22 October 2014

New Open Access Button Launched

CC-BY 4.0 (Open Access Button)
The new Open Access Button has landed!
 
The Open Access Button project was started by a group of students who were frustrated by the paywalls they came up against when searching for research material. To try and tackle the issue, they created an app that documents and shares the experience of coming up against a paywall. The app they produced stores details such as who hit the wall, what they were trying to access, and for what reason. The app also records where the paywall was hit on a world map. The new Button builds on previous functionality by adding a great new feature called Your Wishlist which keeps a list of any research you failed to gain access to.

 "The Open Access Button will be used to support data driven campaigns and tell stories to support Open Access and fix the long-term issues that stop people getting the research they need."  (Open Access Button)

Here's how it works:

CC-BY OAB



Step 1.  When you come up against a paywall push the button (after downloading the app of course)





CC-BY OAB




Step 2. The Open Access Button will then search for an immediately accessible Open Access version, such as those held in our repository. If it cannot locate anything, the Button will email the author and request a copy.





CC-BY OAB



Step 3. Share your experience with the community.









The beta Open Access Button, released in November 2013 (launch covered here), recorded over 10,000 instances of people finding useful research hidden behind a paywall. The team behind the Button are hoping to increase the impact of the button by introducing a suite of new apps including dedicated Chrome and Firefox web-browser apps, as well as a specific app for Android operating systems.

Why not have a go and download the Button, either for your mobile or computer, and start documenting paywalls you come across. And don't forget to share your stories as well!

21 October 2014

Open Access Week - Meme Competition


Historians look to an open access future

Quick update from your OA support team


On the first day of Open Access Week 2014 we made a visit to the Postgraduate Early Modern and Modern History Forum. Despite the fact that the attendees had yet to begin their publishing careers, we were invited to talk about routes to open access, funder policies, and 'how open access might affect the way early career academics go about publishing'. The students were particularly interested in hearing about the benefits of open access, such as enabling reuse by readers without journals subscriptions, easier referencing through social media or translation into other languages. They were also keen to know how they can go about depositing their work in Research@StAndrews:FullText, given that students currently don't have access to the University's Research Information System, PURE, which handles the deposit process for publications.

We will take this feedback on board, and look at ways we can meet the needs of our new 'Generation Open'. As we continue visiting Schools around the University, lets hope the other disciplines are as forward-thinking as the historians!


20 October 2014

Open Access Week is here!

CC-BY. Openaccessweek.org

Open Access Week is upon us once again!

Over the next week we will be sharing the latest news from the world of Open Access, including competitions, new technologies, and future events.

So, what's the theme this year? Well, last year the theme was "Open Access: Redefining Impact", and the year before that it was: "Set the Default to Open Access". This year attention will turn back to the roots of Open Access Week by focusing on early career researchers and students. The title for OAW 2014 is "Generation Open".
The theme will highlight the importance of students and early career researchers as advocates for change in the short-term, through institutional and governmental policy, and as the future of the Academy upon whom the ultimate success of the Open Access movement depends. (SPARC)
Here at St Andrews it is clear that the intellectual talent of our students and early career researchers is recognised and celebrated. A great example of this recognition is the North Street Review (formerly Inferno), a peer-reviewed postgraduate journal that was founded 20 years ago to promote the diversity and quality of Art History research at St Andrews, which is now available electronically through OJS (Open Journal Systems).

The rise of online journal hosting platforms, like OJS, is of great benefit to early career researchers and students as a publishing platform. So, to carry this message forward, on Thursday 23rd, the University will be hosting an event centred around staff and student led Open Access Journals. The event is designed to encourage students as well as staff to engage with locally operated journals as a unique way of selling the wealth of talent we have here in St Andrews. The event is called Managing journals: challenges and opportunities*.

Be sure to sign up for the event at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pdms/?CourseID=4881.(External visitors are welcome!)

* This was also covered in a previous post.

And we will be continuing our focus on publishing opportunities beyond Open Access Week, with members of the team co-presenting a free webinar on Wed 29 Oct organised by UKSG:
The University Library as publisher - Can you? Should you? Join colleagues from the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh to understand how open access publishing initiatives could be delivered for academic staff and students in your institution.

9 October 2014

Elsevier: a look inside a publishing leviathan

To our enduring frustration, much of the academic publishing process is hidden from view unless of course you are having a paper published. At first thought this makes perfect sense, especially as an information overload is an affliction best avoided. However, for us in the OARPS (Open Access and Research Publications Support) team such information is extremely valuable. As we commented in a previous post, having detailed information about the payments process can increase the effectiveness of the service we offer. This is why we were so pleased when our close liaison with authors meant we were able to see screen shots of the publishing process at Elsevier.

Firstly, the author is sent a link to this page, where they can add additional details like funder codes and Open Access payments, as well as sign the publishing agreement. Crucially, this link can also be sent to us and a member of the OARPS team will complete the subsequent steps and sign on behalf of the author.
The author is then required to enter information about funding. This is hugely important in order to ensure that the research output is compliant with funders' open access policies. It is also very encouraging to see the prominence given to grant numbers as this is a further requirement made by many funders. However, as the screenshot shows this can be a daunting form to complete.
It's great to see that the system automatically prompts authors to select a particular license that complies with the chosen funder's policies (in this case an RCUK research council was chosen). However, troublingly authors are able to circumvent the funder's preferred option by choosing one of the other 2 Creative Commons licenses available, neither of which are acceptable to RCUK research councils. What is perhaps more troubling is the use of the word "preferred", when it should really say "required".
The author will then have to agree to the rights statement and publishing agreements, after which they will be given an order summary:


Armed with this sort of information we can better support researchers who come to us with questions as we can talk them through the process and see exactly what they see.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our confidential informant for providing us with this information, keep safe out there.

2 October 2014

Open Journals Event: 23rd Oct 2014

Later this month the University will be hosting an event centred around staff and/or student led Open Access journals. The event is called Managing journals: challenges and opportunities, and will primarily focus on the practical issues of setting up and running a journal. The event is open to staff and students, and will be of interest to anyone wishing to find out more about this exciting new publishing trend.


The Journal of Terrorism Research - hosted by the University of St Andrews using OJS

The course will comprise of a workshop with three case study presentations showing different kinds of academic journals: art/science, undergraduate/postgraduate/staff, different hosting solutions. There will also be a practical session demonstrating how to set up a journal as well as outlining some of the issues that may arise.

While OJS is being used as a model during the event, the issues presented are translatable to other journal hosting platforms. On this note, after the break, the focus will turn to the factors to consider if you chose not to use OJS as a platform. This will be followed by a Q&A.

The University of St Andrews Library currently hosts 7 journals and 1 conference proceeding using the OJS platform. The vast majority of OJS journals are Open Access so we have chosen to host the event as part of Open Access week 2014.

Please see the programme and sign up at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pdms/?CourseID=4881 (tick the ‘Add course’ box and then click Book)

Event:
Managing journals: challenges and opportunities
1-4.15pm, Thur 23rd Oct 2014, Parliament Hall, University of St Andrews

And, importantly, lunch will be provided!