16 December 2014

Looking ahead to the next REF

The results for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) are due in this week, but work is already well under way to prepare for the next one!

What is the REF?
The REF is a system for assessing the quality and impact of research outputs by UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The reasoning being that there needs to be an impartial method for evaluating public investment in research. The results will also be used to inform the distribution of future public investment in HEIs. The 2014 REF assessed research outputs produced between 2008 and 2013 (inclusive).

©h_pampel via Flickr
So what's going to be different?
The rules for the next REF include a specific policy on open access which states that in order to be eligible for submission, articles and conference proceedings are to be deposited in a repository as soon as possible after the acceptance date. The version to be deposited must be the accepted manuscript, which has been peer-reviewed, but not copy-edited. The new policy is led by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and supported by all four UK higher education funding bodies. And, although the policy will come into effect in April 2016; HEFCE strongly urges institutions and researchers to follow the requirements as soon as possible in order to ensure all outputs are eligible for the next REF.

The Open Access team have already started contacting researchers by email in order to advise on the use of PURE to comply with the policy. We have also been going out to Schools directly to deliver presentations on the new HEFCE policy, most recently at the School of Chemistry. So far, we have been delighted with reaction we have received, one researcher even reported a time of 2 minutes 30 seconds for creating a Pure record and depositing his accepted manuscript!

If you want to know more about making your research compliant with the HEFCE Open Access policy please email the Open Access team openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk. We also have a new website which offers guidance and useful links.

5 December 2014

Open Access Books: “Books fall open, you fall in”

"Books fall open, you fall in, delighted where, you've never been." 
David T. W. McCord

With this post we want to highlight the importance of open access books. When people think of open access, their minds might naturally think of journal articles and conference papers. But, there are a growing number of Open Access book publishers as well. Recently, we were lucky enough to have representatives from OAPEN and DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books), and Open Book Publishers speak at a roadshow event in the University. Judging by the energy of the presenters and the enthusiasm of the attendees, there is growing momentum behind open access book publishing at the moment.

Mike Lee, CC-BY 2.0
A search of the St Andrews library catalogue reveals the efforts we have taken to deliver open access monographic material. For instance recently the cataloguing team have created records for the entire Open Book Publishers catalogue. Open Book Publishers was started in 2008 by a small group of academics at the University of Cambridge. It is now an international enterprise that publishes books in hardback, paperback, ebook, and free online formats. Elizabeth Cuthill, a member of the cataloguing team here at St Andrews, has been adding value to the catalogue by creating high quality MARC records for the OBP content. These MARC records can then be harvested and re-used by other libraries, ensuring maximum discoverability. Elizabeth commented on the rich variety of material published by OBP:

"There are some very interesting and unusual titles on this publisher’s list of around fifty so far. For example, I’ve just completed cataloguing several titles on Quechan folklore (Quechan is a native American language spoken by a tribe living in southern California and in Arizona south of the Colorado River). It is a language and culture so rare that there are only around 700 native speakers left. One of the titles can be found at this link http://library.st-andrews.ac.uk/record=b2106224~S5. This work documents the tribe’s creation myths. I’m assuming this work must be quite unique in that it is a written document from what is primarily an oral tradition. The book is part of Open Book Publishers’ World Oral Literature series, published  in conjunction with the World Oral Literature Project, a collaborative project which describes itself as "An urgent global initiative to document and make accessible endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record." It’s becoming apparent as I work through cataloguing this material that the vision of a not-for-profit venture such as Open Book Publishers provides a fantastic outlet for freely distributing material which is very specialised and does not conform readily to existing publishing models." Elizabeth Cuthill

We also have records for all of the books created as part of the Knowledge Unlatched project. This unique publishing platform has been covered in the blog before. In the catalogue there are currently records for 28 books produced as a result of the project covering a wide range of subject areas. In total we have 173 open access books on our catalogue, but there are many more to be discovered. Using resources like OAPEN and DOAB you can find thousands of fully open access books, which can be downloaded onto your computer, phone, tablet, or e-reader.

Open access books offer a different way of interacting with subjects, for instance Diderot's 'Rameau's Nephew': A Multi-Media Edition published by Open Book Publishers contains mp3 recordings of contemporary music by the Paris Conservatoire embedded into the book. Why not give the book a read and a listen!

Publishers like Open Book Publishers are developing new means of expressing scholarly research through e-books. And, in recent years new e-reader technologies have emerged making reading electronic books more comfortable for longer periods. Now really is a great time to discover the possibilities of electronic open access books.

2 December 2014

Nature takes steps towards wider access

Nature Publishing Group has announced today that research papers in Nature, and other journals published by NPG, will be free_to_read via links that can be shared by subscribers. Using these special links, content going back to 1869 will be available to view using special software that allows reading on screen through a browser, but not downloading, printing or other re-use.


This is an interesting development in the transition towards open access, though perhaps not as well-received as Nature might have hoped. Open Access advocate John Wilbanks has commented on the limitations of this approach, comparing it to the technological protection imposed by Apple's iTunes. The free research papers will still reside only on Nature's website, and not be available under Creative Commons licences or for depositing into institutional repositories.

This model, being run as a trial, appears to go some way to legitimise a practice of sharing that is already common through informal mechanisms. Nature Publishing has also made efforts to help researchers share their work through options such as their Manuscript Deposition service, available for research supported by certain funders. Both options do however leave control over re-use in the hands of the publisher, with the underlying business model remaining based on subscriptions. Meanwhile, Nature Communications has become fully open access, so NPG are definitely making moves to see what works best in the changing realities of scientific publishing.

1 December 2014

Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow - highlights

The SPARC Europe road show in Lower College Hall 26 November was a great success attracting interested University staff and students from St Andrews and beyond. It was good to see a number of postgraduate students attending. What unites them is a shared interest in Open Access (OA) and enthusiasm for the possibilities of making research more accessible and to discover new ways of engaging in and with research.

Eelco Ferwerda (OAPEN and DOAB)
Eelco gave an excellent introduction to Open Access for those new to the area and expanded this to talk about particular issues in the Humanities and Social Sciences:
  • Two thirds of research outputs are book chapters compared to one third journal articles
  • Less than 15% of publishers in humanities ask for an APC 
  • There is a traditional and continuing preference for print. Even when e-book formats are provided there is still an expectation that there will be a print version to help cover costs
  • He also dispelled several standard myths about OA publishing, reassuring the audience that OA is compatible with peer review, Creative Commons is compatible with copyright, CC-BY does not endorse plagiarism, and OA does not endanger academic freedom.
Guy Rowlands (St Andrews)
Guy gave an interesting and entertaining talk on his path to online publishing and Open Access. Charting the ups and downs of trying to find a publisher for a 25-50K word long essay (between a journal article and a monograph) he eventually decided to "stuff it" and publish works of this length in a new format dubbed the "midigraph" by his four year-old son. Guy is now the Editor-in-Chief of a series published by the Centre for French History and Culture. It has proved an effective way to disseminate research, e.g. Hold still, Madame: wartime gender and the photography of women in France during the Great War in the St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture series has received 250 page views and been downloaded 120 times just this year. As there is no way of telling where the digital copies have gone it is probably safe to factor in another 50% of readers for the downloads. Guy has had very positive responses from publishers agreeing to review his upcoming titles. This kind of attention is good for the School of History and the University in terms of esteem measures. He concluded by questioning why the long essay form, of which the noted historian Hugh Trevor-Roper had been a master, had died out.

Rupert Gatti (OpenBook Publishers and Cambridge)
Rupert agreed with Guy that "stuff it" is often the starting point for researchers to take an interest in Open Access. He introduced the idea of legacy publishing, i.e. publication in printed books as the primary means of dissemination. Limited print runs of these books make it difficult for researchers in HSS fields to justify relevance to funders leading to the "crisis of dissemination". He suggested that Open Access is part of the solution to this. He explained that legacy publishers have typically missed IT opportunities to change and improve publishing models although he emphasised that traditional rigorous peer review is still in place. He gave a demonstration of an amazing electronic translation of Diderot that included recordings of contemporary music by the Paris Conservatoire embedded in the footnotes (the printed book has QR codes that point to the same recordings on the internet). The recordings are licensed CC-BY by the Conservatoire. This offers new opportunities to develop scholarship and criticism not currently available under the legacy publishing model.

The talks were followed by a lively Q&A session with the speakers as panelists and Lily Neal of SPARC Europe was a warm and gracious guide throughout.


From left: Dr Rupert Gatti, Janet Aucock, Eelco Ferwerda, Lily Neal, Dr Guy Rowlands

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.

25 November 2014

Open Access Feedback Form Now Live

Good news! We now have a feedback form so that you can share with us your thoughts about Open Access. Please let us know your story; general or specific. For example, your story could be about your general feelings regarding the ethics of free availability to research, or you could tell us about how you benefited from accessing a specific Open Access research output in our repository.

Whatever you choose to share, we look forward to hearing from you.

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.

4 November 2014

How to publish a journal article, a Springer guide

Today, we thought we would share a fantastic publishing resource created by Springer. It has been remarked before here on the Open Access blog that there is sometimes a lack of transparent information about publishing systems on publisher websites. So, when a member of the team stumbled across a  step-by-step publishing guide on the Springer website we just had to share it!

© Springer
The guide begins with the questions researchers will want to ask of themselves early on in their article's life cycle. These are questions like: are there any ethical ramifications to the research? What will be the likely impact of the paper? What are the copyright rules at Springer? Will it be Open Access, and if so, where will the funding for this come from? This last point is obviously very important for us in the Open Access team, as being informed early on in the publication process allows us to offer important advice at the best possible time.

Step two of the guide concerns the article creation process: from the Preparation of a manuscript, to Submission to a particular journal, to Production (including copy-editing and typesetting), and then finally Publication. Step 2 is perhaps the most widely appealing section of the guide as it walks you through the processes involved in creating an academic paper at Springer. Crucially, step 2 also reflects the general processes of other publishers, so serves as a useful general guide to academic publishing.

© Springer. An interesting tool in the Preparation stage is the Journal Selector which uses semantic technology to find the most relevant journal for a paper based on the abstract.

The third step of the guide goes into some detail about the post-publication services offered. Of particular interest here is the information about Article-level Metrics, as Springer incorporates the statistics gathered by Altmetrics to offer more detail about the impact of articles.

As a resource describing the life cycle of an article from a raw manuscript to a publisher Version of Record the Springer guide is a rather exemplary introduction, so we highly recommend that anyone interested should take a look.

30 October 2014

Scottish Journal of Performance now available in the repository

This week the Open Access team archived the first two issues of the Scottish Journal of Performance (SJoP). SJoP is a peer-reviewed postgraduate-led Open Access journal published by The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

CC-BY 4.0 Scottish Journal of Performance
We were lucky enough to get Ben Fletcher-Watson and Thomas Butler from SJoP to speak at the open journals workshop held in Parliament Hall last week. Just to recap, last week the University hosted a workshop called Managing Journals: Challenges and Opportunities. The workshop brought together journal editors and managers, with varied perspectives and editorial practices, to speak about their experience of running locally operated journals. The presentations delivered by Ben and Thomas gave a fascinating insight into a truly unique journal which comprises of more than just text, but also multimedia such as videos, images, and soon audio.

In his presentation, Ben mentioned the need to preserve the journal in as many places as possible. With this in mind, Ben requested that the library archive SJoP articles in the institutional repository. This has the dual benefit of giving the journal an additional permanent storage location as well as potentially increasing readership by offering another access avenue. When uploading content to the repository, we also enhance the metadata and add elements such as subject headings and classifications, which further increases the discoverability of content.

You can read the SJoP articles held in the repository here: http://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/5513


27 October 2014

UKSG webinar - The University Library as Publisher

Two members of the OARPS (Open Access and Research Publications Support) team will be contributing to a free online webinar on Wednesday this week. The event, organised by UKSG, will see Jackie Proven and Janet Aucock presenting alongside Angela Laurins (University of Edinburgh) on the topic of journal hosting services.


The topic of the webinar is specifically about the implementation of support for journal hosting services such as Open Journals System (OJS), but will also touch on wider issues such as the role of the library as a publisher. The webinar will also explore topics such as: why set up a locally operated journal, how to set up a journal, and what are the issues concerning the long term longevity of a locally operated journal.

Currently the University of St Andrews hosts 10 locally operated journals using the OJS platform, see the journals here: http://ojs.st-andrews.ac.uk/. The University of Edinburgh also uses the same OJS platform and it too currently supports 10 journals.

The webinar is free and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about this exciting new publishing system. To sign up visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4568128127294580737

The webinar starts at 1400 on Wednesday 29th October.

It will also be recorded so don't worry if you can't spare the time on the day. As long as you register, you will be sent a link to the recording after the event.

24 October 2014

Library fund for Open Access and Generation Open

The fund has been established since August 2013. We recognised that good research would not always receive support from major funders to pay article processing charges (APCs) and that this was potentially unfair, especially to early career researchers. We also wanted to ensure that all researchers can publish in the most appropriate venue, as described in our Open Access Policy. If ‘most appropriate’ means a fully open access journal that requires payment of an APC (as opposed to a ‘hybrid’ journal where APCs are an option), then we should provide funds to support this choice. To date we have processed about 13 APCs for researchers who have no other source of funding, all to support science-related article publication in Biology, Computer Science, Medicine and Physics. The science bias is partly due to the greater number of open access model publications in these disciplines. But this is likely to change with the introduction of these models into Humanities and Social Science where progress has been slower. The level of individual APC is significantly lower (avg £1,257) compared to publication in hybrid journals and this has helped continue the fund into 2014-15.

The University has supported Open Access for some time, firstly by mandating Etheses deposit into Research@StAndrews:FullText in 2006. We encourage all our researchers to consider publishing Open Access, whether funded or not, and the Library will continue to support this choice through its fund*. Corresponding authors must be a member of staff to be eligible.

*Library fund for Open Access

23 October 2014

Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow UK to visit St Andrews

As part of our Open Access Week activities we are delighted to announce that the Roadshow, hosted by SPARC Europe*, arrives in St Andrews 26 November. There is an exciting programme featuring speakers who are passionate advocates of Open Access including our own Dr Guy Rowlands, Reader in the School of History and chair of the Department of Modern History. Joining him are Eelco Ferwerda of OAPEN and Dr Rupert Gatti, Open Book Publishers and University of Cambridge. There will also be a “tradeshow” area where Open Access publishers will be exhibiting - Manchester University Press, Knowledge Unlatched, Ubiquity Press, Open Book Publishers, OAPEN, the Open Library of Humanities and Open Humanities Press. It presents an excellent opportunity for researchers to talk to the experts - most of whom are researchers - about Open Access monographs and journals and to find out more about the practicalities. Exhibitors will present examples of their materials and publications and give short demonstrations.

Dr Guy Rowlands
Dr Guy Rowlands
Programme
Title: Open Access publishing roadshow for the humanities
Date: Wednesday 26th November
Time: 12:00 noon - 2.00 pm
Venue: Lower College Hall
Lunch will be provided

12:00 Welcome and introduction by Lily Neal, SPARC Europe
12:05 Eelco Ferwerda, OAPEN and DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books)
12:20 Dr Rupert Gatti, Open Book Publishers and University of Cambridge
12:35 Dr Guy Rowlands, University of St Andrews
12:50 Q&A and discussion
13:20 or earlier - Publishers’ exhibition.

This event is expected to generate a lot of interest and we encourage researchers in Arts and Humanities fields to attend. For further details please contact open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk.
**Registration has now opened: http://bit.ly/oa-roadshow**

This Roadshow is made possible through funding from the Open Society Foundation.

*SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Europe is a membership organisation for European research libraries and research organisations. Its stated mission is to achieve Open Access and “create change and build a better scholarly communication system for the future” through advocacy and education, policy and networking.

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*.

The event will be held in Parliament Hall, with lunch available from 12noon. The programme starts at 1pm with case studies from existing journal managers, and will run until 4.15pm. 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 from 12noon!

25 September 2014

Shelter report exposes housing situation in UK

In a previous blog post we highlighted a recent report studying the housing situation in St Andrews. We have now archived a new study commissioned by Shelter, and conducted by the University of St Andrews, which highlights the UK wide housing situation.


The report came out with 3 key findings:
  1.  In the UK there is a high risk combination of low pay, high cost housing, and limited housing benefits.
  2.  A drop in income is usually followed by a house move as there is little support offered by the housing safety net* to meet the cost of rent/mortgage payments while a new job is sought.
  3.  More affordable housing is needed to reduce reliance on the housing safety net.
    *The housing safety net is defined as the various housing benefits that are designed to alleviate the pressure of mortgage and rent payments.

    Over 6 million households receive support from the housing safety net, of which 500,000 homes are in need of additional support. Added to this are the 100,000 homes that are in need of support but are not currently receiving any sort of help from the housing safety net. The report concludes that there are currently around 625,000 homes that are falling through the safety net and are desperately in need of additional support.

    The full report can be viewed here.

      23 September 2014

      Major Nature journal to go fully Open Access


      Nature Communications is to become a fully open access journal. Until this time Nature Publishing Group has only published hybrid journals under the Nature branding. To recap: hybrid journals offer a choice between traditional paywall publishing (where the research output is viewable via subscription), or "gold" open access where the author or institution pay an up front fee for publication. The decision to make this "flagship" journal fully open access was taken in order to drive the group's commitment to Open Access.

      "[W]e believe in Open Access."
      (Nature Publishing Group)

      In the press release Nature Publishing Group included a statement from Robert Kiley of the Wellcome trust. Kiley is quoted to say that the move by NPG provided evidence that hybrid publishing can be a "transitional phase" to full open access publishing. In relation to this point NPG state that there is continuing demand from authors for traditional subscription publishing, and that Nature Communications as part of a portfolio of publishing options for authors.

      The press release can be read here.

      18 September 2014

      New PLOS account makes Open Access easier and faster

      One of the common problems we hear about in the Open Access team is the confusing payment systems employed by publishers. To tackle some of the complexity and time-consumption associated with payments we have entered into agreements with several publishers that offer prepay or membership schemes. The prepay schemes have the benefit of hastening the payment process meaning that articles are made open more quickly with reduced administrative overheads. Memberships provide additional benefits such as discounted Article Processing Charges (APCs) or off-setting against subscription costs.


      Last week we entered into an agreement with Public Library of Science (PLOS), one of the largest Open Access publishers, to establish a different sort of service, but one that still has an eye on greater efficiency. The service engenders a very simple payment process: firstly the author selects the University of St Andrews from a drop down list on the PLOS website, the Library will be notified and will then process the payment as necessary, in the meantime the article will be published. Simple!



      The Library approval step in the process is a very welcome addition as currently much of our time is spent trying to reverse engineer APC requests. This process allows us to document the request as it happens and also to make sure costs are met by the correct grant or funding stream.

      More information on the PLOS membership account can be found here. For a full list of the participating institutions see here.




      16 September 2014

      Charity alliance launches open access fund

      An alliance of charities including Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK has launched a fund to make charitably funded research immediately free to access and re-use. The Head of Digital Services at the Wellcome Trust said "This approach helps to ensure that this knowledge can be built upon and used in a manner that maximises health and public benefit."



      The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) will provide single combined block grants to UK research institutions to meet open access article processing charges for peer-reviewed research publications resulting from research funded by one or more of the six partner charities: Arthritis Research UK, Breast Cancer Campaign, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the Wellcome Trust.

      The University of St Andrews already receives a block grant to support open access for Wellcome-funded research papers, and this joint fund will make it even easier to comply with these funders' open access policies.

      For more information see the COAF frequently asked questions for researchers or contact the University Library's Open Access team.

      For details on the existing criteria for Wellcome Trust funded authors, including the policy extension to cover monographs and book chapters from Oct 2014, see our Library web pages.

      11 September 2014

      4000 items milestone: Featured researcher: Dr Tomasz Kamusella, School of History

      Tomasz is a frequent depositor in our research information system, Pure and, as an author of foreign language publications, often helps Library staff interpret their copyright. In the last of our blogs to mark 4000 items in Research@StAndrews:FullText he agreed to a brief interview about his research and to share his views on Open Access in scholarly communication.

      Dr Tomasz Kamusella

      What is your research area?

      My research is interdisciplinary with a focus on social reality in modern Central and Eastern Europe, its history and the mechanisms of its politics and language. I publish roughly 50:50 in English and Polish with translations of my work from these languages into German and Japanese and some translations from English to Russian.  So my work has a deep multilingual emphasis.  St Andrews is very strong in this area.  For example, it is home to one of the best centres in Arabic and Persian studies. 

      How is Open Access relevant to your research?

      Well, I am uploading to Pure, but do not apply for money.   During my Fellowship in the Kluge Center for Scholars at the Library of Congress in 2003-2004, where I researched for my book The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe, scholars had discussions with James Hadley Billington, Librarian of Congress about the value of digital scholarship. Without my Fellowship and library access a lot of electronic and print resources would not have been available for this research project of mine. They had all kinds of books from Central Europe in their collection, which in the region are dispersed among numerous libraries in different countries. Personally, I am fearful of electronic books - paper books tend to survive. I have no problem with accessing print, but I have problems with e-books and, if possible, I usually end up printing them out!  The size of fonts in modern scholarly books seems to be getting smaller, but I can enlarge these on pdf printouts. But the practice does not seem ecologically viable. I wish publishers would produce books to the same quality as they did in Britain half a century ago, or still do in continental Europe or China.

      I understand about Open Access, but I don’t think it’s working in the US, Europe, Russia or elsewhere in the English-speaking world. I understand that it’s important for post-2014 REF admissibility, but I’m really confused, as there seems to be no clear message on the issue.

      I don't know about the financial side of it.  Journal publishers seem to be coming up with all sorts of financial constructs - it's as much confusing as the myriad of train fare tariffs in Britain.  In the West prices are astronomical. I would rather buy monographs although, again, they are expensive in the English speaking academic publishing world. Outside of this sphere of influence they tend to be much cheaper and of better quality as books (i.e. printed with the use of a good-sized font on white high-quality paper and sewn rather than glued), for instance, in Austria, Slovakia or Estonia. 

      What about impact and reaching a wider audience?

      I’m afraid it’s another sign of the “business-ification” of scholarly publishing. Universities are becoming another business operation. It’s the end of Universities as we know them!  Seriously though, we are in danger of forgetting about the broader public good and students’ contribution to it throughout their entire life after graduation.  Now it’s all about short-term profit and loss, which is a mistake. I am not aware of any enterprises thriving for five or eight centuries, as many European universities do. Should academia succumb to this logic, not a single university operating nowadays will make it to the 22nd century.

      I am sympathetic to Open Access in its role of democratising access to knowledge. When we were asked about book digitisation at the Library of Congress, most agreed that the Library, as in many ways a depository of human knowledge, has a responsibility of making it available to the world. The free-over-the-internet dimension emerged as a very important instrument of enabling people from poorer countries with less supplied libraries to have equal access to scholarship.  It is all about equality of opportunities.

      Platforms (bundles) are overpriced in the English-speaking world. It's just a rip-off. I don't understand the variety of tariffs and end users are confused and worried about choosing something that is not optimal. Similar platforms carrying journals in a variety languages, produced outside the Anglophone world, are often available, at least in the sphere of the humanities and social sciences, for a fraction of the US or British price, as is the case of CEEOL - Central and Eastern European Online Library (www.ceeol.com), available from our Library.

      I have not heard of the various licences that might be available, such as Creative Commons.  I just want to do my research. Copyright is not so jealously guarded outside of North America and Western Europe. There is often no formal copyright transfer taking place.  Journals are primarily run as disseminators of knowledge. But it's changing rapidly - for instance now there are contracts and word limits in most Polish-language journals, the standardisation stifling variety and creativity. In this respect the Library’s help* with copyright issues and making my research papers – published or not – available via Pure is most welcome and appreciated. 

      What are your personal views on Open Access?

      Suspicion. I do peer review for free, as do my colleagues at other institutions. We do it for the sake of the public good. What do publishers do apart from setting and printing? An external editor of my work would also work for free and likewise I provide the same service. The Anglo-Saxon model has had a spill over effect and this might cause firewalls to be raised. I like the idea of Pure and Open Access; however, OA could end up as quite fractured and paradoxically reduce access, as I believe is the case with e-books.

      We are in the European Union today, but most of my students’ knowledge stops at the Elbe, as if it were still the Cold war that ended a quarter of a century ago. It's structural, but we are dealing with two thirds of Europe. In comparison with holdings on Western Europe and the Soviet Union or Russia, there is rather little in our Library’s collections on the eastern half of the European Union. And it’s mostly written in English, German or French, not in the languages of the new EU member states. Rarely does a student realize that the EU is a union of 28 members, and the organisation has 24 official languages. Another example – until recently there was next to nothing about Belarus, a country of ten million inhabitants in the middle of Europe. If the University aspires to providing expertise to enterprises and politicians on the eastern half of the EU and the Union’s eastern neighbours, awareness of the multilingual aspects is essential for sensible research on the area as it is today. A lot of the research material isn't in English. Ideally, languages necessary for research purposes should be acquired strategically to a necessary level, which mainly is the low threshold of ‘for reading purposes.’ When you have access to e-texts in different languages you can easily triangulate their meaning via the languages you know with the use of such tools like Google Translate. When you have this menu of languages in Pure it should have all the languages of the EU. It's important for metadata. It's not of much help if it says “Other”. Unicode has keyboard layout provisions for over 600 languages in which books are published with the employment of numerous scripts. In the case of the EU, its official languages are written in the Union’s three official scripts (Greek, Cyrillic and Latin), and information on them is also very important for metadata and Open Access. I hope information on scripts and the possibility of using them when giving titles of texts will become available in Pure, too.

      So, I don’t see Open Access just in terms of business models and compliance.  There are multilingual and structural barriers to research that is unrestricted to access and reuse that we also need to consider, as well as the implications for academic freedom.


      The Library Open Access and Research Publications Support (OARPS) team would like to thank Tomasz for his time and sharing his views on Open Access.

      *To find out how to deposit your own work in Pure, contact the team open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk!


      4 September 2014

      Affordable Housing in St Andrews: a Pervasive Issue




      The lack of affordable housing in St Andrews has long been a topic of heated debate. To try and tackle this problem, a number of local organisations came together and formed the St Andrews Town Commission on Housing. The purpose of the Commission was to conduct a thorough study of the factors affecting the housing situation in St Andrews. The report, published in 2013, came to the conclusion that two issues outweighed all the others: affordable housing is scarce in St Andrews, and that the proportionally large student population exacerbates the situation by leading to increased prices (students account for roughly half the overall population in St Andrews).

      In the report, the Commission set out a number of strategies to tackle the housing issue, but also conceded that "there is no easy solution or ‘magic bullet’ to resolve the affordable housing situation".

      One of the proposed alleviation measures is to build affordable housing on the Madras campus on Kilrymont Road when the new school site is built. This recommendation has since fed into a further debate revolving around the relocation of the school.

      The full report has been recently added to our repository and can be viewed here.

      28 August 2014

      University of St Andrews APC data now available

      Recently the Open Access and Repository Service Support Team has compiled information on APC spending. APC stands for Article Processing Charge, and this is the charge that applies for Gold open access publishing. In short, APCs cover the operating costs involved in the publication process that would have traditionally been covered by subscriptions.

      University of St Andrews APC data 2013-2014.

      The information is hosted on Figshare; a cloud-based online storage and distribution platform. This will ensure the data is widely and openly distributed to members of other institutions as well as our own. The spreadsheet lists publication level data which details how the University of St Andrews has spent centrally managed Open Access (OA) funds. Article Processing Charges (APCs) are reported from our RCUK and Wellcome Trust Block Grants, and from a small Library OA fund.


      Universities are being encouraged to share data about the costs of Open Access publishing. We believe that sharing information helps the academic community to understand how publishing is changing in the new Open Access environment. For instance, we noted useful information about prepay schemes (these offer discounts as well as streamlining the payment process), as well as highlighting issues that arose during the Open Access payment process.

      27 August 2014

      4000 items milestone: Featured researcher - Dr Nicole Hudgins, University of Baltimore

      As we continue to highlight the recent contributions to our growing research repository, we are reminded how the streets of Paris looked 100 years ago this month.
      Paris Police photograph captioned, ‘August 1914. Arrival of refugees from the Nord and from Belgium.’ MHC/BDIC.
      [Image source: Identité judiciaire (August 1914). MHC/BDIC.]

      This image comes from the latest Open Access book in the series St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture: Hold still, Madame: wartime gender and the photography of women in France during the Great War, by Nicole Hudgins. This volume presents a fascinating study of the way female images were used in wartime France, and how photography and captioning presented images of traditional and non-traditional traits such as distress, devotion and toil.

      Nicole Hudgins, Assistant Professor of History at University of Baltimore, liaised for over 2 years (across the Atlantic!) with the series Editor, Dr Guy Rowlands, former Director of the Centre for French History and Culture at University of St Andrews, to bring the book to fruition. A significant amount of work was involved in ensuring the work could be made available under the Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Nicole gave us an insight into this work:

      The editors of the series posted a call for volumes on H-France a couple of years ago, which I happened to see.  I was interested in writing about French civilians during the war, and this interest evolved into a focus on representations of women:  There was little need to catalogue the new roles picked up by women during the war, but no one had written about how photographs were used to represent women in a particular light as part of the war effort.  Gender played a significant role in the French war effort.
      Except for one meeting at a professional conference, Dr. Rowlands and I never saw each other, but racked up probably hundreds of emails over the course of my research, writing, and preparation for digital publication.  We used Dropbox to pass the manuscript back and forth.  Fortunately, the bulk of the photographs for this book come from French national collections and period magazines in the public domain., though of course we had to take extra care in preparing an open access work.  This being a book about photography, I’d venture to say that it contains more images than all the other volumes in the series combined.

      The resulting book provides a fascinating visual narrative, from images of distress at the outbreak of war in 1914:

      Agence Rol photograph captioned, ‘Refugees from Paris waiting at Dieppe for a boat to England’ (1914). BNF/Gallica.
      [Image source: Agence Rol (1914). Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Gallica]

      Devotion - capturing the fantasy rather than reality:

      Photo-illustrated postcard by ‘J. K.’ entitled, ‘The dream of the Chasseur’ (postmark is 1916). Municipal Archives of Mussy-sous-Dun (Bourgogne).
      [Image source: http://www.decouvrezmussy.org/rubrique%20histoire/cartespostales.htm]

      To representations of women taking to the world of work (1917/18):

      French Army photograph captioned, ‘Paris: Workshop of the Metropolitan [Paris subway system], rue des Maraîchers. Laborer [ouvrière] employed in the repair shop’ (1917).
       [Image source: SPA photograph in Album Valois (28 Mar 1917) MHC/BDIC]

      Photo halftone illustration in Le Miroir magazine, entitled, ‘Responding to German Aerial Raids’ (1918). Subtitled ‘Acetylene welding of a large torpedo used with Allied aircraft,’ the caption explained how for ‘several weeks Allied aviation has affirmed its superiority not only on the front, during incessant offensive expeditions, bombardments and reconnaissance, but also in the numerous raids that are executed on German cities, train stations and factories, reprisals for enemy expeditions on our open cities. British aircraft, notably, deploy daily. Here is a torpedo of which our aircraft can take a number of specimens.’
      [Image source: Le Miroir (21 July 1918, p7)]
      Nicole went on to say:
      My home institution, the University of Baltimore, and I are thrilled that my book can be studied by anyone in the world at any time.  Readers can enlarge the images for a closer look, or search the text for words and phrases.  I really think St. Andrews is at the forefront of academic publishing’s future.  They’ve seen how to reduce expense and bottleneck in order to bring the latest historical research to a wide audience.
      We are delighted to see that the book has had over 70 downloads from our repository Research@StAndrews:FullText already and that she chose this route for publication. The full series is available from the repository and from Centre for French History and Culture website.

      Learn more about the author at http://www.ubalt.edu/cas/faculty/alphabetical-directory/nicole-hudgins.cfm