Funding compliance made easy

Wednesday 17th February 2016

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) drives the allocation of around £1.7 billion of public money for research each year. From the 1 April 2016, journal articles and conference proceedings must be available in an open-access form to be eligible for the next REF.

HEFCE and other research funders (research councils, charities and foundations) have introduced policies for research data management and publications ahead of the 1 April 2016 date. Many universities and institutes are looking for solutions to ensure they are compliant by spring next year, but are still asking key questions.

What does this mean for my research department? How will the policy affect my funding? Is the policy the same for all funded research? Can any provider supply open access platforms? How expensive is a solution to be compliant? These questions and many more are being asked of the Digital Archives & Research Technologies (DART) team at the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC), who are supporting almost 40 UK universities to become compliant, ahead of the fast approaching 1 April 2016 deadline.

Recent subscribers to the DART hosted repository service, who are in search of support and guidance to ensure they meet the open access policy requirements, include:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • The Royal College of Music
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • London Business School
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Queen Margaret University

Rory McNicholl, Lead Developer said; “We don’t just offer solutions to London based organisations, we are internationally recognised for our knowledge and expertise in the field of online repository development. The recently signed agreements are testament of our focus on and involvement in the UK research community, which were key in securing this business in a very competitive market.”

"I have found ULCC's service to be good value for money in terms of providing a complete repository service for a clear annual fee. This saved us considerable resources by avoiding the need to employ EPrints software specialists locally. I anticipate the service will continue to prove very valuable as the HEFCE Open Access requirements come into force" said Jonathan Lucas, Head of Information Resources & Content at St Mary's University.

In keeping with the community spirit of open source software and the collaborative development approach that comes with it, the DART team is hosting a free-to-attend webinar 'Key steps in meeting funding requirements' on Wednesday, 24th February at 3.30PM (GMT). Although largely focused on the impending HEFCE open access requirements and how to meet them, the webinar will also cover compliance for EPSRC and RCUK.

About ULCC

Established in 1968, ULCC has evolved into a highly respected and innovative brand within the academic and not-for-profit sector. It now hosts, develops and supports Virtual Learning Environments based on the leading open source software Moodle for 3 million users; offers sophisticated research data and publications repositories for nearly 40 UK HE institutions; and provides networking, co-location and fully managed hosting solutions from its 2 data centres for nearly 300 education customers.