28 November 2014

British Library EThOS coverage expanded

Digitising theses and making them available free of charge over the internet has been one of the great successes of Open Access that is often forgotten.  The British Library Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) recently announced a significant expansion of coverage, which is great news for researchers:





Image: © The British Library Board

Cambridge 8000 new theses records added resulting in a coverage of recent theses increase from 7% to 78%

Imperial College 2000 new records

King's College London 1000 new links to the KCL Research Repository added to records; a further 500 new records created

Nottingham Trent and Coventry Records now being harvested following set-up issues

University College London New "all PhDs" Open Archives Initiative (OAI) set created allowing linking to an additional 1600 records in UCL Discovery.

Repositories added School of Advanced Study, University of Gloucestershire, Edge Hill University and University of Brighton records are now being harvested

The EThOS advanced search function allows limiting to full text items available for immediate download. This search currently returns 1755 items for University of St Andrews.  Where no full text is available it is possible to request digitisation on demand or, if digitisation is not permitted, to source a physical copy through the traditional inter-library loan service.

Please visit our web pages if you need help and support finding St Andrews theses.

21 November 2014

Access to Understanding 2015 science writing competition

The Access to Understanding 2015 science writing competition has been announced. Now in its third year, the aim of the competition is to promote public understanding of complex research in Biomedical Science. If you are a PhD student or early career postdoctoral researcher working in this field who believes in creating and using accessible research, then choose one of the papers on which to write 800 words to explain the research and why it matters to a general reader. You could be in with a chance to win a first prize of publication of your article by eLIFE (and an iPad too!).


Closing date: 9 December 2014 16:00 GMT


This competition is sponsored by the British Library, eLIFE and Europe PMC*.
Use the links to see the results of previous competitions.
Image: © Access to Understanding collaboration

*Europe PubMed Central is a stable, permanent and free-to-access digital archive of the full text, peer-reviewed research publications (and datasets) that arise from research funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust and other members of the Europe PMC Funders Group. (Source: Medical Research Council)

If you are a St Andrews researcher and need help with Europe PMC deposit as part of funder requirements, please contact the Open Access and Research Publications Support (OARPS) team open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk.

The Repository: helping to feed the impact of research

Over the years, the OARPS team has spent a great deal of time acquiring academic manuscripts and releasing them to the world through the repository.


Much of our current work involves assisting academics with complying with funder open access mandates. For instance, the RCUK mandate states that RCUK funded research papers should be made Open Access either by choosing "Gold" and paying an APC charge, or by choosing "Green" and uploading the accepted manuscript of the final article to Pure (and then the library can transfer the paper to the repository).

Presently, the team focus has incorporated the new HEFCE open access policy for the next REF as well. The HEFCE open access policy states that in order to be eligible, the accepted manuscripts of articles and conference proceedings (with an ISSN) must be deposited in a repository. The HEFCE open access policy does not come into effect until 2016, but we are tying to push the message now so that we are 100% compliant by that point.

With both these cases the result is more content in the repository. But with deposit being imposed from on high the other benefits of depositing can sometimes play second fiddle. In light if this, we have chosen to show some of the usage metrics from a recent article in the repository. We hope this demonstrates that archiving in the repository can greatly benefit the Impact of research.

A great example is The meanings of chimpanzee gestures which received a lot of media attention when it was published. The authors deposited the accepted manuscript for the article into Pure, which then allowed the OARPS team to get the manuscript into the repository.

Here are some of the repository usage stats for the article:


With statistics like this you have to read between the lines a little bit, but one thing they definitely show is that the article received a lot of attention in July (this was when the article was being covered in the media). Crucially, the stats also tell us that the vast majority of those visiting the page ended up downloading the document. This reliably indicates that the majority of people visiting the page did not have access to the publisher version.

So, with the manuscript in the repository a wider range of people, who do not have a subscription to the journal, can read the full article. This means it can be distributed more widely through society, thus widening the reach of the paper and helping to feed the impact of the research.

19 November 2014

Making research data count

Are you a researcher interested in metrics that could track and measure the impact of research data? We invite you to contribute to a short survey which aims to learn what metrics would be useful to you. Responses will feed into a project with the ultimate goal of designing and developing metrics that track and measure data use, creating 'data-level metrics' (DLM).

California Digital Library (CDL), the Public Library of Science (PLOS), and the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) are investigating researcher attitudes towards potential metrics for datasets.


See the Making Data Count project site for more information.

Access the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/makedatacount
We all know that data are important for research. So how can we quantify that? How can you get credit for the data you produce? What do you want to know about how your data is used? If you are a researcher or data manager, we want to hear from you. Take this 5-10 minute survey and help us craft data-level metrics.
[http://blogs.plos.org/tech/how-do-you-do-data/]

14 November 2014

HowOpenIsIt? Guide update released

Jackie previously blogged about this handy guide for everyone interested in Open Access when it was launched in 2012. It is a collaboration between Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Public Library of Science (PLOS) and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) that attempts to shift authors' decision focus from "Open Access" to relative degree of openness and to influence the conversation. After the original release a practical use pilot mapped its Open Access Spectrum to 100 journals' policies. Version 2.0 was then released in International Open Access Week 2014 that has a number of updates, but still retains the core goals - standardising terminology, presenting a continuum of openness, contrasting publications and policies, raising awareness of OA and featuring an easy-to-use grid to determine openness. To achieve this 6 categories are used - Reader Rights, Reuse Rights, Copyrights, Author Posting Rights, Automatic Posting and Machine Readability.

Within our team we think it will have its part to play continuing to introduce a more nuanced concept of OA rather than a closed/open dichotomy. This should help postgraduate students, early career researchers and established academics who are new to OA to optimise their choice of reputable publication venues in line with their research and career aims. The guide is published in English, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. Why not download a copy and say what you think by leaving a comment below?

Image from HowOpenIsIt? © 2014 SPARC and PLOS, licensed under CC BY

12 November 2014

St Andrews academic Akira O'Connor joins PeerJ

Yesterday, the 11th of November, Akira O'Connor got his paper published in PeerJ; an open access journal with a very innovative publishing system. Akira publishes fascinating research on, amongst other things, the sensations of memory such as déjà vu experiences. His latest paper published in PeerJ concerns the conflictive relationship between two neurological stimuli, novelty and familiarity, which define the déjà vu memory experience. PeerJ recently invited Akira to comment on his research and also his experience publishing with the journal. The interview, which is on the PeerJ blog, makes for a fascinating read as it delves into Akira's research interests, his motivations to publish open access, and his thoughts on Open Peer Review. See the full interview here.

The vast majority of open access journals charge APCs (Article Processing Charges). The rationale being that because content is freely available, journals need to adopt APCs to cover the loss of subscription revenue. These APCs can range from a few hundred pounds to as much as £4000!

PeerJ on the other hand is a fully open access journal that does not use APCs, instead opting for one-off lifetime membership payments. Authors simply choose a subscription based on how much they would like to publish on a yearly basis. All the paid options are one-off payments that result is a lifetime of free publishing with the journal. This obviously represents fantastic value for money when compared to a £4000 APC for a single publication.

Copyright 2014 PeerJ


If you would like to publish in PeerJ, contact the Open Access team as we will cover the cost of Basic membership. More information about this can be found here.

7 November 2014

Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow - update

© SPARC Europe

This is an update to an earlier post about the Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow that is being hosted by the University of St Andrews, and organised by SPARC Europe and the University Library. You can now see details of the event and book your place through Eventbrite, here.

Date: Wednesday 26th November
Time: 12:00 noon - 2.00 pm
Venue: Lower College Hall, North Street, St Andrews.


The programme is as follows:
  • Welcome and general introduction: Lily Neal, on behalf of SPARC Europe, the sponsor of this OA in the Humanities UK Roadshow
  • 12.00: Introduction to the event and welcome from the University and the Library, Janet Aucock
  • 12.05: Eelco Ferwerda of OAPEN and DOAB
  • 12.20: Dr Rupert Gatti, Open Book Publishers and University of Cambridge
  • 12.35: Dr Guy Rowlands of the University of St. Andrews
  • 12.50: Q&A and discussion. Lunch and Publishers’ exhibition: view the publishers’ Open Access publications, meet the publishers and chat with them about publishing opportunities
A number of Open Access publishers will also be present at the event in a 'tradeshow' area. This presents a unique opportunity to meet publishers in person, and to discuss the practicalities of publishing openly in both Open Access monographs and journals.

The publishers that will be present:

  • Manchester University Press
  • Knowledge Unlatched
  • Ubiquity Press
  • Open Book Publishers
  • OAPEN
  • The Open Library of Humanities
  • Open Humanities Press

We hope to see you there!

For further details please contact open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk.