SGUL’s Open Research New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2022 and we have some New Year’s open research resolutions to help you find open services and make your research more findable and accessible. We shared them on Twitter throughout last week, and in case you missed any, we’ve collected them all together here to give you some ideas for what you could do to make your research more open in 2022. 

Ddecorative image, text reads

To make your research practices more open in 2022 you could… 

  1. look at this jargon busting poster on Open Research Demystified: 10 Things You Need to Know About Open Research. We presented this poster at Research Day in 2019 – did you see it there? 
  1. create records in the CRIS on acceptance for new publications and upload the accepted manuscripts. We’ll then be able to make your articles open access via SORA for anyone to access without needing to pay (publisher restrictions permitting). 
  1. read up on finding existing research data: here’s eleven quick tips for finding research data, published in PLoS Computation Biology, which will help you find and assess data to use in your own research. 
  1. install the CORE Discovery browser extension to help find open access copies of paywalled research articles. Haven’t heard of the largest aggregator of open access research papers? Here’s a short video about CORE
  1. get up to speed with The State of Open Data Report 2021 for perspectives from around the world on open data, data quality and curation, and more. 
  1. learn more about how open science is gaining global momentum. As a starting point, you could take a look at this post from cOAlition S welcoming the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.  
  1. link up your ORCID and Figshare accounts to connect your research outputs to your unique identifier: see Figshare’s help page on how to sync ORCID to find out how. (Don’t have an ORCID yet? Register here – it’s quick, easy and free!) 
  1. investigate the options for corresponding authors to publish open access at no direct cost. SGUL has signed up to a variety of publisher deals for free or reduced cost open access publication – for more details and to see which publishers are included, see our page on Paying Open Access Fees
  1. upload your supplementary data to the SGUL data repository. For help with this, see Figshare’s help article on publishing a dataset at the same time as the associated paper
  1. start a conversation with your colleagues and collaborators on how you can make our research practices more open. You could think about publishing via an open research platform (such as Wellcome Open Research), or consider what other types of research outputs you create and could make available (and get credit for), eg datasets, protocols, code, posters and presentations. 

And don’t forget to keep an eye on our twitter feed for information about open research events throughout the year. 

Any questions? Get in touch with us: 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant 

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian 

Liz Stovold, Research Data Support Manager 

Hi! Who are you? Building trust through identity in scholarship online

How can you build trust online and promote yourself and your research? In a poster presented at the recent SGUL annual Research Day, we highlighted some commonly used tools to manage and curate your research profile online, along with some pros and cons of each one.

In this blog we give you some more background and things to think about when considering your scholarly and professional identity online, to help you pick the tools that are right for you, starting with the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID).

ORCID

ORCID is a unique persistent identifier for researchers. Signing up to ORCID helps to distinguish you from other researchers and connects you with your achievements. It is simple to sign up for an ORCID, although it is possible to run into difficulties.This blog post from UK ORCID Support outlines some of the weird and wonderful ways some researchers have used these IDs – and how to put things right, for instance if you have managed to register for more than one ID: ORCIDs in the Wild: A Field Guide to the Popular Persistent Identifier

There have been some recent updates to the ORCID interface, and SGUL researchers will be pleased to know that SGUL’s data repository hosted in Figshare, now has an integration with ORCID. When you create an item in Figsharea record will be automatically created in your ORCID account (if you have that function enabled – it’s opt-in).

In CRIS, you can confirm your ORCID ID (Menu > My Account > Data source search > Automatic claiming), so that publications will automatically be added to your publication list.

Twitter

Twitter can be a great place to form a community and develop relationships with other researchers, but it can take a lot of time and effort to build and maintain a profile there. As well as tweeting links to your research, you’ll need to spend time engaging with other researchers to establish your presence and build your relationships, as well as keeping abreast of community norms around things like hashtag usage. You’ll also need to be aware of the possibility of abuse and harassment: SGUL has recently provided some guidance on what to do if you’re the target of trolling. Twitter may not be a low effort medium, but it can allow you to make connections and have conversations that you might otherwise never have had the opportunity for.

Thinking about trying out Twitter? This article in PLoS: Computational Biology has ten tips for getting started.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash  

Publons

The Publons platform allows you to record, gain credit for, and promote your peer reviewing work, work which may have been hidden in the past. Your public profile shows your verified peer reviews as well as publications, and citation metrics, though be aware that the content is based on coverage in Web of Science and may not consider anything not indexed there. The Publons (now Web of Science) Academy offers free peer-review training.

Clarivate are also running a webinar next week on building online researcher identity and open peer review

Other platforms

ResearchGate: While sharing and networking sites such as ResearchGate provide services of value to many researchers, ResearchGate is not considered an open access repository, as you need to create an account to login.

Academia.edu, Impact Story, Kudos: These are other sites that can help you share and explore the online impact of your work. These allow you different options of how to sign in (eg Facebook, Twitter) and freemium use is limited to certain features.

The value of open repositories

 Bear in mind that commercially or privately owned companies could be taken over at any time1,2 and there is no certainty the content or services will be available on the same terms in future. ResearchGate recently had to take down, at the publishers’ request3, full text articles that researchers had posted which contravened copyright rules.

The sharing platforms that SGUL provides for our researchers, Figshare and SORA, structure the information about the works deposited, making this available in a machine-readable format so these can be more easily found. There are quality assurance and licence information checks before the records are made available.

Speakers at Research Day talked about the acceleration of the work around trials to speed up vaccine development (while maintaining rigour and safety), and about preprinting their research. (For more on preprints, see our blogpost on preprints in the biological, medical and health sciences).

More community driven and not for profit services and digital initiatives such as ORCID, institutional repositories and funder publishing platforms (such as Wellcome Open Research and NIHR Open Research), are helping to open up research and connect the research back to the researchers in a very visible way, allowing for wider scrutiny of the research and who and is communicating it. So it’s worth thinking about how you present yourself and your research online

Any questions? Get in touch with us

The SGUL Communications Team can also help you promote your research and reach a wider audience 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant 

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian 

Liz Stovold, Research Data Support Manager 


1 Elsevier Expands Footprint in Scholarly Workflow (2017) Inside Higher Ed https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/08/03/elsevier-makes-move-institutional-repositories-acquisition-bepress (Accessed 8/12/2021)

2 Wiley Acquires Open Access Innovator Knowledge Unlatched (2021) https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2021/Wiley-Acquires-Open-Access-Innovator-Knowledge-Unlatched/ (Accessed 8/12/2021)

3 A note on recent content takedowns (2021) https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/a-note-on-recent-content-takedowns (Accessed 8/12/2021)

Open Access Week 2021: It Matters How We Open Knowledge

This week is Open Access Week! This year’s theme is “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity”, focusing on how to make sure all knowledge producers and consumers are able to participate equally. To find out more about this year’s theme and keep up with conversations and events, visit www.openaccessweek.org, and keep an eye on the official hashtag, #OAWeek.

We’ll be tweeting and retweeting from the library Twitter account, @sgullibrary, throughout the week, and if you’d like to see posts we’ve made in previous years, take a look at the Open Access Week tag.

Graphic advertising this year's Open Access Week; text reads 'Open Access Week 2021, It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity, October 25-31'

Open access and open research are about making sure that knowledge is shared as freely and equitably as possible.

The theme of this year’s open access week intentionally aligns with the recently released UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. The recommendations put forward a framework to support scientific collaboration, and foster open practices, raising the profile of being “open” at an international level.

Students, researchers, academics may all be consumers or producers of research. Open science can mean making publications and data available, but it’s also about enabling a more collaborative, transparent research environment – where results are reproducible and researchers can easily access and build upon each other’s work – and where research is opened up to others such as charities, patient groups, and citizen science.

Photo of two people's hands leaning on some documents on a table. One person has a pencil to edit the documents, the angle of the other person's body suggests they are observing.
Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

Here at SGUL, we support open access via our institutional repository, SORA, which holds over 6000 full text articles by SGUL researchers past and present, with more articles being made available every day. And open research isn’t just about articles – we also support open research via our Research Data Repository, which can host not only research data, but also source code, poster presentations and more. Take a look at these recent posts from our Research Data Support Manager to learn more about managing your research data and using the Research Data Repository:

We’ve also signed up for a number of read and publish deals, which allow SGUL staff and students to both read content in these publishers’ journals and publish open access in them with no additional costs (subject to eligibility criteria). See our webpages for a full list of our deals, along with further information on eligibility and how to access them.

Several well known research funders have launched open publishing platforms, where researchers they fund can publish their results quickly and without direct cost for publication. These include:

These platforms also allow for open peer review – to bring greater transparency and diversity to the peer review process. Registering for the ORCID open identifier enables you to showcase peer reviewing work you have undertaken.

Want to get involved?

Here’s some things to think about to help make research more open:

  • For SGUL researchers with access to CRIS, upload your accepted manuscripts via the CRIS so they can be made open access in SORA (and encourage your colleagues to do the same).
  • Consider whether you could publish via an open research platform, and consider who is invited to peer review (for instance, Wellcome Open Research encourages discussion with the editorial team to help with diversity of reviewers).
  • Think about other research outputs you could make available on the SGUL data repository: e.g. datasets, protocols, code, posters and presentations.
  • If you’re on the editorial board for any journals, can you advocate for reduced embargo periods, lower APCS or APC waiver policies for researchers with no source of funding?
  • Join the conversation via the twitter hashtag #OAWeek – or start a conversation with your colleagues in person!

Any questions? Get in touch with us:

We look forward to hearing from you.

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

Liz Stovold, Research Data Support Manager

New Read and Publish deals for 2021

Since last year’s announcements, SGUL Library has expanded our number of “Read and Publish” deals, giving SGUL researchers even more opportunities to publish open access – this year we have new arrangements with publishers such as Oxford University Press, BMJ Publishing and Cambridge University Press, in addition to others such as Springer and Wiley.

Under these Read and Publish deals, open access fees for publishing original research in many journals from participating publishers are waived.

The deals are called read and publish because the institution has paid for SGUL staff and students to have access to read articles in the subscription journals covered, PLUS, where the SGUL researcher is the corresponding author, research articles can be published under a Creative Commons licence at no extra cost. This is visualised below:

Image shows a large green circle containing a smaller blue circle, containing an even smaller yellow circle. The largest circle is labelled 'university subscription', the middle circle is labelled 'Read articles' and the smallest 'Publish open access'.

To be eligible to publish open access, you’ll need to be the corresponding author on the paper, and either a member of St George’s, University of London staff, or a student at St George’s, University of London. You’ll be expected to use your SGUL affiliation on any articles where the fee is waived under this scheme. Guidance on acknowledging affiliation is contained in SGUL’s Research Publications Policy.

Corresponding authors who are members of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff with honorary status at SGUL won’t normally qualify for these deals, although if the paper acknowledges a UK funder and a co-author with a relevant grant is based at SGUL, the paper may still qualify – please contact us for further advice.

As well as increasing the opportunities for SGUL researchers to make their research openly available, these deals will also help researchers to comply with funder mandates to publish open access (a CC-BY licence will usually be the one to select for funded research papers).

Which publishers are included in these new deals?

  • BMJ Publishing, including titles such as Archives of Disease in Childhood, Gut, Heart and Sexually Transmitted Infections (your research must be acknowledging one or more specific UK funders to qualify). Note: This deal does not include open access waivers for publishing in the BMJ, or wholly open access titles.
  • Cambridge University Press, including titles such as British Journal of Psychiatry, Cardiology in the Young, Epidemiology & Infection and Twin Research and Human Genetics.
  • Oxford University Press, including titles such as Brain, Clinical Infectious Diseases, European Heart Journal, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Infectious Diseases and Virus Evolution.
  • The American Physiological Society, including titles such as American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology and American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. Researchers will also be eligible for a one year APS membership.

See our webpages for further information on the publishers and journals included in these deals, and information on how to apply.

Open Research Platforms

As well as these opportunities to publish open access, a growing number of funders are providing open research platforms for researchers to publish the results of their research rapidly. These include:

Are you funded by the Wellcome Trust?

If you are funded by the Wellcome Trust, remember that their open access policy has changed for journal articles submitted from 1st January 2021. All original, peer reviewed research articles funded by the Wellcome Trust and submitted from this date must be made freely available via PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the final publication date, and must be published under a CC BY license (unless Wellcome has agreed to the use of a CC BY-ND license).

The following statement must be included on original, peer reviewed research articles funded by Wellcome and submitted from 1st January 2021:

“This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.”

This rights retention strategy, developed by cOAlition S, will allow Wellcome funded authors to publish in their choice of journal, while also complying with the Wellcome Trust’s new open access policy.

COAlition S have also produced this graphic to explain the rights retention strategy.

For more information on Wellcome’s open access policy, have a look at our Library web page setting out the key points you need to know.

Questions?

Contact us at openaccess@sgul.ac.uk

Or see our Open Access FAQs webpage

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

Open Access Week 2020: Open with Purpose

This week, October 19th-25th, is Open Access Week, an annual, international event dedicated to celebrating and promoting Open Research.

This year’s theme is Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion, acknowledging that current systems are often built on a past of historic injustices and that in building new systems, we need to be mindful of who we are and aren’t including, who we are prioritising and whether we are perpetuating a legacy of injustice.

To find out more, visit www.openaccessweek.org, or follow the official twitter hashtag, #OAWeek. We’ll also be tweeting and retweeting from the library account, @sgullibrary, and, if you’re in the library, look out for our poster on how to find open access material.

You can also find posts we’ve made in previous years under the Open Access Week tag on this blog.

Here at SGUL we support open research via our Research Publications Repository (SORA) and our Research Data Repository. We currently have over 4870 full text papers available via SORA, with an average 4180 downloads a month, and these numbers are rising every day. And, since its launch three years ago, we’ve had 17,163 downloads of public content in our Research Data Repository.

As well as supporting SGUL researchers to make their publications openly available via SORA, the Library is also signing up to Read and Publish deals, several of which are new in 2020. These deals work by giving SGUL patrons access to read journals, and giving SGUL corresponding authors the opportunity to publish original research articles on open access, as visualised below:

(from our blogpost on our Read and Publish deals)

Research outputs that aren’t traditional publications, such as research data, source code, poster presentations and so on, can be uploaded to our Research Data Repository, where they will be preserved and, where appropriate, made available for other researchers to explore and re-use. The Research Data Repository has been updated recently – have a look at our blog post from last week to find out more.

If you’d like to know more about SORA or about our Research Data Repository, please get in touch at sora@sgul.ac.uk (for SORA) or researchdata@sgul.ac.uk (for the Research Data Repository, or for general help managing your data throughout the research lifecycle).

Want to get involved?

Here are some ways to consider making your research practices more open:

  • Upload your author’s accepted manuscripts to a repository such as SORA: this means that, publisher copyright permitting, we will be able to make them available to people who might not otherwise have been able to access them. You can do this via your CRIS profile at http://cris.sgul.ac.uk/ – if you have any questions, you can contact us at sora@sgul.ac.uk
  • Get in touch with researchdata@sgul.ac.uk about making your other research outputs openly accessible via our Research Data Repository, or for ideas on where to find open data and other outputs you can use in your own research.
  • Think about uploading a preprint of your research to a preprint server. Posting papers to preprint platforms has increased greatly since the start of the pandemic – you can find out more about preprints, such as what they are and what to consider before posting, by reading our blogpost from last year on preprints in the medical, biological and health sciences.
  • Follow the conversation via the twitter hashtag #OAWeek – and add your own thoughts and reflections!

Any questions? Get in touch with us:

We look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

SGUL Research data repository: 2020 update

The St George’s Research Data Repository is a digital archive for discovering, storing, sharing and preserving research data produced at St George’s. Other research outputs such as posters, presentations, protocols, reports and software/code can also be shared in the repository, allowing researchers to get credit for a wider range of research outputs. Every output shared receives a DOI, making it more findable and citable. 

The repository is managed by the St George’s Research Data Management Service and is powered by figshare. Figshare recently improved some of system’s functionality. In this post we’ll overview two of these changes and what they might mean for researchers: 

  1. changes to confidential data, and 
  1. linking data with their associated publications 

Changes to confidential data 

The confidential data feature is now referred to as ‘permanent embargo’. This change is retrospective and all datasets that were previously published as ‘confidential’ are now ‘under permanent embargo’. 

Screenshot showing that all datasets that were previously published as ‘confidential’ are now ‘under permanent embargo’.

This is mostly a change in name. The function works in exactly the same way as confidential data used to. Researchers can publish a description of the data they possess. The data itself is not published. Instead, we’ll provide an email address for external users to request access to the data. This feature is useful when anonymised data cannot be made publicly available, but they can be shared under controlled access conditions.   

To demonstrate how this works we can look at this dataset (shown in part below) which supports the peer-reviewed publication, “Weekend and weekday associations between the residential built environment and physical activity: findings from the ENABLE-London Study.”  

Screenshot showing an example dataset with supports a publication. The data itself is not publicly accessible, but there is a clear description of the data and a method for requesting access to it.

Where researchers will see a change is in how they apply a permanent embargo to a dataset. When uploading a dataset for publication, you will need to go to the Embargo section of the form and select ‘Permanent’ from the dropdown menu (as shown in the image below). 

Screenshot: when uploading a dataset for publication, you will need to go to the Embargo section of the form and select ‘Permanent’ from the dropdown menu (as shown in the image below).

Once this is selected, apply the embargo to the files only and then add a reason for the file being under embargo (as shown below). 

Once you have selected permanent embargo, apply the embargo to the files only and then add a reason for the file being under embargo (as shown below).

Linking data with their associated publication 

For data supporting a publication, researchers can now more prominently link the data with their associated publication. This will allow users to find the main publication related to a dataset easily, enhancing transparency and increasing the visibility of your work. This dataset shows how data and their associated publication can be linked (see image below).  

Screenshot of a dataset showing how data and their associated publication can be linked.

This information can only be added once the article is public and has a DOI.  

To do this, you will need to include the title of the published paper and the paper’s DOI in the file upload form, as shown below. 

Screenshot highlighting where you need to add the paper title and DOI.

If you do not have this information when first publishing the dataset, that’s fine. Simply leave these fields blank. You can add this information later once the paper is public – even after the dataset has been published. This will not generate a new version of the dataset. 

Our guidance 

The repository guidance on our website has been updated to reflect these changes.   

Get in touch 

If you have any questions about these changes, or you’d like to request a demo of the data repository for your research group, please email the SGUL RDM Service at researchdata@sgul.ac.uk. We’d be happy to help you. 

New opportunities to publish open access

384px-Open_Access_logo_PLoS_transparent.svgAt the start of 2020, we are pleased to announce some new ‘Read and Publish’ deals, which make publishing your research open access (OA) easier for SGUL researchers[1] – regardless of whether your research is funded or not.

This blog post aims to tell you some more about these deals – what they are, how they have come about, and where to go for more information.

First off, what is ‘Read and Publish’?

Some SGUL researchers have already taken advantage of a ‘read and publish’ deal, by publishing in journals in the Springer Compact deal.

Under this deal, open access fees for publishing in many Springer journals are waived because SGUL Library has a subscription with Springer.

So as SGUL Library has paid a subscription, SGUL staff & students have access to read articles in the journals covered, PLUS, where the SGUL researcher is the corresponding author, the article can be published under CC-BY licence at no extra cost to SGUL. This is visualised below:

Publish and Read

Which publishers and journals are covered by our new Read and Publish deals?

  • Company of Biologists (for these three of their titles, not applicable for their journals that are already fully OA)
    • Development
    • Journal of Cell Science
    • The Journal of Experimental Biology
  • European Respiratory Society
    • publishing in their flagship journal ‘European Respiratory Journal’ (not in their fully OA journals or other titles)
  • Microbiology Society
    • The agreement covers publishing in all the Society’s titles

These 3 deals are being piloted from Jan 2020-Dec 2021.

CC

(Creative Commons licenses explained ©Foter (adapted by Jisc) via Foter blog CC BY-SA)

Why isn’t it possible to publish open access for free in all the journals?

You may be wondering this.

The move from a subscription-based model to a Read and Publish (or Publish and Read) one is a complex task often requiring many months of negotiations. So far, only a relatively small number of publishers offer such deals, but the number continues to gradually increase.

The move has been prompted by the increase in funders requiring the research they fund to be openly available, while at the same time there have been increases in costs for open access publishing. Wellcome Trust noted in 2018 that “the average APC for a hybrid OA article (making an article open access in a subscription journal) (£2,209) is 34% higher than the average APC for an article in a fully OA journal (£1,644).”

And while some publishers continue to report large profits, other journals, especially those run for learned societies, may be more modest affairs, existing to facilitate furthering the activities, knowledge and influence of their particular community. The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), along with other partners, has been working to identify routes through which learned society publishers could successfully transition to open access (OA). They recently published a report and toolkit to help with this.

How are the decisions made about these deals?

The Read and Publish deals SGUL researchers can take advantage of have been negotiated by Jisc Collections (which works with UK universities as a consortium to arrange affordable deals that work for both publishers and institutions).

As these deals were offered at no additional cost to maintaining read access to these subscription journals, SGUL Library has been able to sign up, and this is great news for our researchers.

Some other publishers are currently in negotiations with Jisc Collections. The outcome of ongoing and any future negotiations may influence SGUL’s ability to pay for these deals (for instance if publishers offer deals over the cost of subscriptions plus the rate of inflation). All deals are subject to review as the new models are tested out by publishers, institutions and researchers alike (as Springer recently cautioned).

As Plan S, an initiative backed by many big funders committed to making OA a reality, and recent speculation about possible White House moves towards open access in the US show, the push for openly accessible research is not likely to go away any time soon.

A positive sign is that Universities UK, an organisation made up of University vice-chancellors and principals, has recently brought together a group, which also includes representatives from major UK funders, who will work towards sustainable solutions in the move towards more open access to UK research.

SGUL Library will continue to keep a watchful eye on developments, and we welcome feedback from any researchers who have participated in publishing under these deals (contact information below).

Want more information?

  • For details of these and other low or no cost publishing options, please visit the Library webpage on Paying Open Access Fees
  • If you have any intellectual property you wish to protect before publishing, you can get in touch with our Enterprise and Innovation Team
  • Reminder: If you are considering publishing on open access with journals not covered by any Publish and Read deals, please take a moment to look at the guidance available on our OA FAQs page
  • The agreements with publishers are managed here at SGUL by Lawrence Jones (Content and Digital Infrastructure Manager) and Verity Allison (Journals and e-resources Librarian). The Library has guidance if you need help Finding Books, Articles and More

Meanwhile if you have any questions about open access, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via the emails below.

Jennifer Smith

Research Publications Librarian

Contacts

CRIS & Deposit on acceptance: sora@sgul.ac.uk

Open Access Publications: openaccess@sgul.ac.uk

If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

References

Wellcome Trust. Wellcome is going to review its open access policy [Internet]. London: Wellcome; 2018 [cited 2020 Jan 14]. Available from: https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/wellcome-going-review-its-open-access-policy

Page, B. Elsevier records 2% lifts in revenue and profits [Internet]. The Bookseller: 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 14]. Available from: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/elsevier-records-2-lifts-revenue-and-profits-960016

Springer Nature Group. Alternative conditions needed in order for cOAlition S’s proposal for Transformative Journals to succeed [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 14]. Available from: https://group.springernature.com/fr/group/media/press-releases/alternative-conditions-needed/17508260

Subbaraman, N. Rumours fly about changes to US government open-access policy. Nature [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 16]. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-03926-1

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[1] SGUL researchers are:

  • St George’s, University of London staff
  • St George’s, University of London students
  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff with honorary status.

The corresponding author should apply using their St George’s email, which will help identify them to the publisher as being at an institution eligible under these deals. Otherwise, check if your corresponding author’s institution participates in the deal.

Open Access Week 2019: Publicly funded research data are a public good

This week October 21 – 27, 2019 is Open Access week, an international event celebrating and promoting openness in research.

In keeping with this year’s theme, Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge, this blogpost reflects on the public benefits of open data, the current challenges and opportunities.

We’re using the Library’s twitter account (@sgullibrary) to retweet interesting articles and blogpost all this week.


Open for whom?

This week the international research community is celebrating Open Access Week by reflecting on equity in open knowledge; enabling inclusive and diverse conversations on a single question: “open for whom”? Today’s blog post focuses specifically on open research data. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) state in their Common Principles on Data Policy that:

Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.

But who exactly does open research data benefit? We often speak about the benefits of open data to research and innovation:

  • enabling transparency
  • promoting reproducibility
  • boosting opportunities for collaboration
  • enhancing opportunities for innovation
  • reducing inefficiencies in research

The public ultimately benefit from open research data but are often treated as beneficiaries and not active, engaged partners.

This year’s theme asked me to challenge an assumption that open research data are for (and used primarily by) scientific/technical specialists working “in the public interest”, rather than the public themselves. A noble endeavour, I thought. So off I set…

Picture of a unicorn galloping over a rainbow.
Designed by Freepik

Who is the public?

At the very start, I faced a conundrum – who exactly is the public? The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) helped ‘define the territory’. The short answer is everyone. Anyone can be a part of the range of groups that make up the public.

Graph of stakeholders in public engagement supplied by The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.
Source: The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Non-governmental organisations, social enterprises, health and well-being agencies, local authorities, strategic bodies and community, cultural and special interest groups all comprise members of the public with an interest in accessing data to inform decisions that will benefit their group.

Releasing raw data in ways that make the data easy to find, access, understand and reuse helps maximise the potential benefits of research data across the social spectrum. It should be easy to discover what research data are available and how that data can be accessed. When released, data should be in open formats so that anyone can be able to access it, not just a select or privileged few possessing expensive, proprietary software. Data should also be shared with sufficient information about how it was created, how it should be understood and how to reuse it meaningfully and responsibly. Finally, data should always be shared under licences which tell people what they can do with it. Called FAIR data, these principles of data management and sharing enable maximum reuse of research data.

Measured voices

It’s here that a measured voice within in me started whispering… and I listened carefully.

Colourfully drawn arrows going in different directions on a blackboard

Is this really enough? This still has the potential to get messy. Very messy. Especially if we’re talking about health and medical data derived from human beings, which can be sensitive and which we have taken responsibility for protecting.

In the fallout of various data scandals, including scandals about the data used to train artificial intelligence, organisations everywhere are scrambling to restore public trust in the way we handle and use data. Part of restoring that trust is in the transparency offered by open data. Another aspect of restoring trust is in safeguarding the data that people provide us with and using that data responsibly, in ways individuals have consented to.

This tension between openness and our professional responsibilities is recognised in the UKRI’s data policy as well:

UKRI recognises that there are legal, ethical and commercial constraints on release of research data. To ensure that the research process is not damaged by inappropriate release of data, research organisation policies and practices should ensure that these are considered at all stages in the research process.

This is a tension we are constantly negotiating given the kinds of data that we handle at St George’s.

Data ethics

A new field of applied ethics, called data ethics, gives us a useful framework for exploring and responding to legal and moral issues related to data collection, processing, sharing and reusing. The Open Data Institute has developed the Data Ethics Canvas to help organisations identify and manage ethical issues related to data. The UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also provides a Data Ethics Framework to guide the use of data in the public sector. 

Being responsible in our data sharing means that a large amount of data produced from human participants are only available on request from other researchers. This takes me right back to where I started, though with the caveat that it might be particularly relevant for health and medical research: an assumption that open research data are for (and used primarily by) scientific/technical specialists working “in the public interest”, rather than the public themselves.

But maybe there’s a middle ground for health and medical data derived from human participants? Maybe there are possibilities for us to create meaningful and lasting partnerships with ‘the public’ to realise the public benefits of data? The UK Biobank engages very closely with their participants, but they are still participants. I wonder if there are examples out there of projects where participants are also decision-makers about their data. Or examples of projects that have formed collaborations with civil society and/or public sector groups to realise the greater benefits of data. It would be nice to see examples of initiatives like these to use as a springboard for wider conversation. 

Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager (researchdata@sgul.ac.uk)


If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

Open Access Week 2019: The When, Where and How of Open Access

This week October 21 – 27, 2019 is Open Access week, an international event celebrating and promoting openness in research.

Banner for Open Access Week 2019 "Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge"

In keeping with this year’s theme is Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge (1), in this blogpost we look at where and when you can be open with your research, to ensure maximum reuse of, and access to, research – for now and the future.

We’re using the Library’s twitter account (@sgullibrary) to retweet interesting articles and blogpost all this week.


When and where should you be open?  We have some pointers to help you decide.

What can you share, and how can you easily find open access research? See our top tips below.

When to be open

As the endorsement of Plan S  (“making full and immediate Open Access a reality”) by many significant charitable and public funders shows2, the drive to make research open and accessible is an ever-growing expectation. 

Of course, before you choose to blog, tweet, promote at conferences or upload to websites such as ResearchGate any research you are working on, you’ll need to consider:

Could there be any real-world applications or commercial opportunity?

Does your funder ask you to keep the research confidential?

SGUL’s JRES Enterprise and Innovation team can give advice to help you understand intellectual property-related matters and commercial research endeavours.

Examples of Open/public domain publication & communication:

  • Conference poster
  • Conference presentation
  • Publication
  • Blogging
  • Tweeting
  • Sharing and posting online

Follow the principle ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

Where to be open?

Open Access publishing

If you have been approached to publish open access, what are the credentials of the publisher, and what commitments do they make to perform peer review? Will your work be indexed in the scholarly databases?

Use Think, Check Submit and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)

Posting your work online

Can you make your work available in a repository? Hang on though – what is a repository?  

Features of repositories as outlined in this paper3 are that they are platforms which:

1.            Allow deposit of digital research outputs
2.            Manage those digital research outputs
3.            Disseminate digital research outputs over the internet
4.            No login or subscription required to access outputs
5.            Are fully interoperable with other research systems
6.            Have some role with respect to preservation

Institutional repositories, such as SGUL’s SORA (St George’s Online Research Archive) and subject repositories (such as Europe PubMed Central) typically organise the records so that the information can be discovered by other systems – to help foster further sharing. SGUL Library staff check the publisher T&Cs before making any full text freely available online.

The CORE database aggregates millions of research papers from repositories and allows for text and data mining.4 to fully exploit the mass of research.

ResearchGate on the other hand is a networking site where many researchers post their papers.

However, action has been taken by the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, a publishers’ coalition, because their copyrighted material has been shared without the copyright holders permission – a recent report5 stated that “ResearchGate continues to illicitly provide access to millions of copyrighted research articles” 

Consider if you have the right to post your research there – are you the copyright holder? Are you working on the research with other researchers and have you checked with them?

What can you share?

Look out for Creative Commons licences, which give you a clear indication of how you can reuse – see our blog post explaining the varieties of licence you may come across, and what they mean.

How can you easily find legally posted open access research?

Install the CORE browser extension https://core.ac.uk/services/discovery/

Install the Unpaywall extension   https://unpaywall.org/products/extension

References

1] Shockey, N. Theme of 2019 International Open Access Week To Be “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge” [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 23]. Available from: http://www.openaccessweek.org/profiles/blogs/theme-of-2019-international-open-access-week-to-be-open-for-whom-.

2] Wellcome Trust Open Research [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 23].

Available from https://wellcome.ac.uk/what-we-do/our-work/open-research

3]  Jacobs, Neil. In the context of Open Access policies, what is a “repository”? Some definitions and principles [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 23]. Available from: https://scholarlycommunications.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2016/05/31/what-is-a-repository/

4] CORE: Learn more about our powerful services [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 23]. Available from https://core.ac.uk/services/

5] Coalition for Responsible Sharing: Status Report on ResearchGate: June 13, 2019: [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 23]. Available from http://www.responsiblesharing.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CfRS-status-report-2019-06-13.pdf


If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

Open Access Week 2019: Open for Whom?

This week October 21 – 27, 2019 is Open Access week, an international event celebrating and promoting openness in research.

Banner for Open Access Week 2019 "Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge"

This year’s theme is Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge (1). This goes beyond calling for open access to research, and asks whether we’re supporting equitable participation in research. It’s an opportunity to reflect on whose interests are being served by current modes and systems of open access, and which voices are being left out of the conversation.
We’ll be using the library’s twitter account (@sgullibrary) to retweet interesting articles and blogpost all this week, as well as adding to the conversation ourselves – look out for more posts here on the library’s blog.


Who needs open access?

The basic principle of open access and open research is about ensuring that no-one is prevented from accessing research findings because they, or their institution, can’t afford to pay to access researchers work. This is especially important in health sciences, as clinicians, patients, policy makers, charities and so on all have an interest in accessing up to date health research, but may not be able to afford to subscribe to all the articles and journals they need. Earlier this year, the BMJ posted two pieces calling on researchers to remember doctors in developing countries (2), and to remember patients (3).

How to find open access research

To find open access articles you can use these tools:

  • CORE is the world’s largest collection of open access research papers.
    • Download the CORE browser extensionOne-click access to free copies of research papers whenever you hit the paywall” (requires Google Chrome or Chromium).
  • Unpaywall also indexes open access content.

How does SGUL facilitate access to our research?

We have our institutional repository, SORA. Our researchers can upload their accepted manuscripts via our CRIS system and then, publisher policies permitting, we can make these full texts available via SORA, meaning that anyone with an internet connection can access them, even if they’re behind a paywall on the publisher’s website.

We also help researchers to access funds to pay to make the final published version of their work openly available immediately on publication: see the Open Access Publishing FAQs for more, or get in touch via openaccess@sgul.ac.uk

Our Research Data Repository is available to help SGUL researchers make available research outputs that aren’t traditional publications: not just research data, but poster presentations, source code, and more. Anything deposited will be given a digital object identifier (DOI), a long-lasting reference to the output, helping it to be easily found and cited. We can also help researchers with their data management plans, and with managing their data across the research cycle. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch via researchdata@sgul.ac.uk

Banner for Open Access Week 2019 "Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge" in translations

What can you do?

This Open Access week, here are some things you can do to help promote greater access to health research:

  • Upload your accepted manuscripts to the CRIS so we can make them available via SORA.
  • Think about whether you have research data or other outputs you can make available: see our page on Research Data Management for things to consider.
  • Start a conversation with your colleagues about open research: is there anything you can do to help other researchers build on or access your research? Have any other researchers made their data or other outputs available that could help you in the research you’re doing?

Any questions? Get in touch with us

We look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

References

  1. Shockey, N. Theme of 2019 International Open Access Week To Be “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge” [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 21]. Available from: http://www.openaccessweek.org/profiles/blogs/theme-of-2019-international-open-access-week-to-be-open-for-whom-.
  2. Murthi, M. Open access: remember doctors in developing countries. BMJ [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 21]. 365: l2255. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l2255.
  3. deBronkart, D. Open access: remember the patients. BMJ [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 21]. 365: l1545. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1545.

If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.