28 July 2016

We've now reached 8000 items in our repository!

Last week the St Andrews Research Repository reached a new milestone: 8000 items!

The last major content milestone we celebrated was when we reached 5000 items, this was back in February 2015. The blog post we wrote in recognition of this mentioned that the upsurge in activity was largely down to research funders and HEFCE (the folks behind the Research Excellence Framework) requiring authors to self-archive their publications. 17 months on and this trend is continuing.

In April 2016 the Research Excellence Framework open access policy came into effect (to find out more read our previous blog post). This means that to ensure compliance with the policy authors must deposit their accepted manuscripts for journal articles and conference proceedings into the University's research information system (Pure). To ensure all St Andrews researchers are aware of the policy we have been working hard to deliver the message: 'Act on acceptance: deposit in Pure'. This slogan, which is emblazoned on posters around the University, is just one part of a tapestry of approaches to increase author self-archiving rates across the University. Currently the REF compliance rate for the whole University is very high at around 85%.

We are also still continuing our support for Gold Open Access. Gold OA usually requires a payment, called an APC or Article Processing Charge, and providing all the conditions are met the Library will cover this charge. The charges average out at around £1500, but can be anywhere from a few hundred pounds to more than £4000. The 8000th item was published Gold Open Access, by the publisher BioMed Central. It is freely available (with a Creative Commons attribution licence) either from the publisher or from our repository.

8000th article:
Title: Changes in selective pressures associated with human population expansion may explain metabolic and immune related pathways enriched for signatures of positive selection
Journal: BMC Genomics

6 July 2016

Wellcome Open Research: a new publication initiative

Wellcome Open Research is a new initiative which allows researchers to publish their results faster and more transparently. The service is powered by F1000Research which is an innovative publishing platform that uses post-publication peer-review to eradicate publication delays. By using this platform Wellcome research will be published immediately on submission (presumably with the status 'awaiting peer-review' if it follows closely the F1000 processes), this is then followed by formal peer-review. Wellcome also say that peer-review will be transparent and open, with referees' reports and names published alongside the paper. This is said to encourage more constructive feedback, as well as allowing reports to be cited.

Besides publication speed, another advantage of using WOR (or F1000 for that matter) is that there is wider scope for the sorts of material that can be published. As well as standard narrative articles researchers can also publish negative results and datasets, as well as incremental findings.

Using WOR to publish results is fully compliant with the Trust's open access policy and also complies with the requirements for data sharing. APCs for Wellcome funded research will also be funded centrally by Wellcome Trust.

Is it important to point out that Wellcome is not requiring any grant recipients to use this new service. But they hope authors will look at the service and recognise the benefits it offers in terms of transparency, the types of content that can be included, and the speed of publication. Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at Wellcome also comments that “One of the long-term aims of this approach is to start a shift in research and researcher assessment away from journal-based measures and towards direct assessment of the output itself, whether it be an article, or in another form such as a dataset or software tool.” http://f1000.com/resources/160706_WellcomeOpenResearchFINAL.pdf

Wellcome Open Research is due to launch in autumn 2016, so watch this space.