24 August 2015

Refreshed look for St Andrews journal hosting service

Over the summer, the University Library's journal hosting service has been given a bright new look to its welcome page.

As well as a fresh, more organised look to our range of journals, the main site provides users with the ability to search across all content.

An upgrade to the software means we can introduce additional features for readers such as citation tools, improved display of Creative Commons licences, and DOIs (coming soon).

Journal managers will be able to create their own reports on downloads, using the publishing industry standard 'COUNTER' statistics.

We are excited to continue providing this service which gives opportunities for our own staff and students to publish open access scholarly journals. We have also been working with an external hosting provider to trial an even better look and feel for one of our journals, still based on the underlying OJS software. Look out for more announcements soon!

JTR Banner

21 August 2015

RCUK Executive Response to the Burgess Review

As expected the Research Councils UK Executive has responded to the independent Burgess Review of its Open Access policy that we blogged in April.  

The Executive accepts and will act on all the recommendations.
Its most immediate response is to explore incorporating Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD) in its systems and to strongly encourage institutions and publishers to do the same.

It will also establish a joint practitioners working group made of of staff working on Open Access policy within institutions that will include representatives from learned societies and publishers. It will work on policy expression, communication and data collection and is due to meet for the first time in Autumn 2015.

Detail from cover: Review of the implementation of the RCUK Policy on Open Access
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence
Key responses

  • Explore sources to track compliance data in consultation with the practitioner group.
  • Work to reduce the burden of data collection on the administration of the block grant.
  • Improve communication around the policy.
  • Promote the mixed model of Open Access and researcher choice.
  • Clarify the policy on embargo periods, the CC-BY licence requirement and promote understanding of different licence types.
  • Share best practice in policy implementation across the sector.
  • Consider the issues around block grant allocation within HEI departments and disciplines.

Echoing the Burgess Review, the next independent review will be postponed for one year to allow extra time to gather enough data for an evidence base.

If you are a St Andrews researcher and need help to comply with RCUK's Open Access policy or to access the block grant to pay an article processing charge, please email open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk.

14 August 2015

Nature survey finds attitudes towards open access are changing

(NPG), Nature Publishing Group (2015): Author Insights 2015 survey. figshare.http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362
Each year Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan conduct an Author Insights Survey, the aim of which is to track changes in behaviours and attitudes towards publishing. The survey, which was published under a CC BY licence on Figshare, is available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362.

Overall the survey found that attitudes towards open access are softening, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding about funder open access policies.

(NPG), Nature Publishing Group (2015): Author Insights 2015 survey. figshare.http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362

Question 9: Reasons for not publishing OA?
The survey asked authors who had chosen not to publish OA in the past 3 years to provide their reasons for not doing so. The most common reason for deciding against OA (totalling 27% of the answers) was fear about the perceived quality of open access papers. Although this is perhaps alarming, it is actually a reduction from the previous year’s survey which saw 40% of respondents give this reason. In humanities and social sciences the drop in respondents choosing this option was from 54% in 2014 to 41% in this year’s survey. So overall this represents good news as it demonstrates that perceptions of quality are becoming less of an issue. It is also interesting to note that around the same number of respondents choose the option “I am not willing to pay an APC”. This answer too has seen a reduction year on year, from around 30% to 25% for STEM and 52% to around 42% for HSS.

(NPG), Nature Publishing Group (2015): Author Insights 2015 survey. figshare.http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362

Question 8: Understanding funder requirements.
25% of respondents said they didn’t know their funder’s open access requirements (20% in STEM disciplines, and 30% in Humanities and Social Sciences). Interestingly, around 23% of respondents thought their funder demanded authors publish the final published version either with an embargo or immediately via open access. In our experience funders require at the very least the accepted version, and none stipulate the final published version only. A further 6% thought their funder demanded the pre-peer review version. Again, this seems unlikely. So, what this indicates is that in all probability more than half of the respondents did not know their funder’s requirements for open access. Also interesting to note is that around 40% of those who reported that their funder required immediate OA also admitted they had not published open access.

Nature/Palgrave admit themselves that the survey is not an "academically rigorous study" nor is it particularly comprehensive. What it does highlight are general attitudes and trends. We have picked out two questions that produced particularly pertinent results. What the results of these two questions show is that overall attitudes towards open access are improving, but there are still misunderstandings about how funding bodies fit in, and what, if any, mandates for open access exist.

In a Nature Publishing Group press release Dan Penny, Head of Insights at NPG and Palgrave Macmillan said:
"Perceptions are likely to change over time as more open access publications establish strong reputations, funders mandate open access, and authors publish their best research in OA journals. Last year in particular saw a significant improvement in attitudes." (Nature Publishing Group, 2015, http://www.nature.com/press_releases/perceptions-open-access.html)
If any authors would like more information about funder open access policies, or would like any other advice about open access publishing, as ever the Open Access and Repository Publications Support team is here to help - email us at open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk. We also have a webpage detailing relevant funding bodies with open access policies.

The survey was published with a CC BY creative commons licence on Figshare here: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362

7 August 2015

'OA in the REF' workshop : Building bridges

Fresh from the excitement of Repository Fringe 2015 the Jisc Pathfinder Lessons in Open Access Compliance (LOCH) partners and representatives from HEIs all over the UK met in Edinburgh on 5th August to learn from the experiences of project partners and each other.

Queensferry Crossing - north cable tower © Copyright M J Richardson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Sarah Fahmy, Jisc Open Access Good Practice Manager, welcomed delegates and discussed the challenges Open Access poses for HEIs - absolute costs, administrative costs, system interoperability, the problem of low awareness, publisher and funder policy confusion and the international dimension.

Project partners presented their institution's Open Access challenges and solutions. Anna Krzak gave a fascinating talk on the devolved model of support at Edinburgh's College of Medicine. The following workshop explored models of support that can help researchers navigate Open Access policies. Common themes emerged included the importance of establishing a dialog with researchers and other stakeholders in Schools and Units, making sense and sense-making and resourcing. 

The programme outputs from all projects are available from the Open Access Good Practice blog and the presentations and notes are available from Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA):

Storify run-down of the event
Notes from the workshop session
Sarah Fahmy Jisc
Linda Kerr Heriot Watt
Jackie Proven St Andrews
Dominic Tate Edinburgh
Anna Krzak Edinburgh Open Access Administrator in CMVM
Rowena Rouse Oxford Brookes

23 July 2015

St Andrews University joins Open Library of the Humanities

Last month the University of St Andrews joined the Open Library of the Humanities - an open access mega-journal and book publisher (see previous post on OLH here). Dr. Martin Paul Eve, a founder and director of OLH, welcomed St Andrews:
“It is wonderful that the University of St Andrews has joined the OLH LPS [Library Partnership Subsidy] programme. With the help of institutions like St Andrews, we can build a way for OA to work in the humanities that is sensitive to the different environment within which these fields operate.” 
John MacColl, University Librarian and Director of Library Services, added:
“St Andrews has a track record of supporting innovative Open Access platforms such as Peer J, Open Book Publishers and Knowledge Unlatched. This latest membership offers many opportunities for humanities researchers in St Andrews and beyond to make their work Open Access free of charge”
The University of St Andrews is now part of an international consortium of over 80 other institutions that financially supports OLH through membership fees. These fees cover the cost of publication and ensure that there are no author facing charges (APCs). The reason for this type of publishing system is that many researchers feel that the regular “gold” open access system, where authors have to pay APCs, is geared more towards researchers in STEM disciplines, where there is often more money available to cover such charges. For many in humanities disciplines, these charges can present a barrier to open access publication. OLH is seeking to redress this imbalance by offering an alternative publishing system that is tailored specifically to the academic landscape of the humanities.

OLH is directed by Dr Martin Paul Eve and Dr Caroline Edwards of Birkbeck, University of London. Initially, the platform was given start-up support by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Last month Birkbeck awarded OLH a further three-year grant of $741,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr Eve had this to say:
“The successful conclusion of our previous planning grant, awarded by the Foundation in 2014, has shown us that there is substantial appetite among libraries, journals and authors for a new model to achieve open access.
“By lowering costs for the international library community, while maintaining peer-review standards and professional publishing practices (such as digital preservation), the OLH offers a new and viable route to open, online publication in the humanities.” Birkbeck, University of London.

Open Library of the Humanities is set to launch in September 2015, with an initial 7 journals.

10 July 2015

Open Data: Wiley to partner with Figshare

In recent years it has become increasingly important for researchers to publish the data underlying research. A search of Sherpa/Juliet (a search engine that compiles funder mandates and policies relating to open access) confirms this, revealing that there are 41 funders that require open access to research data, with a further 18 that encourage it.

The academic publisher Wiley has decided to take a proactive step to help authors meet the data requirements of their funders. Wiley is looking to support authors by integrating data sharing into the existing publication workflow. They are doing this by partnering with Figshare; a cloud based repository for academic research outputs, including data.

The new service offered by Wiley is currently being piloted by a number of journals and will be rolled out over the coming months. Wiley are also expected to release data citation and sharing policies during this time.

26 June 2015

LIBER 2015 paper wins award

The emerging role of institutional CRIS in facilitating Open Scholarship, was recognised by the LIBER Conference Programme Committee with the Innovation Award given to the 3 most innovative and relevant papers submitted to the conference.

St Andrews, together with Aberdeen, was the first UK University to introduce a CRIS (Current Research Information Information System) and, along with other UK HEIs is active in the use of the CRIS to facilitate Open Access and Research Data Management to meet the demands of funder compliance, promote Open Scholarship as a desirable and viable option to researchers and to benefit the wider research community.
The University Library recently appointed Anna Clements Assistant Director to head up the new Digital Research Division, bringing together Open Access, Research Data Management, Digital Humanities and Research Computing, reflecting its importance to the Library and the University.

Anna, who co-authored the paper with Jackie Proven, said "This award recognises the hard work at St Andrews as a champion for the use of innovative systems to support many areas of research information management, including Open Access and Research Data Management. The CRIS has demonstrated how it can respond to the changing policy landscape and benefit researchers and management alike by reducing the burden of data collection and processes for compliance, but the much more exciting part is that it is now beginning to facilitate Open Scholarship itself."