had brought the wanted man a "can of lager, some chicken, a mobile phone and something to keep warm".

"But Gazza's agent Kenny Shepherd reacted with disbelief on being told the troubled star had turned up in Rothbury, saying: "He's doing what? I am sitting having an evening meal in Majorca. I'm speechless."

How I long for the Paul Gascoigne et al at his best, but this is surely his worst to date - and that is saying something.




Unrelated (in part) Does Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim need a make over?

I think so.

'The Daily Fail on Friday likens her to Alice from 'Vicar of Dibley' and Maggie Thatcher's spitting image puppet. I'm an ex senior detective of 30 years service and her and her partner make me cringe every time I see them ' Mister Mooot'. For goodness sake, send in the Ghurkas they'll find him'. says John.