28 August 2014

University of St Andrews APC data now available

Recently the Open Access and Repository Service Support Team has compiled information on APC spending. APC stands for Article Processing Charge, and this is the charge that applies for Gold open access publishing. In short, APCs cover the operating costs involved in the publication process that would have traditionally been covered by subscriptions.

University of St Andrews APC data 2013-2014.

The information is hosted on Figshare; a cloud-based online storage and distribution platform. This will ensure the data is widely and openly distributed to members of other institutions as well as our own. The spreadsheet lists publication level data which details how the University of St Andrews has spent centrally managed Open Access (OA) funds. Article Processing Charges (APCs) are reported from our RCUK and Wellcome Trust Block Grants, and from a small Library OA fund.


Universities are being encouraged to share data about the costs of Open Access publishing. We believe that sharing information helps the academic community to understand how publishing is changing in the new Open Access environment. For instance, we noted useful information about prepay schemes (these offer discounts as well as streamlining the payment process), as well as highlighting issues that arose during the Open Access payment process.

27 August 2014

4000 items milestone: Featured researcher - Dr Nicole Hudgins, University of Baltimore

As we continue to highlight the recent contributions to our growing research repository, we are reminded how the streets of Paris looked 100 years ago this month.
Paris Police photograph captioned, ‘August 1914. Arrival of refugees from the Nord and from Belgium.’ MHC/BDIC.
[Image source: Identité judiciaire (August 1914). MHC/BDIC.]

This image comes from the latest Open Access book in the series St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture: Hold still, Madame: wartime gender and the photography of women in France during the Great War, by Nicole Hudgins. This volume presents a fascinating study of the way female images were used in wartime France, and how photography and captioning presented images of traditional and non-traditional traits such as distress, devotion and toil.

Nicole Hudgins, Assistant Professor of History at University of Baltimore, liaised for over 2 years (across the Atlantic!) with the series Editor, Dr Guy Rowlands, former Director of the Centre for French History and Culture at University of St Andrews, to bring the book to fruition. A significant amount of work was involved in ensuring the work could be made available under the Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Nicole gave us an insight into this work:

The editors of the series posted a call for volumes on H-France a couple of years ago, which I happened to see.  I was interested in writing about French civilians during the war, and this interest evolved into a focus on representations of women:  There was little need to catalogue the new roles picked up by women during the war, but no one had written about how photographs were used to represent women in a particular light as part of the war effort.  Gender played a significant role in the French war effort.
Except for one meeting at a professional conference, Dr. Rowlands and I never saw each other, but racked up probably hundreds of emails over the course of my research, writing, and preparation for digital publication.  We used Dropbox to pass the manuscript back and forth.  Fortunately, the bulk of the photographs for this book come from French national collections and period magazines in the public domain., though of course we had to take extra care in preparing an open access work.  This being a book about photography, I’d venture to say that it contains more images than all the other volumes in the series combined.

The resulting book provides a fascinating visual narrative, from images of distress at the outbreak of war in 1914:

Agence Rol photograph captioned, ‘Refugees from Paris waiting at Dieppe for a boat to England’ (1914). BNF/Gallica.
[Image source: Agence Rol (1914). Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Gallica]

Devotion - capturing the fantasy rather than reality:

Photo-illustrated postcard by ‘J. K.’ entitled, ‘The dream of the Chasseur’ (postmark is 1916). Municipal Archives of Mussy-sous-Dun (Bourgogne).
[Image source: http://www.decouvrezmussy.org/rubrique%20histoire/cartespostales.htm]

To representations of women taking to the world of work (1917/18):

French Army photograph captioned, ‘Paris: Workshop of the Metropolitan [Paris subway system], rue des Maraîchers. Laborer [ouvrière] employed in the repair shop’ (1917).
 [Image source: SPA photograph in Album Valois (28 Mar 1917) MHC/BDIC]

Photo halftone illustration in Le Miroir magazine, entitled, ‘Responding to German Aerial Raids’ (1918). Subtitled ‘Acetylene welding of a large torpedo used with Allied aircraft,’ the caption explained how for ‘several weeks Allied aviation has affirmed its superiority not only on the front, during incessant offensive expeditions, bombardments and reconnaissance, but also in the numerous raids that are executed on German cities, train stations and factories, reprisals for enemy expeditions on our open cities. British aircraft, notably, deploy daily. Here is a torpedo of which our aircraft can take a number of specimens.’
[Image source: Le Miroir (21 July 1918, p7)]
Nicole went on to say:
My home institution, the University of Baltimore, and I are thrilled that my book can be studied by anyone in the world at any time.  Readers can enlarge the images for a closer look, or search the text for words and phrases.  I really think St. Andrews is at the forefront of academic publishing’s future.  They’ve seen how to reduce expense and bottleneck in order to bring the latest historical research to a wide audience.
We are delighted to see that the book has had over 70 downloads from our repository Research@StAndrews:FullText already and that she chose this route for publication. The full series is available from the repository and from Centre for French History and Culture website.

Learn more about the author at http://www.ubalt.edu/cas/faculty/alphabetical-directory/nicole-hudgins.cfm

22 August 2014

4000 items milestone: Featured researcher: Dr Fabiola Alvarez

In recent weeks we have been celebrating reaching 4000 items in the repository by showcasing some of the researchers who have been instrumental in attaining the milestone. We have already highlighted DR. Kim Mckee, Professor Derek Woollins, and Professor Alexandra Slawin for their invaluable input. In this blog we will be shining the spotlight on another researcher whilst also highlighting a highly important aspect of our repository: E-theses.

© University of St Andrews

Since September 2006 the University of St Andrews has required all theses to be submitted electronically to the repository. This has the advantage of making the details of research outputs immediately visible. In most instances the full text is also made available, thus increasing the visibility and impact of the research. One such thesis is The Scottish national screen agency: justifications of worth by Dr Fabiola Alvarez.
© University of St Andrews

Dr Fabiola Alvarez attained her PhD earlier this year. Her doctoral research was concerned primarily with the demise of the Scottish Screen agency for Scotland which was disbanded in 2010. In her thesis, Fabiola came to the conclusion that the incompatibility between different forms of valuation within the agency and among its stakeholders played a role in its demise, and specifically there were internal disagreements over the worth of projects which caused conflict over funding decisions.

We approached Dr Alvarez for her thoughts on Open Access:

"The thoughts that come to mind about open access is that it was definitely useful to me during my years as a PhD student (which obviously are still very fresh in my mind) and it continues to be so now that I'm working on my first academic paper. I hope that, by the same token, the possibility to easily access my and other people's work will be useful to others - not only students and academics, but also people working in other domains who, like me, would like to see a growing rapprochement between academic and non-academic activity."
© Scottish Screen
© Creative Scotland 2014
Creative Scotland has since taken the responsibility of distributing funding for Scottish creative arts. It is interesting to see that this year Creative Scotland set out a 10 year plan which aims to provide a "shared vision for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland". Although it is not clear whether academic research influences public bodies, the value of such research being Open Access is that it helps to create further research and might positively influence public policy and decision making in the future – Fabiola’s vision of harmonious “academic and non-academic activity”.


So, from all of us in the Open Access and Research Publications Support (OARPS) team, thank you Dr Fabiola Alvarez for your contribution to the 4000 celebration.

18 August 2014

Open Access in Scottish Universities

During March 2014 our colleagues in University of Edinburgh Library produced a video of interviews with well-regarded, pro-Open Access academics from a range of universities in Scotland. It is hoped the interviews will appeal to both young and more experienced researchers in medicine, sciences and the arts and humanities with the intention of making the them relevant to those working in Scottish HEIs and to be made widely available and of use to repository managers and librarians working elsewhere in the spirit of Open Access.

The project was run under the auspices of the Open Access Toolkit for Scotland (OATS), an extension of the JISC-funded ERIS (Enhancing Repository Infrastructure in Scotland) project.

We at St Andrews Library are delighted to support this project and believe it is a very innovative approach to Open Access advocacy.


St Andrews researchers featured

Dr Akira O’Connor (Laboratory website)
Professor Terry Smith


Open Access At Scottish Universities from HSS Webteam on Vimeo.

14 August 2014

4000 items milestone: Featured researchers - Professor Derek Woollins FRSE FRSC and Professor Alexandra Slawin, FRSE, FRSC, School of Chemistry

Research in Chemistry moves fast. Professors Derek Woollins and Alexandra Slawin between them have recorded over 1200 articles in our Research Information System, PURE. Over 100 of these have been deposited in Research@StAndrews:FullText to make them available Open Access. As our researchers with the highest number of OA publications, we are delighted that Derek and Alex agreed to be interviewed to celebrate our 4000th item milestone, the second post in our series.


Alex recently had her 1000th paper published (and keeping track of all that is quite a task!). There is a good reason for this rate of publication- new compounds are constantly being developed and their 3D structure analysed by X-ray crystallography leading to further development. So high is the rate of research output in the field that keeping up is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s impossible to read everything. Instead keyword searching and matching new research effort to compounds with known structures are driving the direction of research. As Alex pointed out the dynamic research environment also poses practical challenges such as tracing data and lines of research when students and staff move on.


In this research environment where does Open Access (OA) stand?

“To a certain extent OA is an extra piece of work and doesn’t change how we are publishing in mainstream journals in any case”, says Derek

"We're still in the transition zone with various external drivers and changes we need to be aware of. We've got to deposit in PURE, but it's hard to get a clear picture of the overall OA environment. Southampton led the way in e-publishing its research and this may have helped them to advance significantly in the league tables."

“But to do the work and not publish it? You might as well not have bothered - Open Access makes it more published.”


Do you find there are any advantages in OA publishing?

“People outside of chemistry may not have enough specialist knowledge to take full advantage of OA in our discipline. My experience with journalists is that they can easily misinterpret or misrepresent research. OA may get a few people who don’t have access to the journal interested, so they can have a more informed response. Widening access to research is enabled through various schemes, for example much of Africa gets free access to many journals. 10 years from now, it might make more difference. Right now, it’s likely to have more resonance with the general public in Humanities and Social Science.”

Do you find Open Access easy?

“I like PURE, but platforms such as ResearchGate are preferred by many academics for their prompts and ease of upload”, says Alex.

“People should just be accepting that it’s part of the publication process”, says Derek.
“There is a need to get OA into our culture, as Open Data will be even more demanding; people have just got to get into the habit of doing it. There are anomalies such as publisher restrictions on abstracts, which are rather absurd.”


“We do all the work; we referee the papers, mostly unpaid. It’s [subscription model publishing] a disaster as a model. However, I think publishers are still going to have the upper hand in the end. What the publishers provide is a refereeing moment. Self-publishing, for example, wouldn’t work for research assessment and OA could potentially wash out all that impact factor stuff”

“As an Editor for Elsevier for 10 years I understand that more journals mean more profit, as the number of subscribers to individual journals generally never increases. Journal subscription costs are rising to cover increased costs. And there is also the problem of the Learned Societies who make more money from journals that from membership fees - there is a lot of fear factor among societies and publishers and uncertainty among academics.”

“But do you think it’s worth 5 minutes of your life? Because that’s all it takes. It’s not really a complicated thing*. I just don’t see why people wouldn’t do it.”

“We are going to be in a world where people are assessed. They should make a real effort from Day One, not just for the University, but for themselves. It’s just another form of networking. It’s just going to happen.”

“We need to up people’s interest in it. Some will assume they’re excluded from it. But there will be a moment when the EPSRC ask about papers that might influence whether we get £1M for a new piece of equipment. It’s not an immense amount of staff time. If they spent an hour on it one evening, that’s not too much.”


Derek takes up his role as Vice Principal Research in January 2015. The accepted manuscript of his article Isolatable organophosphorus(III)-tellurium heterocycles published in Chemistry A European Journal will be made available from Research@StAndrews:FullText 16 December using the University’s preferred Green publication route. However, you can access the paper now using the link above, if you have a subscription to the journal.

The Library Open Access and Research Publications Support (OARPS) team would like to thank Derek and Alex for their time and sharing their views on Open Access.

*To find out how to deposit your own work in Pure, contact the team open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk!


8 August 2014

4000 items milestone: Featured researcher - Dr Kim McKee

Recently we hit the milestone of 4000 items in the University's research repository: Research@StAndrews:FullText! That is over 4000 full text research papers and theses available to read free of charge anywhere in the world without the paywall barriers that usually accompany academic research.

It is also great to see that this milestone was reached in less than 12 months compared with the 13 months the previous 1000 milestone took to reach. This really shows the hard work over the past year from everyone involved in the research publication process, whether in research or support. So, we in the Open Access team would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has assisted in reaching this milestone.

To celebrate we decided to analyse the content in the repository, to identify authors with the highest number of OA papers, those with individual items that took us to the 4000 mark, and the authors that have the highest percentage of their publications in our repository - what we are calling the ‘OA Ratio”. Over the next few weeks we will be posting blogs about individual authors highlighted during our analysis of the repository.


The researcher with the highest OA Ratio, and the subject of this first blog post, is Dr Kim McKee.
 
Kim is a lecturer in the School of Geography and Geosciences, and is also Director of the Centre for Housing Research. Kim is also a keen user of social media, using twitter and a blog to advance her views on social and urban policies.
 

Kim stood out during our analysis as she has an astonishing ratio of 57% Open Access content! That is, 57% of Kim's authored content in the Research Information System (PURE) is Open Access and freely available for anyone in the world to read. The nature of Housing Research makes Open Access a natural choice; as the Centre for Housing Research website states: "It is pivotal to our ethos that our research has wider social benefits."

The statistics for Kim's research held in the repository reflects this desire for wider social impact. One particular article, Post-Foucauldian Governmentality, is the fourth most downloaded paper of all the Open Access publications in PURE in the past year, and the fifth most viewed. As the figures below show, publishing in the repository can have a significant additional impact.


We approached Kim McKee for her thoughts about Open Access and the recent milestone, and this is what she had to say:

"I’m delighted to hear I have the highest Open Access Ratio in PURE!  As a researcher engaged in policy-relevant research in the fields of housing and social policy, it is really important to me that my work reaches a wider audience beyond the academy.  Open Access is a really easy and accessible way for me to make my work freely available to colleagues in policy and practice who may not have institutional subscriptions to academic journals.  But it also benefits me as an author by increasing the visibility of my research in the public domain, and maximising the likelihood of it impacting and influencing policy agendas.  I think Open Access and Social Media (e.g. blogging, tweeting) are the future of academic publishing, and I would encourage all academics to think about how they can take this forward in their own work.  Advancing and sharing knowledge is at the heart of what we do as researchers, and Research@StAndrews can really support and enable this process whilst also protecting intellectual property and copyright."

It is very inspiring for us to see a researcher really embracing the fundamental principles of Open Access. It is especially nice to see as this quote really crystallises the feeling we have regarding the growing level of support for Open Access across the University as a whole.

Kim went on to say: "Having the library on hand to help, makes it much easier for authors to do open access properly."

From everyone in the Open Access team thank you Kim for your words of encouragement, and well done attaining the henceforth sure to be coveted and sought after Highest OA Ratio award!


Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting other researchers who have made significant contributions to the ever growing research repository, Research@StAndrews:FullText. Watch this space!

3 August 2014

Open Access at the Fringe

Last week, members of our Open Access support team visited Edinburgh for the annual Fringe.

Now in its 7th year, the event was the busiest yet with 150 attendees. As ever the programme included lots of audience participation, great food and some singing. (We are of course talking about the Repository Fringe – we just borrow some of the Edinburgh festival spirit!)

Repository Fringe 2013 logo
This year, the focus was on Open Access policies and how the community is reacting. Our keynote from Yvonne Budden, University of Warwick raised the question of whether Open Access is still a revolutionary concept. Do we still need to challenge the norms of scholarly communication - and if so is it researchers or librarians that should be leading the 'revolution'? The consensus seems to be that the power to create change is primarily in the hands of academics, but libraries have a role in finding workable solutions.

While we maintained the ‘unconference’ style of this event with informal discussions and encouragement of novel ideas, many people highlighted practical aspects of achieving an increase in open access. In particular we had presentations from several Jisc OA Good Practice Projects - St Andrews has just begun one of these projects in partnership with University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University. Unsurprisingly given the recent policy announcement from HEFCE, compliance with funder policies will be a major theme.

Live blogs from both days of the event are available from the conference website.