30 November 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 the majority are in Europe and North America. But we can see an increasing readership from all continents and our interest is particularly sparked by unusual new locations.

Our most recent report showed a number of thesis downloads from a small island nation some 9928 miles away (as the crow flies) in the Pacific Ocean:

Source: http://www.distancefromto.net/
Someone in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia was clearly interested in 3 of our social anthropology theses:

We couldn’t help but wonder who might this be? Was it one of New Caledonia's 268,767 inhabitants? Are they studying at L’Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie?

Do they do their research looking out over views like this and sitting on this pine fringed beach?

By Bahnfrend (Own work) 
Kanumera Bay, Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, 2007
 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Perhaps there were some connections between St Andrews research interests and New Caledonia?

A quick search of the University website uncovered a remarkable relationship:

A University press release aptly entitled “When crows connect” had been issued on 4th November 2015. St Andrews researchers recently published an Open Access paper in Nature Communications that revealed evolution-environment interaction that might explain New Caledonian crows’ hooked tool making skill. Their experimental approach contrasts this with tool behaviours in primates to hypothesise about regional variations observed. The New Caledonian environment and the types of raw material available to make tools are critical. In fact those very pine trees in the image above are crucial to support the crows’ activities 

Detail from Figure 1. St Clair, J. J. H. et al. Experimental resource pulses influence social-network dynamics and the potential for information flow in tool-using crows. Nat. Commun. 6:7197 doi: 10.1038/ncomms8197 (2015). (Open Access)
A further search of Research@StAndrews:FullText revealed other publications on the same topic.

This highlights how Open Access, whether digital theses or articles, can stimulate open discussion among academics of research publications, increase their visibility and improve public understanding of research that is often funded by taxpayers.

We don't really need to know who in New Caledonian has been reading St Andrews research. The whole point of open access to our research is that it can easily be consumed by a global audience and that it can be of benefit and use without barriers to a variety of users. 

However in the meantime we have found out a lot about this other Caledonia....named by Captain James Cook in 1774 because part of the archipelago reminded him of the north of Scotland, perhaps the Isle of Pines. It took him 3 years to complete his voyage across the world to the South Pacific. It’s reassuring to know on St Andrew's Day 2015 that Caledonia and New Caledonia can communicate instantly in the digital age to carry on this international conversation.

24 November 2015

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 of the remaining challenges in the transition towards open access publishing.

The report has been published in the University of St Andrews research repository, and is available here: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/7810

19 November 2015

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)

13 November 2015

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 the first time we have signed an agreement like this, so it will be interesting to see how authors from our network will react. We’ve already received some positive feedback.” Rima Kypryte, Published in a Taylor and Francis press release.
The deal covers 66 Taylor & Francis Open, Routledge Open, and CogentOA fully open access journals, a full list of participating journals can be found here. The 66 journals all either charge APCs at $250 or the fees are completely waived. A list of the 45 EIFL countries that are part of the deal and their corresponding APC rate can be found in this document.

4 November 2015

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 Communication. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 licence.
Christopher Kelty, professor of Information Studies and Anthropology at UCLA explains the need for the new policy:
"Until now, tenure-track faculty have had the privilege of passing such policies to govern themselves, but at most universities, such faculty are a fraction of the people who do research and publish articles[...]Extending the same rights to those who aren’t part of a faculty governance system is an important and difficult step–I’m thrilled we have accomplished it.” University of California Office of Scholarly Communication. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 licence.
The UC's Open access policy creates a contract between the University and its authors that is prior to any contracts signed between authors and publishers. This means that UC authors can make their research open access via the University's repository, eScholarship, whilst also publishing in journals as normal. Authors are also granted rights of reuse under the UC open access policy that might otherwise be given over to publishers.

The University of California is a huge institution with nearly 200,000 employees and is responsible for over 2% of the world's research publications. UC clearly casts a large shadow, so this move represents a significant step in the evolution of scholarly research to open access.

Quotes are taken from University of California Office of Scholarly Communication Press release which was licensed under a CC BY 4.0 Licence. The press release can be found here: http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu/2015/10/groundbreaking-presidential-oa-policy-covers-all-employees/

29 October 2015

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 tasks I had to perform there is this (and I write it in capital letters): ACCESSIBILITY. I was amazed at how all the staff in the library are committed not only to preserving and storing knowledge, but also to finding new ways to make that knowledge easily and freely accessible. All this was done in accordance to the policy shift towards Open Access (OA) which is being promoted by the British government in an effort to make all new knowledge available to the general public as soon as possible. In a certain way, the main lesson I have learnt is to avoid becoming “selfish” with the knowledge I will produce (in my hypothetical future academic career), but trying to spread it as much as I can using all the tools at my disposal.

During my internship, all the different tasks I was assigned were related to OA policy; therefore I will describe how my performance was contributing to the development of OA.


1.    As the Open Access policy involves not just free access to articles that are the result of researches funded by public bodies, but also free access to the data used in these researches, it is important to check whether this access is actually free or not. Therefore, part of my task in collaboration with the Head of Research Data and Information Service was to introduce myself into the online journals to examine the articles produced by researchers from the University of St Andrews.  Though the articles were freely available on these websites, it was necessary to observe whether the relevant data used in the research were available as well. This meant verifying whether or not the supplementary information related to the articles included figures, diagrams, statistics, materials, etc. which constituted both the primary data from which the research was based, and the results which were the product of the specific research addressed in the article. This supplementary information could be included as an appendix to the article itself in the form of a file which contained all this data information, as a link to another website where this data information was stored, or in the form of a statement within the article explaining how to access this information. This verification was not only a matter of seeing whether this information was freely accessible or not, but also a matter of how easy it was to reach, if the accessibility was clear and straightforward.

2.    This is a moment of transition in the implementation of the Open Access policy, so the different institutions linked to research supported by public funding are still organizing their own protocols and ways to access research articles. As a result of this policy, an increasing number of educational institutions and public bodies are setting up repositories as a way to make the research outcomes funded with public resources freely accessible; this is concomitant with, rather than a replacement of the traditional publishing through academic journals. My task was to examine different online repositories established by diverse institutions (mainly universities) and to see how these repositories were organized in terms of the accessibility of articles and data, the different identifiers used to classify the stored items and the available links to additional information. In this way it would be easier to identify the strengths and weaknesses of repositories regarding the successful application of the Open Access policy and to take this into account in the re-design of the University of St Andrews’ repository.

3.    Under the supervision of the Head of Metadata and Content Acquisition, I had the opportunity to work with the theses produced at University of St Andrews that, in accordance with the University Postgraduate Code of Practice, have to be deposited in electronic format.  This accessibility implies not only the possibility of having printed theses at the public’s disposal but also the inclusion of the theses in the St Andrews’ repository where everybody can read them in a digital version, facilitating the  diffusion of knowledge originating from the University’s PhD research. Since 2007, the University of St Andrews’ PhD theses have been produced both in paper and digitized versions. Due to the huge number of pre-2007 PhD theses which are still only in paper versions, these theses, in collaboration with the British Library’s EThOS service, are digitized on request of the individuals who want to access them. My task involved the inclusion of these digitized versions in the University’s repository after downloading the theses files from the Ethos database. At the same time, it is necessary to create metadata records in the repository that provide information about the content of the diverse theses and allow an easier identification and labelling of the topics addressed in them. The inclusion of this metadata in the interface of the University’s library was an essential part of my work as well.

4.    The RCUK (Research Councils UK) is a strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils and invests millions of pounds every year in research. Different institutions carrying out research receive funding from the RCUK in order to make the result of their works available through the application of the Open Access policy, which asks for Open Access immediately at the time of the on-line publication when payment is made to a publisher. Due to the funding support, the RCUK monitors how institutions use this money and asks from them evidence to observe how the Open Access policy is working. St Andrews University Library manages the grant assigned by the RCUK and checks the compliance of all the requirements for the Open Access documents published. My task was the compilation in a standard spreadsheet of the relevant data asked by the RCUK so that it can serve as evidence of the implementation of the Open Access policy and of the rational use of the grant. Eventually this data will be made public so that the whole University sector and UK funding bodies will see what is being spent (and the compliance rates) from as many institutions as possible.

In conclusion, my work placement was a very interesting experience which made me reflect on the relationship between researching, publishing and accessibility, and how institutions like university libraries play a relevant role in these activities. In a certain way, I have changed my mind: prior to this experience, the research ended for me at the moment the paper with the results were written; now I consider that the researcher has to work to make that paper visible and accessible, not just for professional reasons, but also to share this new knowledge with others. Researchers working at universities have an ally in the libraries that can help them to do this. I really enjoyed my internship there and I would like to thank the library staff who helped me during my whole stay, being patient with me and introducing me to a whole new area linked to the dissemination of new knowledge. Their professionalism and kindness created a friendly atmosphere which contributed to a very pleasant and stimulating experience, and to change my mind regarding university libraries: there is so much happening behind those quiet rooms!

22 October 2015

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 Press. Support and advice continues to be available from the Library, and the editorial control and production of content is managed by CSTPV exactly as before.

Apart from the new fresh look to the journal, immediate benefits include the production and registration of DOIs and clearer marking of articles with peer-reviewed status and CC BY license.




The journal editors are delighted with the new platform:

This is a great way to celebrate our 5th Anniversary. Thanks to all our authors and reviewers who have contributed thus far - here's to many more years of quality articles in this important field of study.


Journal of Terrorism Research is published by the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) in the School of International Relations, University of St Andrews. The aim of JTR is to provide a space for academics and counter-terrorism professionals to publish work focused on the study of terrorism. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the study of terrorism, high-quality submissions from all academic and professional backgrounds are encouraged. Students are also warmly encouraged to submit work for publication.

16 October 2015

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.
Benner C. & Pastor M. 2015. Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas. California: University of California Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/luminos.6
Titles so far include:

    Luminos have also announced the first member libraries to be part of the scheme, see here for more information http://www.luminosoa.org/site/for_libraries/. Member libraries can support the scheme by paying between $1000-$20,000+. This money goes towards supporting further monographs, forming the 'library subsidy' shown in the diagram below. Membership to the scheme also entitles the member institutions to various benefits including discounts on publication fees, the opportunity to be represented on the Luminous Advisory Board, as well as a yearly 50% discount on up to 50 University of California Press books.

    © Copyright 2015 by The Regents of the University of California.

    The publication costs are covered by a variety of sources, as illustrated in the digram above.


    'For each title published, UC Press makes a significant financial contribution, which is augmented by membership funds from Luminos Member Libraries. Each author is then asked to secure a title publication fee to cover the remaining costs. Any additional revenue from Luminos Member Libraries, as well as funds from optional purchase of print editions, help support a waiver fund for future Luminos authors. Together, this shared financial support helps ensure a sustainable monograph publishing ecosystem for authors, readers, institutions, libraries, and UC Press.' (Luminos press release, October 2015)
     

    7 October 2015

    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 collaboration and creative thinking around open access monographs is explored from all angles, including administrative and financial ones.

    Register at: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/open-access-monographs-and-publishing-models-collaborative-ways-forward-tickets-18736643806


    Online:  Wikipedia Open Access Week Edit-a-thon

    In celebration of International Open Access Week and this year’s theme of “Open for Collaboration,” SPARC and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Library are co-hosting a global, virtual edit-a-thon for Open Access-related content on Wikipedia. 

    A homepage for the Open Access Week Edit-a-thon has been setup on the Wikimedia website at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/The_Wikipedia_Library/OA_week

    Read more and register interest at: http://www.openaccessweek.org/profiles/blogs/oa-week-editathon


     In St Andrews: How can we help?

    At a Library near you... the Open Access support team will be on hand to answer queries and discuss how we can achieve OA for our research outputs and our community.

    More details to follow  - we are also welcoming invitations for us to come to Schools for drop-in sessions. Please email openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk if this sounds like something that would benefit you or your colleagues.

    2 October 2015

    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 institutions
    • Free 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 again, with similar questions to last time in order to gauge trends, but there are also some new questions, including questions regarding authors' views on open access theses.

    24 September 2015

    Open Book Publishers celebrates 7th birthday

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

    CC-0. Portrait of an old man thought to be Comenius (c. 1661) by Rembrandt. Florence, Uffizi Gallery. Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Portrait_of_an_Old_Man,_Rembrandt.jpg. In The Scientific Revolution Revisited by Mikuláš Teich (2015)
    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).

    George Washington Wilson, "Castle Urquhart.” 1867. Albumen print. Photographs of English and Scottish Scenery (Aberdeen: Printed by John Duffus, 1866-1868). British Library. http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/earlyphotos/c/largeimage53419.html. In Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph by
    Lionel Gossman (2015)
    "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 apace." Open Book Publishers Newsletter.

    There are a further 19 forthcoming titles in the OBP catalogue, see the full list here. Forthcoming titles range from Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry: Reinventing the Canon to Advanced Problems in Mathematics: Preparing for University.

    You can see each OBP title in our catalogue here: http://library.st-andrews.ac.uk/search/a?search=Open+Book+Publishers.

    17 September 2015

    BMC Ecology image competition

    CC BY Catherine Markham http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-015-0053-9
    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.

    CC BY Mohamed Shebl http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-015-0053-9.




    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!
    CC BY Kainaat William http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-015-0053-9.

    CC BY Kenneth J. Chapin http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-015-0053-9.

    10 September 2015

    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 proposals
    • Everything from STEM to HSS
    • Granularity – authors can pick and choose the services they need
    • Impact - category labels help define interdisciplinary research
    • It claims to be low cost
    • Submissions open November 2015
    It builds on the ARPHA XML authoring platform that eliminates the need for typesetting and allows reviewers to comment directly on the manuscript text as well as providing a full submission and editorial system.

    Ross Mounce and Daniel Meitchen, Open Access advocates who have a deep understanding of research methods and research publication are founding editors. Peter Murray-Rust, the Cambridge-based chemist and leading light of Open Access and Open Data sits on its Advisory Board. Murray-Rust is known to be in favour of transparency in the ownership, governance and structure of OA platforms as well as in peer-review. There is some evidence that supporting researchers are responding to perceived publisher self-interest and poor service and a desire to take back control of their publishing.

    As Science reported recently, there is scepticism around making grant proposals public due to the competitive nature of research funding. It will be interesting to see how researchers re-use published grant proposals and whether research is done that wouldn’t have been done otherwise.  James Wilsdon’s recent report The Metric Tide pointed out that no firm conclusion can be drawn whether funded researchers receive more citations*.

    Source: Priem, J. and Hemminger, B. M. 2012. Decoupling the scholarly journal. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. Image licensed under CC BY-NC.
    Rua
    Ubiquity Press is developing an open source book workflow management platform in response to demands from authors and editors. The source can be found on GitHub. Its main aim is to assist with monograph publishing. This would make it a direct competitor to PKP’s well-established Open Monograph Press platform. PKP also provide the Open Journal System used at St Andrews to host the Journal of Terrorism Research and other Open Access titles.

    Both platforms are the result of conversations between researchers and publishers criticising closed, traditional publishing on the one hand and supporting open, adaptable models on the other.  The effect is driving rapid change in the industry, as reported by Nature.

    *Supplementary Report I: Literature Review

    2 September 2015

    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.

    Copyright Outernet 2015, https://outernet.is/

    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 connectivity to a ground area of about 40km in diameter.

    Outernet is a different sort of project to Loon and Internet.org. Where other projects aim to provide access to the Internet wholesale (although whether internet.org really does this is up for debate), Outernet is a project that seeks to distribute information uploaded to a library, and then distribute that information via satellite.

    The lottery of where you are born, and therefore what information you have the rights to access, will eventually be cancelled out by Outernet.

    -Outernet Chief Operating Officer Thane Richard International Business Times

    Outernet began its operations in June 2014: “Since then we have moved quickly. Outernet is now multicasting on seven satellites covering 99% of humans with 1 GB/day and a test beam of 100 GB/day over Africa and Europe.” (https://outernet.is/about)

    Outernet sell receivers called Lighthouses for $99, but they also offer instructions on how you can build your own. The receivers operate in a read only fashion allowing users to pick information (via a Wi-Fi enabled device) to view and download. Filling the shelves of 'Humanity's Public Library' posed significant challenges due to the limited bandwidth available via satellite. This is why the team behind Outernet decided early on to create a systematic set of guidelines for choosing what information should be shared (Outernet guidelines document). Essentially, the information is structured into four tiers.
    Copyright Outernet 2015, https://librarian.outernet.is/en/
    1. The Core Archive - this is relatively static and features content considered to be of high universal utility and importance. Such things include scientific studies, and classical works of fiction.
    2. Globally Curated Content - Similar to the Core Archive but with a the additional emphasis on currency and regularly updated content.
    3. Nationally Curated Content - this is information that is of local/national importance - effectively most of this information will be from newspapers.
    4. Disaster information - information about natural disasters, wars, etc. is broadcast separately and given highest priority.

    One of the early partners of the project was Harvard University, who agreed to upload content from their institutional repository DASH. Peter Suber, Director Scholarly Communications at Harvard said:

    “Harvard supports open access to peer-reviewed faculty scholarship, and the participation of our open-access repository in Outernet is entirely consonant with our mission to enhance the distribution, visibility, and usage of Harvard research.” Outernet 2015

    Syed Karim, CEO of Outernet, said:
    “Broadcasting the academic content of one of the leading universities in the world is an enormous win for information equality.” Outernet 2015

    Outernet also has partnerships with Wikipedia, the open access monographs publisher Project Gutenberg (http://blog.outernet.is/project-gutenberg-announces-partnership-with-outernet/), and Open Education Consortium; who offer free resources and tools for education.

    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!

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    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