Open access in the Research Excellence Framework: Extension of flexibility

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The four UK higher education funding bodies have decided to extend the initial flexibility in the Open Access (OA) policy for a further year, recognising the timetable for the next REF with results in 2021. The requirement that outputs be deposited on acceptance will commence after Sunday 1 April 2018, subject to a review of the readiness of systems within the sector in autumn 2017.

In the announcement yesterday, 15 November (SFC/AN/14/2016), Stuart Fancey, Scottish Funding Council Director of Research and Innovation wrote:

“We are pleased with the progress so far, but we recognise the challenges involved in driving the policy centrally. As previously announced, for the first year of the policy (from 1 April 2016 to 1 April 2017), we are providing a degree of flexibility to allow time for higher education institutions (HEIs), Jisc and others to develop tools to allow information about publications to flow better between researchers and administrators. During that period of flexibility, HEIs may deposit outputs in their repositories within three months of publication, rather than of acceptance, which provides a longer window for securing author engagement. Many HEIs have nonetheless continued to implement our ‘deposit on acceptance’ policy and are seeing academic engagement increase significantly, and excellent progress has been made to build new relationships between HEIs and publishers in pursuit of the UK’s OA goals.

In Open access in the next Research Excellence Framework: policy adjustments and qualifications (HEFCE Circular letter 20/2015, www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/Year/2015/CL,202015/), institutions were advised that the funding bodies would work with them in autumn 2016 to review the developing arrangements, and to determine whether remaining technical gaps had been sufficiently addressed to end the flexibility in April 2017. In the intervening period, the Minister for Universities and Science asked Lord Stern to review the REF, and to allow time for this, the timetable has been realigned so that results of the next REF would be announced in December 2021. The four higher education funding bodies will now work together to develop proposals on how to implement Lord Stern’s recommendations in the next REF. We expect to launch a consultation with the sector on these proposals in November 2016 and we are conscious that our original plan to review progress on OA in autumn 2016 may collide unhelpfully with the consultation on the REF. We therefore want to allow HEIs longer to improve systems and fine-tune approaches. The REF 2021 timeframe will provide HEIs with a further year to embed open access activities and to work with us to develop the shape of the next REF.

In light of the above, we are therefore making the following adjustments to our OA policy:

  • The policy continues to require that, to be eligible for submission to the REF, outputs must be deposited within three months of acceptance for publication, but we now plan that this requirement will apply to outputs accepted after Sunday 1 April 2018. We will review the readiness of systems with the sector in autumn 2017.
  • Outputs accepted between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2018 must be deposited within three months of publication.”

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Wellcome Open Submissions – Open for Business

wellcomeYou can now submit to Wellcome Open Research a new publishing platform. The platform aims to make research outputs available faster, and to support reproducibility and transparency. Wellcome researchers can use the platform to publish a wide range of submissions, from more traditional narrative-based articles to incremental findings, methods, protocols, datasets and negative/null results. Once uploaded, submissions pass through transparent invited peer review and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.  Wellcome Open Research is designed to be author driven.

Open Access Week

open access 2International Open Access Week is a global event held to celebrate and promote the benefits of Open Access. More information about Open Access Week is available here. Open Access Week.

The next Open Access Week starts on Monday 24th October 2016. RGU library staff will be doing a variety of things to help promote Open Access Week and engage with the rest of the university community. For more information, check out our guide here.

Wellcome Trust – Open Access Policy

Wellcome this week has published a set of requirements for open access publications, which will come into force next spring.

The policy deals with many issues including whether Wellcome will pay for publishing costs,  uploading articles to PubMed Central (PMC),  and publishing content under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) .

Neil Jacobs, head of scholarly communications support at Jisc, notes: “It is incredibly helpful to have a funder of Wellcome’s standing be so clear about its expectations in this area.  APCs already constitute a multi-million pound market, which makes it important that everyone is clear about what is being paid for.” More from JISC here.

This policy will come into effect on 1 April 2017. Wiley, SpringerNature, OUP, Royal Society and PLOS, who publish almost 50% of Wellcome funded research outcomes, have all committed to signing up to the requirements. Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) members Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Parkinson’s UK will all set the same requirements for outcomes of research they have funded. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also be introducing the requirements when their open access mandate is launched in January 2017

Natural History Museum – publications for free!

NHMThe Natural History Museum has launched its institutional repository. The Museum’s repository provides free access to publications, or versions of the published material, produced by more than 300 scientists working at the Museum. Our researchers study a diverse range of issues, including threats to Earth’s biodiversity, the maintenance of delicate ecosystems, environmental pollution and disease.

Gold Open Access Publisher Deals for RGU Academics

Did you know that RGU have several deals with publishers to reduce the cost of Article Processing Charges (APC) for Gold Open Access?

Below are a few particularly good ones, for the full list see the RGU Lib Guide here: http://libguides.rgu.ac.uk/c.php?g=408888&p=2863341

Springer
It is free for authors to publish under Gold Open Access in any journal that offers Springer Open Choice, though this is first-come-first-serve, as there is a national limit on the number of articles Springer will consider. Once an article has been accepted for publication, corresponding authors can ask Springer to make it Open Access; Springer will contact the Library to confirm the author’s affiliation with RGU. If the author is not the corresponding author, then they can contact the Library directly and we will pursue the Open Access option for them. A complete list of journals offering Springer Open Choice is available here: http://bit.ly/21zoMph.

Royal Society of Chemistry
We have four vouchers to use by the end of December 2016. Each voucher equates to the publication of one article under Gold Open Access, and can be obtained by contacting the Library at publications@rgu.ac.uk. All journals published by RSC offer the ability to use these vouchers. Additionally, the publisher’s flagship title “Chemical Science” is completely free to publish in until the end of 2018. A list of this publisher’s journals is available here: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Journals

 SAGE
We have an agreement that all APCs paid to SAGE are capped at £200 per article, though researchers will need to pay this from their grant or own resources. Most journals published by SAGE offer the choice of Gold Open Access (a short list of those that do not is available from the publisher’s website) and some of them are built around mandatory Gold Open Access (a list of these is available from: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/pure-gold-open-access-journals). A complete list of the publisher’s journals is available here: http://bit.ly/1NYDhAm.

 


 

UK Funding Councils post-2014 Open Access Policy

JISC Open Access HEFCE Policy

Today is the day – 1 April 2016 – that this policy has finally come into effect. Mafalda Picarra from Jisc has written a timely blog reminder of what it all means. The University Library is ready to support your work, just copy your acceptance email from the publisher with the manuscript to publications@rgu.ac.uk

 

Jisc launches SHERPA REF – a new service to clarify journal compliance with REF

SHAEPA REF

Following on from our Research Matters blog post of yesterday about eligibility of submission of research oututs for the next REF, Hannah DeGroff, Open Access Support Coordinator at Jisc this morning made live a link to a new service that will help researchers and institutions determine whether or not a specific journal is compliant with HEFCE’s policy. Hannah wrote:

“We’re delighted to announce the availability of SHERPA REF, a ‘beta’ web service – funded and endorsed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – that allows authors and institutions to quickly, accurately and easily check whether a journal in which they wish to publish complies with the open access (OA) policy for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The policy requires journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 are made OA in order to be eligible for submission to the next REF. Universities need to ensure their submissions are eligible and comply with current policy under the four UK higher education funding bodies: HEFCE, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Scottish Funding Council and the Department of employment and learning in Northern Ireland.

By enabling authors to easily check their compliance, SHERPA REF saves time and effort for universities in checking they meet the requirements – estimated to take on average between 30-60 minutes.

For more information on SHERPA REF visit https://ref.sherpa.ac.uk/

A full press statement can be found here.”

 

To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF …

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Given that we are in March, the vernal equinox is past and British Summer Time commences this weekend when the clocks go forward, here’s a timely reminder that to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts of journals and conference papers accepted after 1 April 2016 must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository as soon as possible after acceptance for publication.

If your paper is being published forward your acceptance email to publications@rgu.ac.uk as soon as you receive it.

See HEFCE Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework for more information.