20,000th item in the Edinburgh Research Archive

We are delighted to announce the deposit of the 20,000th item into our institutional repository the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA). ERA is a digital repository of original research which contains documents written by academic authors based at, or affiliated with, the University of Edinburgh that have sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by the Library, but which are not controlled by commercial publishers. Holdings include full-text digital doctoral theses, masters dissertations, project reports, briefing papers and out-of-print materials.

Our milestone 20,000th item is a PhD thesis written by Susan Ahrens at the Moray House School of Education and was awarded in 2016:

Understanding sport as the expansion of capabilities: the Homeless World Cup and Street Soccer (Scotland)

2016 Homeless World Cup in Glasgow : image courtesy of the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36819350)

This work investigates the relationship between sport, homelessness and poverty, and considers the way two social enterprises – the Homeless World Cup and Street Soccer (Scotland) – help overcome homelessness and its associated effects.

APCs paid in the wild

As part of the Lessons in Open Access Compliance for Higher Education (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.

Copyright waffle and the illusion of choice.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/3934968493/

ice cream cone trio by stu_spivack : http://edin.ac/1Rm0wEi

An academic colleague of mine recently had an article accepted for publication in a journal. As usual they were emailed by the publisher who asked them to sign an Author Publishing Agreement which would transfer copyright to them. However, the author noticed that the publisher also allowed authors to retain their own copyright by instead signing a Licence to Publish.

Keep your copyright!

The researcher wasn’t sure whether to assign copyright to the publisher, or if it would be preferable for them to retain copyright. On the face of it, it seems like a no-brainer – keep your copyright rather than signing it away. This is the mantra that open access advocates have been saying for years.

BUT more importantly.

Always read the small print – or get someone else to do it for you – and understand what you are getting yourself into.

The illusion of choice

In this particular case, if you read both the standard Publishing Agreement (to transfer copyright) and the Licence Agreement (to keep copyright) with a fine-tooth comb you will find that they pretty much contain the same language verbatim. There is no practical difference between them both in the end results. Both the author and the publisher will end up with exactly the same rights for exactly the same duration. There is the illusion of choice but it literally doesn’t matter which piece of paper is signed. This is an example of Copyright Waffle and it sidetracks from the important things.

Waffles by Brenda Wiley: http://edin.ac/1Rm13Gq

Waffles by Brenda Wiley: http://edin.ac/1Rm13Gq

Important things:

  1. By hook, or by crook, make your work open access.
  2. If you don’t know how, then ask someone who does; generally speaking Librarians will always be able to help you.
  3. If you have the option, publish your work with a Creative Commons licence; CC-BY is our favourite flavour.

 

 

Open Access in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

My name is Anna Krzak, and I am an Open Access Research Publications Administrator for the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. I have been in this role since March this year. Previously, I worked as an Open Access Publications Assistant (also for MVM) so I am not entirely new to the University and its Open Access (OA) project. I have been assisting academics within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine with the RCUK OA policy implementation since April last year but, since I used to work mostly from home, I should introduce myself properly now.

The main purpose of my new role is to gather Open Access full text versions of research papers and the accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts and to upload the files to the Institutional Repository. As part of that, I ensure that the licensing terms and conditions are adhered to, including any embargo periods, and that any licenses or set phrases are acknowledged in PURE. In addition, I often advise academic staff on research funders’ Open Access policies and relevant Open Access options. If necessary, I consult the publishers in regard to their often unclear self-archiving policies (this is probably my least favourite bit..). As such, my role combines both theoretical and practical aspects of the OA implementation project that’s currently being undertaken throughout the University.

As the RCUK OA policy has been in force since April 2013, I thought it would be a good idea to evaluate the progress of its implementation in my College:

Please note that the collected evidence refers only to peer-reviewed research articles (including review articles) and conference proceedings that were submitted for publication after 1 April 2013 and that acknowledge the RCUK funding (as per the RCUK OA policy).

RCUK Compliance for the reporting period 1/04/13 – 4/06/14:

Approximately 224 research outputs have been identified, of which 192 have open access documents available to the general public. This means an 85% open access compliance rate (as of 4th June 2014).

All outputs All Open Access Gold/Gratis OA Green OA
         223      191      164            27

However, a more detailed analysis of the RCUK requirements for OA has revealed few secondary problems:

  • Licensing: Although the majority of all OA articles have been published under the CC-BY and CC-BY-NC licence (as required by the RCUK), in approximately 18 cases the articles were published under the CC-BY-NC-SA or CC-BY-NC-ND licences
  • Length of embargo periods: In 18 out of 27 cases the embargo periods were 12 months and longer
  • Self-archiving issues: In several cases journals didn’t offer any green options

If we take these points into consideration, the compliance rate for the specified period stands at approximately 67%, as compared to the required 45%. Overall, it’s quite a good result for MVM.

I’m afraid that my introduction has come across all too serious. However, in a face-to-face conversation you may find out that I am not really that bad 😉

-Anna Krzak, Open Access Research Publications Administrator, MVM

Three different traits of open access publishers

This week I’ve been compiling some data for the next meeting of the RLUK Ethical and Effective Publishing Working Group. Some of the data itself is pretty interesting so I thought I would write a quick blog post and share some preliminary thoughts on what it means. The table below shows the top 5 publishers in terms of money spent on article processing charges (APCs) from the RCUK open access block grant in 2013-14.

Publisher Total spend No. of APCs Average APC Discount on list price
Elsevier £52,596 36 £1,461.00 25%
Wiley £51,781 35 £1,479.46 25%
Public Library of Science (PLOS) £23,737 24 £989.04 0%
Nature Pub Group (NPG) £21,226 8 £2,653.25 0%
BioMed Central (BMC) £20,746 16 £1,296.63 15%

Article processing charges (APC) for the most popular journals for Edinburgh authors.

We found that 2 publishers stood head and shoulders clear from the rest of the field. In terms of gross spend and number of articles published the top publisher was Elsevier, with £52.6k and 36 articles. In second place, with a similar publisher profile was Wiley with £51.8k and 35 articles. Both of these publishers were followed by PLOS, NPG and BMC who all had broadly similar spends of around £20k. Whilst the total cost per publisher is interesting, what is really noteworthy is the number of articles that money pays for, revealing something of the publisher’s strategy in the open access market place.

The lowest APCs are incurred from the open access journals – PLOS and BMC – who have fees roughly a third less than the other publishers. The highest APCs are incurred by hybrid journals, who also make money from subscriptions, and article reprints. NPG stand out from the crowd as they charge nearly double compared to their competitors.

In summary, what we see here are broadly 3 groups of publishers with different traits:

Money Makers – traditional publishers with the biggest market share, the highest number of articles published, APC set to the highest they think market can bear without losing submissions, initially offering biggest discounts for institutional deals to get sign ups (and easier access to authors).

Prestige reputation – traditional publishers trading on their reputational status. Significantly less articles published but with larger APCs levied to publish in the journals with the highest impact factors. Strategy of selling high end products and services to those that can afford them.

Emerging challengers – new business model and products, more reasonable APCs to attract a market share. However, it is worth noting that since being bought out by Springer, BMC have attracted criticism for raising APCs much quicker than the rate of inflation.

When we get round to submitting the final RCUK report we’ll release our full dataset of article processing charges.

[Minor edits made to original to correct grammar, headings and stylesheet]

Subject disciplines & download figures

One line summary

Disciplines without dedicated subject repositories seem to provide the most popular items downloaded from our institutional service.

The general trend

Whilst looking at the top 99 most downloaded items from the Edinburgh Research Explorer it struck me that the most popular cluster of subject disciplines were those from the Humanities & Social Sciences.

pie chart

The pie chart above shows the general breakdown by college with the Humanities and Social Science disciplines making up over half of the most popular items downloaded from our institutional repository. Science and Engineering disciplines own a third of the most popular items, whilst Medicine & Veterinary Medicine make up the remainder.

I was initially surprised given that the bulk of our 18,000+ open access full text items are from the Science, Technology, Engineering & Technology (STEM) fields.

 Looking in more detail

When you further sub-divide the broad classification into finer subject groupings you start to see the beginnings of a pattern emerge.

bar chart

The bar chart above shows the number of items in the top 99 downloads for each school at the University of Edinburgh (apologies for the tiny text – click image to enlarge). Each school broadly maps to a subject area, albeit with some fuzziness; for example, the Edinburgh College of Art comprises a number of creative disciplines like Fine Art, Music and Design brought together in one unit.

Science & Engineering (Red)

From our download figures the most popular S&E subject disciplines – Geosciences, Engineering and Chemistry – all don’t have dedicated subject repositories. Whereas, the least popular – Maths, Physics, Informatics and Biological Sciences –  are all well covered by the subject repositories arXiv or PubMed Central.

Humanities & Social Sciences (Blue)

The most downloaded HSS units are the Edinburgh College of Art, the Business School, History, Classics & Archaeology and Social & Political Science; none of which have established methods of sharing via subject repositories.

Economics is already serviced well by RePeC, Psychology & Language Sciences have CogPrints, and Health in Social Sciences is covered by PubMed Central. Only Divinity and Education don’t have subject repositories and have relatively low download rates.

Medicine & Veterinary Medicine (Green)

This college grouping is extremely well covered by the PubMed Central subject repository which may explain the poorer than expected usage performance.

Some closing remarks and limitations

There are no bad results here: all of the open access downloads from our service are complimentary to those obtained directly from publishers websites and from other subject repositories. These downloads can in a way be considered extra views that we help facilitate.

This blog post is only a quick observation and not a fully fledged study so take what I say here with a pinch of salt. Using the number of popular items as a proxy for download rates may not be completely accurate, but on the other hand it does help even out some anomalies (like high download figures for one item skewing the whole data set). To be more comprehensive we should really look at the whole set of 18,000+ items rather than just the top 99. Even with these limitations in mind I still think this is a useful and interesting observation.

2014 download statistics from research.ed.ac.uk

As well as reporting on the number of open access uploads to our institutional repository we now have the facility to report on the other end of the spectrum – the number of downloads for each item.  Here are the top 10 items downloaded from our research portal so far in 2014:

Title  School Jan-14 Feb-14 Mar-14 Apr-14 May-14 Total
Total 28,229 33,418 44,437 47,864 50,092 278,667
The past, present and future of China’s automotive industry Business School 523 633 993 1199 993 5796
Youth Crime and Justice School of Law 207 192 272 384 198 2127
The Computer Modelling of Mathematical Reasoning School of Informatics 198 152 267 187 125 1734
An Introduction to Conditional Random Fields School of Informatics 66 349 614 656 1685
The double-curvature masonry vaults of Eladio Dieste Edinburgh College of Art 126 187 234 187 178 1342
Liquidity, Business Cycles and Monetary Policy School of Economics 59 82 72 78 69 839
The dynamics of solar PV costs and prices as a challenge for technology forecasting School of Engineering 41 110 164 212 237 835
The Limits to ‘Spin-Off’ School of Social and Political Science 389 121 35 17 19 833
The Adaptive City Edinburgh College of Art 69 56 98 125 195 818

It is interesting to note that six of the items are from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, whilst the remaining four items are from the College of Science & Engineering. Records from the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine are surprisingly absent from the top downloads chart. In fact this trend continues if you look at the top 100 downloaded records. I have a pet theory about this which I will follow up in a separate blog post [EDIT – post available here].

Researchers – what’s new for you from the Library

“Researchers – what’s new for you from the Library” is an event being held in the Murray Library at the King’s Buildings to highlight some recent developments in Library services and resources for researchers. Places are bookable for all University of Edinburgh staff and research postgraduates via MyEd (see booking links below) or just drop into the Murray Library Ground Floor. Coffee and buns will be available from 12.30.

When: Wednesday 28th May
Where: Murray Library, Ground floor

Murray Library

Programme of talks

Each session is 15 minutes each plus 5 minutes Q&A. Pick and choose which talks you fancy or come along to the whole event:

13:00 – 13.20 – Research Data Management https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=9667

13.30 – 13.50 – Open Access: an overview
https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=9669

14.00 – 14.20 – Post 2014 REF: Open Access requirements
https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=9670

14.30 – 14.50 – Library support for researchers – overview
https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=9671

15.00 – 15.20 – Centre for Research Collections: Science and Engineering historical collections
https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=9996

If you’ve not been along to the Murray Library before then this is a great excuse to come and check out the new building and it’s excellent facilities. Also, did we mention the free Tea/Coffee and Doughnuts?

8000th full text item added to the Edinburgh Research Archive

To round off the week we’re delighted to have just archived our 8000th full text item in the Edinburgh Research Archive. The item to receive this prestigious accolade is a dissertation from the Moray House School of Education called:

Writing in the Junior Secondary Phase “Standard V”.

This dissertation was digitised from microfilm and uploaded to ERA by Stephanie Anderson who we have had the pleasure of working with us for the last month. Stephanie has been working in our Scholarly Communications Team as an intern as part of her studies for a Library and Information Studies Masters degree from Robert Gordon University.

We have really enjoyed having Stephanie join our team for the short time she was here, and we wish her all the best for her future endeavours!

University of Edinburgh Open Access update: April 2014

Green Open Access

As of 30th April there are approximately 78,340 records in our Current Research Information System (PURE), of which 18,321 have open access documents available to the general public (23% open access).

Looking specifically at just journal articles and conference proceedings:

OA full text/Record only (all time) Open access % OA full text/Record only (2013+) Open access %
Medicine & Veterinary Medicine 6,712/19,998  34  1,023/2,212  46
Humanities & Social Science 3,459/13,571  26  577/1,119  51
Science & Engineering 5,915 /26,009  23  841/2,049  41

 

Gold Open Access

Monthly application figures to the Gold Open Access funds:

Month Applications to RCUK Applications to Wellcome
January 2014 32 13
February 2014 24 13
March 2014 23 14
April 2014 35 5

Status of the Wellcome fund – since the start of the new reporting period (November 2013) the cumulative open access spend has been £152,826

Status of the RCUK fund – current cumulative spend for the current reporting period (since April 2013) is £393,480 with an additional £65,500 committed on articles submitted for publication.