The Library Research Support Team (Anna, Ellie and Caroline) are working remotely and are still available to support Swansea University researchers with queries about Research Outputs in RIS & Cronfa, Open Access, Publishing, Copyright, Open Research, Research Impact, E-Thesis Deposit, Post-graduate training etc.
If you would like to talk directly, then we can use Zoom or TEAMS. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time for an online meeting.
Meanwhile in other news…
Our open access APC online form is currenly closed but should be back up and running after April 1st when we expect new funds to support requests for financial support for UKRI supported research.
The recent update to the Research Information System (RIS) still figures quite prominently in our workflow and we are working closely with the developers as tweaks and final development moves towards a close at the end of March. If you want to report issues you can still use the ‘Feedback’ tab on the RIS screen.
We are now just weeks away from launching the new Research Information System (RIS). Over the next week or so we will be releasing the test system for use with some departments in order to gather further user feedback and to begin introducing the system.
development team are currently finalising functionality that will enable admin
users to model various scenarios and calculate a GPA for the UoA within
seconds. This will be particularly helpful for colleagues as we move towards a
continuous assessment approach ahead of submission in November 2020.
to development work, we are liaising with stakeholders around the use of
notifications (in RIS and via email) in order increase visibility in areas such
as open access compliance.
work will be completed to implement notifications and we will also be testing
the new GPA calculator functionality. The team will also be ensuring alignment
between the new RIS and the PDR system.
with colleagues on the migration of Impact and Environment documents, we plan
to use the latest items submitted as part of the State of Play update in September
to the system. Authors will then be able to add further items such as evidence
once the system is live.
Feedback and get involved
Colleagues are welcome to come and
view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend
bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to
provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments.
As you are (hopefully) aware, a new Research Information System (RIS) is currently under development. A blended team with colleagues from across IT Services, Library and the REF Team have been working to build a new system ahead of submission to REF in November 2020.
The team have met with a number of academic and professional service staff through a series of workshops to outline requirements and prioritise accordingly. To-date, work has been undertaken to:
Create an output
Add an output using a DOI
Add an output using ORCiD
Add accompanying documents to outputs
Publish to Cronfa
Select items for REF
Upload an Environment narrative or Impact Case Study.
Further development work will take place over the coming weeks and migration to the new system is being explored. To confirm, the Outputs Mini-REF for 2019 will be run from the current RIS.
Feedback and get involved
Colleagues are welcome to come and view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments. If you would like to join this session in person or via an online call, please contact Andrew Burrows: email@example.com
We will of course keep you up-to-date on progress and training will be provided should the changes to the system necessitate this.
Guest post by Laura Bailey, Senior Project and Change Officer. Image credit: Pexels via Pixabay CC0
A key feature of the REF Open Access policy is that papers must be deposited in RIS within three months of acceptance for publication. We therefore need to record the date of acceptance in RIS for every journal articles (or serial conference proceedings paper) so that we can prove this was done. For many papers, the date of acceptance is displayed on the publisher site or PDF. For some journals however it is not easy to determine what qualifies as the “date of acceptance”, particularly if an article has been requested or the route to publication is not straightforward.
‘Date of acceptance’ means the date given in the acceptance letter or email from
the publisher to the author as the ‘firm’ accepted date.
They go on to clarify:
Outputs that are published by a journal or conference proceedings which does not require peer review are within the scope of this policy. In this instance, the author’s final accepted version must be deposited. The date of acceptance in this instance should be taken as the date that the publisher confirms that the article has been received from the author and will subsequently be published.
Scenario: you have written an article and you want to submit it for publication.
Check that the journal allows you to comply with open access requirements: use Sherpa Romeo. If you have a research funder, check your funder’s policy as it is likely to have more restrictions.
Points to check on Sherpa Romeo are:
If there is an embargo period, is it longer than 12 months (STEM) or 24 months (social science/humanities)? If so, this will not comply with the REF open access policy. You can still submit to the journal but you will need to produce evidence for the REF that you considered other journals and only this one was suitable.
Do they allow you to upload the accepted version (post-print) onto an institutional repository at a minimum? Published version would be even better. If not, you can still submit to the journal but you will need to produce evidence for the REF that you considered other journals and only this one was suitable.
Acceptance: Your paper is peer reviewed, a few changes are requested and then you are contacted to say the paper has been accepted.
Create a record on RIS with the information you have: title, journal, date of acceptance.
Upload the accepted version: this is your final version which includes any changes made following peer review. Convert a Word document to PDF. If you are allowed to make your paper immediately available before publication, use the “Publish to Cronfa” link next to the file in RIS to make it appear the next day.
Your paper is finally published (either online, early, or in an issue of the journal).
Once the article is published, use the “Publish to Cronfa” link next to the file in RIS to set your full text file to release to Cronfa either immediately (if there is no embargo) or on a date in the future.
Whenever your paper becomes open access, be sure to promote it with a link to the Cronfa page so that readers can find the full text. You can track views and downloads on Cronfa and there will also be information on altmetrics (social media activity) and citations if these accrue.
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”.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As you may have seen in the press the Stern review has just issued a report of its recommendations. Some of the main ones are:
That all research active staff should be included in the REF.
Outputs should be submitted at Unit of Assessment Level. There will be an average number of submissions but with flexibility for some people to submit more and others less than the average.
Outputs will not be portable between institutions – this is to avoid universities “buying in” researchers with a good portfolio just before the REF.
Peer review will still be the main means of assessment although metrics will be provided for panels.
There will be institutional level impact case studies to encourage universities to show their interdisciplinary impacts. Support for interdisciplinary and cross-institutional initiatives are also mentioned under environment.
As all researchers are now likely to be included in the REF it is even more important that everyone submits their work to the Research Information System.