Hello All,

Here is the ‘un-report’ from our 4th April event looking at system functionality for Open Access.  It mainly consists of informal notes and verbatim comments from the day.

OpenAccessTechnicalWorkshop Un-Report_20160404

We will  be following this up at the final programme workshop around systems and metadata.  The date and venue will be announced soon.

The presentations can be seen here:




Hydra and Fedora

Jisc Monitor


Jisc – Sherpa REF and Publications Router

PURE – discussion was online on an instance of PURE –  see the ‘un-report’ where there are lots of comments.

Posted on behalf of Valerie McCutcheon, University of Glasgow


As part of the LOCH project we have been looking at the problems of identifying Article Processing Charges (APCs) that the Library is not currently aware of – which we colloquially call ‘APCs paid in the wild’. We have written a short case study that is currently under open review at The Winnower:

Improving estimates of the total cost of publication by recognising ‘APCs paid in the wild’

The take home message from our ‘APCs paid in the wild’ case study can be summarised as:

We estimate that these costs could account for up to 20% extra in the total cost of publication that is not currently being accounted for. This additional cost is important to take into account when institutions are negotiating fair offsetting agreements for open access publishing.

We would welcome any constructive criticism on the work so please have a read and leave an open review so that we can improve the article.

Theo Andrew – LOCH Project Officer, University of Edinburgh


I’ve been looking at my notes from Monday’s workshop discussion looking at some of the current non-systems-specific issues facing OA practitioners in the UK at the moment.  I’ve summarised the key points below and uploaded pictures of the notes from the day.

Key concerns discussed:

  1. RCUK Block grants have not yet been announced – this is of concerns to a wide range of institutions.
  2. Many institutions are expecting an increase in use of RCUK grants if gold OA is perceived to be an easier route to REF compliance.
  3. Repository/CRIS records without a Date of Acceptance is a major concern.  Records imported from external sources such as Scopus will not have DoA information so this needs to be added manually.
  4. SHERPA REF aligns with current HEFCE policy (deposit within 3 months of the date of publication) whereas many institutions are telling authors to deposit on acceptance.  This can cause confusion.
  5. More clarity is required regarding the use of exceptions for gold OA.  Will these be counted in addition to the tolerance of other exceptions?
  6. Resourcing for supporting authors to deposit and to validate/sherps-check records is a concern.  The REF policy means that records need to be checked on deposit (around the time of acceptance) and then again post-publication so the administrative burden is greater.
  7. How do we handle records from post-docs, late-stage-PhDs and ECRs whose REF-submission status is not yet determined?
  8. What do we do about recording evidence of date of acceptance? Current thinking seems to be “if you have it, keep it, if not – then don’t worry.”.









Dominic Tate – LOCH Project Manager




Yesterday saw the LOCH and End-to-End projects host a joint event at Glasgow’s Hilton Grosvenor Hotel to look at technical issues related to Open Access policcy compliance for the REF.  The morning session consisted of a series of short ‘show-and-tell’ sessions whereby participants generously gave up their time to demonstrate how the repository and research information systems they use can support the new requirements, which came into play on Friday.

After lunch, delegates joined groups looking at technical issues in PURE and DSpace.  Another group discussed some of the non-technical issues to do with REF policy and OA funding and spent time sharing experiences and best practice.  The day was rounded off with presentations about CASRAI, SHERPA-REF and Jisc Publications Router.

The organisers are in the process of writing up a more thorough report, to be published on the LOCH and End-to-End blogs in the next few days.

Dominic Tate, LOCH Project Manager


This week saw the publication of a new Facet Publishing title: Dynamic Research Support for Academic Librariesa book which is aimed at enabling academic librarians to develop excellent services to support research.  

As Manager of the LOCH Project, I contributed a chapter in the form of a case study, entitled Implementing Open Access across a Large University: A Case Study from the University of Edinburgh. A pre-print of this case study is now available from Edinburgh Research Archive at http://hdl.handle.net/1842/15766.  Hopefully this may be of interest to practitioners looking at implementing more formal processes for ensuring Open Access to journal articles and conference proceedings – especially in light of the HEFCE Open Access Policy for REF, which comes into effect today (eek)!

In case this chapter whets your appetite for finding out more about some of the latest thinking in library research support, then you may be interested in the video below, in which the book’s editor Starr Hoffman explains the topics covered.  You can also peek inside the book if you wish.

***with apologies for any shameless self-promotion***

Dominic Tate, Project Manager – LOCH






A number of Universities have introduced funding to support Open Access publishing in addition to external block grants. We are often asked about the rationale for our OA fund, so we have produced a short report as part of the OA Good Practice LOCH Pathfinder Project.

St Andrews Library Open Access Fund: business case and criteria


This short report describes the case for a small institutional fund to support open access publishing at the University of St Andrews. The background to the fund is an institutional commitment to ensuring the widest possible access to its research, and a belief that researchers should be free to choose the most suitable venue for their work. If an author decides that a fully open access journal is the best venue for their work, we do not want there to be any barriers to publishing. The University Library therefore proposed a model where researchers could apply for funds specifically when they wish to publish in a journal which is only available in open access form and which requires payment of a publishing fee. The report describes how the fund operates, and its ultimate aim to encourage and support a transition to open access that is sustainable and achievable.

Jackie Proven – Repository & Open Access Services Manager, University of St Andrews


This morning the University of Edinburgh’s Scholarly Communications Team was delighted to receive a delegation of guests who have travelled all the way from Osaka University in Japan.  Xin Yao and Tomoko Ohya are based in the University’s Support Office for Large-Scale Education and Research Projects.  They were joined by Shotaro Hidaka who is Osaka University Library’s Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian, and Mami Yamamoto from the Finance Office.

The morning kicked off with an introduction from our Director of Library & University Collections, Jeremy Upton.  After this, Head of Research & Learning Services Stuart Lewis talked through Edinburgh University’s activities in the Research Data Management arena, aided by a presentation in Japanese.  Following this, we spent some time talking about Open Access to research publications and exchanging ideas about how to gain academic engagement with an institutional repository.  It seems that many of the issues are the same in Japan as in the UK (expensive journal packages, lack of academic engagement with Open Access).   As well as these main topics of discussion, we also spent time discussing funding streams for university libraries, roles & responsibilities of liaison librarians, library opening hours late-night service provision.

We certainly found this to be an interesting meeting with very stimulating discussion – and we hope to stay in touch about many of the items we discussed.


P.S.  Many thanks our guests for the delicious Osaka University biscuits!!

Dominic Tate – Edinburgh University Library


The three partners in the LOCH Project have all had busy few months, using the Summer to gear up for Open Access implementation in the new semester.




External Promotion & Publications

  • Dominic Tate attended the ELPUB 2015 conference in Valetta, Malta and talked about UK Open Access policy and the University of Edinburgh’s approach to implementing Green Open Access in light of the OA requirements for the forthcoming REF. A conference paper which briefly analyses the implications of these requirements and  the presentation slides are available at https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/10553.


Reusable Outputs – Deposit of Acceptance Email Templates

  • Colleagues at St Andrews University have published a series of reusable email templates which can be used by repository staff in a variety of circumstances to encourage academics to transition to “deposit on acceptance” (as required for REF compliance). These are licenced with CC-BY and are available at https://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/7506.


Reflections on the Last Few Months

Reviewing progress over the last few months, the Summer has been extremely busy, with LOCH Project partners working closely with colleagues from Elsevier and the PURE UK User Group to further develop functionality to support OA compliance for research funder and research assessment requirements.  Thinking back about our activities, they have mostly been informed by external policy and amendments to it – and balancing these external pressures with a need to provide robust processes and services to support researchers in their work.  Thinking about our conversations and deliberations over the last months – here are five top tips for Open Access implementation:

  1. Devise, implement and maintain one steady internal policy on Open Access which provides best-fit for a range of external drivers (REF, RCUK, Wellcome, Horizon 2020 etc.).
  2. Do not change internal Open Access policy to reflect changes in the wider environment – doing so could be unsettling for researchers and undermine confidence in your Open Access services.
  3. Devise one very simple, clear message about what action researchers need to take and the support there is available to them.
  4. Robust yet flexible planning and early adoption are everything. Do not underestimate the time it takes to achieve a change of culture around publication practice.
  5. Don’t work in isolation – gain the buy-in of senior stakeholders, research administrators, library staff and academic research leads across your institution.


Looking Forward

We are now in the new Semester and April 2016 is rapidly approaching – and there is still much work to complete, but there are already a number of  dates for the diary and events in planning:

  • A short workshop on Open Access implementation for PURE customers is planned to take place at the PURE UK User Group in Birmingham on Wednesday September 30th. Please contact dominic.tate@ed.ac.uk for further details of this event.
  • Dominic Tate will be presenting at a FOSTER webinar facilitated by Jisc and ARMA on Thursday 19th This webinar will feature a series of case studies on Open Access advocacy – details are available at https://www.arma.ac.uk/events/training-and-development/online-resources/neventitem.2015-06-17.2792528938.
  • A further Open Access planning workshop is planned for early December – this will take place in England – exact location and date to be confirmed and publicised shortly.

Dominic Tate – on behalf of the LOCH Project Team


Earlier this year we published a report “A year in the life of Open Access support: continuous improvement at University of St Andrews” which described development of our OA support service. In our case study we mentioned email templates that were being used and in our “REF-monitoring” workflows (Appendix 2. p14) and to back up our simple messages about the HEFCE OA Policy for the next REF. We have recently amended the templates, simplifying the message further to avoid any confusion over dates, and because many of our researchers now have a reasonable awareness of the policy. We continue to use them as a way of encouraging early deposit of accepted manuscripts into our Research Information System, Pure – and to thank authors who have already deposited.

The email templates are at: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/7506 (with a Creative Commons license)

We have now sent out well over 200 emails, and have been getting a great response. Naturally our inbox is bursting with additional enquiries and some concerns, but in general authors are happy that they are getting guidance on what/how/when to deposit. Our deposit rate for 2015 across the University is now around 69%, with one School (where we have been working closely to develop additional support) reaching 89%. Some Schools are yet to catch on, so we continue to use other forms of communication such as regular newsletters. Our favourite response to these is “Interesting… please do come and speak at our staff council to get us up to speed” – so the advocacy work continues!

Jackie, Mike & Kyle – OA Support Team, University of St Andrews Library


IMG_3525  IMG_3523  IMG_3474  IMG_3464

Last week I attended the 19th International Conference on Electronic Publishing (ELPUB 2015), which took place at the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valetta, Malta.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Scale, Openness and Trust: New Avenues for Electronic Publishing in the Age of Infinite Collections and Citizen Science”.

The conference attracted over 70 delegates from all over Europe – most of whom were employed in scholarly communications roles in university libraries.  The convenient size of the event, combined with the specialisms of the attendees made this a really useful event for me to attend – I was able to gain quite a lot of insight into publication trends in different countries and in particular, progress with the transition towards Open Access.  I think Finland might be one to watch on this front – our Finnish colleagues have ambitious plans to become 100% Open Access in the next few years!

The conference featured a particularly interesting opening keynote from Gowan Dawson of the University of Leicester, who introduced the theme of citizen science by reviewing the history of this area with a particular focus on some interesting 19th century publications such as Hardwicke’s Science-Gossip.

Other notable presentations included Gail Feigenbaum’s keynote on the unintended consequences of electronic publication – (which even included salary disparities between editors working with print and electronic at one publishing house) and a fabulous talk from senior staff of the Times of Malta, who discussed the impact that disruptive technologies can have on media such as newspapers.  They also talked about the pressures that the likes of Facebook and Google can exert on a small press such as this, and the limited recourse available to them.

My paper focused on the UK’s REF Open Access policies and how this is proving a real game-changer in the rate of adoption of OA in the UK.  The full conference paper and my slides are available to download at https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/10553 .

Dominic Tate – University of Edinburgh