What I’d like to talk about today is open access publishing and particularly how it could offer you new ways to disseminate your research.
‘ Open Access publishing’ is term that has a long history. This is a very brief look at some key milestones, just to put things in perspective. It all began in 1991 when physicists began sharing their pre-publication research findings online. In 1994 Stevan Harnad, of the University of Southampton, published a ‘subversive proposal’ suggesting that all academic researchers use the internet to freely share, rather than continuing to make what he termed a ‘Faustian bargain’ with journal publishers – where the journals publish researchers work and then sell it back to them in the form of journal subscriptions. Another milestone was the publication, in 2002, of the Budapest Open Access Initiative which came up with a definition of open access publishing which we will come to in a moment. Most recently the publication of the Finch Report has made open access publishing of research into government policy and has stirred debate among publishers, librarians and, increasingly, researchers.
So, what exactly is open access publishing? [Allow time to read definition] You can see from this definition that its not just a free-for-all! A key point is that it’s free to read. Its also free to do various other things with it, within legal limits. Another key point is that has to be properly attributed. Unfortunately, other definitions of Oap exist!
The Finch Report was published in 2012 and the government has accepted the report’s recommendations. Its a long and detailed document and these are just key points. The main recommendation was that the results of publicly funded research – that is research funded by the UK Research Councils – should be free for the public to read. There are basically two possible routes to this result - The Gold route involves a radical change to journal publisher business models with a shift from income via subscriptions - with the cost falling on subscribers, (and falling particularly heavily on library budgets!) to a ‘pay-to-publish’ model where the cost is borne by those publishing. The alternative Green route involves publishing (either pre or post publication) in open access institutional repositories belonging to academic institutions.
So Gold Open Access requires researchers to go through the usual peer review process… And then if they’re successful they also need to pay a fee to get published Some might say this is just a different kind of Faustian bargain to the subscription based system. The Finch Report stated a preference for the Gold route, but there is still a lively debate going on about whether Gold or Green is the best route to OA.
So that’s what’s happening, but why should you be interested? You may need to meet conditions laid down by research funding bodies. UK Research Councils definitely will require open access publishing, but other funders may also require it. This is something to bear in mind when looking for funding. There is going to be a lot of publicly funded research that becomes a lot more easily accessible. So some of the barriers you may have encountered in terms of what is available in full text and what isn’t will be falling. There may well be new journals starting up, offering new places for you to publish. Open access publishing makes your research more visible, more likely to be noticed and cited, which all contributes to raising your profile and enhancing your career prospects.
The future of open access publishing is very much in a state of flux at the moment. It’s safe to say that there are going to be some radical changes to publisher business models. Some may go for complete open access – the Gold route. Many are taking a hybrid approach with options to either pay for your published paper to be available on open access or to not pay in which case your research is published but stays behind the pay wall. There is likely to be an explosion in peer-reviewed open access journal titles with many new titles being launched. Which may not all have the highest standards of peer-review or editorial repute. Be prepared to evaluate before you submit your work! In a rapidly changing market there are going to be many opportunities for innovation. OAp + online networking = new kinds of research communities where sharing and open communication is the norm.
I’ve included some useful links here – [ time left? Demo?] SEA is our own institutional repository which enables open access publishing via the Green route. We encourage anyone publishing to contribute their work to SEA. OpenDoar is a way of searching across many institutional repositories (including SEA) The DOAJ is a good source for finding new open access journals and it includes details of whether the journal has a pay to publish or other model. The three Sherpa sites are guides to publisher and funder OA policies, so if you want to know if he journal you’re thinking of publishing in meets your funders requirements this is the place to go. These links are also all available via the library website, and your Information Librarian will be happy to help with any enquiries about open access.
Open Access Publishing
Open Access PublishingNew ways of disseminating your researchAlison Williams May 2013
Development of OA publishing• 1991 First pre-print archive set up (arXiv)• 1994 Stevan Harnad’s ‘subversive proposal’• 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative• 2012 Finch Report
What is Open Access (OA) Publishing?“Scholarly literature is made freely available on theinternet, so that it can be read, downloaded, copied,distributed, printed, searched, text mined or used forany other lawful purpose, without financial, legal ortechnical barriers, subject to proper attribution ofauthorship.”Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002
The Finch ReportThe results of research that has been publicly fundedshould be freely available to the publicGold route: via open access journals‘Pay-to-publish’ model – cost borne by researchersrather than journal subscribersGreen route: via institutional repositoriesFree publishing in open access repositories
Cartoon by Nick D Kim http://www.lab-initio.com/ (See site for conditions of use.)
Why should you be interested in OA?• To meet funding conditions• To access publicly funded research• To find new places to publish• To make your own research more visible• To get noticed and get cited (Swan, 2010)• To enhance your career prospects
The future• Changes in publisher business models• Hybrid models• Many new peer-reviewed OA journal titles• Lots of opportunities for innovation• Open access publishing + online networking =new research communities?
Useful links• SEA – SSU Institutional Repository• OpenDOAR – Directory of OA repositories• DOAJ – guide to OA journals• Sherpa Romeo – publishers OA policies• Sherpa Juliet – research funder OA policies• Sherpa FACT – journals compliance with funderOA policies
Key publicationsStevan Harnad’s subversive proposalhttp://eprints.soton.ac.uk/253351/2002 Budapest Open Access Initiativehttp://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccessFinch Report 2012http://www.researchinfonet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Finch-Group-report-FINAL-VERSION.pdfHouse of Lords Science and Technology Committee report: The implementation of open access 2013http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldselect/ldsctech/122/122.pdfRCUK Policy on Open Access 2013http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/outputs.aspxPaul Jump. Fool’s Gold. THES 14thFeb 2013http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/is-open-access-publishing-fools-gold/2001452.fullarticleSwan, Alma. The Open Access Citation Advantage: studies and results to date. 2010http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/268516/