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Knowledge Exchange on the costs of Open Access

The cost of Open Access isn't a late-breaking field. In 2014 a cost of £9.2m for UK research organisations to achieve RCUK Open Access compliance was quoted [1]. This is in addition to the millions paid to publishers for article processing charges.  Because the market in scholarly publications is constantly adapting and costs for Open Access and library journal subscriptions are inexorably rising, it's incumbent on institutions to monitor not just the cost of the product, but the cost of managing it.  Open Access and open data have been identified as strategic for Librarians and university senior management [2].


The Knowledge Exchange partnership works at an international level to develop the infrastructure of open scholarship and promote common standards.  It regularly publishes reports on its activities. Its consensus report on monitoring Open Access publications and cost data published April last year makes recommendations based on the work and feedback from stakeholders at…
Recent posts

University of St Andrews Open Journals System now updated

This week the University Library completed a long overdue update of our online journal hosting platform, run on the popular Open Journals System software. We are now running on version 3 of the software, which brings with it a number of significant improvements.


The new version incorporates the now ubiquitous bootstrap framework, meaning it is now 'responsive' by design. So the content should look good no matter what type of device you're using, whether a mobile, tablet, or desktop PC. The front end design has also received a new lick of paint, with a more modern style throughout. The backend of the system has been similarly overhauled with a simpler interface and easier to manage editorial workflows.

Currently we have 12 journals on the system, 9 of which are still active and publishing new volumes regularly. The inactive journals are still retained in the system as an archive. One of the 9 active journals, Journal of Terrorism Research, is actually hosted remotely by Ubi…

St Andrews women academics share their career stories

With a Foreword by Dame Anne Pringle and an Afterword by Professor Sally Mapstone, Academic Women Here! On being a female academic at the University of St Andrews was launched Monday of this week.



"Gr8 women" The project aimed to provide an opportunity for participating senior academics to share their variety of career pathways and the different constraints and pressures they experienced that contributed to their current career success. In sharing, it's hoped that colleagues, staff and students at St Andrews and readers beyond will understand that there is no right way to begin or advance an academic career. Contributors also hope to inspire future female academics to start and progress their careers and to address the continuing problem of low numbers of women represented at senior level in higher education.

In the words of the editors:
Our booklet reveals the diversity of career paths taken by these women, and also the variety of ways in which these women are curre…

PeerJ waives publication fees in February

To celebrate 5 years as an Open Access publisher PeerJ is waiving full fees for PeerJ and PeerJ Computing articles started and submitted in February. 



The fee waiver applies to its full article processing charge (APC) option and means that for St Andrews authors there's no financial barrier to submitting a paper for review this month.  The Institutional Plan APC mechanism is provided to help co-authors where memberships aren't practical. 

Since 2014 the Library Fund for open access has supported St Andrews researchers to publish in PeerJ titles using its Basic Plan membership.  Memberships are for life and the plan includes 1 article per year.  Authors now benefit from a pre-paid account that makes purchasing a plan easier than ever. 

As always - during and beyond February - St Andrews authors continue to have their plans paid regardless of the funding acknowledged in their articles.   To enquire about Basic Plan membership or to have an APC approved please contact openacce…

New open access book published: Module theory: an approach to linear algebra

Earlier this week we published an open access book via the repository - Module theory: an approach to linear algebra. The book is authored by Emeritus Professor Thomas Blyth. Professor Blyth started at the University of St Andrews back in 1963 when he was appointed to the position of Lecturer in the School of Mathematics. He was later elected to the prestigious Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1974, and was promoted to the position of Professor in 1977. He was Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1994 to 1998, and retired in 2003 after 40 years of service at the University. Professor Blyth's research mainly concerns the following research areas: residuated mappings, algebraic and ordered semigroups, and Ockham algebras, and over the course of his career published over 130 journal articles, as well as several books. His book, Module Theory was published in 1977 by Oxford University Press, with a second edition released in 1990. The electronic edition which we have just published is a …

The transition to Open Access: financial implications

In our last post we discussed the headline figures disclosed in a recent report by Universities UK on the transition to Open Access. The post paid particular attention to download figures for open access content which look particularly rosy! In this post we'd like to look at some of the cost implications of this, and show some of the complexity highlighted in the report relating to the financial side of open access.


The above graph shows the total APCs (Article Processing Charges) paid by 37 UK institutions. On the surface this graph appears to show us what we probably already know - those that process a lot of APCs will also spend a lot on APCs! What the report also shows here though, and something that isn't discussed in the report, is the importance of stretching budgets to achieve greater numbers of open access content, i.e. keeping the bubble small while rising up the y-axis. This appears to be something University of Glasgow have managed to achieve (bubble 02). The repo…

Your Open Access: January update

We have just published the January repository statistics update. Since the last update, published in October, the repository content has continued to grow, and we now have over 11,000 items. The downloads have remained strong too, very nearly reaching 1 million downloads!

As with the last update we have highlighted the main top level download statistics, derived from IRUS-UK - a JISC sponsored service providing reliable download statistics from UK repositories. We also include figures for the repository content, which is important for providing a context for the download figures (this point is discussed in a recent blog post).

There is also now a collection in the repository where the statistics updates will be archived.

If you have any feedback on these updates or you would like to know more, please do get in touch.