A quiet week for our Bills of interest and the Copyright exception SIs have not yet been laid, but we expect them in the next two weeks if the Government is to meet its April implementation deadline.
The Access to Research Public Libraries Initiative kicked off this week, launched at Deptford Lounge Library by David Willetts. The Initiative will allow licensed on-site access to over 8000 journal articles through the public library network. You can read coverage of the initiative here and here. David Willetts attending the launch of A2R, but also found time to announce a number of new open and big data projects, and more importantly (from our perspective) to respond to Dame Janet Finch’s One Year On Review. Taking each conclusion/recommendation in turn. Willetts welcomes the reaffirmation of the Government’s OA policy, on both the direction of travel (Gold) and on embargo periods. There was also a favourable indication that HEFCE’s OA policy (expected shortly) will enhance the Government’s not rub up against it.
Unsurprisingly there was a large part of the letter dedicated to the perception of ‘double dipping’, which the Government is looking to publishers to help address, such as by moderating the total cost of publication for “individual institutions.” Again, this is set out as the quid pro quo for acceptance of hybrid journals. The Government also set out three key principles “to enable a commercially sustainable transition” including “meaningful offsetting” of APCs against subscriptions; “a sliding scale to be applied to this proportion”; and a “limit applied to the total value of offset for an institution.” HEIs are also advised not to become “locked in” to long duration contracts for bundled APCs. (The Government does say though that all of this should avoid publishers going out of business!). To find out exactly what this all means, we will be meeting with BIS shortly. However, Willetts also pointed to an anticipated JISC paper on modelling which, given our discussions with RLUK this week, will presumably focus solely on one model of offsetting (tapering) and will recommend principles for how APC charges are calculated (cost based pricing). The letter also praises the new UUK coordinating structure and says that the Matrix study into the feasibility of conducting a cost benefit analysis of OA will be published as soon as possible (although hints that the study may fund that a full CBA is not needed).
Oh – and HEFCE hastwo new Board members.
There is cause for widespread celebration this week as Dr Ros Lynch, of former Copyright Hub fame, has been appointed to succeed Ed Quilty as Director of Copyright and Enforcement at the IPO. Ros will take up her post on 27 February.
Michael Gove was on Andrew Marr this week, in advance of his widely trailed and reported speech at the London Academy, with praise for teachers, academies and the English baccalaureate measure. Whilst we wait for the formal response to the Government consultation there was enough in the Marr interview and in this document snuck out on Saturday night to confirm the Government’s direction of travel on assessment. For example, Reception will be the baseline, with a progress/accountability measure in KS2 and a proposed 85% floor standard. Tests in KS1 may become optional. The Government response to the primary assessment consultation is expected this month, although we may have to wait slightly longer for the NAHT Report on assessment without levels.
And Ofsted continues to dominate the headlines, this week over whether they should be given powers to inspect academies.
Quick Reads has put together this short film about the power and importance of reading.
Its National Libraries Day on Saturday.
News from Europe
In case you were wondering where your bedtime reading had got to, the European Commission consultation on copyright has had its deadline extended to 5 March. However, Commissioner Barnier has announced that a White Paper on the Copyright Review will be published in June, and will likely include some concrete proposals, laying the basis for legislative changes. What these proposed changes will be though remains to be seen, as does whether the new Commission will take up the proposals.
And FEP has published this manifesto for the European elections, alongside colleagues from the EWC and EBF.
Meanwhile the Collective Management Directive has been adopted by the European Parliament. It now needs to be signed off by the European Council, likely in the next few weeks.
Who we’ve met and forthcoming meetings:
This week we: met with the Dfe; met with RCUK; met with RLUK; attended the Quick Reads launch; attended a CREATe workshop on OA.
Next week we are: meeting with the British Council; meeting with officials from DG Connect and DG Markt; meeting with UKREP; attending the Delhi book fair.