28 March 2016

Open Access is here! Make sure you are ready

Open Access is now an essential feature of scholarly communications. As well as maximising visibility of the University’s research outputs, Open Access is now a requirement of many funders. It is also critical for ensuring eligibility for submission of journal articles and conference proceedings to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework is in force from April 1 2016, and states "to be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository". For St Andrews, this means that all researchers must deposit the accepted version of journal articles and conference proceedings in Pure as soon after acceptance as possible. In common with other institutions, the Library has been promoting the message ‘Act on acceptance: deposit in Pure’. This applies not just for REF and all authors should deposit their manuscripts. The Library's Open Access support team can help with this process.

Poster with message 'Act on acceptance: deposit in Pure'



To help researchers we can:
Please get in touch with any queries. Contact the Open Access team – openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk 

17 March 2016

Tickell report positive on the future of Open Access in the UK

Following the Burgess Review of Research Councils UK Open Access Policy and RCUK’s response, this report considers the wider scope of UK Open Access generally and how scholarly publishing markets and the policy landscape are developing including Open Data.

The advice was provided by Professor Adam Tickell, the respected Provost and Vice-Principal, University of Birmingham and Chair of Universities UK (UUK) Open Access Coordination Group.

Its main conclusion was positive on progress to date:
  • Open Access to research continues to be a public benefit and the UK remains a world leader.
  • Research Councils UK should continue to support Gold Open Access charges. 
Figure 3: Gold OA charges paid to publishers from a sample of institutions, 2015 (Open Government Licence)

However, some changes are suggested in the recommendations.

Some key recommendations:
  • Universities should be encouraged to sign up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
  • UUK Open Access Coordination Group to support the development of agreed service standards around Gold
  • UK Open Access policy should offer greater choice to research producers
  • UK Open Data Forum to coordinate work associated with a ‘roadmap’ for sector infrastructure
The DORA recommendation is intended to reduce the effect of researcher preference for traditional prestige publications and move towards the type of responsible metrics advocated in Hefce’s The Metric Tide report.

Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, was encouraging and supportive in his response:
“I am confident that, by 2020, the UK will be publishing almost all of our scientific output through open access.”

Report and ministerial response.

9 March 2016

REF2020 open access policy: guides and deposit video now available


The REF2020 Open Access policy comes into force on the 1st of April 2016. To recap, the REF2020 Open Access policy requires UK academics to deposit their peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts for articles and conference proceedings in a repository. The policy also states that deposit should occur as close to the date of acceptance as possible. We are using our research information system Pure to comply with this policy as it links to our institutional repository. The University has called for early compliance to ensure all researchers know how to comply, and all outputs will be eligible for submission to the next REF.

https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/admin/To assist researchers with the deposit process the Open Access Team has produced a Deposit Guide for Academics. This is a step by step guide showing the information needed for REF Open Access compliance, as well as providing further information about the Pure record fields. We also have a similar guide for administrative staff who have responsibility for updating Pure records on the behalf of researchers, this is available from the Open Access Team on request.

We have also produced an updated screencast of the deposit process demonstrating how to create a Pure record, input the publication information, and deposit the accepted manuscript:

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The deposit guide and screencast, along with further instructions on how to deposit in Pure, can be found here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/library/services/researchsupport/openaccess/deposit/.