Open Access Book Chapters


For many subject areas – notably the humanities and social sciences – publishing research in the form of an edited book chapter is still highly valued. Nonetheless, there have been articles debating the issues with this form of publication (such as the blog post “How to bury your academic writing” by Dorothy Bishop, with a response from Terry Clague). One way to boost readership for a book chapter can be inclusion in a repository such as Swansea University’s Cronfa.

Researchers funded by the Wellcome Trust must now make book chapters open access (discussed in this blog post) and other funders may follow suit. Book chapters are not one of the output types covered by the imminent (1 April 2016) REF requirement to be made open access. However, HEFCE do mention extra credit for making all research open access where possible. Some publishers do offer the option to pay to make a book chapter immediately open access but this relies on the researcher being able to find the money. This may well not be needed if the alternative self-archiving route is possible.

There is no easy way to check publisher policies for self-archiving book chapters (compared with the Sherpa Romeo database for journals) but increasingly we are finding publishers allow self-archiving, albeit with an embargo period. Information is sometimes found on publisher websites (e.g. Brill) or you may need to contact the publisher and ask them directly. The University of Cambridge’s website has a summary of policies from a few publishers and there is a spreadsheet which maintained by UK librarians which covers additional publishers.

At the time of writing there are just over 1000 book chapters by Swansea University researchers on Cronfa but only 37 available for readers to download. It would be great to see that count increase as more researchers embrace the benefits of making their book chapters open access!

Contact us ( if you would like to explore your open access options.


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Open Access Monographs

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OAPEN-UK, a large research project funded by the AHRC and JISC, has published its Final Report.    It aimed to examine attitudes towards publishing open access monographs and facilitate the making of informed decisions on the future of open access monographs.

In common with other research it  found widespread support among authors and other “stakeholders”, especially because making a book available open access to all with Internet access offers the prospect of gaining many more readers and greater impact.  Because of the typically high price of print monographs many are currently bought by only a small number of academic libraries and individuals.

A growing number of monographs are already available open access, although still a small proportion of the total. The Directory of Open Access Books now has over 4,000 peer-reviewed books published by 135 publishers, about twice the number in the DOAB eighteen months ago.  (This month all the books in the DOAB have been added to iFind, our library catalogue.)    The OAPEN Library, a repository of peer-reviewed books, allows us to do full text searching of many peer-reviewed books.

The OAPEN-UK report, together with earlier reports such as last  year’s  Monographs and Open Access Report by Geoffrey Crossick, finds that while there is strong support for making books open acces, there are more issues to be overcome than when making journals open access.  It is also emphasized that it is not possible to advocate one single economic model to pay for open access books and there continues to be a need to experiment with different approaches.    Many publishers allow authors to make books open access upon the payment of book processing charges akin to APCs charged for journal articles, but the cost of these is very high, especially for scholars in Arts and Humanities, and so it would be impossible to make most monographs open access in this way.    Various approaches are being tried, such as the making of the basic online version free but charging for the publication in other forms.    In the Directory of Open Access Books the books are free to read online but there is a link to Amazon where the book can be bought in print form.    Other approaches being used include crowdfunding, payment by a consortium of libraries in order to make books online (as with Knowledge Unlatched), delayed open access publication following an embargo period and sponsorship.

Many reports emphasize the continued importance of monographs, especially in Arts and Humanities, and the likelihood that books published in open access format will also be available for purchase in paper form.

Will the REF require books to be open access?

There is no requirement at present for books to be made open access for the REF.   However, HEFCE states that universities will gain extra credit  in the research environment part of the REF by enabling more kinds of publications to be open access than the minimum requirement.    In future REFs there is certainly a possibility that the REF will require monographs to be open access.    Particularly since books often take much longer to complete than journal articles it may be worth considering whether it is possible to make a book open access.

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How innovative are Swansea University researchers in scholarly communications?

The landscape of scholarly communications is undergoing massive change with new tools and services appearing every year. Utrecht University are co-ordinating a massive survey of researchers to try to map the landscape and show how usage varies according to subject, country and position.

You can complete the survey here: … rce=8s4W9u (this is a dedicated URL for Swansea University staff & students only)
The survey is graphical and quick to complete by just clicking the tools you use. It is also a handy way to discover new tools or services for tasks such as literature searching, promoting your research and more.

We will be given a set of results for Swansea University which we will share on the blog if sufficient numbers take part.

You can read more about the project on their blog and view the list of over 600 tools that they have compiled.

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Does your funder have an open access policy?


Does your funding purse come with strings attached?

If you are receiving funding for your research then there may be conditions attached regarding open access and possibly research data too.

Many funders have now introduced open access policies that apply to any publications that result from that funding. These policies are usually more demanding than the HEFCE REF policy (which commences on 1st April 2016) so even if you are complying with that, you may not have done enough!

How to check your funder

You can check your funder’s policy on the Sherpa Juliet database ( This gives details and links for all relevant policies. These are split into “Open Access Archiving” (i.e. self-archiving your paper in the institutional repository or other archive), “Open Access Publishing” (where you publish your paper) and also any “Data Archiving Policy”. The key word to look for is “Required” – this means you are obliged to act to meet the conditions of your funding.

PhD students also need to be aware of these requirements – for example, RCUK-funded students now have to adhere to the RCUK’s open access policy (PDF link).

How much will it cost?

There may not be any cost attached to meeting requirements if you can self-archive your paper in RIS to be open access in our repository Cronfa. Publishers are keen to promote their paid-for open access options but most allow some form of self-archiving. There will only be a cost if you need to pay the publisher an Article Processing Charge (APC) to make your paper open access (the “Gold” route) – this would be necessary, for example, if the publisher’s copyright policy does not meet your funder’s stipulations on embargo periods or licensing (check the Sherpa Romeo database).

Some funders allow the use of grant money to cover any open access costs. We also have a central fund at Swansea University for any RCUK-funded researchers.

Why are they giving researchers MORE work to do?

Although the increasing number of open access policies can feel like additional workload, they are all designed to get more people reading and using the research that is being funded from the public purse (“Free and open access to publicly-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits” say RCUK). There is also a growing body of evidence that open access publication can increase impact and boost citations.

Help is available!

  • The ISS Research Support team can help with any open access queries: contact us on
  • Research Data Requirements? Contact the new Swansea University Research Data team: if you need to investigate your Data Archiving options.


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Training sessions for Postgraduate Research students this term

ISS are running more sessions this term as part of the Skills Development programme. These include topics such as “Working Smarter”, “Publishing your first journal article”, EndNote (introductory & advanced) and Advanced Search Strategies.  You can find our full list of scheduled classes on the website here. No need to book – just turn up – but you are welcome to contact us for more information.

There are introductory sessions (library inductions) for new Postgrads on Thur 14th Jan (Bay Campus) or Thur 28th Jan (Singleton Campus). Any students who miss these sessions are recommended to contact their Subject Teams to learn how the library can support them with their studies!

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iFind for research, not iFindResearch

After the successful introduction of Swansea University’s new iFind library system in the summer of 2015, our old iFindResearch system is being gradually retired. As of December 11th, the search functionality has been removed but the search directories for subject areas is still there on the left-hand side of the old site.  These too will be migrated to a new system at the end of this academic year (Summer 2016).

If you used to use iFindResearch for cross-searching for journal articles, a better service is provided by the “Articles & More” tab of the new iFind system:


This search option links up with our journal subscriptions to give a more accurate result for full text availability. You can even filter results by “Full Text Online” using the “Show Only” facet on the left of the results page:


If you wish to restrict your search to a set of databases, then the “Collection” facet further down that page allows you to select one or more.

Contact your subject team at the library if you’d like more information on using the new iFind system or help with literature searching!

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Uploading papers to RIS: new version field

As part of the preparations for the new open access policy for the next REF, staff are now being asked to enter some additional information on RIS when uploading papers.

To upload a PDF to RIS, go to the “Documents” tab and click “Upload File” next to the correct output. You will then see the following fields:


The “Set Versions” field contains a list of values defined by NISO as international standards (which are required for compliance reporting).  The full documentation can be found here (PDF link) but the NISO definitions are given below. (If you just need a quick answer:

  • Preprint = “Author’s Original”
  • Accepted manuscript / post-print = “Accepted Manuscript”
  • Published version = “Version of Record”)

The Version will now be displayed on Cronfa when a file is available for download and a value has been supplied.

Author’s Original

(this would correspond to a pre-print version)

Any version of a journal article that is considered by the author to be of sufficient quality to be submitted for formal peer review by a second party. The author accepts full responsibility for the article. May have a version number or date stamp. Content and layout as set out by the author.

Submitted Manuscript Under Review

Any version of a journal article that is under formal review managed by a socially recognized publishing entity. The entity recognizes its responsibility to provide objective expert review and feedback to the author, and, ultimately, to pass judgment on the fitness of the article for publication with an “accept” or “reject” decision. May have a version number or date stamp. Content and layout follow publisher’s submission requirements.

Accepted Manuscript

(also known as the post-print, this is the minimum version required to comply with HEFCE’s REF open access policy)

The version of a journal article that has been accepted for publication in a journal. A second party (the “publisher”—see “Version of Record” below for definition) takes permanent responsibility for the article. Content and layout follow publisher’s submission requirements.


A version of a journal article that is created as part of the publication process. This includes the copy-edited manuscript, galley proofs (i.e., a typeset version that has not been made up into pages), page proofs, and revised proofs. Some of these versions may remain essentially internal process versions, but others are commonly released from the internal environment (e.g., proofs are sent to authors) and may thus become public, even though they are not authorized to be so. Content has been changed from Accepted Manuscript; layout is the publisher’s.

Version of Record

(This is the Publisher version. It is rare for publishers to permit this version to be self-archived: check Sherpa Romeo for the copyright for a journal)

A fixed version of a journal article that has been made available by any organization that acts as a publisher by formally and exclusively declaring the article “published”. This includes any “early release” article that is formally identified as being published even before the compilation of a volume issue and assignment of associated metadata, as long as it is citable via some permanent identifier(s). This does not include any “early release” article that has not yet been “fixed” by processes that are still to be applied, such as copy-editing, proof corrections, layout, and typesetting.

Corrected Version of Record

A version of the Version of Record of a journal article in which errors in the VoR have been corrected. The errors may be author errors, publisher errors, or other processing errors.

Enhanced Version of Record

A version of the Version of Record of a journal article that has been updated or enhanced by the provision of supplementary material.


ISS are happy to advise if you have any questions on uploading papers or open access compliance:



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