Want to improve your data skills and know more about statistics? The University of Manchester Library has teamed up with the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST) to offer a new course. ‘Statistics for Librarians’ will run on March 20 in Manchester.. Participants completing the course will be awarded a CMIST, University of Manchester, Data Skills certificate.
As part of Open Access week this lunchtime seminar provides an opportunity for academics and researcher support staff to learn about Open Access at Manchester, including new policies, funds and developments.
The seminar will include presentations by Professor Luke Georghiou, the University’s Vice-President for Research and Innovation, and Dr Frances Pinter, CEO of Manchester University Press.
All material used during presentations will be available after the seminar.
Friday, 12 September marked the end of the first extended year of RCUK’s Open Access (OA) policy. There were some tense moments in the Research Services office as we put the finishing touches to our report before the high noon deadline. The data and compliance report we submitted includes details of the payments made from the block grant and full-text deposits in Manchester eScholar, our institutional repository. You can see the report and all supporting data in our institutional repository.
Prior to the launch of the RCUK policy we’d delivered campus-wide communications and we monitored publishing activity throughout the year. We’d had some very invigorating discussions with researchers about the pros and cons of OA and efficiencies in publication procedures and we monitored OA engagement throughout the year to see if they’d listened. We wondered which way authors would jump – Gold or Green? Would they choose different journals if their first choice wasn’t compliant with the policy? And how much more nudging would they need to change their established publishing behaviour? We continued our communication throughout the year, partly reminders of the policy and partly targeted messages to authors of non-OA RCUK-funded papers.
At final count we paid for 575 papers from the block grant and identified 59 Green OA papers. This total (634) represents 53% compliance. We estimate an overall compliance level of 65%, based on a sample of data from Web of Knowledge.
RCUK approved us spending part of the grant on an OA monograph and this was our highest charge – £6,500. Our highest Article Processing Charge (APC) was almost £4,200. Our average APC for Year One, not taking account of institutional discounts, works out at £1,510.
Looking to the year ahead
We wonder how strictly RCUK will define compliance after Year One? We know that 29% of Gold OA papers are not licensed as CC-BY and no Green OA papers are licensed as CC-BY-NC. We don’t know why this is because we don’t approve payments for journals that don’t offer CC-BY. In terms of Green compliance, we aren’t aware that publishers are offering CC-BY-NC as an option. The role of publishers in influencing licence choices and displaying licence information is something we hope RCUK will investigate more in Year Two – rather than penalising individuals whose papers aren’t correctly licenced this year. We’ve found that some publishers are willing and able to amend licences for RCUK-funded authors after publication on request but that others won’t.
We know that we haven’t changed culture entirely in Year One, but we’ve made some significant progress and have a solid foundation on which to build towards increased compliance with RCUK and HEFCE’s OA policies.
Last week Stephen and I were very happy to be invited to talk at the Northern Collaboration Conference in Darlington about the development of our new Citation Services at the University of Manchester.
Northern Collaboration is a group of university libraries in the north of England with the aim of establishing closer collaboration in the development and delivery of library services, and this was the second year that the conference has been held.
There was plenty of interest in our breakout session as we talked about the work The University of Manchester Library does in providing citation benchmarking analyses, standard reporting, and training workshops. The session might not have been so well attended had there been prior warning about the test we gave them half way through the presentation. Thankfully everyone passed!
The event was a great opportunity to showcase the Library’s achievements but it was also really good to meet colleagues in other academic libraries and learn more about some of the innovative developments across the sector.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) has just published its latest annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). This is one of the most widely used global league tables for universities. The top university (for the twelfth year running) is Harvard. The US has 52 universities in the Top 100, and the next-best performing country is the UK, with eight. Cambridge is the top UK university this year – ranked 5th in the world.
Our own university, Manchester, has risen three places to 38th in the world, and ranks 5th in the UK. Like many other universities, Manchester is keen to rise even higher in the rankings, and the Library’s Citation Services team is providing expert bibliometric analysis to help inform discussion of how to achieve this.
Measure for measure
The many global league tables, such as the ARWU and those produced by Times Higher Education and QS, all use different metrics for ranking universities, ranging from the number of publications produced by a university to its reputation for research excellence among its peers as measured by a survey.
Most of the metrics which the ARWU uses are based on how many articles a university publishes in top journals or how many citations these articles receive. These include
how many articles a university publishes in science and social science journals covered by the Web of Science, the most long-established multidisciplinary bibliographic database
how many articles a university publishes in Natureand Science, generally considered the most prestigious of all multidisciplinary science journals
A frequent early criticism of the ARWU was that, although SJTU gave details of the elements used for creating the ranking, it did not explain how these elements were converted into scores, and so the results were not reproducible. However, recent research has succeeded in reproducing the results, and has thus ‘opened the black box’ of the ARWU.
The Library is working in partnership with Altmetric LLP to trial their new ‘Altmetric for Institutions’ application. We’re really excited to be one of the first Universities to have access to the platform which provides powerful insights into the online attention that our researchers’ outputs attract.
So far we’re getting lots of positive feedback which we’ll share when we write up our experiences of the trial later in the year.
In the meantime, if you’re a member of staff or a student at The University of Manchester and would like to take part in the trial please get in touch to find out how.
Welcome to the blog for Research Services at The University of Manchester Library. The services provided by us include:
Open Access at Manchester
Manchester eScholar (our Institutional Repository)
Business Data Service
Research Data Management
Developing our Research Collections
These are areas that are changing fast, with new policy from funders and government driving that change, as well as changes in research itself. We aim to use this blog to give a flavour of our work and discuss issues of interest to people who work in research support, and researchers themselves, in Manchester and beyond. We will also show you the people behind those services.