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
Have you noticed that the home page for our institutional repository, Cronfa, now showcases our full text outputs? You can now see:
- Most recent full text additions
- Lists of our most downloaded items this week, this month and all time
We’ve seen a big increase in full text on Cronfa since the university and REF Open Access policies came into effect plus we now have staff working behind the scenes to check copyright and chase authors if required!
We now have over 2000 full text items on Cronfa and over 600 more embargoed for future publication once the publisher copyright policy permits. View the full text items here – scroll down to filter by College or Department on the left.
If your paper is open access on Cronfa, use the URL to promote it on social media or email:
Short answer: no. The accepted version of a paper needs to be uploaded to RIS as well.
The HEFCE REF Open Access policy includes “subject based repositories” as a suitable home for open access papers. The associated FAQ state that HEFCE do not stipulate which repositories meet their requirements. One of the best known subject repositories is Arxiv, hosted at Cornell University Library: “Open access to 1,225,076 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics” (at time of writing). These subject areas have a longstanding tradition of open science: scholars publish pre-prints on Arxiv for review which then later may get published in scholarly journals.
Traditionally Arxiv is a “pre-print” server rather than the accepted version (or post-print) that is needed for the REF policy, although sometimes these will also be on the site. Unfortunately at the moment files uploaded to Arxiv cannot be used to satisfy the REF Open Access policy because Arxiv does not record the date of acceptance for a paper and the version of the paper to satisfy the REF OA policy’s technical and audit requirements. We believe discussions are ongoing to try and resolve this but Swansea University researchers need to ensure they follow the guidance for compliance with the open access policy and upload the accepted version of all papers to RIS at acceptance for publication. The university’s own open access policy requires that researchers upload the accepted version of a paper into RIS so this remains the position even when an open version of the paper is on Arxiv.
Guidance on the open access policies is on the web here or SU researchers are welcome to contact the Library Research Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under Open Access, REF
The accepted manuscript required for the REF open access policy can take many forms. This post is an attempt to provide some guidance!
The REF and university open access policies require that an author uploads the accepted version (also known as the “post-print” or “accepted manuscript” or “author’s final, accepted manuscript” version) of a paper into RIS at acceptance. This is the minimum requirement – if you ARE allowed to upload the published version under the publisher’s copyright terms (or a creative commons licence if the article was published open access) then you should do so. Publisher copyright for a journal can be checked on the Sherpa Romeo database.
Sherpa Romeo defines the “post print” as:
The final version of an academic article or other publication – after it has been peer-reviewed and revised into its final form by the author
HEFCE also clarify in their FAQ for the REF open access policy:
We ask that access is provided to the version of the article that contains all academically necessary changes arising from peer review and the academic editorial process. Accepted manuscripts do not typically contain the subsequent non-academic alterations arising from copyediting and typesetting, nor do they typically show the journal page numbers and other publication livery present in the published version of record, but for many people wishing to access research findings they do represent an academically sound version of the output.
So we normally advise that the accepted version:
- Contains all changes to the paper requested following the peer review process
- Is the version that has been agreed with the editor at the point of definite acceptance for publication
- Does not contain any publisher formatting = a proof is normally not acceptable
- If it is a Word document, it is recommended to save it as a PDF
However, this is not always the case:
- Some publishers (e.g. Elsevier) make a clearly labelled “accepted manuscript” available and this can be used in RIS/Cronfa
- Some journal submission systems will apply formatting earlier in the process
You can see some different examples of accepted manuscripts on Cronfa:
If in doubt which version is acceptable, get in touch with the library research support team (email@example.com) and we can help!
Cronfa is the institutional repository for Swansea University’s research publications (current and past authors). It contains bibliographic details for all our research outputs plus full text to download where an author has made this available.
The home page of Cronfa showcases our research. A recent software update means we now have lists for “Most Recent Full Text Additions” and “Top Downloads” per week / month / all time. The change reflects the fact that our authors now have to comply with the REF and university open access policies and make their work open access on Cronfa where possible.
Cronfa in numbers (as of 7/12/16):
- Number of records on Cronfa = 21,932
- Number of records with full text* = 1985
- Number of full text files added since Dec 2015 = 1195
- % total content available full text*: 9%
- % total content available full text for outputs published 2014-on*: 22%
We have had a massive increase in the number of files uploaded to Cronfa this year: 1195 have been added since Dec 2015 (compared with 790 available to download then).
* This does not include records that are under embargo.
Types of publication
Our total publications are made up as follows:
- Journal articles = 17820 (81%)
- Books = 627 (3%)
- Book chapters = 1397 (6%)
- Conference contributions = 1489 (7%)
- Other = 599 (3%)
Support for Cronfa, RIS and Open Access
We have expanded the Library Research Support team this year to meet the demand for open access support and administration – guidance and our contact details can be found on our webpages.
Thanks to all our researchers for making their work open access this year both on Cronfa and via the “Gold” publisher route!
We have one more open access briefing this term – it’s on Friday 25th November 12-1pm in the SURF Room, Fulton House, Singleton Park Campus. Book your place here!
All Swansea University 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!
We will give an overview of the new Open Access policy for the next REF – this policy places the responsibility on authors to “deposit their work and consider their open access options” but the Library Research Support Team can help with this. As well as widening readership beyond those who can afford expensive journal subscriptions, open access is being shown to boost citations and impact so authors should benefit from the extra effort required by these funder policies.
Come along to find out:
– what needs to be done on RIS when you have an output accepted for publication
– the pros and cons of the different options for making outputs open access, including potential costs and sources of funding.
– how the Library Research Support team can help you
The session will be led by Sam Oakley, Research Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We have been pushing the message hard about the new REF open access policy but open access has many benefits beyond compliance. Evidence piles up that it can lead to increased impact and citations because people everywhere can read your work, not just the privileged elite with access to expensive journal subscriptions. So if you have uploaded a version of your paper to our repository RIS and it’s now available to download in Cronfa, here are a few suggestions of what you could do next to send it out into the world to get read…
What link to share?
Cronfa pages have reliable URLs and include the DOI (where available) to the published article too e.g. http://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa25191 so if your article is only open access on Cronfa, share the link to that page:
Copy the link from the address bar of your browser (on Windows = Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste)
Of course, if your paper is published “Gold” open access then using the DOI to link to the publisher site is preferred.
Ideas for promoting an article
- Include the link to your “Latest paper:” in your email signature
- Link to your paper on a LinkedIn profile (and/or post to any relevant LinkedIn groups)
- Uploading a copy of your paper to sites such as Academia.Edu or ResearchGate is not often permitted by publishers as these are commercial sites, however you can link to the open access version from profiles there.
- Ensure your paper is added to any online profiles you maintain (e.g. ORCID, ResearcherID, Google Scholar) and include a link to the open access version where possible.
- If you are attending or presenting at a conference, tweet a link to your paper when appropriate with the conference hashtag (or get someone else to do it for you if you aren’t on Twitter). If you are presenting a poster or have any paper handouts, create a short URL to share.
- Write a guest blog post including a link to the open access version. Contributing to “The Conversation” is also a great way to reach a wider audience – see our Swansea University authors here.
- Sharing links on social media is ideal – altmetrics can help you explore who is talking about your paper OR papers on similar topics. Use the Altmetric bookmarklet to access stats (or many publisher sites now include them). For example, using the Altmetric bookmarklet on this Cronfa article takes you to this site where you can see all the places where the article has been discussed online. If your research relates to this topic, there are articles or blog posts which could be commented on (with a link to your paper) or social media accounts which may be interested in your paper too.
- Promoting your article online requires some tact and diplomacy – ideally you will already be part of mutually-supportive online networks! If not, are there departmental / College / research groups or other accounts which could promote your work for you? Make sure they know about your newly open access paper.
What other ideas could be shared? Anything that has worked well for you? Let us know in the comments!
And: a few select links for more on promoting your research paper (& boosting impact in general):