As we begin our 30th volume, we reflect on the fact that the last few months have seen some momentous events across the world – from the UK vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) to the inauguration of President Trump in the United States. While Insights maintains an independent position and does not espouse any particular political agenda, it is impossible for those of us in the information sector not to be affected by these global events.
It is with this in mind that we are pleased to lead off this small-but-perfectly-formed issue with an article by Paul Ayris looking at the potential impact of the Brexit vote on the open agenda in the UK. This article leads a suite of articles looking at various aspects of open access (OA). Liam Earney of Jisc presents an overview of the challenges and opportunities for OA offsetting agreements, while Helen Webb and Eleanor Craig of the University of Sussex take a look at offsetting from the practitioner perspective. We are also lucky to have Emma K Wilson and Jamie Humphrey of the Royal Society of Chemistry writing for us about the challenges faced by publishers in transitioning successful journals to a fully OA model.
The theme of transition and change stands out as a key aspect in a number of the other articles in this issue. In his article, Stuart Lawson tackles the often contentious subject of intellectual property and academic piracy, exploring what this means for the future of scholarly communications. Also looking to the future, a number of researchers who attended the UKSG One-Day Conference in November last year speak about their experiences and expectations of the scholarly communications ecosystem. And, last but not least, John Kaye, Rachel Bruce and Dom Fripp look at how they are working to establish a shared research data service for universities in the UK.
New business models and ways of working feature strongly in other articles in this issue. Jonathan Hogg writes for us about Using Primary Resources, a new type of e-textbook, while in our People in the News feature we catch up with Ben Hudson, who recently launched a new product, Cartoon Abstracts, which aims to make complex concepts more easily understood by using a graphic style. We are fortunate to have a second People in the News feature in this issue, in which we turn the spotlight on Henry Owino and Katarzyna Dudek, who give us a fascinating insight into what is involved in developing a collection for a brand new national library, in this case, the soon-to-be-opened Qatar National Library.
Often, with innovation comes a significant increase in costs, so it is pertinent that we also feature Sara E Morris and Lea Currie’s article on the challenges faced by the University of Kansas Libraries in maintaining library collections in the face of a static budget.
We’re delighted to be able to launch a new feature in Insights this issue, the Start-up story. In this feature, we aim to provide our readers with brief introductions to new initiatives, products or services. As if launching this new feature wasn’t enough, we are delighted to kick off with not one but two subjects! The RedLink Network is a community-driven initiative, designed to provide a free IP and access credentials registry, while Penelope is an automated tool that checks manuscripts and helps to speed up the publication process and improve research integrity by providing immediate editorial-style comment on manuscripts prior to submission. Both, we’re sure you will agree, sound like excellent new support tools.
Your Editors (and editorial team) work tirelessly to bring you an outstanding range of interesting and informative articles each issue, so we hope you enjoy the range of topics that are covered here. However, pressures of the day-job often mean that potential authors struggle to submit their articles as planned, so we are always on the lookout for new ideas and authors. If you have any suggestions for topics that you would like to see covered in Insights, or if you wish to submit an article for possible publication, please do so by contacting the Editors. You can also submit finished articles directly on our publishing platform (Ubiquity Press) using the ‘Start Submission’ button on our homepage at: http://insights.uksg.org/.
Enjoy reading, and we look forward to seeing some of you at the forthcoming Annual Conference in Harrogate, 10–12 April.
Steve and Lorraine