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Showing posts from 2015

Hail Caledonia!

To mark St Andrew's Day 2015 the Open Access Support team is pleased to publish a guest post by Janet Aucock, Head of Metadata and Content Acquisition.
St Andrew's Day is a good day to reflect on Scottish influences on the world. Perhaps it’s also a good day to consider alternative Caledonias and one in particular on the other side of the globe.

We are constantly looking to see how St Andrews research is used and reused across the world. Each month we get a usage report from EThOS the national thesis database for the UK, a service provided by the British Library. St Andrews open access full text theses are made available in EThOS as well as in our own institutional repository Research@StAndrews:FullText. The report from EThOS indicates how many theses have been viewed and downloaded and it gives us some limited information about the reader, chiefly their professional sector, if provided, and their geographical location. Most readers are involved in education and research and t…

RCUK Open Access compliance report

The University of St Andrews has increased its compliance with the RCUK Open Access Policy for papers published in the year to 31 July 2015. We have reported 91% of RCUK-funded papers as open access, up from 71% in the period April 2013 - July 2014

RCUK require a report from all universities in receipt of an Open Access Block Grant, using a standard template. Our report shows that open access was split almost equally between gold and green routes. We itemise our spend on APCs, and outline other costs including staffing. The creation of 2 posts enabled us to support researchers effectively, and make this progress in implementing the policy.

Collecting data for the report was done using our Research Information System, Pure. The total of 400 RCUK-funded papers includes those linked directly to Projects in Pure, as well as papers where external RCUK grants were identified in acknowledgements.

Included with our report is a short statement outlining our approach, and highlighting some…

The Open Science Prize: enabling discoveries for health

The Open Science Prize has been launched by the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit.

The Prize encourages technology experts and inventive researchers to submit innovative ideas for services, tools, and platforms that will make it easier for scientists, innovators and the wider public to discover, access and re-use the digital information being generated through health research. The aim of the Open Science Prize is also that of promoting international collaborations for the development of solutions that can benefit the global research community.

The competition consists of two phases and the opportunity to receive a prize of $230,000.

The deadline for entries is 29 February 2016.

For more information visit https://www.openscienceprize.org/.

Federica Fina
(Research Data Management)

Taylor & Francis and EIFL sign deal on open access charges

Taylor & Francis have this week announced that they are going to offer substantially reduced article processing charges (APCs) for developing and transition countries, and in some cases waive charges entirely. The 12 month deal covers 45 countries that are part of the EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) network. EIFL is a not for profit organisation that aims to provide access to scholarly material for developing and transition countries. They help libraries gain access to knowledge by providing training resources, as well a brokering deals with publishers to provide access to databases at substantially reduced prices (a full list of EIFL licensed e-resources can be found here http://www.eifl.net/e-resources). This new deal with Taylor & Francis is the first time that EIFL have brokered a deal to help authors pay APCs. EIFL Director Rima Kuprytehad this to say of the deal:
“EIFL is excited about the article publishing charge agreement with Taylor & Francis. It is …

University of California open access policy

The University of California recently announced that they are issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy that will cover all future scholarly articles published by UC employees.

The Presidential Open Access Policy extends the previous institutional open access policy which was adopted in 2013. The Presidential policy extends the 2013 Academic Senate Open Access Policy by covering all UC authors, including non-senate members. The new policy allows all UC authors to maintain legal control of their research outputs and also commits all UC authors to deposit their works in a repository for free public dissemination.
"The Presidential OA Policy represents the culmination of significant effort among UC faculty and staff to support increased access to their research publications, from the adoption of the first UC senate OA policy (UCSF) in 2012, to the establishment of the more comprehensive UC-wide Academic Senate policy in 2013." University of California Office of Scholarly Communi…

Reflections from an intern: research data, open access, and etheses

Earlier this year we welcomed a postgraduate student to the University Library to carry out an Erasmus internship. This guest blog post by Juan Mosquera Ramallo provides a flavour of his time spent working with research data, open access publications and e-theses:

A whole summer has passed after my two-month internship at St Andrews’ University Library and I think the time has come to reflect on what this experience has taught me. As a mature Postgraduate student (I am in my forties) at the Erasmus Mundus Masters programme ‘Crossways in Cultural Narratives’, supervised by the Modern Languages Department, I believed that St Andrews’ University Library was an interesting place to learn about academic information and resources. Working in the library is an excellent way to learn about the problems and issues of organizing, cataloguing and disseminating those data. I learned a lot during these two months about these issues but if there is a word which has been emphasized through all the t…

New Open Access platform for Journal of Terrorism Research

In 2010 the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at University of St Andrews launched the online Journal of Terrorism Research (JTR). With perfect timing for Open Access Week and its theme of 'Open for Collaboration', JTR celebrates its 5th anniversary with the latest volume and full journal archive published on a new and improved platform.



Since 2011 JTR has been supported by the University Library's Journal Hosting Service, and was made available through the Library's Open Journal Systems platform. Our OJS platform supports scholarly journals run by our research community, and this platform continues to be available as a free service to members of staff and students at St Andrews.

In early 2015 the decision was taken to work with Ubiquity Press to trial an alternative, collaborative service. For this pilot service we have migrated JTR to the new infrastructure with enhanced technical support and additional features provided by Ubiquity Pre…

Luminos publishes first open access books

Luminos is an open access book publishing program run by The University of California Press. At the time of writing there are 6 open access books available, with more on the way. We mentioned the announcement of the program in a previous blogpost that focussed on the open access journal Collabra, which was launched by University of Californian Press at the same time back in March 2015.
Titles so far include:
Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro AreasBy Chris Benner and Manuel Pastorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1525/luminos.6 Migrating into Financial Markets: How Remittances Became a Development ToolBy  Matt Bakkerhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1525/luminos.5Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in DarfurBy Joachim J. Savelsberghttp://dx.doi.org/10.1525/luminos.4Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary.By Rajeev Kinrahttp://dx.doi.org/10.1525/luminos.3Pl…

Open for collaboration

Open Access Week is everywhere! Look out for events and activities around the world from 19-25 October 2015, celebrating the benefits of Open Access. The theme for this year’s 8th International Open Access Week will be “Open for Collaboration.



In London: Open Access Monographs and Publishing Models: Collaborative Ways Forward
To kick off International Open Access Week 2015 Goldsmiths is hosting an open access discussion on monographs on 19th of October, from 5 pm onwards. Given Goldsmiths' specialisms, we have decided to focus the debate on publishing models and the potential for collaboration on publishing projects.

We have put together an extraordinary panel of 5 hugely influential speakers in this field who have been involved at a national level in open access monograph debates. We'd like to extend this invite to all research engaged staff, including administrative staff who work closely with arts, humanities and social science scholars to ensure that the potential for col…

2015 Ethos survey launched: chance to win a Kindle

The British Library Ethos service has just launched a new user survey. Just go to the website http://ethos.bl.uk and the survey should pop up automatically. Ethos are offering respondents the chance to win a Kindle.

Ethos is a national thesis service that is designed to maximise the usability and visibility of UK doctoral theses.
"EThOS aims to provide:
A national aggregated record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK Higher Education institutionsFree access to the full text of as many theses as possible for use by all researchers to further their own research." Ethos http://ethos.bl.uk/About.do Back in 2013 Ethos ran a similar survey, which can be found here. Some highlights for the previous survey were:
40% of Ethos users are postgraduates.87% of users reported that Ethos materials had helped them in their research.The majority of Ethos users are undertaking academic research, and 80% of the respondents said they are from Higher Education. Ethos are running the survey aga…

Open Book Publishers celebrates 7th birthday

Today (24th September) is the seventh anniversary of the founding of Open Book Publishers.

Last time we blogged about OBP back in May they had published 55 titles, now the figure stands at 63! The University of St Andrews Library continues to contribute to the project by producing high quality MARC records for each book. MARC is a cataloguing standard for inputting metadata that makes sharing records between libraries easier. Libraries can download the MARC records we provide from the OBP website thus avoiding duplication of effort (see this page for more information).
"We can look back upon seven years of steady progress with satisfaction. 63 titles published. 700,000 book visits to our website. Readers from 207 countries. 400 readers per title every month. A library membership scheme with 70 members already enlisted. New partnerships bearing fruit. Our mission to change the nature of the traditional academic book and bring Open Access research to readers everywhere continues a…

BMC Ecology image competition

Each year BMC Ecology runs an image competition designed to allow ecologists to capture in a single frame their personal perspective on the 'beauty and mystery of our natural surroundings'. These images also provide a window into their specific research area:
'Ecologists can then educate as they draw attention to some of the outstanding science being done, while featuring their research efforts in a visual, and fun, way.' BMC Ecology The overall winning image entitled “Palestinian sunbird female forages on Echinops sp.” was captured by Mohamed Sheb from the Suez Canal University Ismailia, Egypt.

There were 9 winning pictures, and an additional 23 that were highly commended. We highly recommend taking a look. All the pictures are published under a CC BY attribution licence so sharing them couldn't be easier too. All the pictures were published as part of an editorial here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-015-0053-9

Here's some more!

New publishing initiatives: from authoring to archiving and beyond

Following on from our recent post on Outernet two recent announcements about new research publication platforms have attracted attention in the Open Access community:

Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal 
Pensoft's RIO extends publication into areas it hasn’t been associated with – project proposals for grant funding and project-related reports, methods and workflows that rarely see the light of day. It also builds on current OA trends by supporting publication of data, software, and research articles much of which is increasingly the subject of funder OA mandates. It claims “the most transparent, open and public peer-review process”; Public, Formal peer review is optional and is a paid-for service. Work will typically be accepted on the basis of a “sanity check” and public peer review:
All outputs of the research cycle including grant proposalsEverything from STEM to HSSGranularity – authors can pick and choose the services they needImpact - category labels help define interdi…

Outernet: the first library in space

Outernet is a company that is organising a so-called ‘library in space’ designed to untether information from the restrictions imposed by the Internet. The Internet as a medium for transmitting information is of course a miraculous one, but access to it is highly dependent on communications infrastructure, which of course many developing countries lack.


There have been projects in the past, and many on-going, to try and bring the Internet to the world on a universal level. One on-going project, which has been met with concerns over neutrality and data security, is the Internet.org project run by Facebook. Google’s Project Loon is another service that hopes to reach digitally isolated regions of the Earth. Project Loon uses balloons that travel around 20km above the surface of the Earth. The balloons utilise the wind currents at different altitudes to maintain their position relative to the Earth’s surface. The balloon can stay in the stratosphere for around 100 days, and can provide c…

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!


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.

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 cho…

Nature survey finds attitudes towards open access are changing

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.


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…