Category Archives: Open Access

How to comply with the UKRI (RCUK) open access mandate

Post by Caroline Rauter

Research Council Open Access (OA) block grant 2018-19

Swansea University continues to benefit from the UKRI (formerly RCUK) block grant to pay publisher Article Processing Charges (APCs). The funding, which applies to all published outputs resulting from funding by the Research Councils, has been extended to run until March 2020. We are now in year six of the RCUK Open Access (OA) policy.

Swansea University operates the block grant on a first come, first served approach. 

UKRI (RCUK) OA compliance targets 2018-19

The Research Councils’ OA FAQs stipulate that their preference… “is for unrestricted open access (Gold)”, but they support a mixed approach for going “gold” or using “green” self-archiving in a repository:

  • As an RCUK funded researcher you are obliged to make 100% of your research outputs open access and you should ensure that all relevant acknowledgements are included.
  • Swansea University reported an overall compliance rate of 5% in April 2018 (using both the green and gold routes).

We are required to improve the Swansea University open access compliance rate in 2019.

Licences compliant with the UKRI (RCUK) OA policy

i) Gold route (immediate open access) using a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.

ii) Green route (deposit of the final accepted manuscript in RIS & Cronfa, usually with an embargo)

  • Of note is the requirement that the publisher copyright licence places no restriction on non-commercial reuse, including non-commercial text and data-mining. The licence should allow for the sharing of adaptations of the material. This means a CC-BY-NC-NDlicence is not
  • This brings authors into conflict with the funder policy when publishing using the green route in, for example, an Elsevier hybrid journal. You should apply for financial support using the gold route if this is applicable for your chosen journal.
  • Where publishers offer a gold route, but the researcher chooses green, papers should be published in a journal with a maximum embargo of 6 months for STEM funded disciplines, or 12months in the arts, humanities and social sciences funded research. Research papers in biomedicine should be published with an embargo of no longer than six months.

iii) Open Government Licence (OGL) Crown Body employees only, e.g. Welsh Government.

In support of sustainable and affordable OA options we encourage authors to consider publishing in:

  • Reputable, fully OA journals found in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • Journals where the publishers are transitioning hybrid (subscription) to OA, for example: American Chemical Society, Cambridge University Press, IEEE, IOP, Oxford University Press, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis and Wiley.

We currently have institutional open access discount deals with MDPI, Sage, Springer and Wiley.

Contact us: Openaccess@swansea.ac.uk      T: (0)1792 604567

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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: one chapter can be made available after a 36 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: the official policy is that book chapters cannot be made open access, but we have had success requesting permission for some chapters in Springer series.
  • 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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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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Open Access & the REF: an update

logo

HEFCE announced further clarification on the rules for REF2021 yesterday (PDF here) and this included some decisions on outputs and open access (on p.8). Key points are:

  • The policy is felt to be working in that more papers than ever before have been made open access.
  • The original policy stands with respect to the timeframe for researchers to act: papers must be uploaded to RIS within 3 months of acceptance.
  • However, there will be an exception to cover papers that miss this deadline but are uploaded within 3 months of publication.

The rules around this crucial timing issue have varied during the REF period so a summary is given below:

Papers accepted for publication before 1 April 2016 do not need to comply with the REF open access policy in order to be submitted to the REF (however they are encouraged to be made open access).

Papers accepted for publication between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2018 need to comply with the REF Open Access policy to be submitted: for this period, the full text of the article needed to be uploaded into RIS within 3 months of the date of online publication (unless the paper was published with Gold Open Access on the publisher site or one of the other exceptions can be applied). Papers that were not uploaded to RIS within 3 months of publication (or which failed to meet other conditions of the policy e.g. minimum embargo period) cannot be submitted to the REF.

Paper accepted for publication after 1 April 2018 will need to comply with the REF Open Access policy to be submitted: the full text of the paper must be uploaded into RIS within 3 months of acceptance for publication (unless the paper was published with Gold Open Access on the publisher site or one of the other exceptions can be applied). It will be possible to claim an exception for papers that miss this deadline but which are uploaded within 3 months of publication. Papers that are not uploaded to RIS within 3 months of publication (or which fail to meet other conditions of the policy e.g. minimum embargo period) cannot be submitted to the REF.

The Library Research Support team checks for REF compliance and reports on this to Research Directors & REF staff. We are currently seeing around 85-90% of papers complying with the REF Open Access policy. We will be doing further publicity in 2018 to ensure all researchers are aware of what they need to do and know that we will be glad to help with any questions: iss-research@swansea.ac.uk.

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Open access and the Bloodhound SSC

Many of you will have heard of Bloodhound SSC, a car built to break the landspeed record but also with the aim of interesting young people in STEM subjects.

218px-Bloodhound_SSC_(19)

By Katie Chan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47617502

This open access week you may be interested to learn that research carried out at Swansea towards this project is openly available in our repository, Cronfa.

Make sure your work is part of Swansea University history by putting it in Cronfa. Contact iss-research@swansea.ac.uk if you need help.

Bloodhound related articles

Aerodynamic optimisation of the rear wheel fairing of the land speed record vehicle BLOODHOUND SSC / J. Townsend; B. Evans; T. Tudor
Aeronautical Journal, Volume: 120, Issue: 1228, Pages: 930 – 955

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa31365

Solid particle erosion protection for the BLOODHOUND SSC front wheel arches / C. J. Hannon; B. J. Evans
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications  

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa28394

Enhanced flow visualisation of complex aerodynamic phenomena using automatic stream surface seeding with application to the BLOODHOUND SSC Land Speed Record vehicle / M. Edmunds; B. Evans; I. Masters; R. S. Laramee
The Aeronautical Journal, Volume: 120, Issue: 1226, Pages: 547 – 571

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa28395

Spray drag effect of fluidized sand for a supersonic vehicle /Lakhdar Remaki; Oubay Hassan; Ben J. Evans; Kenneth Morgan
Journal of Coupled Systems and Multiscale Dynamics, Volume: 2, Issue: 3, Pages: 169 – 177

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa21090

Simulating the aerodynamic characteristics of the Land Speed Record vehicle BLOODHOUND SSC / B. Evans; C. Rose
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa18080

Design optimisation using computational fluid dynamics applied to a land–based supersonic vehicle, the BLOODHOUND SSC / B Evans; T Morton; L Sheridan; O Hassan;K Morgan; J. W Jones; M Chapman; R Ayers; I Niven
Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, Volume: 47, Issue: 2, Pages: 301 – 316

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa12231

Computational fluid dynamics applied to the aerodynamic design of a land-based supersonic vehicle / B.J Evans; O Hassan; J.W Jones; K Morgan; L Remaki
Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations, Volume: 27, Issue: 1, Pages: 141 – 159

https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa6255

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