27 February 2015

St Andrews Library contributes case study to Ebooks in Education

Readers might remember the SPARC Europe Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow that visited St Andrews in November last year. We blogged about the St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture series available Open Access on Research@StAndrews:FullText. The Library answered a call for content with its case study of this partnership with the Centre for French History and Culture.  Creating open access books: a partnership between a university library and research centre was successfully shortlisted for inclusion in a new book after approval from a review panel. Ebooks in education: Realising the vision was published by Ubiquity Press in November last year.  The case study examines how the partnership grew organically as the desire for the development of a new scholarly research publishing platform naturally combined with the Library's evolving Open Access services.  It benefited from valuable advice and comments from the editor-in-chief of the series, Dr Guy Rowlands.  Dr Eric Nelson, Professor in the History Department of Missouri University, provided helpful insights from an author's perspective.

The book is edited by Dr Hazel Woodward with a foreword by Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It proposes that ebooks are rapidly becoming an acceptable medium for scholarly communication. Topics addressed include further education, distance learning, teaching, accessibility, the mobile user experience and library services. The case studies provide valuable supporting evidence and include contributions from stakeholders all over the UK.  Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, also contributed a chapter.

Figure 1 BIEN, D. D., SMITH, J. M., & BLAUFARB, R. (2010). Caste, class and profession in old regime France the French army and the Ségur reform of 1781. Image from the title page reproduced by kind permission of the owner (from the case study)
Head of Cataloguing and Repository Services, Janet Aucock, who authored the St Andrews case study said "The ebook case studies show how units, staff and students can work together to harness new and existing technologies that let users explore how they can successfully produce, disseminate and use new formats in teaching and research".  Since publication on 28 November 2014 the book has been downloaded 1366 times which is very high for this type of book.  PDF downloads have far exceeded ePub and Kindle which suggests a user preference for a format that can be easily shared and used on the widest range of devices. 

Have you read the book?  If so, why not leave a comment below?

19 February 2015

Repositories: extending the reach of research

Repositories such as our own Research@StAndrews:FullText are a great way to increase the visibility of research. It is also a way to extend the reach of research to those unable to afford the pricey subscriptions demanded by many publishers.

A great example of the benefits of depositing manuscripts in Research@StAndrews:FullText is Forgiving you is hard, but forgetting seems easy: can forgiveness facilitate forgetting? by Saima Noreen,  Raynett Bierman, and Malcolm David MacLeod.

The paper can be found in Research@StAndrews:FullText here http://hdl.handle.net/10023/4779.

Many people won't go directly to our repository to find content, but will instead rely on Google. The Google search results clearly show the favourable rankings of Research@StAndrews:FullText; of the 30,000 results the repository is ranked 2nd. So, someone looking to read the article might be inclined to click on the first link and go to publisher source first. However, upon clicking that link, unless they have a subscription they will be met with a pay-wall. This pay-wall is particularly expensive at $35 for a mere 24 hours!

So, repositories like Research@StAndrews:FullText provide the second option: an accepted manuscript with all the same information as the published version, but free of charge (and with no time constraints!)

12 February 2015

5000 items celebration notable deposits

Following the post on our 5000th item readers might be interested in some deposits into Research@StAndrews:FullText occurring at the same time that stand out for various reasons in terms of their publication paths:

REF deposits
1. User support for managed immersive education : an evaluation of in-world training for OpenSim

This article was sourced by the Library in preparation for the introduction of the HEFCE Open Access requirement for REF admissibility. In this case the 3-month window from the point of acceptance for deposit doesn't apply, as the policy does not start until 1 April 2016.

Embargoes ending
2. New class of metal bound molecular switches involving H-tautomerism

This accepted manuscript has just been released from publisher embargo. As it was deposited within 3 months of acceptance it would satisfy the HEFCE Open Access requirement.

3. Development of autobiographical memory in children with autism spectrum disorders : deficits, gains, and predictors of performance

4. China's resource diplomacy in Africa : powering development?

3&4 are both articles published by Cambridge University Press and recently out of embargo, deposited as publisher pdfs which was permitted under its old policy. CUP last year changed its policy and the version of record is no longer permitted on institutional repositories. This shows that publisher policies need to be constantly monitored - work that is done within the the Library Open Access and Research Publications Support Team (OARPS).

Gold OA
5. The use of genome wide association methods to investigate pathogenicity, population structure and serovar in Haemophilus parasuis

6. Selective modification of the β-β linkage in DDQ-treated Kraft lignin analysed by 2D NMR spectroscopy

7. Observing the clouds : a survey and taxonomy of cloud monitoring

5-7 Are all Gold (author pays) articles that have been published under the most liberal Creative Commons licences (CC-BY) often mandated by funding agencies. HEFCE does not mandate a particular licence under its policy.

This publication route means that the version of record can be deposited into Research@StAndrews:FullText; in these cases the author’s accepted manuscript is still archived in our system to show compliance with the HEFCE Policy, but the final Open Access article can be added later.

Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS-UK) downloads*
We have previously blogged about IRUS-UK's role supporting the work of institutional repositories.  As a University Library we want to see St Andrews research publications optimally available. The figures below give some idea of the most popular content downloaded January 2014 - January 2015 (downloads in brackets):

Sex differences in impulsivity: a meta-analysis (980)
A new metric for probability distributions (819)
Retrospective power analysis (715)
Mediaeval and modern concepts of race and ethnicity (694)
Hypervalent adducts of chalcogen-containing peri-substituted napthalenes; reactions of sulfut, selenium and tellurium with dihalogens (618)

Source: IRUS-UK Article Report 4 (AR4)
*IRUS-UK collects raw usage data from UK IRs and processes these data into COUNTER-compliant statistics. This provides repositories with comparable, authoritative, standards-based data.

6 February 2015

We now have 5000 items in the repository!

We’ve reached another milestone! We now have over 5000 items in the repository, with a variety of research outputs including theses, reports, books, chapters, journal articles completely free and available for anyone to read.

We have reached this milestone in only 6 months, whereas the previous 1000 milestones took around 12 months. The graph above reflects the recent upsurge in activity. This is largely a response to two recent policies that have helped to reshape the UK higher education publishing landscape. Firstly, Research Councils UK (RCUK) produced an open access mandate requiring RCUK funded authors to make their research outputs open access either by paying an Article Processing Charge (APC) for "gold" access, or by depositing an accepted manuscript in a repository ("green" open access). RCUK later requested a report by institutions who had received a block grant to fund APC payments. They wanted to see where the money had been spent and how much impact the money was having on open access compliance. The library produced a report in September 2014 that showed our compliance rate at 71%, which comparatively speaking was excellent. This involved a lot of communication between the Open Access team and academic colleagues to ensure that those with RCUK grants knew about  the open access requirements. The reaction from the academic community was very positive, and this is reflected in the 71% figure.

The second big motivator contributing to the increased activity is undoubtedly the HEFCE open access policy for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).  In a nutshell, the policy states that articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in a repository when they are accepted for publication in order to be included in the next REF. Although the policy doesn’t come into effect until April 2016, the Open Access team has been working hard over the past few months promoting the message, and ensuring that the research community is compliant well in advance. The Open Access team have delivered presentations at Physics and Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Economics & Finance, Management, Computer Science, Philosophy, and History. We have also been invited to Earth & Environmental Sciences and Medicine. In support of the presentations we have also been communicating the message through email, having contacted over 80 authors in 16 Schools and Departments across the University.

Copyright Stephen Ritt, CC-BY-SA

We continue to have electronic deposit of our postgraduate research theses into Research@StAndrews:FullText according to University regulations, and the 5000th item in the repository was the PhD thesis A phenomenological-enactive theory of the minimal self, authored by Brett Welch. The thesis presents a fascinating study of self-hood derived from two areas of research: phenomenology and enactivism. To mark the occasion we will be sending a copy of the book Open Access and the Humanities by Martin Paul Eve to Brett at his home in the United States. Martin Eve's book is available open access from the publisher's website and in print form.

The repository holds theses going back to 1949 and, at the time of writing, theses account for 35% of the content, totalling 1,752 items. David Collins is the thesis contact in the OARPS team, and the person responsible for archiving and mediating the deposit of most of the thesis content in the repository. The work involved in obtaining permissions to archive theses is complex and requires a great deal of time and effort. But the rewards for doing so are great as it increases the visibility of the theses and also showcases the high quality postgraduate research the University of St Andrews is famous for.

In the preface to Martin Eve's book, Peter Suber (who's book entitled Open Access is also available freely from publisher) writes about the difference in open access uptake between the humanities and the sciences. He suggests that the reason the humanities have been slower to adopt open access has nothing to do with lack of desire, but is rather because there are fewer working examples of open access in the humanities to prove that it works. We think that it is safe to say that Brett's thesis adds to the body of working examples we have collected in the repository, and, hopefully, it can prove to be an inspiration to others.

Well done to Brett!

5 February 2015

PeerJ to launch PeerJ Computer Science

We have previously blogged about the innovative PeerJ Open Access publisher specialising in biomedical science. Responding to community requests, the folks at PeerJ are launching PeerJ Computer Science to bring greater Open Access and a speedier publishing cycle to this research area while maintaining robust peer review:

  • Submissions open February 12th 2015; Free PeerJ PrePrints submission is open now
  • All authors on the paper must purchase a publishing plan by the time of acceptance. The cheaper $99 rate is available to authors purchasing at the time of submission. An additional $40 is charged if payment is on acceptance. 
  • For St Andrews researchers the Library Fund for Open Access will pay these charges. Please contact us if you would like to publish or need more information open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk

Further details
Register your interest to obtain a free $99 credit for one author.