Tag Archives: open access

Results of the Sherpa FACT accuracy testing – 95% accurate

UKCoRR welcomes the results of a  recent exercise – undertaken by UK librarians, repository managers and Sherpa Services – that has shown that the results produced by SHERPA/FACT (Funders & Authors Compliance Tool) have an accuracy rate of over 95%

The FACT service was developed to help researchers get a simple answer to the question “does this journal have an open access publishing policy compliant with my funder’s open access mandate?”. The FACT service – which draws its information from the SHERPA/ROMEO and SHERPA/JULIET databases – seeks to provide a yes/no answer to this question, as well as providing information about how an author can comply with a funder policy.

There had been some discussion at the SHERPA/FACT Advisory Board, raised by UKCoRR members and their institutions – as to whether the information provided by FACT was accurate.

To address this issue an exercise was undertaken – by members of UKCoRR – to manually check a statistically significant number of journal/funder combinations and then compare the information this group had found with the information provided by FACT. Where the independent reviewers arrived at a different conclusion to that provided by FACT, then that journal/publisher combination was subjected to detailed and exhaustive investigation to arrive at an evidenced answer.

At the end of this exercise, it was found that the FACT service provides correct information in over 95% of cases.

The study clearly highlighted the difficulties that even highly experienced repository staff have at deciphering publisher OA policies. Indeed, the initial testing undertaken by UKCoRR members suggested that FACT was only accurate on 57% of occasions. When these journal/funder combinations were investigated further, however, close examination of the often complex conditions and the interactions between different statements and policies showed that FACT was correct in almost all of the cases.

The SHERPA/FACT team as well as the SHERPA/FACT Advisory Group would like to extend their thanks to the UKCoRR Members who took part in this checking process for their time commitment as well as their extensive knowledge of this area of work. This exercise has proved that the SHERPA/FACT service can be relied upon as a source of advice for UK researchers. UKCoRR also encourages it’s members to continue to communicate with SHERPA/FACT where discrepancies are found to continue to improve the quality of the information SHERPA/FACT relies upon.

Issues of interpretation and the interaction between the various policies have been seen to be the key to the discrepancy between our manually checked results and Sherpa’s findings. There is further work to be done here and UKCoRR looks forward to continuing to work with the SHERPA/FACT Advisory Group to develop increased clarity in this area.

To see the full data and study methodology, visit Figshare.

The study was commissioned by the SHERPA/FACT Advisory Board – which includes representatives from UKCoRR, Jisc, Wellcome Trust, Research Councils UK (RCUK), CRC Nottingham, Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Publishers Association and SCONUL.

A blog post from Jisc on this project is available as well as a press release on the project.

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Decision trees for RCUK OA compliance

These are some examples of decision trees that have been developed at UK HEIs to help inform academic staff how to make their work OA (particularly in respect to RCUK compliance) – the Oxford example is notable in that it starts from the standpoint of Green rather than Gold, in contrast to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills own decision tree at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldselect/ldsctech/122/12206.htm

If you know of any more please comment below or tweet @ukcorr

University of Oxford – http://openaccess.ox.ac.uk/decision-tree/
University of York – http://www.york.ac.uk/library/informationfor/researchers/openaccess/guide/
University College London (UCL) – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/publications/MRC-flowchart.pdf
University of Edinburgh – http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/services/research-support/publish-research/open-access/how-to-guides
University of Exeter – http://as.exeter.ac.uk/media/level1/academicserviceswebsite/library/documents/openaccess/General_Open_Access_publishing_workflow_Jan13.pdf
University of Manchester – http://www.openaccess.manchester.ac.uk/showmehow/

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Could the so-called Gold Rush actually result in Green reinforcement?

This is a guest post by Pablo de Castro, UK RepositoryNet+ Consultant.

Please do also take the time to complete the RepNet survey at http://ukcorr.org/events/future-events/teesside-university-friday-9th-november-2012/repnet_survey/


Much has been said in recent months about the Gold Rush and the financial unsustainability of a given way of planning the transition to research output dissemination through Gold Open Access publishing models. However, the ‘Gold Rush’ may be better than no rush whatsoever, and the post-Finch emphasis on Gold OA models has resulted in the profile of colour-agnostic Open Access getting significantly raised among Research Committees at HEIs following effective communication efforts by Institutional Repository (IR) managers and University Libraries. Furthermore, the current analysis on potential Open Access policy compliance mechanisms could well result in a substantial wave of supporting policies at institutions towards IRs and Green Open Access.

All these issues were discussed last Tuesday Dec 4th at the RSP webinar ‘The Role of Institutional Repositories after the Finch Report’. Three prominent IR managers -Sally Rumsey, U Oxford, Dominic Tate, Royal Holloway U London (RHUL) and Miggie Pickton, U of Northampton- were delivering presentations on the present state of IR/Open Access awareness and the role IRs will play for policy compliance purposes at their universities.

oxford_reaction_to_OA_policy (2)

Each of them provided a very useful specific insight on the point discussions are right now at their institutions: research-intensive U Oxford (80k publications/year) has set up an OA@Oxford Programme lead by the Bodleian Libraries and involving Research Services, IT Services and Academic Divisions. The programme comprises ten projects, three of which are focused on the Oxford Research Archive (ORA) IR (see Sally Rumsey’s presentation to learn more). Royal Holloway Research Online manager and his Library Director presented a brief and solid report to their Research Committee last September on the current state of OA policies which was praised by the Committee and has lead the way to subsequent discussions on possible ways to deliver compliance – Dominic Tate incidentally made an offer to share this report with other IR managers interested in carrying out their own awareness raising activities for their Research Committees. Finally, Miggie Pickton mentioned her calculation of the costs attached to Gold Open Access publishing of the U Northampton yearly research output as an input to the University Research and Enterprise Committee.

All three IR managers agreed that there were big opportunities for IRs as a result of the endorsement for Open Access delivered by the Finch report, regardless of what the recommended form was for realising it. As a result of the Finch report and the subsequent RCUK Open Access policy, scholars and institutional administrators now need to be aware of what Open Access is and what the requirements will be for universities in order to be eligible for receiving RCUK funding. Central Open Access publishing funds -such as the one already available at the University of Nottingham – are currently under consideration at many HEIs as a mechanism for effectively dealing with RCUK block grants and other funders’ requirements in terms of Open Access publishing. This discussion may very much reinforce the role IR managers and Libraries play in conveying the Open Access agenda to institutions, since no-one knows better about Open Access than they do. Preliminary Gold Open Access publishing cost analysis provided by IR managers to their Research Committees in the course of this discussions have resulted in Institutional Repositories being brought into consideration as a much cheaper, already available option for delivering compliance at institutional level.

IRs are however unevenly placed to take advantage of these opportunities: many of them are presently very poorly populated and feature large rates of metadata-only items. In order to be able to stand up to the requirements in terms of monitoring policy compliance, IRs will need to offer institutions a reliable set of functionalities for tracking Open Access outputs (and eventually payments, see the recently released RIN/OAIG report on the issue). This is what the UK RepositoryNet+ (aka RepNet) Project is working for: to provide the means to extend already existing IR tools and services to the whole IR network and to promote the implementation and use of new repository functionalities that allow IRs to become central pieces in the institutional research information management (RIM) services.

After the project presentations delivered a few weeks ago at the UKCoRR membership meeting at Teeside University, the RepNet put out a survey for collecting information from IR managers on the current state of service tool awareness and availability at IRs. The results of this survey -which account for over 20 answers so far- will shortly be disseminated from this UKCoRR blog. One of the questions in this survey deals with available RIM infrastructure at institutions, since we consider there is a pressing need for having an accurate landscape of CRIS/IR availability at HEIs in order to avoid effort duplication in building reporting tools. A preliminary RepNet note is already available examining use cases for RIM infrastructure configurations at HEIS, from IR-only and IR-as-CRIS to CRIS-only and CRIS-as-IR case studies through all possible ways of system co-existence. Once this CRIS/IR directory is complete, it will be made available by the RepNet and we hope it will be useful for building models on top of it, be it for REF reporting or now also for delivering OA compliance and reporting about it.

An overview of the different strategies for supporting and enhancing IRs the RepNet is working on will be delivered at the joint RepNet/RSP WS to be held in London next Jan 21st. After useful discussions last November at Teesside University, the RepNet will again be eager to promote discussion and to collect feedback and suggestions from the wider IR manager community.

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UK Research Councils (RCUK) Announce New Open Access Policy

In the wake of the Finch Report on the 16th July 2012 the RCUK has finally unveiled their revised Open Access policy, which brings with it a harmonization across the councils as well as introducing significant changes.  The policy will apply to all qualifying publications funded entirely or in part by a RCUK source from 1st April 2013. While the policy could be read as a further endorsement of the UK’s move to Gold Open Access, it is notable that repositories have at least some reasons to be cheerful within it.

The policy requires that peer-reviewed research papers can only be published in journals that are compliant with the RCUK Open Access policy.  Furthermore the papers must also include details on the funding that supported the research as well as information on how and where to access the data, samples or models that support the findings.  The RCUK along with HEFCE and other funding bodies will actively monitor compliance with this new policy.

Open Access, as defined by the policy, means an unrestricted online access to peer review and scholarly research papers.  Potential readers of the papers should be able, free of any publisher-imposed charge, read the publications online and to search and reuse content manually; as well as through the use of automated text/data mining tools.  Given the recent discussions on permitting or excluding text mining functions under copyright restrictions, this is perhaps a notable addition to the policy.

Journal titles can comply through (1) offering a pay to publish route funded through author publication contributions (APCs), or (2) by allowing deposit in a subject or institutional repository like LRA after the maximum permissible embargo period.  In the event that option (1) is not applicable then no APC will be payable to the publisher.  Where an APC is required by a journal publisher, the resultant work is required by the RCUK to be shared under a Creative Commons By Attribution (CC-BY) licence, allowing for others to build upon the work provided the original authors are credited in the subsequent outputs.  To help facilitate the payments for APCs the RCUK will provide block grants to institutions, who will themselves be expected to set up and manage their own publication funds.  Previously these have been included as direct and /or indirect costs of grant funding, but this will be discontinued.

In terms of a delay (embargo) to the research publications being available through open access the RCUK policy states that they “will accept a delay of no more than six months between on-line publication and a research paper becoming Open Access, except in the case of research papers arising from research funded by the AHRC and the ESRC where the maximum embargo period is 12 months.”  It will be interesting to see the reactions from those publishers whose embargo periods are very much in excess of this.

It should be noted that some research councils (MRC and ESRC) have a requirement that papers must be deposited in specific repositories.  See SHERPA/JULIET for more on complying with the specifics of individual Research Councils’ policies, although I suspect some of these will be updated in the coming days.

Further RCUK guidance on complying with the policy is also available.

As always UKCoRR welcomes input from the membership on the reactions and responses to this announcement; both individually or at an institutional level – either on the list or here as comments.

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