Best practices in the institutional implementation of the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot (III)

Implementing the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Guest post by Estefanía Muñoz, European R&D Programmes Coordinator. European Projects Office. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

The Polytechnic University in Madrid/Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) is the largest Spanish technological university. More than 2,400 researchers carry out their activity at the UPM, grouped in 204 Research Groups, 19 Research Centers or Institutes and 55 Laboratories. UPM led the participation in the 7th European Framework Programme by Spanish universities, with 286 projects and 83M€ funding, a high profile that has also been carried onto H2020.

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The UPM European Project Office was created in 2007 with the aim of supporting UPM researchers in their participation in the European research programmes in order to increase the quantity of European funded projects and to improve the quality of its participation. Nowadays it hosts 11 highly qualified professionals supporting researchers in preparing and managing the European projects of the University.

The implementation of the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot for UPM researchers has been centralized at this European Project Office.

A comprehensive email campaign was undertaken for the dissemination of this post-grant funding initiative targeting Principal Investigators for eligible FP7 projects under this pilot. The Vice-Rectorate for Research which this European Project Office belongs to operates a powerful R&D information platform which hosts all project-related data: from information on involved researchers to data on proposals (not yet awarded) and projects. Were it not for this information system, it would not have been possible to collect the information about eligible FP7 projects and to contact just the project PIs in a rather easy way.

A specific comment in this regard is that it would be good to include ‘Research Office staff’ as an additional user role in the OpenAIRE system besides ‘Library staff’. While we have been informed by the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot coordination that ‘Library staff’ is supposed to cover any institutional unit in charge of the pilot implementation, it’s worth bearing in mind that a Research Office and a Library have different tasks and aims.

The work around the implementation of this post-grant funding initiative — which involves submitting funding requests on behalf of researchers at UPM and processing reimbursement invoices in collaboration with the institutional finance office — has so far mainly focused on a few specific research groups involved in many eligible FP7 projects. This makes the communication with researchers much easier, since once they’re aware of the funding opportunity all they need to do is to get in contact with us.

A frequent contact is also kept with the FP7 post-grant pilot coordination in The Hague for dealing with requests directly submitted by researchers. This way even UPM researchers who are not aware of the hub role played by the European Project Office can be re-directed to us when they contact the project coordination.

The publication profile for our researchers is very specific and mainly takes place in the area of engineering. Although the Office is not an expert in Open Access publishing, by now we’re able to identify the eligible journals and to confirm to researchers what publications they’ll be able to successfully apply for funding for

It’s worth mentioning to conclude that at UPM there are no specific sources of funding for covering Gold Open Access fees. Researchers at UPM usually pay for their APC fees with their own project budget and they welcome this opportunity to have some of them externally funded. However, UPM has an institutional Open Access repository supported by the university budget. This means that Green Open Access is the model we apply by default.

As of mid-November 2016, UPM researchers have received funding for 13 post-grant publications (12 journal articles plus one volume of conference proceedings) from 10 different FP7 projects. Half the journal articles were published in MDPI journals (5 of them in ‘Sensors’), 2 in Wiley journals and 1 with Cambridge Univ Press, Frontiers, OSA and Hindawi. The average APC fee paid was €1,540 for a total funding of €20,000.

Together with Radboud University Nijmegen, UPM is the university where the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot has been most successful so far.

 

 

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