24 August 2015

Refreshed look for St Andrews journal hosting service

Over the summer, the University Library's journal hosting service has been given a bright new look to its welcome page.

As well as a fresh, more organised look to our range of journals, the main site provides users with the ability to search across all content.

An upgrade to the software means we can introduce additional features for readers such as citation tools, improved display of Creative Commons licences, and DOIs (coming soon).

Journal managers will be able to create their own reports on downloads, using the publishing industry standard 'COUNTER' statistics.

We are excited to continue providing this service which gives opportunities for our own staff and students to publish open access scholarly journals. We have also been working with an external hosting provider to trial an even better look and feel for one of our journals, still based on the underlying OJS software. Look out for more announcements soon!

JTR Banner

21 August 2015

RCUK Executive Response to the Burgess Review

As expected the Research Councils UK Executive has responded to the independent Burgess Review of its Open Access policy that we blogged in April.  

The Executive accepts and will act on all the recommendations.
Its most immediate response is to explore incorporating Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD) in its systems and to strongly encourage institutions and publishers to do the same.

It will also establish a joint practitioners working group made of of staff working on Open Access policy within institutions that will include representatives from learned societies and publishers. It will work on policy expression, communication and data collection and is due to meet for the first time in Autumn 2015.

Detail from cover: Review of the implementation of the RCUK Policy on Open Access
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence
Key responses

  • Explore sources to track compliance data in consultation with the practitioner group.
  • Work to reduce the burden of data collection on the administration of the block grant.
  • Improve communication around the policy.
  • Promote the mixed model of Open Access and researcher choice.
  • Clarify the policy on embargo periods, the CC-BY licence requirement and promote understanding of different licence types.
  • Share best practice in policy implementation across the sector.
  • Consider the issues around block grant allocation within HEI departments and disciplines.

Echoing the Burgess Review, the next independent review will be postponed for one year to allow extra time to gather enough data for an evidence base.

If you are a St Andrews researcher and need help to comply with RCUK's Open Access policy or to access the block grant to pay an article processing charge, please email open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk.

14 August 2015

Nature survey finds attitudes towards open access are changing

(NPG), Nature Publishing Group (2015): Author Insights 2015 survey. figshare.http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362
Each year Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan conduct an Author Insights Survey, the aim of which is to track changes in behaviours and attitudes towards publishing. The survey, which was published under a CC BY licence on Figshare, is available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362.

Overall the survey found that attitudes towards open access are softening, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding about funder open access policies.

(NPG), Nature Publishing Group (2015): Author Insights 2015 survey. figshare.http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362

Question 9: Reasons for not publishing OA?
The survey asked authors who had chosen not to publish OA in the past 3 years to provide their reasons for not doing so. The most common reason for deciding against OA (totalling 27% of the answers) was fear about the perceived quality of open access papers. Although this is perhaps alarming, it is actually a reduction from the previous year’s survey which saw 40% of respondents give this reason. In humanities and social sciences the drop in respondents choosing this option was from 54% in 2014 to 41% in this year’s survey. So overall this represents good news as it demonstrates that perceptions of quality are becoming less of an issue. It is also interesting to note that around the same number of respondents choose the option “I am not willing to pay an APC”. This answer too has seen a reduction year on year, from around 30% to 25% for STEM and 52% to around 42% for HSS.

(NPG), Nature Publishing Group (2015): Author Insights 2015 survey. figshare.http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362

Question 8: Understanding funder requirements.
25% of respondents said they didn’t know their funder’s open access requirements (20% in STEM disciplines, and 30% in Humanities and Social Sciences). Interestingly, around 23% of respondents thought their funder demanded authors publish the final published version either with an embargo or immediately via open access. In our experience funders require at the very least the accepted version, and none stipulate the final published version only. A further 6% thought their funder demanded the pre-peer review version. Again, this seems unlikely. So, what this indicates is that in all probability more than half of the respondents did not know their funder’s requirements for open access. Also interesting to note is that around 40% of those who reported that their funder required immediate OA also admitted they had not published open access.

Nature/Palgrave admit themselves that the survey is not an "academically rigorous study" nor is it particularly comprehensive. What it does highlight are general attitudes and trends. We have picked out two questions that produced particularly pertinent results. What the results of these two questions show is that overall attitudes towards open access are improving, but there are still misunderstandings about how funding bodies fit in, and what, if any, mandates for open access exist.

In a Nature Publishing Group press release Dan Penny, Head of Insights at NPG and Palgrave Macmillan said:
"Perceptions are likely to change over time as more open access publications establish strong reputations, funders mandate open access, and authors publish their best research in OA journals. Last year in particular saw a significant improvement in attitudes." (Nature Publishing Group, 2015, http://www.nature.com/press_releases/perceptions-open-access.html)
If any authors would like more information about funder open access policies, or would like any other advice about open access publishing, as ever the Open Access and Repository Publications Support team is here to help - email us at open-access-support@st-andrews.ac.uk. We also have a webpage detailing relevant funding bodies with open access policies.

The survey was published with a CC BY creative commons licence on Figshare here: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1425362

7 August 2015

'OA in the REF' workshop : Building bridges

Fresh from the excitement of Repository Fringe 2015 the Jisc Pathfinder Lessons in Open Access Compliance (LOCH) partners and representatives from HEIs all over the UK met in Edinburgh on 5th August to learn from the experiences of project partners and each other.

Queensferry Crossing - north cable tower © Copyright M J Richardson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Sarah Fahmy, Jisc Open Access Good Practice Manager, welcomed delegates and discussed the challenges Open Access poses for HEIs - absolute costs, administrative costs, system interoperability, the problem of low awareness, publisher and funder policy confusion and the international dimension.

Project partners presented their institution's Open Access challenges and solutions. Anna Krzak gave a fascinating talk on the devolved model of support at Edinburgh's College of Medicine. The following workshop explored models of support that can help researchers navigate Open Access policies. Common themes emerged included the importance of establishing a dialog with researchers and other stakeholders in Schools and Units, making sense and sense-making and resourcing. 

The programme outputs from all projects are available from the Open Access Good Practice blog and the presentations and notes are available from Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA):

Storify run-down of the event
Notes from the workshop session
Sarah Fahmy Jisc
Linda Kerr Heriot Watt
Jackie Proven St Andrews
Dominic Tate Edinburgh
Anna Krzak Edinburgh Open Access Administrator in CMVM
Rowena Rouse Oxford Brookes