Archive for the ‘Open Access’ Category

Get self-archiving!

February 17, 2017

As well as resolving (or attempting to resolve…) resource access problems this week, I’ve also been busy creating a guide to depositing research to UBIR which may be useful to anyone who has published research, and in particular who may be considering submitting to the next REF.

The guide provides support on how to actually deposit to UBIR – which is a simple process – as well as help on ensuring that any items deposited are copyright cleared. The benefit of self-archiving is that you can ensure that your research is uploaded when you want it to be, and as authors, you are often best placed to make decisions about subject classifications and indeed the school to which you are affiliated. Why not have a go and see what you think?

We have no plans to compel all authors to upload their own work and will continue to upload on your behalf. However, some of you may prefer to self-archive, and our guide is just one of things we have been working on to make this process as easy as possible.

If you would like any further help or information on any aspect of engaging in open access, don’t hesitate to contact the UBIR Team.

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Top articles of 2016 revealed

December 16, 2016

It doesn’t seem long ago that I talked about the top 100 journal articles for 2015 as ranked by analysis of altmetrics. Altmetrics – literally alternative metrics – explore the impact of research. To consider altmetrics is to look at how many times an article is tweeted about, how many likes it gets, how many times it is mentioned in the media, how often it is blogged about and whether or not it gets any Wikipedia mentions.

One of the organisations that measures impact in this way is Altmetrics: you may have seen the brightly-coloured ‘doughnuts’ appearing next to journal articles on some platforms. Each year, Altmetrics publishes its top 100 articles and just like last year, the results are fascinating. Something that struck me immediately was that many of the highest ranked articles this year concern world events and concerns: for example, in the No. 1 position is an article about Barack Obama. Others that appear in the top 20 include articles on the Zika Virus, and an article by Robin Williams’ widow on her late husband’s illness. Compare this to the 2015 list, which contained articles on equally emotive topics – for example, plastic waste in oceans and antibiotic resistance – but did not have as great an emphasis on what we might term articles relating to ‘popular culture’.

Of course, that might not indicate anything at all, but it’s interesting. Barack Obama has been very much in the news this year; the Zika Virus was another subject of intense media coverage. When people are looking for information on either of those topics, the likelihood is that they will turn to a search engine, and their search may well have led them to an open access, academic article.

A number of these are articles are open access articles, so they can be accessed without having to login to anything, and access does not depend on having an institutional subscription.

The full list of the top 100 articles as ranked by Altmetrics is available here.

Do you plan to submit research for REF 2020? Read on!

March 7, 2016

If you plan to submit research for REF 2020, there is one crucial thing you need to be aware of:

To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication.

HEFCE Policy on Open Access

This applies to conference proceedings and journal articles and is applicable to any research that is accepted for publication after 1st April 2016.

The HEFCE Policy on Open Access outlines this requirement and provides extensive guidance. If you are planning on submitting research to REF 2020 you must comply with this guidance.

In order to fulfil this requirement, your work can be deposited in UBIR. Simply send any electronic version of the paper in question with full bibliographic details to ubir@bolton.ac.uk and we will do the rest. If your work has been published in an open access journal you will still need to ensure it is available in UBIR.

Scheduled down time for UBIR this Friday

February 16, 2016

Due to further development work, UBIR may be unavailable from 9 a.m. on Friday 19th February until around 2 p.m. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

On the subject of UBIR, I thought I’d share something rather exciting. Yes, that’s right, I have UBIR statistics now! I’ll save detailed discussion  for another time but for now, I’ll just leave you with the knowledge that over the course of the past 24 months, there have been nearly 62,000 full-text downloads from UBIR. Amazing! So if you’re an academic and are in any doubt as to whether or not putting your research in UBIR will mean it’s read, I can confirm that yes, that is indeed the case!

I’ll leave that for now: more stats goodies will be brought to you shortly…

A look back at 2015 (and welcome back to UBIR!)

January 4, 2016

The problems we were having with UBIR this morning have been resolved thanks to the swift actions of our Networks team and the service is working as normal.

Every year, I like to look back on the previous year, so now that we appear to be without resource problems, it’s time to do just that for 2015. However, before I do, over Christmas I was watching one of these ‘review of the year’ type programmes. I happened to catch the closing credits, and one of the sources mentioned was WGSN – Worth Global Style Network – which is a resource that we have access to here at the University of Bolton. Among other areas, WGSN looks at current and predicted trends, and is proof that our resources are essential for understanding a topic. Access WGSN via the library webpages or via Discover@Bolton.

Anyway, I digress. Back to 2015.

Last year was an exciting year for me as Electronic Resources Librarian as a number of very important changes were made to make your experience of accessing and discovering electronic resources better. We’ll come to these changes later.

In January, we had a fair few resource problems (staggeringly, my first post of 2015 concerned UBIR outage!) which were a cause of frustration. I think that was possibly one of the worst months I’ve known for that. However, we also looked at the British Library’s Save our Sounds project which is looking to negate the very real issue that in just 15 years, many recorded sounds could be inaccessible as equipment required to preserve and play them becomes obsolete. February was an exciting month: Discover@Bolton search boxes appeared on the library website. Although at that stage Discover@Bolton was only accessible on-campus, this was the first time that a service to search multiple databases at once was made readily available to the University of Bolton community. March saw a solar eclipse, and we looked at how we could use our electronic databases to find out more about this phenomenon.

April was a quiet month, so we reviewed Save our Sounds and pointed readers in the direction of JISC’s Summer of Innovation. May saw a General Election and as well as a new government, we also acquired two new resources: WGSN Lifestyle and Interiors and the online edition of the British Medical Journal. As the academic year drew to a close, June seemed to be a busy month for resource problems, including one of the most bizarre remote access I’ve ever come across in 10 years of working with electronic resources.

July was another quiet month, not least because of major refurbishment works that were taking place in the Library over the summer. As we all looked forward to a break, I considered the merits of speaking to publishes about resource usage and development, and how it is important to engage with them. July was also when I presented Discover@Bolton to staff at the University’s TIRI Conference, and how it could be used to enhance learning. My presentation is available here. As the summer drew on, in August we looked at OAPEN-UK, a project set to investigate issues surrounding the publication of textbooks in electronic format.

All this time, I was working on two important developments that  came to fruition in September. The first of these was a major change – in the background – to how we log into resources. This change was particularly important for remote access and we really hope things are simpler now. The other change, and the one I’m most excited about, was the off-campus launch of Discover@Bolton. That was pretty much the only news that month, but it was certainly big news! In October, we acquired yet another new resource: Acland Anatomy. We also looked at open access as part of Open Access Week and we had the first of our Subject Librarian guest posts: Reading Lists online by Mary Barden. November saw an exploration of Royal College of Nursing Journals by our Subject Librarian for Health Dawn Grundy, extra content was added to Discover@Bolton and we remembered George Boole, whose development of logic led to the use of AND, OR and NOT that we have come to use in our own library searches.

As the year drew to a close, December brought another Subject Librarian guest post, this time on services for researchers by Anne Keddie. We looked at the top 100 articles of 2015 according to Altmetric, and we had a bit of fun looking at the 12 Apps of Christmas.

So that was 2015. I wonder what 2016 will bring…

 

Exploring the Top 100 articles of 2015

December 15, 2015

Something fascinating to share this morning. Those of you who have had research published might well be aware of something called altmetrics, which are items of information about research articles that go beyond citation factors, H Indexes and other metrics we normally use to assess research impact.

Altmetrics look at the wider picture: how research is disseminated using the channels we have become accustomed to using to access and share information in every aspect of our lives. Altmetrics look at tweets, Facebook likes, how often the research is shared, is mentioned in the media (for example, the BBC website). Considering altmetrics is to consider blog posts and even Wikipedia references. There are a number of software packages that do this, one of which is Altmetric.

By using the information gathered by Altmetric, the provider has compiled a Top 100 of articles according to the altmetrics of that article. The top article is from the journal Nature and is entitled “A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance”. This article has had 97 news stories recorded, 61 blog posts, 161 Facebook posts and an amazing 2,428 tweets. What’s really interesting about looking at this sort of information is that number 6 on this list, “Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans: more than 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons afloat at sea”, was published in an open access journal, and therefore is freely available. Although overall it has been ranked lower than the article from Nature, this particular article had seen 162 news stories and 252 Facebook posts. I can see why this article might have attracted attention: the title of it this provocative, shocking even. To me, it demonstrates the value of open access publishing: something that is clearly relevant to the world in which we live is accessible to all who want it.

The full Top 100 from Altmetric is available here.

I wonder if the impact of open access publishing will be seen to be even wider in 2016 as we head towards REF 2020. It will certainly be interesting to look at this sort of information next year!

It’s Open Access Week!

October 20, 2015

This week is International Open Access Week, a global, annual event that is now in its eight year. It’s a chance for the higher education community to share knowledge, best practice, concerns and development in open access as well as encourage open access to become an accepted norm of scholarly communication. I can’t really define open access any better than the organisers of Open Access Week, so if you are still in any doubt as to what open access is, this definition sums it perfectly:

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

Open Access (OA) has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students, and members of the general public are supporting a move towards Open Access in increasing numbers every year.

The website for International Open Access Week contains a lot of very interesting information, so take a look and what’s going on.

If you want to follow the debates across the globe, the best way to do this is to follow #openaccessweek on Twitter. Currently being discussed are avoiding pitfalls of open access, how Harvard University wishes to ensure that information about climate change is made open access, the topics being covered in an open access talk given by HEFCE in Washington, special offers from publishers, how technology can help with open access and what libraries are doing to ensure that submissions for REF2020 can be made open access.

So what about open access here at the University of Bolton? We have UBIR, which will be the primary means by which authors can ensure that any research that is be submitted to the REF is made open access. And remember, if you are wanting to submit your research for the REF it has to be made open access. Quite aside from REF preparations, making our research available via an open access platform such as UBIR brings research to a much wider audience, and can only help to develop its impact.

Did you present at the TIRI Conference? Make your presentations open access by depositing in UBIR!

August 18, 2015

Did you present at the hugely successful University of Bolton TIRI Conference back in July? If so, why not have your presentations deposited in UBIR, the University of Bolton Institutional Repository. Depositing in UBIR will increase discoverability – and readership – of your research. To deposit your presentation in UBIR, simply send it in electronic format to ubir@bolton.ac.uk and the UBIR Team will do the rest.

Guide to open access monograph publishing for arts, humanities and social science researchers now available

August 17, 2015

OAPEN-UK, a project funded by JISC and the AHRC that has been set up to investigate the issues surrounding the publication and availability of monographs and to provide a roadmap for the future of this type of publication, has created a guide to open access monograph publishing for arts, humanities and social sciences researchers. The guide is available to download here.

  • The aims of OAPEN-UK, which is linked with the European OAPEN project, are as follows:

  • undertake a real time pilot with HSS scholarly monograph titles

  • establish what challenges each stakeholder faces in the open access scholarly monograph environment

  • gather and evaluate a wide range of data to explore the challenges and how they might be addressed

  • analyse usage and sales data with publishers to help ascertain what an open access business model might look like

  • assess the attitudes and perceptions of the authors, researchers, publishers and readers to open access scholarly monographs

  • explore the route of funding and the systems and processes required to support this

  • develop recommendations to aid the discovery of open access scholarly monographs

  • promote awareness of the issues and challenges of open access monographs

  • share the results of OAPEN-UK and disseminate the findings at an international level

From: http://oapen-uk.jiscebooks.org/overview/

The publication of open access books presents a number of challenges, and it is hoped that the outcomes of the OAPEN-UK project will go a long way to address these challenges.

The good news is that achieving open access for journal articles is a little simpler, and here at the University of Bolton journal articles, conference papers and reports can be made open access by depositing the work in UBIR. Research in UBIR is open access and discoverable both via search engines such as Google, Google Scholar and the Library’s new Discover@Bolton service. Many publishers allow the deposit of full-text research in repositories. Moreover, any research that it to be submitted for REF2020 must be made open access: deposit in UBIR will fulfil this requirement, which has been set by HEFCE. For further information, contact the UBIR Team.

Spotlight on… Open access

January 12, 2015

I feel as if 2015 has got off to a somewhat negative start as regards this blog as I seem to have had to flag up numerous incidences of resource access problems. This does not a happy Electronic Resources Librarian make. So I thought I would maybe provide you all with something more interesting with less “this isn’t working now” which seems to have 2015’s theme so far.

Readers of this blog will know that I have two ‘hats’ here at Bolton, so just for a moment, I will do a swap and have a think about open access, which is very much the key to the University of Bolton Institutional Repository (UBIR). If you’ve walked through the Library, you might spot that the “Spotlight on…” poster concerns open access, detailing the two ways in which authors can engage in open access and the main benefits of open access. There is another, crucial, element to open access that I’ll come to later.

The first question, of course, is “What is open access”. Briefly, the main principle of open access, is that research is free at the point of access. In other words, the only barrier to that research should be technical barriers of accessing the Internet itself. It means that research should not be ‘hidden’ behind access controlled subscriptions, and anyone, anywhere, should be able to access that research. There are two main ways to engage in open access: deposit research in an open access repository such as UBIR, or publish research in open access publications, such as those listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. The former is known as the green route to open access; the latter as the gold route. Here at Bolton, open access is being achieved mainly by the green route.

Both forms of engagement in open access have advantages and disadvantages. The green route relies on having access to a repository, and we are very fortunate at the University of Bolton that this is the case: UBIR accepts all intellectual output of the University of Bolton, from journal articles to book chapters to conference proceedings and post presentations. The gold route, although considered by many to be the future of the open access movement, is more complex, and brings with it concepts that can seem quite alien to anyone who is comfortable with the traditional modes of scholarly communication. The gold route requires authors to submit their work as open access publications, and can often involve the payment of what is known as an APC (Author Pays Charge, or Article Processing Charge). Where that payment comes from can be a cause for concern, and the whole concept of open access publications has led to a lot of debate within academic communities. A number of very specific concerns have been raised, such as concerns over the quality of the publication and the possibility of ‘fake’ publications taking APCs either not publishing the research or publishing it alongside research that is incorrect or ethically questionable. Some are concerned that open access effectively closes the door on traditional modes of scholarly communication, and quality of published research may be affected. All valid concerns, but ones that it is usually possible to allay.

I mentioned earlier that there one very crucial element to open access which means that this method of making research available is not going to go away. You may or may not be aware that HEFCE have made it policy that any research accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 must be made open access if it is to be considered for the next REF exercise. The policy is available in full here and states:

“To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.

The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number. It will not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data. The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement it now.”

If you are in the position of considering submitting to the next REF, now is the time to be thinking about open access, and I’m happy to answer any queries you may have. Just drop the UBIR team a line.

If you want to learn more about open access, including open access at the University of Bolton, take a look at this presentation as well as this poster from the 2014 Research and Innovation Conference, held here at Bolton. Remember, if you want to deposit your work in UBIR, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the UBIR team.