On 27th March the Scholarly Communications Team at the University of Edinburgh were delighted to host the 6th regular meeting of the Open Access Scotland Group at the impressive Paterson’s Land building (pictured above).
The Group aims to provide a voice for open access in Scotland, allow the sharing of best practice, facilitate opportunities for networking between stakeholders, and lobby on behalf of Scottish organisations. It is an open group and comprises members from Scottish HE institutions and other allied organisations, like academic publishers, software vendors, local and national government agencies and research funders. The group also has honorary members from Iceland and Northern Ireland.
The event on 27th March was attended by 40 people representing over 20 organisations.
The first speaker was Pauline Ward who gave a well received talk on Open Science Approaches – including the fantastic Research Data Service at the University of Edinburgh.
During the main session we had a facilitated discussion around issues such as the use of research notebooks, how to do open access for Practise-led Research, and updates on Plan S, UK-SCL and Jisc Support.
The draft notes from the event are available online here:
If you are interested in Open Access and are based in Scotland then I would heartily recommend joining up to the Open Access Scotland Group. The next meeting is pencilled in for September and will probably be hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness. Hope to see you there!
Instructions for Pure users on how to find data to join PubMed LinkOut
PubMed LinkOut is a service where you can send data to NCBI which will allow them to link PubMed records directly to your institutional repository:
Whilst the benefits for repository owners are obvious – e.g. massively increasing the visibility of your open access content – not many repositories are actually doing this. At the time of writing, in the UK there are only 4 other repositories in the LinkOut programme: University of Strathclyde, Imperial College London, the White Rose consortium & the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Currently there are no other institutions that use Pure so I thought I would investigate and create some instructions.
This blog post will help Pure administrators find URLs to full‐text open access items that have a PMID, but not a PMCID which can be used to send to NCBI.
Step 1: find Pure records that have a PMID, and also have open access full-text.
Note: Pure only holds PMIDs for records that have been imported from PubMed. Unfortunately, PMC IDs are not stored like other identifiers like ISBNs or DOIs. Set up a new report with the following filters:
- Organisation Unit – include all underlying subunits
- Source: select value is PubMed
- Electronic version(s) of this work: Accepted author manuscript/Submitted manuscript
Recommended values for data table:
- Electronic versions(s) of this work > DOI
- System info > Source-ID
- System info > UUID
- System info > ID
- Add access version of this item > Open Access embargo date
This report will pull all records from Pure that have been imported from PubMed, and will show the Pure ID/DOI/PMID/UUID and OA embargo date. The UUID will be used to generate a stable URL to the item page in the portal. Export the report as an Excel spreadsheet.
Step 2: Find out which Pure records with PMIDs also have PMCIDs
If a paper has a PMC ID then it will have an open access version in PubMed Central and the LinkOut won’t be interested in including that record. You can use the online PMCID – PMID – Manuscript ID – DOI Converter to find out if the items in the Pure report have PMC IDs:
Cut/paste PMIDs into the box, select CSV result format and convert 100 records at a time. Any more will likely to produce an error.
Ignoring the results with PMCIDs, cut/paste the remaining PMIDs (Identifier not found in PMC) into a new column in the Pure report spreadsheet.
Step 3: Identify the Pure records which can be included in PubMed LinkOut.
So far we have a list of records in Pure that have a PMID (which may or may not have PMCIDs), and a list of PMIDs that have been checked to make sure they don’t have PMC IDs. What we need to do now is merge the data. There are a number of different ways to do this in Excel, but I chose to use the conditional formatting function to highlight duplicate PMIDs in Pure that are on the ‘not in PMC list’ we created. Filtering by colour will then give you a list of records which can be included in the PubMed LinkOut programme. I chose to remove the items which are currently under an embargo which can be identified from the Open Access embargo date, and removed using a filter.
All that is remaining to do is to tidy up the records and add the stable URL. This can be done by taking the UUID-4 value from the Pure report and concatenating with the handle server ID for Pure, for example:
Handle + UUID-4 = URL , e.g:
Now you have a list of URLs of items in Pure that have PMIDs – but crucially not PMCIDs – which you can submit to the LinkOut Programme. You can download a printable PDF version of these instructions here:
The University of Edinburgh is a strong supporter of open access (OA), and in 2018, researchers at Edinburgh published over 7,000 peer reviewed research outputs, of which over 5,181 (74%) are openly available from the University’s research portal (www.research.ed.ac.uk). As a large and diverse organisation there is naturally a large variation in the way in which we make our research openly available. From our total of 5,181 open access research outputs we find that 2,959 outputs (or 57%) are published as Gold OA – where the publisher makes the version-of-record open sometimes for a fee – and 2,222 (or 43%) are available as Green OA – where the author makes their accepted manuscript open from our Institutional or Subject Repositories for free.
Over the last 5 years the University has spent in the region of £5 million with publishers to make around 2,800 papers Gold OA. The majority of these papers were published as ‘hybrid OA’ in subscription journals where the publisher charges subscription fees to access the closed content, and also charges an open access fee to make individual papers open access. This practice of charging twice is called ‘double-dipping’ as large research intensive institutions have not seen their subscription costs lowered in proportion to their open access expenditure.
Over the last 5 years we have seen a period of significant consolidation of the open access publishing market with just three companies responsible for publishing 51% of Edinburgh’s journal articles, whilst receiving 57% of the money available for open access. The bulk of the University of Edinburgh’s RCUK block grants have been spent on ‘Hybrid OA’ journals as shown in the diagram below. Only 3 out of the 10 most popular publishers are purely Gold OA and don’t charge subscriptions :
Research funders like UKRI and the Wellcome Trust previously supported this ‘hybrid-OA’ model, but they no longer believe that it supports a transition to full OA which is their aim. To precipitate a change in the publisher’s behaviour and to increase the adoption of open access, a number of important European research funders, co-ordinated by Science Europe, developed Plan S.
Plan S update
Plan S requires that, from 2020, scientific publications that result from research funded by public money must be published in compliant Open Access journals, and specifically states that ‘hybrid OA’ journals won’t be supported. As it currently stands, Plan S will be hugely disruptive as researchers will potentially not be able to publish in their journal of choice.
In order to understand the impact of how Plan S will affect our research staff, departments and the broader academic community, Library & University Collections carried out a wide ranging consultation exercise. The Scholarly Communications Team held a series of eight open meetings, during the period 23rd – 30th January 2019, which were attended by over 260 staff. As far as we are aware this was the largest consultation held by a HE institution.
Based on feedback gathered at these meetings, the University has submitted a balance response to that is supportive of Plan S and the time frames set down, but also reflects the concerns raised about risks to international collaboration – specifically co-publishing work with collaborators in non-Plan S regions of the world. The response, and more general information about Plan S, can be read in full on our web pages:
UKRI will decide how to apply the principles of Plan S once it has concluded an ongoing review of its own open-access policies, which is not likely to be completed until next autumn. The current Open Access policy is firmly in place until 31st March 2020 and it would be improbable for UKRI to change terms and conditions of grant awards midway through the year. We can therefore expect UKRI to adopt Plan S from 1 April 2020.
Every week is open access week at the University of Edinburgh. From April 2016 – June 2018 the University of Edinburgh has made 11,793 research outputs open access. This represents 89% of the research published that could be submitted to the REF2020 exercise.
During the period Sept-2017 to Sept-2018 over 774,535 research outputs were downloaded from the Edinburgh Research Explorer. This equates to nearly 65,000 downloads per month.
The five most popular papers written by University of Edinburgh authors are listed below:
|Personality Structure in the Domestic Cat , Scottish Wildcat , Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard and African Lion: A Comparative Study||Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M.; Weiss, Alexander||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11820/fd973849-7ae1-48a8-833c-d4da8a7c9de3||27,846|
|Tubby’s dub style :The live art of record production||Williams, Sean||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11820/510f47ca-8881-4691-a6a6-23dd5fcea473||10,782|
|Predicting loss given default (LGD) for residential mortgage loans:A two-stage model and empirical evidence for UK bank data||Leow, M.; Mues, C.||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11820/485b5935-f0cc-4944-ab93-4abb2511e7fc||5,673|
|There’s no madness in my method: Explaining how your research findings are built on firm foundations||Saunders, Mark N. K.; Rojon, Celine||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11820/43a5d933-01fb-46f7-a2ec-a6691f157c6b||5,585|
|The past, present and future of China’s automotive industry: a value chain perspective||Oliver, N.; Holweg, Matthias; Luo, Jianxi||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11820/26a252cc-4c3d-437f-a645-a086f5e70303||4,958|
Open access is being pulled and pushed in different directions by groups who each have their own intentions and motivations:
- Research funders want to maximize their investment and – by holding the purse-strings – are the change instigators accelerating the pace of adoption of open access. Some are more proactive than others pushing scholarly communication towards Gold OA in certain subject disciplines, whilst other funders are less active preferring change to be more organic.
- Publishers, as gate-keepers of the scholarly written record, influence how open access happens through innovation (developing new business models and products), control of intellectual property (open licensing or imposing journal embargoes) and controlling the spiraling costs. Some publishers are profit-driven and seek the highest returns that the market can burden. Others are more motivated by the academic community
- Libraries are change agents who can help to enable open access in institutions, for example through implementing repository platforms and offering support services and expertise. Their motivations to be involved are many; Library core values are well-aligned with open scholarship, they have a strong interest in and are well-placed to ensure institutional funds are efficiently allocated, and there is a drive to enhance their relevance through redefining roles within research institutions.
- Academics. It is easily to fall in to the trap that academics are passive actors in all of this. It feels like the silent majority go along with the status quo as research is their prime concern, and scholarly communication is a side-show with which they have little interest in how it works. Because publishing is increasingly being outsourced they lack a sense of agency or ownership. However, some researchers are driven to innovate and change their scholarly communication practices.
The interaction of each of these players in the scholarly communication game has led to the development of a system driven by interlocking policies, platforms and processes, which we have shown over the course of the last few blog posts, is unnecessarily complex, expensive, inefficient and increasingly at risk of being not fit for purpose.
What steps should libraries be doing to improve scholarly communication?
1. Remove complexity
The problem with Green OA is – it’s not immediate (journals embargoes are far too long), it’s not compliant with all funders policies and it’s unnecessary complexity (checking and matching funders policies and journal embargoes) is inefficient and has many hidden costs.
Help your institution to adopt the UK-Scholarly Communications Licence and most of these problems are diminished. [Read more here]
2. Reduce OA publishing costs
Hybrid OA Gold is the most popular and expensive route for paid open access. A side effect of lowering embargoes is that authors can comply with their research funders open access policies via Green OA.
Where possible, stop paying Hybrid OA costs, and use the open access block grants for pure Gold OA only. [Read more here]
3. Innovate and nurture academic-led publishing
Academic and National Libraries should support academic-led publishing and open access initiatives that are inclusive and open to scholars who do not have budgets for publishing.
Help your staff and students set up their own open access journals using software like Open Journal Systems. Support initiatives like the Open Library of Humanities by becoming a supporter member, and if you are from a larger institution then you should offer to support at a higher rate. [Read more here]
Our last #openaccess week blog post finished with the observation that publishers are increasingly becoming in control of scholarly infrastructure, and that it is now more important than ever for academics to retain control over their research and publishing activities. To help with this we made the recommendation that Academic and National Libraries should support ‘low cost and no cost’ Gold OA – meaning open access initiatives that are inclusive and open to scholars who do not have budgets for publishing. To paraphrase Martin Eve who could articulate this better than I could ever hope to:
“….the economics of the humanities are different. The majority of research in the humanities remains unfunded except through institutional time. For this reason, Article Processing Charges are not a palatable option for these disciplines.“
Compared against STEM subjects and the lifesciences, commercial publishers have not made much headway with Gold OA in the arts and humanities disciplines. Partly in response, I believe in recent years this has led to lots of academic-led publishing initiatives being set up. You can read more in this excellent paper by Adema & Stone:
Open Library of Humanities
One of my favourite initiatives in the humanities is the Open Library of Humanities. It is funded through a model of library partnership subsidies which collectively funds the platform and its array of journals. A large number of libraries and institutions worldwide already support the OLH, which makes for a sustainable, safe platform.
The annual cost for supporting libraries is less than one Gold OA article processing charge which is excellent value for money – if you had £1000 would you prefer to provide open access to one article or for a whole suite of journals? If your institution hasn’t already signed up – you can check here (https://www.openlibhums.org/plugins/supporters/) – then I would wholeheartedly recommend that you sign up to be a supporting member. In fact, if you are from a larger institution then you should offer to support at a higher rate (which is STILL cheaper than one Hybrid Gold OA publishing fee):
Edinburgh University Library Open Journals
Edinburgh University Library supports the publication of academic and student-led open access journals by providing a journal hosting service using the Open Journal Systems software. The Open Journal service is available to University of Edinburgh students and academics and is provided free of charge.
The Library helps with the initial set up of all new journals and provides ongoing support. We:
- Provide the service free of charge on the condition that journals requirements can be met without additional cost or time to the Library.
- Provide advice and support to help editorial teams set up their journal and training on using OJS
- Provide limited customisation of the new journal according to the design brief supplied by the journal editorial team. Provide initial training and documentation and ongoing support
- Provide training (as required) for new publishing staff
- Consult with experts in the Library to offer copyright advice
- Set up a Google Analytics account for each journal. Please note, the Library may make appropriate use of the statistical data
- Manage (and pay for) Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) which use the Library’s DOI prefix: 10.2218
- Apply for an ISSN on behalf of the journal
- On publication, apply to DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals).
Currently there are 16 journals on the platform and we are looking to grow the service over the new two years.