1 April 2014

HEFCE policy on open access announced

The UK has taken another huge step towards open access of its research outputs, with the announcement of a new policy from HEFCE on behalf of all 4 UK funding bodies. The policy describes new eligibility requirements for outputs submitted to the post-2014 REF.

The policy is interesting in its approach; separating out deposit, discovery and access requirements. It applies to journal articles or conference proceedings (with ISSNs) which are accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, with encouragement for institutions to work towards compliance as soon as possible. Certain exceptions will apply, provided these are justified in the eventual REF submission.

At the heart of the policy is the requirement to deposit publications in a repository within 3 months of acceptance. Bibliographic metadata should be made available to allow discovery by readers, and access to the full text must be provided as soon as possible (unless an exception applies). The full text is expected to be an author’s accepted (peer-reviewed) manuscript, and embargo periods are allowed.

Further details on how to comply and support available for St Andrews researchers will be available soon.

Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework available at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/year/2014/201407/#d.en.86771

21 March 2014

Open Access opportunities from a Learned Society and a Cheeky Monkey

It's obvious that Open Access is becoming ever more mainstream when one of the world’s oldest and most reputable publishers is broadening its open access opportunities. Following quickly after the launch of their first purely open access journal Open Biology in 2011, the Royal Society have now announced that they will be launching their second. The new open access journal Royal Society Open Science will cover the entire range of science and mathematics and aims to publish work without the length and scope restrictions observed by more traditional journals. What is of particular interest is that the publishing model aims to offer open peer review as an option, will offer open access to data, implement article level metrics and offer researchers the opportunity to add post-publication comments.

In contrast to the historic Royal Society is the relatively youthful PeerJ, an open access publisher that has invented one of the most daring and innovative open access business models in years. PeerJ uses a model which differs enormously from the major open-access publishers in that the publication fees are levied not per article but per publishing author and at minimal cost.

PeerJ's 'Cheeky Monkey' mascot

Essentially, an author is charged a one-time membership fee that allows them to publish in the journal for the rest of their life. Authors are charged $99 to publish one paper a year, $199 for two papers a year and $299 for unlimited publications per year. Submitted research is judged solely on scientific and methodological soundness and there is a facility to view peer reviews alongside published papers. The PeerJ model is proving increasingly popular with researchers and was judged 'Publishing Innovation' of 2013 by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.

The good news is that St Andrews is currently offering its researchers support to publish open access with these two very distinctive publishers. The Library has recently renewed its Open Access membership with Royal Society Publishing and this will continue to give University St Andrews authors a 25% discount on standard article processing charges. Open access charges for Open Biology and Royal Society Open Science are waived by the publishers for an initial period.

We have also initiated a PeerJ Basic Plan for St Andrews authors. The Library will support the cost of individual membership for grant funded and non-funded researchers. The Basic Plan will allow individual authors to publish one peer-reviewed publication per year for life. A quick reminder as well (see recent blog post) that PeerJ are offering a free submission period for authors until 31 March 2014.

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

3 March 2014

Knowledge Unlatched pilot exceeds 200 sign-ups

The Knowledge Unlatched team are delighted to inform us that they have reached (and exceeded) the target of 200 libraries joining their pilot project to share the costs of ‘unlatching’ a collection 28 front-list titles from 13 recognised scholarly publishers.

With sign-ups from 19 countries in 4 continents the pilot has revealed the interest in Libraries worldwide in examining new business models that help to decrease the cost of monograph acquisitions. St Andrews signed up at the start of the pilot as we were also very keen to support this new model for OA publishing.

Here’s a brief explanation of how the model works:
The Knowledge Unlatched model depends on many libraries from around the world sharing the payment of a single Title Fee to a publisher, in return for a book being made available on a Creative Commons licence via OAPEN and HathiTrust as a fully downloadable PDF.
The Title Fee represents the basic cost of publishing a book. Because the Title Fee is a fixed amount, as more libraries participate in Knowledge Unlatched, the per-library cost of ‘unlatching’ each title declines. For example:


Access to the Title Fee allows publishers to feel confident that they will not make a loss on a title if it is made Open Access. Publishers are willing to provide libraries with discounts and make books available on Open Access licences if they can be assured that their core costs will be covered.
Due to the success of the pilot, the Knowledge Unlatched team anticipate that the number of sign-ups will continue to increase as will the scope and range of monographs made available for ‘unlatching’. The model is also expected to be financially self-sustaining as the costs of operating the project will be covered by a small percentage of each Title Fee.

6 February 2014

Using doctoral theses in your research: a guide to EThOS

Do you want to find out how UK PhD theses can be accessed? Here is a quick reminder of a training webinar which is being organised by the EThOS team at the British Library:
Using doctoral theses in your research: a guide to EThOS.
EThOS (http://ethos.bl.uk) is the national database for PhD theses, managed by the British Library. It’s a fantastic resource for researchers, with over 100,000 UK theses freely available to download and use for your own research, and another 200,000 available to search and scan on demand. Find out how to search for and download theses, and what to do if a thesis isn’t available. If you’re a PhD student, find out what will happen to your thesis once it’s completed. We’ll also explain how EThOS works with UK universities to support the whole research cycle, making the theses more visible and available for new researchers to use and build on. 
The session takes place on Thursday 13 Feb 2014 at 15:00

Register to attend the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5974661878725146370
 
St Andrews is a fully participating member of EThOS. Find out more on our Library web pages

30 January 2014

Centre for Syrian Studies launches open access journal

Syria Studies, the new open access journal of the Centre for Syrian Studies (CSS) at University of St Andrews, is being launched today in the School of International Relations.

Syria Studies is a peer reviewed journal that has previously been published in print under the series name St Andrews Papers on Contemporary Syria.
The aim of Syria Studies is to provide a space for scholars and students to publish work focused on the study of modern and contemporary Syria (history, politics, economy, & society). Given the interdisciplinary nature of Syria Studies, high-quality submissions from various academic and professional backgrounds are encouraged.
Dr Raymond Hinnebusch, Director of CSS and Editor in Chief of Syria Studies
The journal, managed by Dr Omar Imady and a team of Editors in the University, is proud to include some of the most renowned authorities on Syria on its Board of Reviewers. They are very keen for their work to reach a wide audience, and believe an open access journal, hosted by the University Library's OJS platform, provides this opportunity.
Knowledge and research about Syria which is made freely and widely available to those interested in the country’s development is more important than ever if the international community is to help Syria find a peaceful and democratic future.
http://css.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/
Papers from 2008-2011 are available online now in the Syria Studies Archives, with papers from the 2012-13 volumes available in print from Lynne Reinner publishers. The latest volume will be available open access following the journal's launch.

Syria Studies is now accepting papers for the next issue, due Oct 2014.

29 January 2014

Science as an open enterprise - Prof. Geoffrey Boulton

'Open Science' seems to be one of the hottest topics around, with organisations and funders from the G8 downwards stressing the importance of open data in driving everything from global innovation through to more accountable governance; not to mention the more direct possibility that non-compliance could result in research grant income drying up.

Here at St Andrews we have had an institutional research information system (CRIS) integrated with our Open Access Institutional Repository of research publications since 2006 and in 2013 we published our Open Access Policy based on the principle that  ‘The University of St Andrews is strongly committed to ensuring the widest possible access to its research.’

With many funders now pushing for all research outputs – publications and data – to be ‘open by default’ it is the ideal time for one of most high profile figures in the debate to present the case for ‘Open Science’.

Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE, FRS, FRSE, General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Regius Professor Emeritus and former Vice Principal of the University of Edinburgh, will be giving a public lecture entitled "Open Data and the Future of Science" in the Medical and Biological Sciences Building Lecture Theatre on Wednesday 26th February at 5:15 pm. All are welcome to the lecture and to join Prof Boulton afterwards for wine and light refreshments.

Professor Boulton is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology. His research is in the field of climatic and environmental change and energy. He leads the Global Change Research Group in the University of Edinburgh in the University’s School of Geosciences. He has received international and national prizes for his research, including the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society, the Kirk Bryan Medal of the Geological Society of America, the Seligman Crystal of the International Glaciological Society and the Science Medal of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland.

Prof. Boulton had been chair of the Royal Society project "Science as an Open Enterprise" which was a major study on the use of scientific information as it affects scientists and society. The final report was published in June 2012.


Guest post by Anna Clements, Head of Research Data and Information Services, University of St Andrews Library

15 January 2014

Copyright Week: public domain and open access

From 13 - 18 January, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is hosting Copyright Week. Each day is devoted to a different issue, with participating organisations contributing blog posts and encouraging online discussions on a particular theme.

Copyright Week

Day 2 was devoted to problems of material in the public domain not actually being publicly available, and included information from the Internet Archive which hosts several projects to address that concern.
[If you haven't tried it - have a look at the WayBack Machine for websites that have otherwised disappeared. See for example the JISC-funded TrustDR project website - content has a Creative Commons licence but no longer has a publicly hosted site.]

Day 3 (15 Jan) is focussed on Open Access, with the proposal: "The results of publicly funded research should be made freely available to the public online, to be fully used by anyone, anywhere, anytime." One blog post addressing this topic comes from the Creative Commons blog, which makes the point "the fewer restrictions are put on the public’s use of materials, the more swiftly scientific progress".

Links to the continuing discussions will be captured under 6 topics at https://www.eff.org/copyrightweek