March’s focus is on specific aspects of compliance and copyright. The first is on eligibility of papers held in Arxiv, well known for scientific pre-prints. The problem with papers in Arxiv in terms of the REF, is which version is held there, is it the AAM? This is not simple to quantify, given not all records in Arxiv include this detail. A researcher, who is too late to submit to their own repository, is stating they did previously place it in Arxiv within the correct acceptance date and it should be REF compliant, but should the repository team just take them at their word that this paper is the AAM? Some say that it is fine just taking their word for it, but if they are unsure to place it in the 5 % uncompliant pile. Another respondent states they do ask academics to confirm that the Arxiv paper is the AAM and also to get other people in the institution to check for robustness and also involve Info Services and the Research Innovation and Strategy Office. Another view is to advise academics to add metadata to Arxiv, to detail the paper as AAM. This is echoed by others, but how to judge eligibility when it has already been submitted without this detail. If an academic chooses to retrospectively add this info to Arxiv, they need to submit a replacement which changes the date of acceptance. A useful comment is when an Arxiv paper is taken as compliant, the record on their CRIS or repository is amended to reflect this. This topic will be raised this at a forthcoming ARMA meeting to allow for greater discussion.
The second topic looks at papers held in other institutional repositories. The initiator highlights a scenario whereby the academic is too late to submit in the host repository but has placed it in another, where they previously worked. The contributor asks for clarification on the REF ruling which states the paper doesn’t need to go in their own repository if submitted elsewhere. The discussion isn’t focussed on compliance, as the paper is compliant, but more on the reasoning to still submit the paper in their own institution when they don’t have too. One contributor blatantly disagrees with this action by not adding papers when they are held elsewhere, as they feel it is like claiming some others institution’s work as their own. Another post draws on the benefits on depositing in their own repository regardless of previous submission. These include having a full record of the authors research all in one place and to only link to full text in their own repository. This incentivises the author to deposit the paper in their current IR. Others agree that it is good to have a full record of research in the one place and it isn’t all about compliancy.
Moving away from REF compliance is an interesting discussion on making abstracts publically available. This comes from a member harvesting metadata records from a data source and being told by the publisher that the metadata can be made public, but the abstract cannot due to copyright. It poses several questions on how many other people include an abstract in their metadata records and if they don’t, is this due to copyright? From the thread it seems it is common practice to add the abstract to a website or repository, with the assumption that no copyright is breached. The originator argues that abstracts are exempt, either under the scientific abstract ruling or fair dealing under advertising. One response is to quote section 60 of the Copyright act which states published articles with a scientific or technical subject will not infringe copyright if their abstracts are copied. Another reflects that institutions are putting in abstracts from data sources such as Scopus into their CRIS and there is little evidence to state there are objections to this. However, one member states they have contacted publishers on this and been informed abstracts are under copyright and can only be added after the embargo period is up.