Research at Risk

Open Data Publishers Working Group #MRDpub

The Open Data Publishers Group (#MRDpub) was one of five Working Groups formed at the JISCMRD Phase Two Launch Workshop.

The Group discussed how best to liaise with publishers and to encourage increased open publication of research data, linked to scientific articles, the data behind the graph.

The key outcome was the recommendation to organise a Workshop or ‘Publisher Camp’ in May or June of 2011. This workshop should bring together key stakeholders (researchers, funders, publishers and organisations like CODATA, OECD). As well as providing a forum for sharing experiences and aspirations, the workshop should examine technical challenges and consider appropriate business models; it should consider motivations and drivers, costs and benefits; and the possible mechanisms for peer review of data should be examined.

The key output of the workshop should be a report detailing the workshop and presenting recommendations and a set of actions and possible project to take forward.

Among the intended outcomes would be to establish a core open data publisher group to take forward an open data publication agenda. It was argued that there would be benefits for JISC in building stronger partnerships with publishers, in building a publisher group with a strong interest in open data. In particular, the workshop and JISC should explore, define and articulate the business case(s) for open data.

Other issues to be considered are as follows:

Metrics: this needs to be considered from the point of view of a range of stakeholders; what data do we need to collect in order to be useful funders, researchers, publishers… Does data publication increase citation rates?

Editorial policies: what editorial policies need to be in place to achieve effective data sharing and reuse? Are mandates for data publication effective, necessary?

Ownership and IP issues: need to be explored and unpicked. This is particularly important when commercial research funding is involved, pharma companies etc.

Business models: author pays charges; who benefits, who pays (benefits for publishers, researchers, funders).

Peer review of data: should ‘peer review’ of data occur pre- or post- publication (i.e. formal peer review vs community review)? What costs and workloads are involved in pre-publication review of data? What automated data checks can/should be applied?