Posted on: 29th April 2013

Creativity – The Next Generation is a subject dear to the Fusion community’s heart, and is also the 2013 theme of International Intellectual Property Day, which fell on the 26th of April. The creativity of future scientists and engineers is vital to overcoming the challenges of achieving fusion but it can only be built on the knowledge that has been created by the previous generations of researchers. Good management of the vast amounts of intellectual property that has been created through JET’s working life time is crucial to future success.

“We have a very good system,” says Keith Musgrave, head of Culham Publication Services, which designed and built the electronic database of JET’s documents. “You can retrieve documents electronically in minutes, as far back as pre-1990. You can read the abstract before the full download, and request high resolution versions of the figures if needed.”

All of JET’s publications are kept electronically in this central repository, which is hosted by the Institute of Physics; it is housed offsite because if JET were to shut down the documents must subsequently be available for ten years. This server receives 86 000 hits per month, from people searching for current preprints of journal articles or conference papers, right back to historical reports.

“When a paper is published we aim to assign the journal a right to publish, not exclusive copyright; this means that we can reproduce it when we want without restriction. We have such good internal processes, clearing documents through groups and department heads using the pinboard system, that we have an acceptance rate of 97% on submitted papers, so we can post the preprints with confidence,” says Keith Musgrave. “Each document carries the relevant disclaimers and the images are hyperlinked to the latest versions, in case of changes.”

The system also has advantages for the authors, as readers can send feedback directly to the authors through the IOP website. “It gives us a wider peer review potential,” says Mr Musgrave.

The central repository is a valuable system for the fusion community. “Papers get published in many journals, people go back to their countries and publish in their own languages – it would be impossible to keep track.” All the papers are fully text-searchable, making it easy for people to find exactly what they need, says Mr Musgrave. “For instance, with ITER in its design phase we’re getting a lot of requests for documents from the nineties, when we ran our tritium campaigns!”