Thursday, 15 September 2016

Shifting Sands: What's affecting your business?

Robert Kiley from the Wellcome Trust
Much has been said about disruption in the publishing industry, with a focus on the changes that digital developments have brought. But there are many other disruptions facing publishers, not least the shifting political landscape throughout the world.

Rober Kiley from the Wellcome Trust outlined their plans for opening up access to the research outputs. It helps to accelerate discovery and its application for health benefit, but also provides great return on investment.  Challenges include tackling infrastructure and changing culture and incentives. There are issues around having the right skills and capacity to do this.

The publisher requirements have come about to simplify the whole process and ensure they get what they pay for. There are still instances where articles have been funded and published as open access, but still behind paywalls on publisher sites.

Their key requirements for deposit are that the final version of peer reviewed articles should be available in XML and PDF and deposited in PMC. Material changes must be made to PMC and include Crossmark where available. The Licence must be made available via CC-BY and the statement must be included in XML and be human and machine readable. The invoice must include the title of the articles and publishers must have a refund policy. They have been in contact with a number of the larger publishers and see trade bodies such as ALPSP as being key to reaching out to other organizations.

Other Wellcome developments include Wellcome Open Research. Researchers will be able to get their research published quickly and it will include all research outputs. It fulfils all their open access requirements and the data is published alongside so the research is reproducible. It is transparent - open, author drive, peer review. Finally, it is easy as the costs are met directly by Wellcome.

Wellcome is also looking at preprints. It reflects the growing interest in this area as they provide researchers with a fast way to disseminate their work, establish priority of their discoveries and obtain feedback. They also offer a more current understanding of an investigator's work. They are working within Wellcome to amend grant application EoG forms so preprints can be cited. They are developing grant reviewers and are working with ASAPbio. They are keen to change the culture by encouraging researchers to publish preprints.


Alex Hardy from Harbottle & Lewis
Alex Hardy is a publishing lawyer at Harbottle & Lewis. She covered the legal status of the results and four key areas of IP law, contract law, data protection and copyright law.

What the referendum DIDN'T ask is when and how we should leave the EU as well as what kind of relationship should the UK and EU continue to have.

Article 50 is the legal mechanism by which to serve notice. But it has never been invoked before so it is unknown territory.

The short term impact involves currency fluctuations as well as changes in the trade relationships outlook. We are proceeding with caution with refocussed lobbying and campaigning. Alternative models are being explored including European Economic Area, European Free Trade Area or a more bespoke arrangement.

For intellectual property rights including copyright, departure from the EU would leave national law and international treaties largely as it is. For EU harmonisation, the UK has been heavily involved and very influential. But there is a risk the UK will lose it's influence. For the EU, there's a risk they will lose UK content. It is possible the UK will leave the EU during the EU Digital Single Market. There is still an opportunity to continue to engage, comment and contribute to discussions.

EU trade marks will continue in the short term, but you may need to move to a UK trade mark. It might be worth registering both in short term to minimise risk if you can afford it.

For contracts, consider reviewing the territorial scope, trade and IPR licences. You should also take into consideration governing law and jurisdiction. EU courts are likely to continue to respect English law contracts. Arbitration is likely to be more popular. You should consider alternative dispute resolution.  You should think about termination rights. Does the EU constitute a force majeure that mean you can review pricing or service terms review? There might be opportunities for renegotiation.

Consumer contracts are heavily shaped by EU law. There may be a post-Brexit review, but if you want to do business with the EU you will need to continue to comply. The EU General Data Protection Regulation is automatically and equally enforceable in all member states to have a single EU law. It provides stronger rights for consumers and stricter obligations for companies. Penalties are harsh with 4% of turnover or 20 million euros. It has been four years in the making and comes into force in May 2018. Brexit is no excuse for not complying for the UK as they will still be in the EU when it comes into force. It also applies to anyone outside EU processing data to offer goods/services to EU citizens. There also needs to be adequacy of law required for data protection. The UK will likely fully adopt the GDPR regardless of Brexit. Act now before it is too late. May 2018 is not far away.

With employment law, free movement of people is a key political issue. There is no clarity on the post-Brexit position. Businesses are starting to audit and assess opportunities for claiming rights to work in the UK and EU. Companies might want to consider diversifying recruitment policy and must be aware of discrimination. Review your policies and make sure you remain compliant with existing UK law. She closed asking how can you survive the shifting sands of Brexit? Her answer is to take stock, be prepared and try to influence.

Andrew Tein from Wiley
Andrew Tein provided an updated on open science in the EU and called for engagement and leadership in this area. The open science policy agenda is driven by economic pressure, technology and innovation as well as the evolution of research practice. In terms of policy practice there is open access and copyright reform and protection. How do we engage and how do we lead the conversation with the rest of the community? How do we develop the rights tools and services? How do we deal with the SciHubs of the world?

There are some fundamental principles. Research stakeholders should advance sustainable open access and open science policies that ensure flexibility aligned with needs of discipline communities avoiding imposing unnecessary burdens on researchers. Brussels is a slow, steady and confusing place. In May 2013 Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) was launched with general principles on OA and Open Data. In May 2015 'A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe' was released which acknowledged the importance of science and research to boost innovation. In May 2016 the Competitiveness Council Conclusions on the Transition Towards an Open Science System were published.

The OSPP process is design to advise the commission on policy development and implementation. It will serve as the primary mechanism for stakeholder engagement. It has five policy action areas: incentives for open science, removing legal barriers, making OA policies mainstream, develop research infrastructure for open science and particularly open data, and to embed open science in society as a socio-economic driver. They have broken this out into eight work streams:

  1. Fair open data
  2. European Open Science Cloud
  3. Altmetrics
  4. New business models for scholarly communication
  5. Rewards
  6. Research integrity
  7. Open science skills
  8. Citizen science

It is expected there will be three different mechanisms for consultation: digital consultation, working and steering groups and the Commission has clear goals they want everyone to work towards. As ever, there will be a number of opportunities and challenges around these areas.


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