30 November 2015

Hail Caledonia!

To mark St Andrew's Day 2015 the Open Access Support team is pleased to publish a guest post by Janet Aucock, Head of Metadata and Content Acquisition.

St Andrew's Day is a good day to reflect on Scottish influences on the world. Perhaps it’s also a good day to consider alternative Caledonias and one in particular on the other side of the globe.

We are constantly looking to see how St Andrews research is used and reused across the world. Each month we get a usage report from EThOS the national thesis database for the UK, a service provided by the British Library. St Andrews open access full text theses are made available in EThOS as well as in our own institutional repository Research@StAndrews:FullText. The report from EThOS indicates how many theses have been viewed and downloaded and it gives us some limited information about the reader, chiefly their professional sector, if provided, and their geographical location. Most readers are involved in education and research and the majority are in Europe and North America. But we can see an increasing readership from all continents and our interest is particularly sparked by unusual new locations.

Our most recent report showed a number of thesis downloads from a small island nation some 9928 miles away (as the crow flies) in the Pacific Ocean:

Source: http://www.distancefromto.net/
Someone in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia was clearly interested in 3 of our social anthropology theses:

We couldn’t help but wonder who might this be? Was it one of New Caledonia's 268,767 inhabitants? Are they studying at L’Universit√© de la Nouvelle-Cal√©donie?

Do they do their research looking out over views like this and sitting on this pine fringed beach?

By Bahnfrend (Own work) 
Kanumera Bay, Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, 2007
 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Perhaps there were some connections between St Andrews research interests and New Caledonia?

A quick search of the University website uncovered a remarkable relationship:

A University press release aptly entitled “When crows connect” had been issued on 4th November 2015. St Andrews researchers recently published an Open Access paper in Nature Communications that revealed evolution-environment interaction that might explain New Caledonian crows’ hooked tool making skill. Their experimental approach contrasts this with tool behaviours in primates to hypothesise about regional variations observed. The New Caledonian environment and the types of raw material available to make tools are critical. In fact those very pine trees in the image above are crucial to support the crows’ activities 

Detail from Figure 1. St Clair, J. J. H. et al. Experimental resource pulses influence social-network dynamics and the potential for information flow in tool-using crows. Nat. Commun. 6:7197 doi: 10.1038/ncomms8197 (2015). (Open Access)
A further search of Research@StAndrews:FullText revealed other publications on the same topic.

This highlights how Open Access, whether digital theses or articles, can stimulate open discussion among academics of research publications, increase their visibility and improve public understanding of research that is often funded by taxpayers.

We don't really need to know who in New Caledonian has been reading St Andrews research. The whole point of open access to our research is that it can easily be consumed by a global audience and that it can be of benefit and use without barriers to a variety of users. 

However in the meantime we have found out a lot about this other Caledonia....named by Captain James Cook in 1774 because part of the archipelago reminded him of the north of Scotland, perhaps the Isle of Pines. It took him 3 years to complete his voyage across the world to the South Pacific. It’s reassuring to know on St Andrew's Day 2015 that Caledonia and New Caledonia can communicate instantly in the digital age to carry on this international conversation.

24 November 2015

RCUK Open Access compliance report

The University of St Andrews has increased its compliance with the RCUK Open Access Policy for papers published in the year to 31 July 2015. We have reported 91% of RCUK-funded papers as open access, up from 71% in the period April 2013 - July 2014

RCUK require a report from all universities in receipt of an Open Access Block Grant, using a standard template. Our report shows that open access was split almost equally between gold and green routes. We itemise our spend on APCs, and outline other costs including staffing. The creation of 2 posts enabled us to support researchers effectively, and make this progress in implementing the policy.

Collecting data for the report was done using our Research Information System, Pure. The total of 400 RCUK-funded papers includes those linked directly to Projects in Pure, as well as papers where external RCUK grants were identified in acknowledgements.

Included with our report is a short statement outlining our approach, and highlighting some of the remaining challenges in the transition towards open access publishing.

The report has been published in the University of St Andrews research repository, and is available here: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/7810

19 November 2015

The Open Science Prize: enabling discoveries for health

The Open Science Prize has been launched by the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit.

The Prize encourages technology experts and inventive researchers to submit innovative ideas for services, tools, and platforms that will make it easier for scientists, innovators and the wider public to discover, access and re-use the digital information being generated through health research. The aim of the Open Science Prize is also that of promoting international collaborations for the development of solutions that can benefit the global research community.

The competition consists of two phases and the opportunity to receive a prize of $230,000.

The deadline for entries is 29 February 2016.

For more information visit https://www.openscienceprize.org/.

Federica Fina
(Research Data Management)

13 November 2015

Taylor & Francis and EIFL sign deal on open access charges


Taylor & Francis have this week announced that they are going to offer substantially reduced article processing charges (APCs) for developing and transition countries, and in some cases waive charges entirely. The 12 month deal covers 45 countries that are part of the EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) network. EIFL is a not for profit organisation that aims to provide access to scholarly material for developing and transition countries. They help libraries gain access to knowledge by providing training resources, as well a brokering deals with publishers to provide access to databases at substantially reduced prices (a full list of EIFL licensed e-resources can be found here http://www.eifl.net/e-resources). This new deal with Taylor & Francis is the first time that EIFL have brokered a deal to help authors pay APCs. EIFL Director Rima Kuprytehad this to say of the deal:
“EIFL is excited about the article publishing charge agreement with Taylor & Francis. It is the first time we have signed an agreement like this, so it will be interesting to see how authors from our network will react. We’ve already received some positive feedback.” Rima Kypryte, Published in a Taylor and Francis press release.
The deal covers 66 Taylor & Francis Open, Routledge Open, and CogentOA fully open access journals, a full list of participating journals can be found here. The 66 journals all either charge APCs at $250 or the fees are completely waived. A list of the 45 EIFL countries that are part of the deal and their corresponding APC rate can be found in this document.

4 November 2015

University of California open access policy

The University of California recently announced that they are issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy that will cover all future scholarly articles published by UC employees.

The Presidential Open Access Policy extends the previous institutional open access policy which was adopted in 2013. The Presidential policy extends the 2013 Academic Senate Open Access Policy by covering all UC authors, including non-senate members. The new policy allows all UC authors to maintain legal control of their research outputs and also commits all UC authors to deposit their works in a repository for free public dissemination.
"The Presidential OA Policy represents the culmination of significant effort among UC faculty and staff to support increased access to their research publications, from the adoption of the first UC senate OA policy (UCSF) in 2012, to the establishment of the more comprehensive UC-wide Academic Senate policy in 2013." University of California Office of Scholarly Communication. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 licence.
Christopher Kelty, professor of Information Studies and Anthropology at UCLA explains the need for the new policy:
"Until now, tenure-track faculty have had the privilege of passing such policies to govern themselves, but at most universities, such faculty are a fraction of the people who do research and publish articles[...]Extending the same rights to those who aren’t part of a faculty governance system is an important and difficult step–I’m thrilled we have accomplished it.” University of California Office of Scholarly Communication. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 licence.
The UC's Open access policy creates a contract between the University and its authors that is prior to any contracts signed between authors and publishers. This means that UC authors can make their research open access via the University's repository, eScholarship, whilst also publishing in journals as normal. Authors are also granted rights of reuse under the UC open access policy that might otherwise be given over to publishers.

The University of California is a huge institution with nearly 200,000 employees and is responsible for over 2% of the world's research publications. UC clearly casts a large shadow, so this move represents a significant step in the evolution of scholarly research to open access.

Quotes are taken from University of California Office of Scholarly Communication Press release which was licensed under a CC BY 4.0 Licence. The press release can be found here: http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu/2015/10/groundbreaking-presidential-oa-policy-covers-all-employees/