Tag Archives: Open Access

OA Advocacy banner

Open Access Advocacy

Open Access iconOff we go, Lucy and I, out into the Yorkshire cold to attend an Open Access (OA) advocacy event held at The University of Bradford. We are warmly welcomed to a great afternoon with engaging speakers, and a fun exercise from the man behind the OA innovations at the University of Huddersfield, Graham Stone.

Deadly diseases and healthy profits

Our first speaker was Professor Charles Oppenheim who shared an overview of OA and its importance for academic libraries. He opened with some punchy headlines (which had all the delegates mumbling in their seats) about the monopoly of publishers and their reluctance to share scholarly work for free – using the Ebola crisis as an example. Some publishers have been withholding integral research on the subject unless subscriptions and fees are paid; stating even with a terrible crisis developing there was still the need for a ‘healthy’ profit margin. This led very nicely to his second headline that Elsevier had made a bigger profit in the past 12 months than Google! Despite these alarming headlines, he did emphasise that he was not anti-publisher but there are still some important guidelines that needed to be solidified, using the help of government mandates and institutional gumption!

OA Advocacy 1 - To return to the role of llibraries

Professor Oppenheim described the uptake of OA has been slow and hesitant over the past few years, with only 20-30% of research output in the country being OA. He highlighted the responsibility on the funders and institutions to encourage authors to engage with OA. This could be through different means like incentives, as well as a few sticks, and to directly quote our second speaker Nick Sheppard:

‘Carrots don’t work, please give me a stick.’

OA Advocacy 2 - What I learned

Nick Sheppard and Jennie Wilson from Leeds Beckett summarised their technical challenges and new workflows. Nick took us through the difficulties of advocating green OA in response to the HEFCE announcement and the jump for institutions to embrace new software and repository infrastructure. Nick went on to highlight the importance of social media and altmetrics in drawing attention to the importance of OA and the academic world, and the impact on citations.

OA Advocacy 3 - Other tools & network effects

Jennie gave the audience a glimpse into the new pressures she has dealt with.  Leeds Beckett didn’t receive any RCUK funding so her team had to come up with innovative strategies to encourage authors to engage with OA and explained their use of social media to promote services and encourage authors to deposit in their repository. Their use of LibGuides really had the room buzzing. Jennie explained how they used Twitter feeds about hot topics, such as World Diabetes Day, to capture articles relevant to the discussions. and had a rolling feed on their LibGuide website. This turned out to be an effective incentive for authors to deposit their papers, as well as a way to showcase research taking place at their institute, a ‘win-win’ all round!

OA Advocacy 4 - Using Symplectic & Libguides

Our final speaker was the enthusiastic Graham Stone. We were introduced to the OAWAL project (pronounced like the bird!), a new initiative sourcing workflows and best practices for the OA community which aspires to develop into the ‘go to’ place for management of OA in institutions.

OA Advocacy 5 - What is OAWAL?

Graham then led an exercise to highlight the negatives and positives we face in the OA world. In groups we figured out ways of resolving the issues, highlighting the top 3 priorities. In our group the negatives were things like lack of consistency among publishers, staffing and money. We did find some good positives such as strong mandates and buy in and enthusiasm, and high profile support and advocacy. We came up with a few solutions such as having a more collaborative approach, more mandates and the use of ‘sticks’. Our top 3 priorities were 1) a more collaborative approach supported by mandates, 2) publisher consistency and 3) encouraging academics to refuse to carry out peer-review for publishers that don’t allow authors to comply with funder policies. This exercise was useful as it highlighted that everyone seems to be dealing with the same issues and having the same pain points, and that there is a community out there who can provide advice, personal experience and hopefully a network on best practice and standards. Developing communities and sharing experience is also a focus for Manchester as the lead institution on the opeNWorks JISC pathfinder project.

OA Advocacy 6 - workshop

Lucy and I really enjoyed the session and thought the choices of speakers were well thought out and varied. There were a few questions and answers and an opportunity to network with colleagues in similar roles, so all in all a useful session.

Use your LOAF!

Open Access week banner

To celebrate International Open Access Week, The University of Manchester Library’s Research Services, Academic Engagement and Marketing teams worked together to deliver a seminar on Open Access (OA) at Manchester. The main aim of the session was to engage with our institution’s researchers. Through a combination of presentations, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities, the seminar brought researchers up to date with what Manchester has achieved with OA; the policies of research funders; progress in OA over the last year; and insight into upcoming developments.

Increasing citations

The Vice-President for Research and Innovation Professor Luke Georghiou opened proceedings with his own take on Open Access. His research group has published three OA articles in the past year, which have achieved high levels of download; he is convinced this is due to ease of access, and is sure that OA will contribute to future levels of citation. Professor Georghiou thanked the Library for its excellent support.

Exceeding compliance targets

Open Access Seminar graph 2Helen Dobson reflected on the growth of the Library’s OA service, now playing a key role in the University’s OA support. Our work resulted in a 54% compliance rate for RCUK-funded research, an achievement high above the 45% target set by RCUK at the start of the year. Helen discussed the ‘pain points’ encountered by the team, including authors finding the process confusing, or being too busy to arrange OA. These insights help us develop our system and work with other institutions and publishers to streamline procedures. Despite these difficulties, our service has received great feedback and supported over 500 articles in becoming Open Access.

Making books as accessible as journals

Dr Frances Pinter, CEO of Manchester University Press, spoke of the need to find sustainable routes to OA for specialist scholarly books, and make them as accessible as science journals. The not-for-profit pilot Knowledge Unlatched has succeeded in proof of concept. With this model a library consortium paid for a package of e-books to be made fully open, and librarians participated in the selection of content. There has been a high level of downloads.

HEFCE, COAF and LOAF

Emma Thompson explained the new ‘game changing’ HEFCE policy. All potential REF outputs must be must be deposited in an institutional repository on acceptance, discoverable immediately, and free to read ASAP. We are encouraging researchers to deposit their Author’s Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) ahead of the compliance start date 1 April 2016, and the Library is working with colleagues in Computer Science to develop an easy interface.

Our team will also be administering the new Charities OA Fund (COAF) at Manchester. We have further demonstrated our commitment to innovation, OA and the University’s researchers by announcing the new Library Open Access Fund (LOAF). We want to support authors who do not have funding to cover Article Processing Charges, and have created a pool of funds to support the publication of OA papers. The LOAF pilot will be managed by the Library’s OA team and will be run on a first come, first served basis.

If you would like a slice of LOAF, please contact the OA team.

Open Access Week

Open Access Seminar

Open Access week banner

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.

The programme is available online; registration is via Eventbrite.

Open Access 'One Way'

OAwe and wonder: a long year of open access

RCUK Report cover 2014Friday, 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

Open Access 'One Way'
Open Access: Green or Gold?

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.