Author Archives: drsamoakley

About drsamoakley

Research Librarian at Swansea University

“Stand out and be counted” – session for researchers

Flower_Pixabay

Back by popular demand! This is a half-day workshop to explore tools that can help you promote yourself and achieve the best visibility for your research. We aim to give an overview of the following:

  • What can be counted about you? Citations, altmetrics and a look at the Scival benchmarking tool
  • Your online identity – what are the pros and cons of maintaining profiles such as ORCID, Google Scholar and university systems (Cronfa, RIS & staff web pages)?
  • Online networking and social spaces for researchers

The workshop is aimed at researchers with some publications but PhD students are also welcome to attend. Booking is essential – reserve your place now:

Feedback from previous courses:

“I think this course should be mandatory for all new research staff. There were so many things I’ve never heard about and I found out my manager was on all the networks etc but she’s never told me about any of it. I’m telling everyone I know”

“I have changed my attitude 180 deg and noticed the importance of self-promotion online that could potentially enhance my employability and also contacts with people I could meet on conferences and seminars. I wish I had attended this course during my PhD so I could have enjoyed the profits of ‘standing out and being counted'”

 

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New report on UK Open Access Compliance

The front page of the report

Research England (formerly HEFCE) has announced the release of a new report: “Monitoring sector progress towards compliance with funder open access policies” (PDF). This reports the results from a UK-wide survey conducted in late 2017 looking at how universities are managing compliance with the REF, UKRI (formerly RCUK) & other funder open access policies.

The widely-reported headline finding has been “Over 80% of research outputs meet requirements of REF 2021 open access policy” but Cambridge University’s Danny Kingsley has written in response on their “Unlocking Research” blog: “Compliance is not the whole story” picking up a key point made in the report, that “the increased open access to research is resulting from considerable effort on the part of researchers, libraries, research offices”.

Read the report here (3 page Executive Summary available!)

Helen Snaith’s blog post for Research England: “REFlecting on progress towards open access

David Sweeney for WONKHE: “Open Access – are we almost there for REF?”

Danny Kingsley’s response “Compliance is not the whole story”.

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Open Access self-archiving rights for Book Chapters

annelies-geneyn-148582-unsplash

Photo by Annelies Geneyn on Unsplash

Publisher policies for the self-archiving of book chapters (“green” open access) are often hard to find and, when found, hard to keep as URLs change frequently. Unlike the Sherpa Romeo database, there is no centrally maintained database for publisher policies for self-archiving book chapters apart from a community-maintained Google Sheet which is a reflection of the hard work and generous, collaborative spirit of librarians and staff supporting open access.

Publisher policies vary greatly in the small print; the general trend is that only one chapter of an edited collection can be made open access on a repository. Nearly all policies refer only to the accepted manuscript, which has the final text after peer review but no publisher formatting (see our post on this version, with examples).

Policies for some of the most common publishers (at Swansea University) are given below.

  • Bloomsbury: the accepted manuscript can be made open access after an 18 month embargo.
  • Brill: the accepted manuscript can be made open access after a 24 month embargo
  • Cambridge University Press: the accepted version of one chapter can be archived on a repository after a 6 month embargo.
  • De Gruyter: the published version can be made open access after a 12 month embargo.
  • Edinburgh University Press: book chapters and whole monographs can be made open access after a 36 month embargo.
  • Elsevier: book chapters cannot be made open access.
  • Emerald: the accepted version of book chapters can be made available on a repository at publication.
  • Oxford University Press: the accepted version can be uploaded to a repository after an embargo (12mo STEM, 24mo humanities & social science). There is a complex list of inclusions / exclusions in terms of the types of book.
  • Palgrave Macmillan: *updated* one chapter can be made available after a 24 month embargo for monographs – some types of book are excluded.
  • Routledge / Taylor & Francis: the accepted version of one chapter can be made open access on a repository after an embargo (12mo STEM, 18mo humanities & social sciences).
  • Springer: *updated* now allow book chapters to be self-archived with a 12/24 month embargo depending on the type of book
  • University of Wales Press: no policy for book chapters found.
  • Wiley-Blackwell: no policy, request via permissions@wiley.com

Smaller publishers may not have a clear policy: it is always worth requesting permission to make the accepted manuscript of a chapter open access, after an embargo if necessary. It may be useful to refer to the examples above of permissions from major publishers.

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Reminder: REF Open Access Policy Change, 1st April 2018

We have already blogged about the announced change to the REF Open Access policy which comes into effect from 1 April 2018: this enforces the strict “three months from date of acceptance” time limit on uploading the full text of a paper into RIS. This applies to papers accepted on or after 1 April 2018.

HEFCE have indicated that we will be audited on the file upload date from RIS and the date of acceptance. The policy also includes an exception that can be used (after 1/4/18) if this date is missed but exceptions are expected to be rare. More information can be found on HEFCE’s website.

This change can potentially have most impact for journals where the delay between acceptance and publication is longest, something we see more frequently in humanities and social science subject areas.

We have always reiterated the key message: Act at Acceptance! And we are here to help: iss-research@swansea.ac.uk

http://www.swansea.ac.uk/library/researchsupport/open-access/ 

OAPiktochart

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Curating Swansea University Theses

A pebble dressed up as a graduate with a scroll.

From October 2017 all new PhD students have to make an electronic copy of their thesis available online. Information about this is available on our LibGuide. Existing and former PhD students can also participate in the new e-thesis service to make our Swansea University theses open access on the institutional repository Cronfa.

We are also awaiting completion of a project to digitize 1000 older theses (see the original news item from June 2017). This work is being undertaken by Proquest and the resulting full text PDFs will be available both on Cronfa and on Proquest’s Dissertations and Theses database.

Swansea University already has over 180 theses that were digitized via part of the Ethos service run by the British Library. This offers digitization of a thesis for a fee and the thesis is then made available for all users on http://ethos.bl.uk/. Our theses that have been digitized in this way are linked from our library catalogue iFind or can be found using the Advanced Search option on Ethos: enter “Swansea” as a term for “Current Institution” and check the box for “Limit search to items available for immediate download”.

The library catalogue iFind remains the main source for all Swansea University theses. The print copies are held in the thesis store and can be consulted in the library (however many of these are away for digitization with Proquest at the moment).

The Library Research Support Team is working closely with our metadata and cataloguing experts to improve access to the university’s theses collection – we will post more information on e-theses over the next few months to support the launch of this new service. Contact us on openaccess@swansea.ac.uk with any queries!

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Can we make more book chapters open access?

Image of a yellow book tied up with a string bow

Yesterday was a snowy World Book Day which coincided with some work we are doing to look at Swansea University’s book outputs within the context of open access.

Books and book chapters are not currently covered by the HEFCE REF Open Access policy but the university open access policy states “Wherever possible researchers will be expected to make all published research outputs available as Green Open Access”. There has also been mention of (as yet undefined) credit for going beyond the scope of the REF open access policy – book chapters would be an obvious area to demonstrate this. HEFCE have indicated that books will be subject to open access requirements for REF2027 (so likely to cover any books published after 2020) and Steven Hill recently blogged about the challenges with this for monographs.

The REF policy has implications for how we (the Library Research Support Team) work: with the staff we have, we check and chase up outputs that are covered by the REF Open Access policy (journal articles and some conference proceedings) but we do not as a rule follow up open access options for book chapters, nor have we been asked to do so. However, we are exploring what we can reasonably do to encourage wider uptake of open access for book chapters. The reasons for this go beyond compliance – evidence suggests that the open access advantage for books is clear as well as the implications of rising costs of academic books vs limited library funds. There are also discovery implications: not all book chapters have DOIs and not all are well indexed or available electronically. Inclusion in our repository (which gets indexed by CORE and Google Scholar) helps to promote all our book chapters to a wider audience.

It’s useful to contextualize this work at our university with data from our repository Cronfa: since 2014, we have published 620 book chapters, compared with 8113 journal articles. Book chapters by College are shown below:

Book Chapters

Total book chapters published per College at Swansea University

(For non-SU readers, COAH is Arts & Humanities; CHHS is Human & Health) More meaningful perhaps is to view book chapters as a percentage of total College outputs since 2014:

BooKChapPercent

Book Chapters as a percentage of total outputs per College at Swansea University

Unsurprisingly, Arts & Humanities and Law are the Colleges where book chapters have greater significance and where work in this area could potentially have the greatest impact. An analysis of book data from REF2014 also draws out the significance of books to these subject areas (focusing on humanities in particular). It’s also worth noting that in our repository, certain STEM publications which have an ISSN and an ISBN get automatically labelled as “Book Chapters” which may more appropriately be seen as conference proceedings or journals (e.g. Lecture Notes in Computer Science). We do include these in our work checking REF open access so that may explain their stats here.

Many publishers do have a self-archiving policy that covers book chapters; how many book chapters have been made open access on our repository? Looking again at chapters published since 2014, 10% of them are available open access on Cronfa but more of these are STEM publications:

BookChapPercentOA

Percentage of book chapters open access on Swansea University’s repository, by College

It would be useful to know how many of these book chapters are Gold open access but we do not record this information unless the author enters it on their record. We do not have an institutional fund for open access.

The question – can we make more book chapters open access? – is not easy to answer for the following reasons:

  1. Who is the publisher? Our repository is unmediated and many records have incomplete or dirty publisher data. To address this issue systematically would involve substantial work to tidy our book data. We do not have the resource for this at present (a source of great frustration to librarians who like tidy data!)
  2. How do we find out the publisher’s policy? Book chapter green open access policies not only vary per publisher but often by series within publisher (e.g. Springer). Many publishers also allow a single chapter of a monograph to be made open access on a repository – permissions for this differ again and also often differ by type of book (e.g. reference, textbook). Publishers get taken over by other publishers, further complicating the situation. The clearest answer is probably in the agreement signed by the author – we do not have access to this.
  3. Do authors have this information more readily to hand? And do they have the accepted version? Do they have the time to devote to this in the face of competing priorities? The library has a clear role in advocacy here, but the answer may still be ‘no’ if authors don’t HAVE to take this step.

This post is an initial outline of the challenges we face in trying to make more book chapters open access: discussions and comments very welcome…

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Research Councils UK endorse responsible metrics

The movement for responsible metrics gained further momentum in the UK with RCUK releasing a press release this month to announce that they are signing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and issuing new guidance in support of this:

Central to this guidance is a steer to not place undue emphasis on the journal in which papers are published, but assess the content of specific papers, when considering the impact of an individual researcher’s contribution.

Their action plan (PDF) is a neat summary of responsible metrics considerations. The statement was released the day before HEFCE’s Responsible Metrics event in London on Feb 8th.

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