By Kirsty, on 12 January 2022
Did you intend to make new year resolutions but did not get round to it? Why not resolve to take some time this year to further develop your library research skills and ensure you are following best practices for research? UCL Library Services provides training and support to enable you to carry out your research effectively, including online guidance and self-paced tutorials, live online training sessions, tailored and individual training and specialist enquiry services.
Here are our top 5 suggested resolutions for researchers looking to enhance their library research skills and research practices:
The principles of FAIR are designed to help lower barriers to research outputs and help other researchers find and understand them in order to reuse and repurpose them. This will in turn build further research opportunities and maximise the potential benefit of resources.
Findable – making research outputs discoverable by the wider academic community and the public.
Accessible – using unique identifiers, clear metadata, use of language and access protocols.
Interoperable – applying standards to encode and exchange data and metadata.
Reusable – enabling the repurposing of research outputs to maximise their research potential.
- Guides to Research Data Management and self-paced online training can help you understand and build the FAIR Principles into your work.
- Learn more about UCL’s current Research Data Policy
Practise open publishing
The goal of Open Access is to make all research material openly available online without restriction, to all readers, free from the barriers imposed by subscriptions. Open access is now required by many research funders and for the REF but it also has its own intrinsic benefits such as more exposure for your work, more citations, broader reach and wider readership worldwide.
- Find out about the different routes to Open Access and how you can get funding and support to do the same for your research
- Search for Open Access Research online
Refine your literature searching skills for reliable, relevant and comprehensive results. Whether you are searching for references to inform your research, as background reading, to scope your research topic, for a literature review or a systematic review, a robust search strategy is essential to ensure you find all the relevant research without having to wade through excessive irrelevant results. Our support for literature searching includes a range of options to support you at every stage of your research:
- Introductory guides and self-paced online tutorials to help you refresh your knowledge of the essential skills.
- Advanced online guidance and support, including our guide to searching for systematic reviews.
- Live online sessions covering essentials of literature searching skills and searching particular online databases.
Organise your references
Get the most out of reference management software such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero, which enable you to gather and organise references and full text documents relevant to your research and to insert references in a Word document automatically, generating a reference list in the citation style of your choice. We provide support in using EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero to help you use the software more effectively and to troubleshoot your queries:
- Live online and face to face training sessions to get you started and for questions and answers.
- Online guides including suggested activities to get to know the software and frequently asked questions to help resolve your queries.
Bibliometrics is concerned with the analysis of research based on citation counts and patterns. The individual measures used are also commonly referred to as bibliometrics, or citation metrics.
- Our bibliometrics guidance to UCL authors and colleagues demonstrates the best way to approach bibliometric measures, and how to interpret and use the findings in relation to UCL’s bibliometrics policy and the wider context.
- Explore further with our live online bibliometrics training sessions and self-paced online tutorials.
By Kirsty, on 9 December 2021
Guest post by Thomas Stacey, Open Access Team, UCL Library (LCCOS)
At UCL, students studying for doctoral and research master’s degrees are required to submit an electronic copy of their thesis to the Library for inclusion in UCL Discovery, our open-access repository of UCL research outputs, in order for their degree to be awarded. The Open Access Team encourages theses to be made openly available, either immediately after award or following the completion of an embargo period. We do, however, recognise that there are a number of reasons why access may need to be restricted, such as future publication, confidentiality, the inclusion of sensitive and/or personal information, and – in the discipline of Art History in particular – the presence of third-party copyrighted images.
I have been thinking about art history theses and whether they could be made open access more easily – and crucially with all the images included where needed.
The University of Cambridge’s ‘Unlocking Research’ blog post written in 2019 by Dr Lorraine de la Verpillière provides a comprehensive background on the issues facing academics within the arts: many are forced to pay to access third-party copyrighted works for private study, and then to pay again later on publish the final research output. Within this blog post, one academic commented “The more successful I become the poorer I get” as the furthering of their career through obtaining copyright for images has cost them over $20,000. Even out-of-copyright artworks are affected, as galleries and museums that own the originals can create their own copyrighted reproductions and restrict others’ ability to do the same. Bridgeman Images, for example, now owns the rights to all images of artworks in Italian national museums – which can pose a huge financial challenge for many art historians.
A further obstacle for Art History students is that the principle of fair dealing within the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which can be used to justify the inclusion of extracts of texts and figures (as part of a wider, previously-published work) in theses, cannot be applied to the reproduction of full artworks, which constitute entire copyrighted works in themselves.
An art history thesis without images understandably compromises the integrity of the work. Unless PhD students use images with Creative Commons licences or which are in the public domain due to being out-of-copyright entirely, they will either have to obtain permissions or redact the images within their thesis accordingly. When processing thesis submissions for UCL PhD students, the Open Access Team will often be required to redact images as part of routine checks prior to any thesis file being made publicly available in UCL Discovery.
It seems there is not a straightforward solution to enable art history theses to be made open access with all images included in the work. Dr De la Verpillière suggests that there could be more support from universities for art history students and academics regarding third-party copyright. Art institutions really need to do more in this respect. Some art institutions have started to make their image collections open access (a selection is given below) so hopefully more will do likewise soon. Even if art institutions provided discounted permissions fees for PhD students needing to use images for example – that is a compromise of sorts to help new academics.
To avoid delays in making theses available in UCL Discovery post-award, or redactions being made to images of artwork that are critical to the overall integrity of the thesis, the Open Access Team also recommends that relevant licence and/or permissions information is included within the thesis file, as part of the Library’s guide to copyright for research students.
Here are some art institutions with open-access image collections:
By Kirsty, on 23 November 2021
New for the academic year 2021-22 the Office for Open Science and Scholarship is organising a monthly series of talks, showcases and training sessions across as many of the eight pillars as we can fit in for UCL colleagues and students at all levels.
All of the teams will be teaching their usual classes, keep watching your usual sources of training plus here and on Twitter for those, but these introductory sessions are intended to give a general overview of each subject area for a general audience with plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions. These introductory sessions will also be supplemented with ad hoc events throughout the year.
Departmental UKRI Briefings – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a briefing for your team
Introduction to the Office for Open Science & Scholarship –
December 15th 2-3pm– Postponed, please express interest below
- January 22
Introduction to responsible metrics – January 27th 2-3pm – Online
Introduction to Research Data Management – February 2nd 10-11am – Online
Getting started with the RDR – Friday 4th Mar 10-11am – Online
Open Science Conference (Dates TBC)
Citizen Science project showcase (Details & Dates TBC)
Citizen Science, Public Engagement & Research Impact (Dates TBC)
ORCiD, DOI and beyond – Introduction to Persistent identifiers (Dates TBC)
If you are interested in any of the sessions above then please complete the MS form and the organisers will get back to you with calendar details and joining instructions for planned sessions. Any sessions without firm dates, we will contact you as soon as details are confirmed.
By Kirsty, on 22 November 2021
UCL Publications Board and the Open Access Team are delighted to announce that on Friday 19 November UCL’s institutional repository, UCL Discovery, reached the milestone of 30 million downloads! UCL Discovery is UCL’s open access repository, showcasing and providing access to UCL research outputs from all UCL disciplines. UCL authors currently deposit around 1,750 outputs in the repository every month (average figure January-October 2021).
Our 30 millionth download was of a journal article:
Huber, LR; Poser, BA; Bandettini, PA; Arora, K; Wagstyl, K; Cho, S; Goense, J; Nothnagel, N; Morgan, AT; van den Hurk, J; Müller, AK; Reynolds, RC; Glen, DR; Goebel, R; Gulban, OF; (2021) LayNii: A software suite for layer-fMRI. NeuroImage, 237, Article 118091. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118091.
This article introduces a new software suite, LayNii, to support layer-specific functional magnetic resonance imaging: the measurement of brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. The software itself, which is compatible with Linux, Windows and MacOS, is also open source via Zenodo, DockerHub, and GitHub. The authors also made a preprint version of the article available via BioRxiv in advance of formal publication in NeuroImage. This demonstrates the combined value of open source software and open access to research publications.
The author of the article based at UCL, Dr Konrad Wagstyl, deposited the article in UCL Discovery in May 2021. Dr Wagstyl is a Sir Henry Wellcome Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL, and co-leads the Multicentre Epilepsy Lesion Detection project, an open science collaboration to develop machine learning algorithms to automatically subtle focal cortical dysplasias – areas of abnormal brain cell development which can cause epilepsy and seizures – in patients round the world.
The UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship recommends that researchers make any software or code they use available to aid others in reproducing their research. The Research Data Management team maintain a guide on best practice for software sustainability, preservation and sharing, and can give further support to UCL researchers as required.
By Kirsty, on 17 November 2021
Thank you to everyone that attended the Open Access week session from UCL Press outlining their new project to develop Open Access eTextbooks!
The recording and the slides are available below as well as links from the speakers and the promised answers to the remaining questions from the audience!
Questions and Answers
Do the download stats account for partial views?
Dhara: For information on how we collect and record our data, https://www.uclpress.co.uk/pages/where-to-find-our-books-and-journals. Research has shown that, via the platforms that we work with the provide chapter downloads, most users download the single chapter that they require.
Did the project(s) around The Economy (etc) use an explicitly “Agile” method?
Luca: There were two parts to the project: a) the authoring and content development (CORE), and b) creating the platform over which the ebook is delivered (our partner EBW). For the a) part you could say we adopted some of the ‘agile’ principles, as we delivered some draft units early for piloting (to ‘users’ aka teachers) and then continuously deliver more units and rewritten older ones based on feedback. Also, it was all about the user and not the process, plans changed based on feedback etc. For the b) part this was more in line with the ‘agile’ method principles, as it was software development, but the biggest difference was that EBW couldn’t break down development into small increments because the final product was very tightly defined so there was a lot of initial planning as opposed to sprints.
Please could someone riff on things other than writing the words: editing for reading level, spot illustrations, internationalisation of terms. Would a UCL press book open doors to such services?
Dhara: We currently provide a full production service, including copyediting and typesetting for our books. Additionally, to ensure each new textbook is fit for purpose, we’ll engage with various relevant developmental services, depending on requirements of discipline and level of the intended audience. These many include developmental review, which ensures the writing style is appropriate for the reading/HE level of the audience, help source and check illustrations, review glossary and use of terminology and concepts (making sure they comply with relevant academic standards).
Are there any plans/resources available to produce UCL textbooks in other languages than English?
Dhara: This is an interesting suggestion, and we will continue to discuss as the programme develops, but, unfortunately, we do not have plans to do this at this time.
By Kirsty, on 29 October 2021
Happy Birthday to us!
To celebrate the first year of the Office for Open Science and Scholarship we decided to throw ourselves a virtual party, its been a year of milestones – take a look at our highlights video below!
This year over 20,000 records were uploaded to UCL Discovery and the combined number of theses hit 21,000! On top of that, UCL Discovery is about to hit 30 million lifetime downloads!
The smaller sibling to Discovery is UCL’s Research Data Repository, specialising in Open Access Research Data and code. It’s only 3 years old but it’s growing fast! This past year the number of downloads has increased by over 700% and the team that supports it is on track to double last year’s record for Data Management Plans assessed, and the year isn’t done yet!
And finally, our good friends at UCL Press hit a huge milestone of 5 million downloads across their 200+ books!
Its been a brilliant year for Open at UCL, and we hope that the office can grow and develop in years to come, and support our community to take Open Science from strength to strength. We hope you enjoy the video!
By Kirsty, on 28 October 2021
It is impossible to consider Open Licensing options without looking closely at Creative Commons. They are widely used in licensing scholarly papers and books, and are flexible enough to cover a wide range of works, such as photographs, music and even software. Among the advantages of Creative Commons licences are:
- Easily recognisable symbols to show which licence has been applied
- Each licence is explained briefly on the Creative Commons website but is also backed up by a full licence document which is likely to be recognised by a court of law.
- Licences are updated and supported by the Creative Commons organisation.
The CC BY Licence (attribution licence)
The premise with all CC licences is that authors choose them because they want to make their work available for reuse with minimum formality or restrictions. The simplest and most generous Creative Commons licence is the CC BY or attribution licence.
The requirements are: Correct attribution of author (or authors) and title, reference to and a link to the licence and a link to the original source (where reasonably practicable). There are no restrictions on commercial reuse or derivative versions. The work can be used in a mash-up, translated into other languages for example or recreated in a different medium. You must however indicate where changes have been made.
It may seem that the author (generally the original copyright owner) is giving up a great deal of control by applying a CC BY licence to their work and the licence is certainly broad. On the other hand:
- The author retains ownership of copyright. In traditional journal and book publishing the author is often asked to assign their copyright, leaving them with no control over the reuse of their paper. The author of a CC licensed work may go on to reuse it as they wish
- The attribution requirement ensures that the author is recognised as such and credited using the wording of their choice.
- Using the CC BY licence does more to maximise the possibilities for reusing the work than the more restrictive alternatives. That has advantages if you want your work to be as widely known as possible.
Other CC licences
The other licences offer more restrictive options for authors who are concerned about some possible reuses of their work.
- The CC BY-NC Licence can be used by authors who don’t want their work to be used for commercial purposes, although they wish to encourage its reuse in a non-commercial environment.
- The CC BY-ND Licence provides an alternative for authors who want their work to be reproduced only in its original form, not reworked, simplified, translated etc.
- The CC BY-SA or “Share alike” licence stipulates that if their work is used to create a further derivative work, then if the new work is made available to the public, it must be made available under the same licence, CC BY-SA. This would appeal to those authors who see this as a way of furthering open access by ensuring any works which build upon their original work are similarly licensed for reuse. It can be compared to the “Copy left” licences which are commonly used to licence open source software.
The restrictive elements NC, ND, and SA can be combined in the most restrictive Creative Commons licences, such as CC BY-NC-ND to offer alternatives for those with multiple concerns who nevertheless wish to encourage reuse of their work and make it available in an open access environment.
Choosing a CC Licence for your work
Deciding which of the licences to choose may not be entirely a matter of personal choice. If your research is being funded by an external organisation, the funder may specify which licence should be used when publishing the outcomes of that research. It is important to look closely at the terms of your funding agreement and the funder’s policies to ensure you are compliant. There is more information and links to funders’ policies on UCL’s open access webpages.
The more restrictive CC licences may provide an answer if for example you are concerned about your work being reused for profit, but the boundaries of “commercial” and “non-commercial” may not be obvious on every occasion. Similarly, people may hesitate over what is or is not a “derivative work.” You may be discouraging reuse unnecessarily.
Although one of the pluses of Creative Commons licences is the author’s clear retention of copyright, an important point to bear in mind is that you can’t retract a CC licence once offered. You can certainly take the work down from your website but you cannot prevent anyone reusing your work under the relevant licence once it has been made available under the licence. Failure to appreciate that has resulted in at least one court case concerned with reuse of an image.
The CC0 Licence
This is an alternative to the CC BY licence. The CC0 licence makes it clear that the licensed work can be reused without any attribution. It is sometimes described as placing your work in the “public domain,” comparable to works which are out of copyright. Using the term “licence” is a little misleading. It is not so much a licence to reuse a work, more a way of removing any copyright restrictions in your own work. This can be appropriate for datasets where the researchers wish to maximise the possibility of reusing their data, unhindered by copyright. For example, it may be thought that the attribution requirement of the CC BY licence would inhibit text and data exercises because it would be difficult to fulfil while carrying out Text and Data Mining (TDM).
Reusing CC licensed material
The CC licences are quite flexible. For example, there is usually more than one acceptable way of incorporating the attribution information. Although CC licensed works are available for reuse, it is important to bear in mind that you must make a reasonable effort to comply with the licence terms. Otherwise, you may be pursued by the copyright owner. One should take as much care as when reusing any other copyright-protected material.
By Kirsty, on 27 October 2021
Catherine Sharp, Head of Open Access Services
Lara Speicher, Head of Publishing, UCL Press
The new UKRI Policy that was announced in August 2020 affects academics who are publishing work that acknowledges funding from one of the seven UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC) or Innovate UK. The policy requires open access on publication under the CC BY licence (or, exceptionally, CC BY-ND) for articles and conference papers submitted on or after 1 April 2022. It also requires open access no later than 12 months after publication for monographs, book chapters and edited collections resulting from a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, published on or after 1 January 2024. The UKRI policy will inform the open access policy for the next REF, following the Future Research Assessment Programme.
In this post, we will outline the key policy points and compliant routes to publishing journal articles, conference papers and in-scope books. We also cover how the new policy will be funded. Some details are still awaited, and further information will be added to the Open Access pages as it becomes available.
Journal articles and conference proceedings
The new UKRI policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles (including reviews) and conference proceedings submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022.
The policy permits two routes to publishing, the first covering fully open access journals and the second subscription journals. Like the Wellcome policy, both routes require immediate open access, on publication, under the CC BY licence. Embargoes on open access are no longer allowed.
UKRI will continue to fund open access, through UCL’s Open Access Team, for papers in fully open access journals and in journals in UCL’s transformative agreements. It will not fund open access for outputs in subscription (hybrid) journals except through transformative agreements.
How do I meet the requirements?
In practice, there are three ways to comply with the new policy:
- Publish in a fully open access journal or platform (see the Directory of Open Access Journals)
- Publish in a subscription (hybrid) journal that is in UCL’s transformative agreements
- Publish in a subscription (hybrid) journal that is not in UCL’s transformative agreements, and make the accepted available in an open access repository, under the CC BY licence, on publication.
In the first two methods, the paper is published open access under the CC BY licence. The publisher version of record is open access on the publisher’s website (Gold open access).
In the third method, the author uploads the final accepted manuscript to RPS, and (if the paper is MRC- or BBSRC-funded) to Europe PubMed Central, to be made open access on publication under the CC BY licence (Green open access).
Most journals require an embargo on Green open access, and do not allow the accepted manuscript to be made open access under CC BY. UKRI has provided the text below, which authors must include in the manuscript’s funding acknowledgements section when they submit, and in any cover letter or note accompanying the submission. This allows authors to use the third route. UCL recommends that from 1 April 2022 all UKRI-funded article submissions include this statement.
For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence* to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.
* UKRI may exceptionally permit authors to use the Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence. The Open Government Licence is permitted where the article falls under Crown Copyright.
From 1 April 2022, before submitting to a journal authors of UKRI-funded papers must establish which of these methods of complying to compliance applies to their chosen journals before submitting. We expect tools to be available to assist authors with this. You will need to know:
Fully open access journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Details of UCL’s transformative agreements, including a list of journals included, and eligibility criteria for each agreement, are on our transformative agreements page. UCL currently has 27 transformative agreements, covering more than 8,000 journals.
Examples of compliance methods
To illustrate how these compliance methods work in practice, below are a few examples of journals from a variety of disciplines, sorted into their current compliance routes for UCL authors.
|Method 1 –
fully open access journals
|Method 2 –
|Method 3 –
Green open access
|BioMed Central journals||AIP subscription journals||ACM journals (ACM allows immediate Green open access under CC BY)|
|Frontiers journals||American Nineteenth Century History (Taylor & Francis)||SPIE journals (SPIE allows immediate open access to the version of record under CC BY)|
|MDPI journals||Brain (OUP)||Cognition (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required|
|PLOS journals||British Journal of Cancer (SpringerNature)||Computers in Biology and Medicine (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required|
|BMJ Global Health (BMJ)||Development and Change (Wiley)||Journal of Neurosurgery (AANS) – UKRI statement required|
|Environment International (Elsevier)||European Journal of Philosophy (Wiley)||Journal of Philosophy (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required|
|Fascism (Brill)||Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (BMJ)||Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS) – UKRI statement required|
|Lancet Digital Health (Elsevier)||Lab on a Chip (RSC)||Lancet (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required|
|Nature Communications (SpringerNature)||Review of Political Economy (Taylor & Francis)||Nature Medicine (SpringerNature) – UKRI statement required|
|Scientific Reports (SpringerNature)||Science and Public Policy (OUP)||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) – UKRI statement required|
|Wellcome Open Research||Urban Studies (Sage)||Science (AAAS allows immediate Green open access under CC BY where Plan S funders have adopted rights retention)|
Monographs, book chapters and edited collections
Monographs, book chapters and edited collections are now included in the UKRI OA policy for the first time. The policy applies to books published as a result of a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, as listed above, and comes into effect for books published on or after 1 January 2024.
The key policy points are outlined below:
Monographs are defined in the policy as ‘a long-form publication which communicates an original contribution to academic scholarship on one topic or theme and is designed for a primarily academic audience… it may be written by one or more authors’. Detailed definitions of chapters and edited collections are also included in the policy. A trade book (see definitions below in ‘Out of scope long-form publications’) is only in scope of the policy where it is the only output from UKRI-funded research.
Out of scope long-form publications
UKRI’s open access policy does not apply to the following long-form outputs:
- Trade books: The decision of whether a book should be considered a trade book or an academic monograph, is at the discretion of the author and publisher. Trade books are defined in the policy as ‘an academic monograph rooted in original scholarship that has a broad public audience’.
- Scholarly editions. Defined as an edition of another author’s original work or body of works informed by critical evaluation of the sources (such as earlier manuscripts, texts, documents and letters), often with a scholarly introduction and explanatory notes or analysis on the text and/or original author
- Exhibition catalogues
- Scholarly illustrated catalogues
- All types of fictional works and creative writing
UKRI requires the open access version of long-form outputs to be published under a Creative Commons licence. A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is preferred to maximise opportunities for sharing and reuse but other Creative Commons licences are permitted. This includes CC BY-NC and CC BY-ND. An Open Government Licence is also permitted when authors are subject to Crown Copyright.
UKRI’s licensing requirements do not apply to any materials included within a long-form output that are provided by third-party copyright holders. Academic books published under a CC BY, or other Creative Commons licence, may include third-party materials (such as images, photographs, diagrams or maps) which are subject to a more restrictive licence. UKRI considers this approach compliant with its policy.
Exceptions to licensing policy
UKRI recognises that there may be some instances where permissions for reuse in an open access book cannot be obtained for all third-party images or other materials. Therefore, an exception to the policy may be applied when reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative option available to enable open access publication.
Timing of implementation
The policy comes into effect for books published on or after 1 January 2024. Routes to compliance therefore need to be considered by authors now for any book that is already under contract or for which a contract will be signed for a book that will publish after 1 January 2024.
Routes to compliance
For in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections:
- The final Version of Record (Gold open access) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (Green open access, in an open access repository) must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
- The open access version must have a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence or other licence permitted by UKRI (see ‘Licensing requirements’ above) and allows the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
- The open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content (see ‘Licensing requirements’ above)
- Where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version
We are aware that authors will have questions about aspects of the new policy, and we await further guidance from UKRI and from publishers on monographs. As more information is received, it will be made available on UCL’s UKRI open access webpages.
UKRI funding will be available through UCL’s Open Access Team to allow some books to be made Gold open access and we await further information from UKRI about this.
We expect further clarification from UKRI on criteria for exceptions to the CC BY licence, funding and tools to help authors. In the meantime, we are providing briefings to all departments on the new policy, as well as open briefings for anyone to attend. Please contact us if you would like more information.
By Kirsty, on 26 October 2021
For Open Access Week 2021, Archaeology South-East is pleased to announce the Open Access release of eight books from their Spoilheap Publication back catalogue!
Archaeology South-East (ASE) is a professional archaeological unit operating within the Centre of Applied Archaeology at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. ASE is an accredited Registered Organisation of the Chartered Institute of Archaeology (CIfA) and our staff work across the historic environment and heritage sector providing a range of specialist research services to a diverse client base.
The bulk of our commercial work comprises planning-led, developer-funded projects, in which we are commissioned to carry out archaeological investigations ahead of building work on projects like housing developments and infrastructure. Current planning policy requires any development that could impact archaeological remains to either adapt its design to avoid potential archaeology, or fund ‘preservation by record’ – i.e. a full archaeological investigation (and therefore destruction) of any remains that will be impacted by development.
This process includes excavation of course, but also cleaning and conservation of finds, analysis of artefacts and environmental remains, archaeological illustration and photography, and interpretation of all this data. Our investigations form a research archive preserving all records and finds for future users, and can result in many different outputs including reports, blog posts, museum displays, and publications.
Open Access publication in archaeology is becoming more and more common. Unpublished archaeological site reports, data and some archaeology journals and monographs are available via the Archaeology Data Service, a digital repository for heritage data. Various publishers, including UCL Press, are making new archaeology books available in both digital Open Access and hard copy print options.
So how could we at ASE further increase our contribution to Open Access Archaeology?
Since 2013, ASE has self-published major sites and research in a series of books under the SpoilHeap Publications imprint. These books were only available in hard copy paperback, but early this year a small team from ASE, with support from UCL colleagues, started working to make our back catalogue Open Access – and plan an Open Access future for our SpoilHeap books.
…to Open in Practice…
The practicalities of making our books Open Access was slightly more complex than sticking a pdf version on our website! Thankfully we could draw on the expertise of our UCL colleagues who have been embedded in the process for a lot longer than us.
Lara Speicher, Head of Publishing at UCL Press, gave us an idea of the work we needed to do before we could hit the ‘upload’ button. On her recommendations our team picked through each of our books, hyperlinking tables of contents, figures and tables with their corresponding location in-text. We had to get our heads around new ISBN numbers, Creative Commons licenses, and seek new permissions for images from the copyright holders.
We’ve also been working closely with Open Access Publications Manager Dominic Allington-Smith, who has been teaching us how to use UCL Discovery, UCL’s open access repository, where our books will be hosted. He’s also guided us through minting DOIs, and we’re really grateful for his help.
The result of this collaboration is that we now have EIGHT of our books published as open access and freely available in downloadable PDF format. They detail archaeological finds from a range of periods and sites including a Roman villa, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, a medieval hospital, and much more, from across the south-east of England. You can view the full list at the end of this post.
More books will be released in the open access format in the next couple of months, and we’re delighted to say that in the future our SpoilHeap books will be released as hardcopies and digital Open Access at the same time. We’ll be using UCL Discovery to host the Open Access versions, which will also allow us to upload supplementary outputs like extended, in-depth specialist reports, 3D models and much more. We’ll also be using the UCL Research Data Repository to make our data readily available too.
…to Public Benefit
As well as making it easier for our fellow archaeologists to view and engage with our research and data, part of our remit for going Open Access is public benefit.
One of the core purposes of archaeological work, and arguably one of the easiest ways in which archaeology can provide public benefit, is through knowledge gain (CIfA 2021). Sharing the archaeological results from a site and making that accessible to the communities where our projects are located can enhance local community strength and identity (ibid.).
We hope that by making our high-quality research outputs more accessible, alongside our program of digital outreach making our research more appealing to wider audiences, will allow as many people as possible to benefit from our research.
View our full list of publications on our website, where you can find links to purchase hard copies as well as download Open Access versions where available. The titles currently available are:
- Anderson-Whymark, H; Pope, M; (2016) Late Quaternary (Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Later Prehistoric) Human Activity in the Darent Valley at Lullingstone Country Park, Eynsford, Kent. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1520941
- Dawkes, G; (2015) Flavian and later buildings at Snodland Roman villa: excavations at Cantium Way, Snodland, Kent. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135940
- Dawkes, G; (2017) Between Thames and Medway: Archaeological excavations on the Hoo Peninsula and its environs. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135936/
- Dawkes, G; (2019) Living by the creek: excavations at Kemsley, Sittingbourne, Kent. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135939
- Dawkes, G; (2020) The medieval hospital of St Mary’s and other features: excavations at Friary Place, Strood, Kent. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135942
- Dawkes, G; Hart, D; Grant, K; Swift, D; (2019) Beyond the Wantsum: archaeological investigations in South Thanet. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135943
- Doherty, A; Greatorex, C; (2016) A Middle/Late Iron Age site and Anglo-Saxon cemetery at St Anne’s Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex.https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135929
- Hart, D; (2015) Around the ancient track: archaeological excavations for the Brighton and Hove Waste Water Treatment Works and adjacent housing at Peacehaven, East Sussex. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135938
Keep up to date with our Open Access journey, along with news of archaeological discoveries and more, by following Archaeology South-East on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We also have a YouTube channel and a podcast series!
CIfA 2021 Professional Practice Paper: Delivering public benefit. https://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/Delivering_public_benefit.pdf
By Kirsty, on 25 October 2021
Welcome to the fourth issue of the Open Science and Scholarship Newsletter!
This termly newsletter has updates across the 8 Pillars of Open Science, and contributions from colleagues across the university. If you would like to get involved, give feedback or write something for a future issue, please get in touch using the details at the end of the newsletter.
In this issue:
- Update from the Head of the Office for Open Science & Scholarship
- Community voice – Jill Dando Research Institute Lab
- Special Feature – UCL and LGA Net Zero Innovation Network
- Deep Dive – Top posts from our blog
- News and Events
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