In 2017/18 RCUK expects institutions to make 75% of their RCUK funded research open access. This is a high target so please make sure you make your work open access if they provide your funding.
RCUK have clarified the licences allowed on green open access articles for the research they fund (6.2 on their FAQ list). These are articles made freely available in an institutional repository. Articles should place no restriction on non-commercial reuse (including text and data mining) and should allow adaptations of the material to be shared. This means that a CC-BY-NC licence is acceptable but a CC-BY-NC-ND licence is not. There is more detail on these licences on the creative commons web site.
Elsevier currently insist on a CC-BY-NC-ND licence for green open access which does not fit RCUK requirements so if you are publishing with them it would be best to apply for funding for gold open access. You can do this using the online form on our APC page when you have an article accepted. The Sherpa FACT tool allows you to check that journals from other publishers meet RCUK requirements.
If an author chooses the green route the embargo period should be a maximum of 6 months for STEM subjects and 12 months for arts, humanities and social sciences. This is a shorter time period than that allowed for the REF (2.1 on FAQ list). However, a longer period is allowed if there is no money for gold open access.
Innovate UK and the UK space agency are not part of RCUK so research funded by them cannot be paid for using the block grant – some people have been unsure about this.
If you are bewildered by the different licences and requirements please be assured that you will not be alone in this! Contact the Library research support team for advice about your own publications email@example.com
We are just over a year into the REF Open Access policy; our own institutional open access policy (PDF) came out in March 2015. Taking a look at our repository back and front ends, we can see how deposit and full text rates have varied over time. The figures are as accurate as we can manage – unfortunately Cronfa does not yet utilise the IRUS-UK service which would give us a richer set of data. We hope one day we can join.
Items added to our repository (RIS)
Last month showed the highest ever number of records created: 961. This chart shows a month-by-month comparison over the last 3 years:
We can see our repository is quieter in holiday months; it is likely the peaks are due to internal audit exercises where academics are reminded to add their papers.
Items with full text on Cronfa
The chart below shows the steady growth in full text items on Cronfa from 2015 onwards:
At the moment we have about 10.3% of items on Cronfa with full text available – up from 2.2% in March 2015. This figure is particularly low because it includes many older items and significant numbers of books/book chapters/other output types. If we look at journal articles published since 2014, then we have around 36% full text. For the year 2016, full text journal articles reached 49.1% (with some items possibly still under embargo).
It’s encouraging to see the growth in open access content over the last few years. Our repository also feeds into the CORE aggregated search portal and an increasing amount of content is appearing on Google Scholar. The home page of Cronfa shows the most downloaded items and most recent additions.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Penny Lauder is the Scholarly Communications Assistant (email@example.com). The team is managed by Annette Linton, Head of Library Content and Scholarly Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can be contacted on email@example.com 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 email@example.com.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!