Jisc announces partnership with open access publisher Copernicus | STM Publishing News

“Jisc has announced a new agreement with Copernicus Publications, a fully open access, not-for-profit publisher, whose portfolio of journals covers engineering, geosciences, humanities, and life sciences. 

The agreement helps institutions streamline administering open access publication, making it quicker and easier.

Copernicus uses simple, fair and reasonable article processing charges (APCs) and created one of the first public and fully transparent peer-review processes for academic journals.

Jisc members can now set up a prepayment account or choose to be invoiced for several papers on a single invoice….”

N8 Research Partnership: Rights Retention means researchers have a strong hand in terms of control over their own work | Plan S

“In 2008 Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously to adopt a ground-breaking open access policy. Since then, over 70 other institutions, including other Harvard faculties, Stanford and MIT, have adopted similar policies based on the Harvard model. In Europe, such institutional policies have, so far, been slow to get off the ground.

But we are beginning to see that situation change. Over the last months, an increasing number of European institutions have started implementing their own rights retention policies, thereby ensuring that research outputs are disseminated as widely as possible, whilst their researchers retain the freedom to publish in the journal of choice.

The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration of the eight most research-intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. Working together, all eight institutions issued a statement on Rights Retention, demonstrating their determination to support their researchers in taking control over their own work. In the following post, Professor Christopher Pressler, John Rylands University Librarian of the University of Manchester, and representative of the N8 Research Partnership, gives us a view from the ground and explains N8’s approach to Rights Retention….”

N8 Research Partnership – Statement on Rights Retention

“The N8 Research Partnership represents the research-intensive universities of the North of England. 12% of all UK academics work at N8 universities as well as almost 200,000 students. The N8 is one of the strongest regional academic consortia in the UK and believes the time is now right to make a coordinated statement on the rights held by our academics over their research….

. In order to achieve this third route to open access researchers need to be able to apply a CC BY licence and place their accepted manuscript in an institutional or other preferred repository. This must now be done without embargo granted to any publisher….”

The OA Switchboard and Jisc: What’s in it for HEI who are Jisc members? – Research

“Back in December 2020, UKRI, The Wellcome Trust and Jisc announced that we were the first organisations in the UK to support the establishment of something called the OA Switchboard. Shortly thereafter, Jisc announced that any higher education institution (HEI) who is a Jisc member could participate in the Switchboard for free for a three year period, concluding in December 2023.  We are pleased to announce that the agreement has been extended in principle for an additional three years starting in January 2024, again allowing HEI who are Jisc members full participation in the OASB.

Participants use the OA Switchboard in a number of different ways. Research funders, institutions/libraries or consortia and publishers can discover a multitude of benefits and applications in a range of participants’ use cases presented on the OASB website. The OASB is a hub that allows for the standardised communication of these very important stakeholders….”

N8 Research Partnership stands up for researchers with new Rights Retention statement – N8 Research Partnership

“The N8 – which represents 12% of all UK academics and 200,000 students – has released a statement outlining its new stance on the importance of researchers being able to obtain their original rights when their work is published in a journal. The statement was launched at an event held at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library, with speakers including the N8’s new chair Professor Charlie Jeffrey and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester. 

In April 2022, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) made it mandatory for all research published in journals to be made immediately available via Open Access or transformative Gold journals’ APC charges or through journals released on a transitional Read & Publish deal without APC charges. Open access can also be achieved via depositing the author accepted manuscript and making it available without embargo. 

However, in order to achieve this third route to open access researchers need to be able to apply a CC BY license – which allows anyone to make commercial use of the work under the condition of attributing the research in the manner specified by the author or licensor – and place their accepted manuscript in an institutional or other preferred repository. This must now be done without embargo granted to any publisher. 

However, some publishers are no longer compliant with several not accepting that a researcher’s original rights should be retained by them, meaning that publishers may not accept manuscripts where an application has been made for a CC BY license and the researcher has clearly stated that they own their research.  

The N8’s statement – which has been coordinated through the eight universities’ PVCs for Research, Research Offices, Legal Departments and Libraries – reflects the shared conviction of the importance of researchers retaining their rights.  

Each N8 university will have its own position which may supersede the publisher’s requirements, but ultimately if a researcher is able to publish via an APC to a Gold journal or in a journal covered by a Read & Publish deal then researchers do not need to assert their rights.  

However, the N8 statement strongly recommends that researchers do not by default transfer intellectual property rights to publishers and do use a Rights Retention statement as standard practice….”

Open access deal ‘weakens publishers’ position’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Several leading UK universities will ask their academics to deposit their accepted manuscripts in free-to-read domains as part of a new pledge to support open access publication.

Under a new commitment agreed by members of the N8 Research Partnership, whose institutions include the universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, researchers will be urged to retain their intellectual property (IP) rights, rather than sign them over to publishers.

By doing so, scholars would be free to post final versions of research articles on institutional repositories, after obtaining a CC BY licence – a move that some publishers will not permit, or only allow after an embargo period, a route to publication known as green open access.

That has led to a stand-off between academics and publishers – with some journals refusing to publish manuscripts where an application for a CC BY licence has been made, whereby the researcher states they own the research….”

Supporting open access publishing for books: myth-busting webinars event summary – Research

“As part of our work with UKRI to support the implementation of the UKRI open access policy for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024, we re-visited some of the key areas of concern for researchers that surfaced during the consultation period for the policy (see UUK Open access and monographs. Evidence review and Open access and monographs: Where are we now? A position paper by the British Academy).

There was a clear need for a focused period of engagement with key stakeholder groups such as researchers/academics across all career levels, librarians/scholarly communication managers, research offices, and rights holders, with the aim being to split the real issues from the perceived problems. As a result, we collaborated with a number of UK university presses and the Open Access Books Network to hold a series of webinars on the subject of the myths around open access for books, as well as to address legitimate concerns and suggest ways to remove barriers to open access publishing.

We held three 90-minute webinars, each consisting of three short presentations from a panel including authors, publishers, open access publishing support services and policy makers. These were then followed by a Q&A session where audience questions were invited. All sessions were chaired by an expert in the field of open access.

The opening session set the context and covered the key themes, and this was then followed by more focused sessions covering specific areas in more detail. You can find all the event recordings, transcripts, presentations, and our panels’ responses to the questions we didn’t have time to cover on our Events webpage and also via the links below….”

The University Library joins the Open Education Network | Library | The University of Sheffield

“We are pleased to announce that we’ve become the first UK institution to join the Open Education Network (OEN), a vibrant and supportive community that advances the use of open educational resources and practices. 

The OEN started in 2014, following the establishment of the Open Textbook Library, at the University of Minnesota by the Center for Open Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries. 

The Open Textbook Library (OTL) currently contains over 1150 open textbooks across a range of disciplines, all licensed to be freely used and adapted. Anybody can suggest a book for the OTL, providing it meets the required criteria. Around 75% of the books have been reviewed by members of the OEN Community, helping teachers and students to evaluate suitability for their own teaching and learning.

Membership of the OEN will enable colleagues at the University of Sheffield to submit their own reviews, and we hope that these will be useful across the HE community in the UK….”

Open Scholarship Café – Open Scholarship and Social Justice – Bookings – University of Galway Library

“Open Scholarship / Open Science has many drivers and “schools of thought” about its purpose. This Open Scholarship Café will not look at how to open up the research process, i.e. through the publication of data, methods or publications, but will look at Open Scholarship as a social movement. To look at why and how Open Scholarship interacts with social change, we are glad to have three speakers who will shed light on this topic.

Open Scholarship Cafés are organised by the Library of the University of Galway and the Open Scholarship Community Galway. For this Café we have partnered with MÓR – Maynooth Open Research who will co-host the session.

This Open Scholarship Café will be online on Zoom. You are all very welcome to register! See below details of speakers and their talks….”

Research Publications and Copyright Policy | Library | The University of Sheffield

“This guidance is designed to ensure that University of Sheffield staff and PGRs can comply with the Research Publications and Copyright policy. The policy enables authors to control copyright, as set out in the University’s new IP policy, to their own journal articles and conference proceedings papers, apply a CC BY licence to them and make them available via the institutional repository, White Rose Research Online (WRRO) without embargo.

This will help you to comply with external funding requirements for open access as well as supporting our commitment to enabling and promoting research excellence across our community as set out in the University’s Statement of Open Research…”

The University of St Andrews enables researchers to use the rights retained in their scholarly works | Plan S

In 2008 Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously to adopt a ground-breaking open access policy. Since then, over 70 other institutions, including other Harvard faculties, Stanford and MIT, have adopted similar policies based on the Harvard model. In Europe, such institutional policies have, so far, been slow to get off the ground.

We are beginning to see that situation change.

The University of St Andrews has launched a new Open Access Policy, in effect from 1 February 2023, which harmonises the requirements from research funders, provides greater support to their researchers and aligns with the University’s strategy to “make their research findings widely available for local, national, and global benefit”. In the following interview, Kyle Brady, Scholarly Communications Manager at the University of St Andrews, describes the process which led to the new OA policy, highlights the benefits for the university and its researchers and shares practical tips for other institutions that might consider adopting similar policies towards making all publications openly available as quickly as possible….”

University of Sheffield affirms commitment for research and scholarship access to be ‘open for all’ | News | The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield has affirmed its commitment to an open research and scholarship culture, by approving new policies that will ensure its research is accessible to as many people as possible, and encouraging the use and creation of open educational resources throughout its teaching programmes.

Can artificial intelligence assess the quality of academic journal articles in the next REF? | Impact of Social Sciences

“For journal article prediction, there is no knowledge base related to quality that could be leveraged to predict REF scores across disciplines, so only the machine learning AI approach is possible. All previous attempts to produce related predictions have used machine learning (or statistical regression, which is also a form of pattern matching). Thus, we decided to build machine learning systems to predict journal article scores. As inputs, based on an extensive literature review of related prior work, we chose: field and year normalised citation rate; authorship team size, diversity, productivity, and field and year normalised average citation impact; journal names and citation rates (similar to the Journal Impact Factor); article length and abstract readability; and words and phrases in the title, keywords and abstract. We used provisional REF2021 scores for journal articles with these inputs and asked the AI to spot patterns that would allow it to accurately predict REF scores….”

Open access in scholarly publishing: Where are we now? | Research Information

“Notably, 2023 marks a decade since two important events. Not only David Bowie’s return to releasing records, but Research Councils UK’s (the predecessor to UKRI) launch of its open access policy. This was a watershed moment for UK research, a clear statement of intent to make open access a full-scale reality. But 10 years on, it is pertinent to ask, where are we now?…

In fact, 2022 certainly witnessed a continuing paradigm shift, particularly UKRI’s open access policy coming into effect for articles and conference proceedings. This represents a step-change to full and immediate open access for publicly funded research, and essentially incorporates Plan S into the UK research landscape. Similar policies have been launched by other funders, including the National Institute for Health & Care Research and Cancer Research UK. 

 

Moreover, 2022 saw the release of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results, marking another milestone for open access. REF 2021’s open access mandate for journal articles and conference proceedings has arguably had the greatest impact in driving open access engagement by researchers. What was once a niche pursuit that was opposed by many researchers is now overwhelmingly regarded as an everyday part of the research lifecycle. There is a growing sense of positive engagement too, with researchers increasingly publishing open access because they want to and not just because they have to….”

‘The attitude of publishers is a barrier to open access’ | UKSG

“Transitioning to open research is incredibly important for the University of Liverpool for two reasons: the external environment we are now operating in, and our own philosophy and approach to research.

But there are barriers, particularly the research culture and the attitude of publishers….

In my experience, the biggest barrier is culture: researchers are used to operating in a particular way. Changing practice and mindset takes time and must be conducted sensitively.

Open research benefits all researchers, so having their support on this journey is vitally important.

Some researchers are concerned that publishing their work open access has implications for their intellectual property (IP) rights. In fact, this is a perceived problem, since the same IP protections apply to all work, whether published behind a paywall or published open access.

Despite the recognition that citation metrics are not a suitable proxy for research assessment, some researchers continue to seek the kudos of publishing in a so-called prestige journal with a high-impact factor, such as ‘Nature’.  They see this as a key career goal and worry their progression will falter without this achievement….

So, while I acknowledge there has been significant progress towards open access globally, and in particular compliance with UKRI’s open access policy, the attitude of publishers which are driven by profit margins continues to be an unacceptable barrier….”