This post is a walk-through of the process for making a journal article open access on our institutional repository, as required by REF / SU’s open access policy.
If you can pay for “Gold” open access with the publisher (including a CC-BY licence), then your paper will be compliant. You may wish to consider using one of the Springer journals covered by the UK open access agreement with that publisher. This gives free open access publication to SU staff and students in one of the applicable titles. We have funding for open access for UKRI researchers.
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.
A group of 11 European funders, including UKRI, have put open access back in the news. They propose a radical plan from 2020 where:
- Papers must be free to read on publication
- They must have a liberal licence which allows others to reuse, translate or download the work.
- Papers should not be published in hybrid journals which take subscriptions as well as article processing charges
- Green open access would be allowed but with no embargo period
- Funders will cap the amount they will pay for article processing charges.
- Authors should keep their copyright with no restrictions
Publishers have obviously hit out at the plans as unworkable. Time will tell…
Notes from a recent JISC event looking at where we are with open access.
The Budapest initiative in 2002 described open access as a public good which “will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge”
Are we getting close? A JISC survey of UK universities found that around 80% of outputs comply with REF policy on average. The open access aggregator CORE hosts 11 million full texts and links to over 78 million more. The overwhelming majority of researchers claim to be in favour of open access though policy still seems to be the main driver. Monitoring the transition to open access / Universities UK 2017 looks at the number of UK papers freely available.
The REF is not the only body to require open access – many funders now have policies. JISC recently produced a report Monitoring sector progress towards compliance with open access policies 2018. UKRI and Wellcome are both reviewing their open access policies at the moment.
A JISC survey found that systems for open access still largely manual and labour intensive. Some institutions are only concentrating on publications for the REF rather than making a cultural shift to open access, partly because this is the most efficient way to use scarce resources. So, although significant progress has been made, we still have some way to go to fully embrace open access.
Open access monographs
HEFCE previously announced that the next REF (2027) will require open access monographs. Consultancy work is going on to look at the challenges, barriers etc. and the effect this may have on academic publishing. Universities UK have produced their own report on the state of open access book publishing at the moment. Amongst the findings it says that the move towards open access books is a global trend and that new university presses are starting to spring up in the UK which could add to open access options available.
Back by popular demand! This is a half-day workshop to explore tools that can help you promote yourself and achieve the best visibility for your research. We aim to give an overview of the following:
- What can be counted about you? Citations, altmetrics and a look at the Scival benchmarking tool
- Your online identity – what are the pros and cons of maintaining profiles such as ORCID, Google Scholar and university systems (Cronfa, RIS & staff web pages)?
- Online networking and social spaces for researchers
The workshop is aimed at researchers with some publications but PhD students are also welcome to attend. Booking is essential – reserve your place now:
Feedback from previous courses:
“I think this course should be mandatory for all new research staff. There were so many things I’ve never heard about and I found out my manager was on all the networks etc but she’s never told me about any of it. I’m telling everyone I know”
“I have changed my attitude 180 deg and noticed the importance of self-promotion online that could potentially enhance my employability and also contacts with people I could meet on conferences and seminars. I wish I had attended this course during my PhD so I could have enjoyed the profits of ‘standing out and being counted'”
Journal citation reports with 2017 data is now available. It now includes citations from the book citation index, widening coverage.
To go into JCR login to Web of Science http://wok.mimas.ac.uk, click the purple access button and you will see a link to Journal Citation Reports at the top of the screen.
To see journal rankings in your subject area, select the right category from the area on the left and click Submit.
JCR Fact Sheet
Quick tour video
You may also like to look at the Elsevier rival to JCR, SJR Scimago journal and country rank.
Remember that although these metrics can be useful in finding good journals, all statistics have their flaws and there is no guarantee that an individual article in a journal with a high impact factor will be cited a lot. It’s also worth remembering that REF do not take into account an impact factor when scoring an article. JCR and SJR can be useful in helping you to choose a journal but it is best to use other methods as well, such as the opinion of colleagues, your own reading of a journal or your knowledge of the editors.
If you would like help please contact email@example.com
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”.
We now have an additional database available via Web of Science – Emerging Sources Citation Index.
This database is for new and emerging journals which haven’t yet been accepted into the full citation indexes. It expands the range of journals in Web of Science and picks up quite a lot of new open access journals, independent publishers and scholarly societies plus journals with irregular publication patterns.
Journals accepted for ESCI have to be peer reviewed, follow ethical publishing practices, meet technical requirements and be recommended by Web of Science users as for the other indexes. All journals now submitted to WOS will be considered for this index initially while they are undergoing a full evaluation. If a journal is accepted for one of the other citation indexes it will move out of ESCI so that there is no duplication.
ESCI journals will not be assessed for an impact factor though the citations in these journals will contribute to the impact factors of others.
This database should add some depth to sources available for new and emerging fields of study so is a useful addition to Web of Science. Of course, if you prefer to keep to the traditional citation indexes you can simply deselect it in the More settings section of the initial screen.
List of journals covered