A key feature of the REF Open Access policy is that papers must be deposited in RIS within three months of acceptance for publication. We therefore need to record the date of acceptance in RIS for every journal articles (or serial conference proceedings paper) so that we can prove this was done. For many papers, the date of acceptance is displayed on the publisher site or PDF. For some journals however it is not easy to determine what qualifies as the “date of acceptance”, particularly if an article has been requested or the route to publication is not straightforward.
The REF Draft Guidance available now has this to say about dates of acceptance:
‘Date of acceptance’ means the date given in the acceptance letter or email from
the publisher to the author as the ‘firm’ accepted date.
They go on to clarify:
Outputs that are published by a journal or conference proceedings which does not require peer review are within the scope of this policy. In this instance, the author’s final accepted version must be deposited. The date of acceptance in this instance should be taken as the date that the publisher confirms that the article has been received from the author and will subsequently be published.
If you are still unsure what counts as the date of acceptance, please get in touch with the Library Research Support Team and we can advise.
Filed under Open Access, REF
Swansea University introduced a new electronic thesis submission process in 2017 so all new students are required to make their thesis open access on Cronfa (unless there is a compelling reason not to). Our growing collection of open access theses showcases the excellent research outputs of our students and the university’s commitment to open research.
It’s important that all those involved in the process – students, supervisors, administrators – understand what is required in terms of the submission process and considerations around copyright. There is information on the E-theses Libguide and we are also running a session on Wednesday 3rd October 2-3pm on Park Campus in Training Room 1, Level 2 West, Library & Information centre. Sign up via ABW (staff only) or just come along!
Contact the Library Research Support Team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is a walk-through of the process for making a journal article open access on our institutional repository, as required by REF / SU’s open access policy.
If you can pay for “Gold” open access with the publisher (including a CC-BY licence), then your paper will be compliant. You may wish to consider using one of the Springer journals covered by the UK open access agreement with that publisher. This gives free open access publication to SU staff and students in one of the applicable titles. We have funding for open access for UKRI researchers.
Scenario: you have written an article and you want to submit it for publication.
Check that the journal allows you to comply with open access requirements: use Sherpa Romeo. If you have a research funder, check your funder’s policy as it is likely to have more restrictions.
Points to check on Sherpa Romeo are:
- If there is an embargo period, is it longer than 12 months (STEM) or 24 months (social science/humanities)? If so, this will not comply with the REF open access policy. You can still submit to the journal but you will need to produce evidence for the REF that you considered other journals and only this one was suitable.
- Do they allow you to upload the accepted version (post-print) onto an institutional repository at a minimum? Published version would be even better. If not, you can still submit to the journal but you will need to produce evidence for the REF that you considered other journals and only this one was suitable.
Acceptance: Your paper is peer reviewed, a few changes are requested and then you are contacted to say the paper has been accepted.
- Create a record on RIS with the information you have: title, journal, date of acceptance.
- Upload the accepted version: this is your final version which includes any changes made following peer review. Convert a Word document to PDF. If you are allowed to make your paper immediately available before publication, use the “Publish to Cronfa” link next to the file in RIS to make it appear the next day.
Your paper is finally published (either online, early, or in an issue of the journal).
- Once the article is published, use the “Publish to Cronfa” link next to the file in RIS to set your full text file to release to Cronfa either immediately (if there is no embargo) or on a date in the future.
Whenever your paper becomes open access, be sure to promote it with a link to the Cronfa page so that readers can find the full text. You can track views and downloads on Cronfa and there will also be information on altmetrics (social media activity) and citations if these accrue.
Filed under Open Access, REF
Making a paper open access serves no purpose if that paper is not findable by its potential readers. These may be other academics, students or interested public.
In recent years there’s been an increase in open access discovery tools to help readers quickly locate the full text of an article which is paywalled. Most of these tools have pros and cons; none of them fully index the full spread of legally available open access papers in institutional and subject repositories. Some of these will link with the library’s subscriptions to give access to the full text, as well as any freely available copies on the web. Check our library’s access using iFind’s “Articles & more” search tab (see below).
How can a researcher find full text for a paper they need to read? This quick overview assumes a search for a specific known paper (not a general search on a topic):
- Google Scholar: this is the academic search engine version of Google. It is excellent for turning up open versions of papers and usually displays a link straight to the paper on the right. However, institutional repositories are not always well indexed by Google Scholar so it can miss free content. You can link Google Scholar to the library’s subscriptions; it also has its own browser button.
- Unpaywall: an open access discovery service that is being integrated into many databases and sites. You can also use their browser extension to get a colour-coded padlock with (hopefully) direct access to a PDF. Our repository – Cronfa – is not yet indexed by Unpaywall so its coverage is good but not comprehensive. Unpaywall also has the facility to bulk-check a list of DOIs which may be useful.
- Open Access button: another open access discovery service which also has its own browser extension. Cronfa IS indexed by open access button but, again, its coverage will not be complete.
- Kopernio: another browser plugin to help find OA content.
- The university library iFind service does include some open access content but coverage of free material is not as good as some of the above. However, it does provide authoritative access to the university’s subscription content which will give the publisher version of a paper after logging in (IF we have a subscription to that journal).
- Google is not an academic search engine but many use it for discovery. Open access papers are often indexed by Google and including the search command “filetype:pdf” can help to locate full text. You can also include quotes around the title to make your search more precise.
If you do a lot of literature searching it is definitely worth installing one of the browser extensions to find an open version of a paper but it is also worth remembering that, if one is not available, a focused Google search may still turn up a copy in a repository that has not yet been indexed by these services.
Comments welcomed if you use any of these tools!
We are running a staff training session on “Managing Your Publication Profile: RIS, CRONFA, and Open Access”. This is aimed at any staff with publications and is an ideal introduction if you are new to Swansea University’s systems or if you just need an overview of how they all work. Administrators as well as authors are welcome.
You will learn…
- How to curate a public research profile on the university website / systems;
- How to ensure you comply with open access requirements (university / REF / funder);
- How to use an ORCiD to manage your research profile.
The session is on Thursday 13th September 1-2pm in the library on Park Campus. Please sign up via the course catalogue in ABW or just drop us an email if you are unable to access ABW.
If you can’t make the session but need the information, we have a guide for new staff and an open offer to support you with any open access / RIS / Cronfa queries!
We have a brief guide to the basics of making papers open access to make sure you comply with the university and REF Open Access policies, now available in Welsh and English:
Hanfodion Mynediad Agored
Open Access Essentials
Excellent open access news – Springer now allow self-archiving of book chapters to make them open access via the (free) “green” route. Their updated policy is here: https://www.springer.com/gp/open-access/authors-rights/self-archiving-policy/2124
Any Swansea Uni author who has published a book chapter with Springer can now upload the accepted version of a chapter into RIS and make it open access on Cronfa once the embargo has passed. Embargo length depends on the type of book and is either 12 or 24 months.
Springer were one of the few major publishers who did not allow green open access at all for book chapter so it is good to see a positive change that will encourage more open access book chapters! We have just updated our summary post on making book chapters open access to reflect this change.
Book chapters are not covered by the current REF Open Access policy but our university open access policy states “wherever possible researchers will be expected to make all published research outputs available as Green Open Access”. SU authors are welcome to contact email@example.com for guidance and support with making their work open access on RIS/Cronfa.