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Showing posts from 2017

Repository reaches 11000 items in record time

Five months since we announced the 10,000th item in the St Andrews Research Repository the team is amazed to already be reporting the 11,000th milestone has been reached, just in time for Christmas.

The item is a thesis - John Buchan (1875-1940): a reassessment of his Christian faith and practice by Rev. David Weekes David's thesis joins many other types of research in our Open Access repository including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and even whole books.

As always, this is a big team effort involving researchers and staff from across the university in Schools and Units. Without their help, we wouldn't be able to do it so a big thanks to all and Happy Christmas!

FP7 Post Grant Open Access Pilot

There are only three months left to claim funding for Open Access via the European Commission's Post Grant Pilot scheme.

A total of €4 million have been allocated to the Pilot, designed to support open access publishing for EU FP7 projects that have finished no longer than 2 years ago. FP7 stands for Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, and this was the EU's main research funding scheme. Between 2007 - 2013 over €50 billion was invested in research projects via the scheme.  FP7 was eventually replaced with Horizon 2020 in 2014, which saw the budget increase to over €80 billion. The EC have stated that the Pilot will run until the funds are exhausted, but it also has a deadline which was recently extended to 28th February 2018. Access to the scheme is dependent on meeting certain criteria, all of which are outlined here Generally however, if your EU FP7 grant ended in the last 2 years, and you&#…

REF2021 decisions continue drive for open access

Following a process of consultation. the four UK funding bodies have published their decisions on several areas of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021). The document provides guidance on staff, outputs, UoA structure and impact, and has taken account of responses from the HE sector.

In the area of Open Access for publications, evidence from a recent survey shows that significant progress has been made towards the REF OA policy intent to increase substantially the proportion of research that is made available open access in the UK.

Over 80 per cent of outputs in scope of the REF policy met the open access requirements in the first year (to April 2017), or an exception applied. 

To build on this progress, the funding councils have confirmed that the REF OA Policy will "require outputs to be deposited as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date"*. This underpins the message most institutions have continued to use to en…

Your Open Access: In order to …

Open Access Week 2017 has been busy, everywhere.   This year's theme "Your Open Access: In order to …" has been about going beyond enabling OA and the team has continued engaging with many active researchers, learning how they're shaping OA and how it in turn influences their work and practice.

I learned that ORCiDs uniquely identify researchers across their careers, ensure they gain credit for their research and help manage permissions to populate ORCiD and other databases with their publications metadata. Even better, they can also make it easier to populate grant applications! It’s rapidly developing into an important part of the research information infrastructure internationally.

And it’s not only researchers who do Open Access. The Library launched its new statistics and infographic describing items and their usage from the St Andrews Research Repository. This is a good example of data that was previously used in limited situations to drive an open informat…

'Untangling Academic Publishing' - OA Week event summary

On Tuesday evening The University of St Andrews Library hosted an event titled ‘Untangling Academic Publishing: Launch and Discussion about the past and future of academic publishing’. The event took the form of a panel discussion preceded by a brief overview of the history of academic publishing delivered by Professor Aileen Fyfe of the School of History. This historical lecture was a summary of a recent report co-authored by Aileen called 'Untangling Academic Publishing', in which she and her co-authors shed a critical light on today’s academic publishing landscape. The report concludes with some recommendations for ways forward that could disentangle academia from a publishing system that has become increasingly unsustainable. Below is a summary of Professor Fyfe's lecture and the Q&A session that followed.

Following John MacColl’s introduction and welcome, Aileen began her talk with a quotation:
Maintaining the highest attainable standards in publishing scientific…

Your Open Access - discovery

It might be Open, but can you find it?

The theme of this year’s Open Access Week ‘Open in order to…’ aims to recognise the concrete benefits of open access, encouraging examples of how openness can increase visibility of research and enable the widest possible audience to benefit from scholarship. Events are being held around the world, and we plan to share some user stories in our next post.

We have already posted about the usage of content from the St Andrews Research Repository. In this post we consider how open access publications can be found and take a brief look at some tools available to aid discovery.

Repository visibility Repositories are designed to ensure their content can be found by search engines, indexed in services such as Google Scholar and harvested by platforms such as CORE, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE), OAISTER  and OpenAIRE. Good quality metadata and shared standards make these platforms powerful discovery options.

Try searching these platforms:

Your Open Access - statistics and usage

It's Open Access Week again, and this year the theme is 'Open in order to...' This year's theme is designed to shift discussion away from wider issues of 'openness', and instead direct attention to the tangible benefits of open access. This week we will be publishing a series of posts aimed at  highlighting some of these benefits. In this post we will look at some of the statistics we gather about the open access content in our Repository, and specifically the statistics that we've chosen to highlight in our new Infographic.
Given the theme of this year's Open Access Week, the subject of this post could be appropriately described as 'Open in order to boost downloads' For years we have been collecting usage statistics about the content held in our repository. Up until now this data has been collected and, for the most part, discussed internally; but not any more. Now we want to show the academic community here in St Andrews, whose work populates …

Have you got your ORCID iD yet?

You can find out more about ORCID iDs and how to sign-up at the University’s ORCID pages.
"ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized." ( ORCID recently overhauled its Help pages with lots of new guides and help articles around “What is ORCID?” and how to use ORICD iDs to build trust and save time. Read more about the update in Laura Wilkinson’s blog post.

It is also worthwhile to have a look at the short “Why ORCID?” video. Here, researchers from all over the world explain in just over 4 minutes how using their ORCID iD has helped them get the most out of their precious research time. Watch out for some familiar faces from St Andrews!
Why ORCID? (English with English captions) from ORCID on Vimeo.


BMC Ecology image competition 2017 winners announced

Recently (well not that recently actually!) BioMed Central Ecology announced the winners of the 2017 image competition. This year 32 images made the cut to be mentioned in the editorial piece here - Of this number there were 7 runners up, and just one image named 'overall winner'.

'The history of scientific publishing' - an interview with Aileen Fyfe

As a primer to this month's event, detailed here is a recent blog post, we thought it would be a good idea to share an interview with Aileen Fyfe originally posted on the PLOS BLOGS Network in April 2016. In the interview Aileen Fyfe offers an in depth explanation of her research into the history of academic publishing, peer-review, and editorial processes, by examining how these phenomena first emerged over 350 years ago in the world's oldest journal - Philosophical Transactions.

Copyright Jen Laloup. Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. Originally published here:

Untangling Academic Publishing: Scottish launch for OA Week

St Andrews University Library is delighted to host the Scottish Launch of Untangling Academic Publishing during Open Access Week - the event is open to all, discussion encouraged!

>Please contact if you wish to attend.

Untangling Academic Publishing: Launch and Discussion about the past and future of academic publishingA University Library event for Open Access Week

Tuesday 24 October, 16.00-18.30 - Arts Lecture Theatre (No.31 on the map)

Presentation: Professor Aileen Fyfe, School of History, lead author of the briefing paper ‘Untangling Academic Publishing’, will explain some of the biggest changes in academic publishing over the last 60 years.

Panel Discussion: the talk will be followed by a discussion of possible futures.
Professor Fyfe will be in conversation with Professor Stephen Curry,  Imperial College London and Professor Martin Kretschmer, University of Glasgow.

Presentation and panel discussion will be followed by a wine reception.


We now have over 50,000 research outputs in Pure!

In this post we look behind the scenes into how we capture publications in order to achieve Open Access...

Yes, the pudding is correct, we now have over 50,000 publications records in Pure!

At the University of St Andrews we use Pure as our Current Research Information System (CRIS). Pure has been our CRIS since 2010, replacing an in-house system. Since its first installation Pure has undergone many iterations, improvements, and even changed ownership! It has many functions, including capturing publications, impacts, datasets, activities, as well as providing reporting functions, such as for funders' open access policies and the Research Excellence Framework. It also integrates with other university systems, such as the HR database, meaning that it provides up to the minute evidence of the research activities of current staff, while also maintaining an historic record for previous staff as well. Pure feeds the St Andrews Research Portal,, whi…

Requesting permission: reflections and perspectives from the University of St Andrews

[The following was originally published on the UKCoRR blog as guest post, here:]

In July I attended the UKCoRR Members Day and delivered a presentation on the subject of approaching publishers for permission from the perspective of someone working in open access/repository support. The title of the presentation was ‘Requesting permission: approaching publishers, lessons learned, and the many successes!’ Here’s a link to the presentation in the St Andrews Research Repository:

In this blog post I’ll go over some of the points from the presentation that I think struck a chord with the audience, with the overall intention of explaining the rationale behind our processes. Before I begin, I must say that I am very grateful to the other attendees on the day who shared their experiences in the Q&A, as well as af…

University of St Andrews pledges support for Knowledge Unlatched

The University of St Andrews has joined 50 other institutions in supporting Knowledge Unlatched for it's 2017 pledging period. Knowledge Unlatched is a novel crowd-funding initiative that aims to reduce the individual cost of academic books and journals. Each year institutions pledge money to 'unlatch' a collection of books and journals, and make them freely available with Creative Commons licences. This year's collection consists of 343 academic books, as well as 21 journals. The journals are a mixture of open access, subscription, and hybrid journals, and if a sufficient pledge is attained all will be published open access for three years starting in 2018. The journals are also from a variety of publishers: MDPI, De Gruyter, Sage, and Brill to name a few. You can find out a little more about Brill's contribution to KU in a recent blog post.

Details of the Knowleldge Unlatched 2017 Collection, can be found here:

Repository marks 10000 milestone with 'rule-breaker'

We are delighted to announce the 10,000th item to appear in St Andrews Research Repository is a paper by Peter Moran, Mike Ritchie and Nathan Bailey from the School of Biology, Centre for Biological Diversity.

The University's repository aims to give to the widest possible access to the research output of our academic community, supporting our open access policy statement:
The value and utility of research outputs increases the more widely available they are to be read and used by others.
The shared effort described in our previous blog post has allowed us to increase visibility of research, and help researchers meet the open access requirements of funders. Authors deposit versions of their research publications into the University's research information system (Pure), to be made open access following any embargo periods in St Andrews Research Repository. Library staff support researchers by checking publisher policies, to make sure we don't breach any copyright rules. Th…

Open Access publisher launches photography competition

The Open Access publisher BMC has launched a photography competition to find inspiring images that represent 'research in progress'. Researchers are invited to submit photographs that reflect innovation, curiosity and integrity in a range of categories.

If you have an unusual way to represent your research area, why not share your unique insight? Details of the competition are available from the BMC blog. Images will need to be made available for reuse under a Creative Commons licence, to allow further sharing with proper attribution.

We now have 10,000 items in our repository!

This week we reached another milestone - 10,000 items in the University of St Andrews Research Repository (or StARR for short if you prefer). That's 10,000 full-texts of research publications, theses and other content types which will be open access and free to download for anyone with an internet connection. In keeping with established library tradition here is how we celebrated the occasion:

This milestone represents the shared effort of many teams in the Library as well as across Schools in the University. In the Main Library David Collins and cataloguing colleagues are responsible for uploading University of St Andrews theses to the repository, in the Old Union Diner the Open Access team and Pure team oversee St Andrews research publications, many of which end up going into the repository. In Schools academics and support staff create records in Pure and upload manuscripts for public release, which are then checked and validated by the OA team before ending up in the repositor…

Brill unlatches 20 open access books

The academic publisher Brill has announced that it has now published 20 fully open access books funded under the Knowledge Unlatched scheme. The scheme's vision is to create a sustainable and fair business model to produce free and open access books, by sharing the publishing costs amongst participating members. Institutions who take part in the scheme each pay a fee which goes toward the cost of 'unlatching' books from the traditional publishing model - whereby each institution would have to buy books separately (and perhaps even purchase multiple hard copies). This represents better value for money as well as ensuring those who cannot afford to pay don't have to. The scheme also aims to ensure that those who mainly publish monographs aren't left behind in the move to open access. Brill are just one of 56 publishers who are currently signed up to the scheme, a full list can be found here.
Brill titles in the Knowledge Unlatched collection include:
Aging Gracefully …

Your chance to tell us about your use of ORCID

Are you a researcher or research student in St Andrews? Please take part in our 10 minute survey about the use of Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCID):

This survey aims to establish the extent to which researchers at the University of St Andrews are using ORCID identifiers during their work. The survey will collect anonymous data about the awareness and use of ORCID iDs amongst researchers and will only take 5 - 10 minutes to complete.

You will be able to indicate your interest in taking part in a follow-up interview. This is entirely voluntary and does not affect participation in the online survey or its results.

You will also have a chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher by providing your email address at the end of the survey. Again, this is entirely voluntary and will be independent from participation in the voluntary follow-up interviews.

This research is carried out in the context of an MSc project by Eva Borger at the School of Computer Science in collaboration with the Uni…

Digital Research Open Office - every Wednesday afternoon

Digital Research Open Office
Every Wednesday
The Library's Digital Research division now has an open office every Wednesday afternoon. From 2pm to 4pm anyone can drop in and see us, and we will ensure there will be a member of staff here to help. So if you have any questions about open access, research data, Pure, digital humanities, or research computing, please feel free to stop by.

Digital Research division comprises of:
Digital HumanitiesOpen AccessPureResearch ComputingResearch Data Digital Research staff are now located in the Old Union Diner, Butts Wynd (off North Street). Please also note that access to the office is via stairs only, but if this poses an issue please do get in touch and we can arrange a one to one meeting elsewhere.
We hope to see you then!

The Open Access Team have a new home

Recently the Library's Digital Research Division moved building from the University Library to just down the road. We are now in the Old Union Diner (not to be confused with the Old Union Café!), just a stone's throw from the Library. We hope the new location will make it easier for us to meet with colleagues across the University, as well as making it easier for others to visit us - no more queuing at the library front gates for one thing!
The Digital Research Division consist of: Open AccessResearch DataPureResearch ComputingDigital Humanities As ever if you have any questions about your research outputs in Pure, funding for Gold open access, or any other open access related questions feel to get in touch via phone or email, or come and see us in our new home!

Email: 01334 (46) 8851, 2320, 2319

Or if you want to send us a letter:

Repository and Open Access Support University Library University of St Andrews
Old Union Diner Butts Wynd St Andrew…

New Horizon 2020 project to enhance open access book publishing

A new EU Horizon 2020 project has been announced, entitled High Integration of Research Monographs in the European Open Science infrastructure, or HIRMEOS for short. We've written on this blog numerous times about open access books, see previous posts here and here, and from what is known about this project it certainly could be a very important next step in advancing open access long-form publishing in the Humanities and Social sciences.

The participants in this project are:

Ethniko Idryma Erevnon - Greece Stichting OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) - Netherlands Stiftung Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland (DGIA) - Germany Georg-August-Universitat Gottingenstiftung Offentlichen Rechts - Germany Ubiquity Press - United Kingdom Open Book Publishers - United Kingdom Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities - France Universita Degli Studi Di Torino - Italy
The HIRMIOS project partners have been charged with the task of enhancin…

National Open Access strategy for Switzerland

The Swiss National Science Foundation and swissuniversities have come together to agree a national strategy aiming for all publications financed with Swiss public money to be accessible free of charge by 2024.

The joint principles and strategy are outlined in a document published on 31 Jan 2017, which states "all stakeholders, politicians, higher education institutions (and their libraries) and funders have to join forces to pursue common goals" - including aligning existing OA policies and supporting new OA publishing models.

Further information is available from the SNSF news item.

Training course: Copyright for teaching and learning

The following course is available to academic staff and research students

Copyright for teaching and researchDate: Mon 6 Feb 2017
Time: 10.00-12.00
Venue: Bute Annexe - CAPOD Training Room 4 (beside front entrance of Bute Building)
Key details: New this year! Copyright affects many areas of academic activity and it is becoming increasingly important for staff and students to be aware of the copyright laws and licences which affect their teaching, learning and research.
The course will cover a wide range of topics, and includes a section on Copyright and Open Access: copyright issues which arise when you submit an article to an Open Access journal, or publish in traditional venues and want to share your work.
It will be a valuable workshop for teaching and research staff and research students in all disciplines (including PGRs who teach). By the end of this workshop you should be able to:
Conduct your teaching and research without infringing copyright.Request permission to use thi…