25 July 2014

Royal Society of Chemistry to gild Chemical Science

It was announced recently in a Royal Society of Chemistry press release that one of their leading journals, Chemical Science, is to go Gold Open Access in 2015. Not only that, but Chemical Science will be waiving open access charges (Article Processing Charges, or APCs) for 2 years.

"From January 2015 onwards, all new content in Chemical Science will be free for anyone to access. And to ease the transition to open access, the Royal Society of Chemistry is waiving all Article Processing Charges (APCs) for two years." (RSC Press release)
CC-BY-NS-SA 2.0 (Available here)
With an impact factor of over 8.3 Chemical Science is undoubtedly one of the leading scientific journals attracting a high level of citations. With this in mind it is encouraging to see a leading journal not only following a growing trend but advocating the open access cause as well. This is not new for the publisher, as 2 years ago the RSC introduced early policies to help authors pay for gold open access in lieu of institutional funding (covered in our blog here). The Royal Society of Chemistry President, Professor Dominic Tildesley, said that the announcement was: "a momentous step forward in sharing chemical science knowledge world-wide." He went on to say: "As the world's leading chemistry community and a not-for-profit organisation, our mission is to serve the best interests of chemistry and society, as we have done for over 170 years. There can be no better way to fulfil that mission than by taking our leading journal to Gold open access."

David Willetts, who recently resigned as Minister for Universities and Science, applauded the RSC pointing out the positive image the world has of UK chemistry research and fact that the UK is leading the way in terms of "applying open access principles".

There is sure to be more information forthcoming regarding the change to open access policy at Chemical Science. But at this early stage it is fair to speculate that waiving Article Processing Charges is likely to increase uptake in the journal as more people will wish to take advantage of the high impact factor coupled with the increased visibility gold open access offers.

19 July 2014

Open Access author survey 2014

Earlier this year Taylor & Francis carried out a worldwide survey of their authors (ie those who had published with T&F* in 2012), with the aim of exploring journal authors’ views on open access. The results have been published along with responses from their 2013 survey. Comparisons give an indication that positive attitudes towards open access have increased.

In 2014 81% of authors agree or strongly agree with the statement “Open access offers wider circulation than publication in a subscription journal”, compared with 71% in 2013.


Some of the finer detail on attitudes to licences is interesting. A significant number of authors agreed it is acceptable for others to translate their work, yet the most preferred licence is shown to be the Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND). With the no-derivatives clause, a translation can’t be made without the copyright holder’s permission. The Europe PMC blog has more discussion on possible contradictions in responses.

Rigorous peer review continues to be the most important service authors expect when paying for open access.

Looking to the future, significantly more authors intend to publish more open access articles (either green or gold) than in 2013.


Charts from the survey are available from Figshare

Access the full 2014 Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey (pdf)

*Note T&F publishes more Social Sciences and Humanities titles than Science and Technology, so the results may be biased towards these disciplines.



11 July 2014

Open Access award 2014

IFLA and Brill recently announced that Knowledge Unlatched are the winner of this year's IFLA/Brill Open Access Award. This year the jury reached a unanimous decision to name Knowledge Unlatched describing the organisation as "game-changing".
"The jury of the IFLA/Brill award is deeply impressed with the simplicity and elegance of the original concept, with the daring scope of the project, bringing together libraries, publishers and other organizations from around the world, and with the highly successful outcome of the pilot phase that tested the concept."(IFLA 2014)
The Knowledge Unlatched publishing model sees many libraries coming together and sharing the publishing costs for electronic books. Basically this means that a book can be made fully Open Access for only a small investment of under a hundred pounds in some cases.

TitleFee  

 St Andrews University Library took part in the first round of the pilot project and currently has 22 ebooks on the library catalogue purchased through the system. More information can be found here.

Composing the Party Line



Ebooks such as this offer users a unique experience differing from normal ebooks due to the way they can be reused and distributed. All the ebooks created through the Knowledge Unlatched platform carry Creative Commons licenses which permit copying, redistribution, and adaptation into different forms. This is a far more attractive proposition than the sometimes very restrictive ebook policies offered by some publishers.








From everyone here, well done Knowledge Unlatched and keep up the good work.


7 July 2014

Introduction by the newest member of the OA team

I just thought that as the latest member of the Open Access team here at St Andrews I would introduce myself briefly and give my first impressions.
    Well, A bit of background first. I graduated from Robert Gordon University in 2010 with an MSc in Information and Library Studies. After graduating I drifted around Aberdeen from library to library absorbing information and trying to decide on a career path. In 2011 I moved to St Andrews University Library to work on the Helpdesk. It was here at St Andrews that I first heard about Open Access. Immediately OA sounded like something I wanted to get involved in: it has the perfect mix of philosophy, information technology, opacity (requiring good library detective skills to overcome), and cataloguing (yes cataloguing). Most important to me was/is the ethical dimension to the Open Access cause. Basically, tax payers fund Universities but have to pay again for the fruits of that investment. Open Access seeks to cure this curious injustice by making research output freely available. What is globally applause worthy and truly amazing however is the way OA is enhancing education systems in developing and transition countries by offering free access to high quality current research.
    Well, that’s my background done and dusted. As for my impressions, my enduring impression of the OA team is that there is a lot of work to do and a huge, perhaps intimidating, amount of information to digest. For instance each funder has separate mandates for Open Access, each publisher then has its own mandates, and within each publisher there are journals, each with their individual policies governing what you can and cannot do with research articles. So, when you’ve navigated through the tangled web of policies and mandates, you then have to decide Gold or Green? Also, what if a work has multiple funders attached, which mandate do I use? What does it mean if Funding is given to an external author, does that have to be taken into account? A phrase I used in correspondence with my manager in my first week was “I despair”.
    Long story short: I’m learning and loving every minute of it. And, I will carry on learning and eventually be an expert in Open access mandates, copyright, and policy. The crucial thing is that I and my colleagues are becoming experts in OA so that the academic community at large doesn’t have to. Researchers and academics can rest assured that we have the answers, and the epistemic burden is on us.

Here's a link to my ResearchGate page: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kyle_Brady/contributions?ev=prf_act. You'll find that my dissertation is, surprise surprise, Open Access.

Kyle Brady
Library Assistant (Open Access Support)