20 July 2012

Open access support from RSC

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has announced a new scheme to help researchers pay for open access publishing.

“UK institutes who are RSC Gold customers will shortly receive credit equal to the subscription paid, enabling their researchers, who are being asked to publish Open Access but often do not yet have funding to pay for it directly, to make their paper available via Open Science, the RSC's Gold OA option.”

This follows a series of events that are reshaping the way research outputs are published. Over the last month there has been a flood of announcements about making publicly funded research outputs available to anyone for free (open access). The UK Government has backed a transition to open access, with the release of the report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (Finch report) which stated:

“The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable.”

On 28 June The Wellcome Trust announced that it will be re-enforcing its open access mandate, with sanctions for institutions on non-compliance including future grant payments being withheld. Earlier this week RCUK announced a new policy on open access to research outputs, significantly strengthening the existing requirements for grant holders to ensure their peer-reviewed articles are freely available to all, and the following day the European Commission released a similar message:

“Scientific data: open access to research results will boost Europe's innovation capacity” (EU press release)

The new RCUK and EU policies continue to allow articles to be accessible either:
  • Directly by the publisher (usually through payment of a fee), known as ‘Gold’ open access; or
  • Through deposit of an author version in an open access repository (often after a limited embargo period) known as ‘Green’ open access.

There is much debate about how these changes will be managed, funded and resourced. In the meantime, this is an interesting and positive commitment from RSC to help researchers benefit from open access publishing and meet their funders’ requirements.

17 July 2012

Latest open access content from journal hosting service

The latest open access issue of the Journal of Terrorism Research has been published. The journal is hosted by the University of St Andrews Library Journal Hosting Service and published by the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence.
The aim of this Journal 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.
Each article is published in PDF and HTML, and the complete issue is also available as a single PDF. All content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Stacks Image 440Journal of Terrorism Research, Volume 3, Issue 1 (2012) Special Issue: Assessing the Emergency Response to Terrorism


16 July 2012

UK Research Councils strengthen open access policy

RCUK has announced a new policy on open access to research outputs, significantly strengthening the existing requirements for grant holders to ensure their peer-reviewed articles are freely available to all.

The new policy will apply to peer-reviewed research articles and conference proceedings submitted for publication from 1 April 2013. Researchers will still be able to choose whether to publish in an open access journal (which may require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC)), or to deposit an accepted manuscript in an institutional or subject repository. Where an APC is paid, the resulting article must allow unrestricted reuse including downloading and text mining under a Creative Commons licence. If papers are made open access through the repository route, there will be a maximum delay (embargo) allowed of 6 months (12 months for AHRC and ESRC).

As well as publishing outputs in journals which comply with the policy, researchers will be expected to include details of the funding that supported the research, and a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.

Institutions will now need to put in place mechanisms for managing APCs, which will be funded by block grants from RCUK.

The RCUK policy took account of the recently published Finch Report (report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings), however it has a notably stronger view on embargoes compared to the UK Government's response to the Finch recommendations (p5).

Library Open Access Support
St Andrews researchers can contact the Library with queries about open access and funder requirements - contact Jackie Proven or Janet Aucock, email open-access-support or see details of current open access policies on our Library web pages.


Links
RCUK Policy on Access to Research Outputs and guidance

UK Government response to the Finch report

Related articles:
Times Higher Education article 
Guardian article
Nature news blog
HEFCE statement on implenting open access in the REF
Response from SPARC Europe

Open Access is changing fast so there are bound to be many more articles appearing in the coming days...

5 July 2012

Repository content doubles in a year



We have now passed another milestone, with over 2000 items in our open access repository Research@StAndrews:FullText.


Our 2000th item turned out to be a little bit of Scottish History, with a thesis originally requested through the British Library's EThOS service:

Annette M. Smith (1975) The Forfeited Estates Papers, 1745: a study of the work of the Commissioners for the Forfeited Annexed Estates, 1755-1784, with particular reference to their contribution to the development of communications in Scotland in the eighteenth century
This adds to a thriving digital collection of Scottish History theses. Our most viewed item in this collection is Reading the Scottish Enlightenment : libraries, readers and intellectual culture in provincial Scotland c.1750-c.1820 which has been downloaded nearly 100 times.

Our project to deposit retrospective theses has also added to our varied collections including English, Mediaeval History, Modern Languages, Divinity, International Relations and Biology.

The deposit of research publications also continues through our Research Information System PURE, with a recent batch of Physics papers and outputs from our Biomedical Sciences Research Complex.

We look forward to doubling our open access content again next year, or perhaps aiming for 5000!


3 July 2012

Countdown to 2000 in Research@StAndrews:FullText



We are delighted to see that we have less than 20 items to go until we reach 2000 in our open access repository!

Just over a year ago we celebrated reaching a landmark 1000 items in Research@StAndrews:FullText so it has been a busy and exciting year to see our content double.
 

There are now well over 1000 e-theses in the repository, over 500 research publications from our Research Information System PURE, nearly 300 Sustainable Development Commission reports and a range of other content including e-books and digitized items from our Special Collections.

The total has been boosted by a short project to upload nearly 200 theses from those requested through the British Library EThOS service, with the help of 2 interns. Most of these theses are in Humanities, with the earliest being a thesis awarded in 1949.

Specific titles will be featured on the blog as we reach this latest landmark total.

Our usage statistics also show an encouraging increase. Now over 4000 items are downloaded every month!