Fwd: [LIS-E-RESOURCES] Publishers provide assessment panels with streamlined, free access to 150,000 journal articles for the RAE 2008

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 04:34:20 -0500

On 8-Dec-08, at 3:54 AM, Tracy Gardner wrote on LIS-E-RESOURCES:

      I thought subscribers to this list would be interested in
      this announcement
      from the PLS and the Research Assessment Exercise.

This absurd deal is as foolish in 2008 as it was in 2006, when it was
first announced:


Now that 6 of the 7 RCUK Research Councils have mandated Open Access
Self-Archiving and the RAE has gone metric, let us hope that this
nonsense is well on its way to becoming mercifully moot.


Stevan Harnad

      With the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results
      imminent, the
      Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) has described its role
      in helping
      publishers simplify access to articles submitted for
      assessment by UK higher
      education institutions (HEIs).

      Facilitating the provision of  online access to over
      150,000 journal
      articles without  authentication barriers or licence
      conditions was the
      challenge presented to the PLS during the planning stages
      of this years RAE.

      After discussions with the PLS, the recommended solution
      to the
      time-consuming, largely paper-based processes of the last
      assessment carried
      out in 2001 was for participating institutions to submit
      the Digital Object
      Identifier (DOIs) of selected journal articles to the RAE
      team.  The RAE
      team would then create a database of DOIs and, using the
      CrossRef database,
      link through to the journal article on the publisher
      site. A specially
      created Athens account would take care of authentication
      and the whole
      process should save assessors and the RAE team a great
      deal of time and
      effort.  It then fell to PLS, which represents
      publishers' collective
      licensing interests, to  broker a deal to allow
      fee-waivers and direct
      access to publisher content,and to co-ordinate the
      project on behalf of
      around 2000 publishers'.

      Alicia Wise, CEO PLS, says "It was a very interesting
      challenge and one that
      I knew the PLS could provide valuable input to. The sheer
      choreography of
      getting 100s of individual publishers to understand and
      agree to a single,
      fee-waived licence, for access to content for the
      purposes of the RAE was
      significant.  It has been the most complex licence I have
      ever worked on and
      the most demanding from the point of view of
      co-ordinating the sheer number
      of participating publishers, trade associations and
      industry bodies that
      provided input to the project.  I am very impressed with
      the way the
      publishing community responded to this challenge and
      proud that the PLS was
      instrumental in helping marry technological solutions and
      considerations to help with this important exercise."

      Ed Hughes, RAE Manager, said: 'We would like to thank
      publishers for not
      only agreeing to a licence solution for the RAE, but also
      for allowing our
      expert review panels direct access to their content.  We
      wanted to make it
      easier for submitting HEIs to provide material to the
      panel electronically
      and we needed to simplify access for our 1100 panel
      members.  These
      arrangements have allowed us to accomplish the RAE in a
      more efficient way,
      and has eased the burden on both submitting institutions
      and panels.  I'm
      delighted that publishers and HEFCE were able to
      collaborate effectively on
      this vital project.'

      About the Research Assessment Exercise
      The Research Assessment Exercise is conducted jointly by
      the Higher
      Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the
      Scottish Funding Council
      (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
      (HEFCW), and the
      Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
      The primary purpose of the RAE 2008 is to produce quality
      profiles for each
      submission of research activity made by institution.  The
      four higher
      education funding bodies intend to use the quality
      profiles to determine
      their grant for research to the institution which they
      fund with effect from
      2009-10 - over £1.5 billion per year will be allocated
      for research using
      the results of the 2008 RAE.  Any higher education
      institution in the UK
      that is eligible to receive research funding from one of
      these bodies is
      eligible to participate in the exercise.

      About the PLS
      The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) is a non-profit
      representing UK publishers on matters relating to
      collective copyright and
      collective licensing.  PLS works with thousands of
      publishers operating with
      the trade associations for publishers' rights.  For more
      information visit

      Contact Details:

      For more information please contact:
      Tracy Gardner
      Tel: 07884 438007
      Email: tracy -- tgm.ox14.com

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Received on Mon Dec 08 2008 - 09:35:10 GMT

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