The range of metrics (or indicators) being used to measure research impact is growing and the issues around them are complex. If you are interested in exploring this area there is an excellent resource produced by 3 Irish academic libraries: MyRI Measuring your Research Impact.
The tutorial is particularly recommended: it is very thorough, considers all the pros and cons of the different metrics and has short videos of academics discussing how they are using (or not using) metrics. The MyRI tutorial is also available for re-use and adaptation under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence.
Swansea University has subscriptions to many of the products mentioned (you will need to click onto the “Online” tab to get the link that routes via our login):
Saturday 1st April 2017 marked the one year anniversary for the REF Open Access policy: this covers all journal articles and (some) conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1st April 2016. These papers must comply with HEFCE’s Open Access policy or they cannot be submitted to the REF.
Green Open Access on Cronfa
We have seen much progress around open access at Swansea University in the last year. Unsurprisingly, there has been a marked increase in papers made open access on our repository Cronfa: the REF policy is all about encouraging researchers to take advantage of publisher copyright policies that allow the accepted version of an article to be made public on a repository, known as “Green Open Access”.
The home page of Cronfa shows our latest full text additions, plus the most-downloaded articles of all time and the last week/month. Whilst Cronfa documents feed into the Core repository search portal and will turn up in Google search results, they are still not appearing regularly on Google Scholar. Reasons for this are not clear but we continue to investigate and are not alone in having this issue with our repository content. If you have an open access version of a paper on Cronfa circulating the URL to the open version ensures maximum impact.
Gold Open Access
We are also seeing many articles published with “Gold” (paid-for) open access. This is not essential for the REF Open Access policy (unless the chosen journal does not permit self-archiving to comply with the HEFCE policy). Whilst we do have money available for RCUK-funded publications, most of the Gold Open Access papers are paid for from research funding or other sources; Swansea University does not have an institutional fund for open access.
We have also seen 27 Swansea University authors take advantage of the excellent Springer deal for free open access in selected journals. This option is available to any staff or student who is corresponding author on a paper submitted to certain Springer journals.
REF Open Access Policy Compliance
For various reasons, it is difficult to give precise figures for REF Open Access compliance at this stage but our estimates suggest we are seeing strong levels of compliance (very rough estimate = 85-90%) for all papers that have been added to RIS (not just those that may be submitted to a future REF). There may be papers published by Swansea University authors but not yet added to RIS which would alter this estimate. The university’s own open access policy means that ALL publications should be made open access where possible, not just those that may be submitted to the REF.
Increased Support for Open Access
The Library Research Support Team expanded with 2 new posts in 2016 which reflects the additional reporting and compliance work around open access: Caroline Rauter is the Scholarly Communications Officer (email@example.com) and Penny Lauder is the Scholarly Communications Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org). The team is managed by Annette Linton, Head of Library Content and Scholarly Communications (email@example.com). We can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org and more information on the support we offer can be found on our web pages. We work closely with staff in the Colleges on advocacy and support for open access.
The College of Engineering have also appointed Rebecca Kelleher as REF Officer (email@example.com), who offers a REF compliant mediated deposit service to RIS/Cronfa for all staff in Engineering and Sport & Exercise Sciences and she also reports on Open Access compliance for the College.
Filed under Open Access, REF
HEFCE have recently made a further amendment to their open access policy for the next REF, extending the leniency for the first year until 1 April 2018, with a further review expected in autumn 2017.
The leniency refers only to the specific policy requirement on how soon authors must upload their files into RIS:
The policy continues to require that, in order to be eligible for submission to the REF, outputs must be deposited within three months of acceptance for publication, but we now plan that this requirement will apply to outputs accepted after Sunday 1 April 2018.
Outputs accepted between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2018 must be deposited within three months of publication.
Given that HEFCE are still strongly advocating the message to deposit at acceptance and this is also the requirement of the university’s own open access policy, the key message to Swansea University researchers remains:
“Upload the accepted manuscript to RIS at acceptance!”
Link to the updated REF OA policy
Further information on open access for Swansea University researchers
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help and guidance
We will be continuing to support open access at Swansea University with a new series of information sessions this term for researchers. All researchers need to ensure their publications comply with the REF Open Access policy, the institutional policy and any funder policies. Not sure what you need to do? Come along and find out!
Open Access sessions
- Open Access Briefing: Wed 12 Oct, 2-3pm, SURF Room Fulton House.
- Open Access Briefing: Thur 3 Nov, 12-1pm, SURF Room Fulton House.
- Open Access Briefing: Fri 25 Nov, 12-1pm, SURF Room Fulton House
Book the above 3 sessions here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-access-briefing-tickets-28355872177
We’re also doing an “Open Access & REF” session tomorrow for Medicine and CHHS staff only as part of the Life Science Hub Seminar Series. The session is in ILS1 Seminar Room on Thur 6th Oct, 12.30-1.30pm.
Contact us on the email below if you’d like us to run a session for your department or research group.
Other training run as part of the Staff Development programme:
- How to use RIS for Staff Publications: *Fri 7th Oct*, 1-2pm, SURF Room, Fulton House. Book via ABW
- Who’s talking about your research? Using altmetrics to explore impact, opportunities and citations: Thur 20 Oct, 1-2pm, SURF Room, Fulton House. Book via ABW.
Agresso Business World (ABW) can be accessed via the university’s “Home” portal for staff (home.swan.ac.uk).
Contact us on email@example.com if you have any questions about open access or using RIS.
If you have an ORCID researcher identifier (and if not – highly recommended that you get one!) then it can be used in Swansea University systems as follows:
- Enter your ORCID in Agresso Business World (ABW) – instructions here (PDF)
- Your ORCID will then appear in RIS (our Research Information System) after a delay for RIS to update – this does not happen immediately. Once it appears in RIS, you can import publications from ORCID. This is a really quick and easy way to add any past papers.
- Your ORCID will also appear on your staff web page (see an example here).
ORCID is now used to build the free ImpactStory profile for tracking the impact of your research outputs – another good reason to get one!
ImpactStory has been around for a while – we used to recommend it in our “Stand Out and Be Counted” sessions as a great showcase for a researcher’s all-round profile and a way to track altmetrics. It then went through a period as a paid-for service but now, happily, it’s re-launched and free!
It’s extremely easy to set up a profile if you have an ORCID (and if you don’t, here’s plenty of reasons why you should) and you then get an instant profile that pulls in your publications and all kinds of information about the impact these are having (or not). The ImpactStory blog outlines what you can find there and how you can use it. Looking at an example profile gives an idea of the wealth of evidence that the site covers.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to explore your open access options.