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The open-access subject gap

By Harry, on 25 November 2022

Post by Dominic Allington-Smith & Damian Kalinowski, UCL Library, Culture, Collections & Open Science

A common criticism of the Open Science movement is that it is geared towards the needs of researchers in of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), to the detriment of researchers in arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS).  Not only does the phrase “Open Science” itself have connotations of a subject-based preference in English, hence UCL’s decision to specify “Open Science and Scholarship, but funder and institutional requirements to make research outputs open access also prioritise certain publication types over others, leading to a potential inequality between disciplines.

For STEM subjects, as a general rule, journal articles and conference papers are the most important form of research output.  The two routes to achieving open access: Gold – whereby the publisher makes the content freely available to read and reuse, usually in exchange for a fee – and Green – whereby a copy of the output is made openly available in the researcher’s institutional repository (in UCL’s case, this is UCL Discovery) – are most available to these two publication types: almost all major, international publishers of academic publishers have well-established mechanisms for the payment of Article Processing Charges to facilitate the Gold route, and standard policies for author self-archiving of content that can be followed to achieve the Green route.

Furthermore, funder and institutional open access requirements are also framed with these two types of output in mind: journal articles and conference papers submitted to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) from 1 April 2016 onwards had to be made open access in order to be eligible; this requirement also continues for the post-2021 REF until further notice.  In terms of funders, the current UKRI and Wellcome open access policies also have mandatory open access requirements for funded journal articles and journal articles.

In contrast, AHSS researchers are likely to consider books a comparatively more important class of research output, whether a monograph or a chapter contributed to an edited collection.  The open access landscape for books is considerably less mature than for journal articles and conference papers: publishers are less likely to have mechanisms in place for the provision of Gold open access, and may have more restrictive policies (or no policies at all) that allow authors to pursue Green open access through self-archive.  Elsevier, for example, do not permit book or chapter content to be made available in UCL Discovery at all.

This is reflected in the above-mentioned funder and institutional open access requirements as well: books and chapters are currently not subject to any open access requirements for the post-2021 REF, and the UKRI open access policy for this content does not come into effect until 1 January 2024; Wellcome is the only one of the three to currently mandate open access for funded books and chapters in some form.  The disparity even extends to journal articles by extension: as books are important in AHSS fields, so in turn are the reviews of these books published in journals, but these may not be considered to be “original research” by funders and therefore may not be eligible for Gold open access funding, or not considered necessary to be made open access via the Green route in UCL Discovery.

With all this theoretical inequality in mind, the question to answer is: how is this reflected in the proportion of UCL research outputs that have been made open access across the different subjects represented by our schools and departments?  We can attempt to answer this with some data from two example departments.

Two UCL departments, at the same level within the overall hierarchy, have been selected to typify the worlds of STEM and AHSS: the School of Pharmacy and the History department, respectively.  The publications recorded in RPS from the period 2016-2020 (i.e. the period for which there was an open access requirement for the submission of journal articles and conference papers to REF 2021) are analysed:

UCL Department Total outputs (2016-2020) Journal articles and conference papers Books and chapters
School of Pharmacy 2348 1756 (74.79%) 94 (4.00%)
Dept of History 534 249 (46.63%) 219 (41.01%)

 

The proportions are strikingly different: the School of Pharmacy’s research outputs are dominated by journal articles and conference papers, constituting almost three-quarters of the total recorded outputs, whereas books and chapters form a paltry four percent.  In contrast, the two groups of publication have an almost equal share of the total within History.

The next step is to analyse the proportion of these outputs for which the author has uploaded the full text to make it open access in UCL Discovery, bearing in mind the fact that books and chapters from this period were not subject to any REF or funder requirements in this regard:

UCL Department Journal articles and conference papers Books and chapters
Total Uploaded Total Uploaded
School of Pharmacy 1756 1411 (80.35%) 94 12 (12.77%)
Dept of History 249 145 (58.23%) 219 105 (47.95%)

 

Unsurprisingly, the combination of books and chapters not having to be made open access for REF or funder requirements, and journal articles and conference papers being more significant in disciplinary terms for the School of Pharmacy than for History, results in a markedly higher upload proportion for the former: across all four publication types, the overall upload proportion is 76.92% for the School of Pharmacy and 53.42% for History.

The final consideration is the proportion of uploaded publications that have actually been made open access in UCL Discovery, bearing in mind publisher limitations being more prevalent when it comes to books and chapters.  A further analysis of the uploaded publications produces the following results:

UCL Department Journal articles and conference papers Books and chapters
Uploaded Open access Uploaded Open access
School of Pharmacy 1411 1405 (99.58%) 12 5 (41.67%)
Dept of History 145 142 (97.93%) 105 72 (68.57%)

 

This indicates that if a journal article or conference paper was uploaded in RPS, it was almost always made open access in UCL Discovery, whereas the equivalent proportion for books and chapters was lower once again, even a minority in the case of the School of Pharmacy.

The incentives to make journal articles and conference papers open access, and the barriers against achieving open access for books and chapters, therefore result in a stark difference between not only the publication types, but also the departments.  Only 24.60% of all books and chapters recorded in RPS during this period by both departments have been made open access, compared with a far more favourable 77.16% for journal articles and conference papers.  The History department’s comparative focus on the former two types means that only 45.73% of recorded outputs have been made open access.  If only the publications for which the full text was uploaded in RPS are counted, there is still a figure of just under 15% that could not be made open access due to publisher-imposed restrictions.  In contrast, the typical STEM experience represented by the School of Pharmacy has resulted in 76.22% of all recorded publications of these types being made open access.  Perhaps most stark is the fact that fewer than 1% of uploaded publications could not be made open access, illustrating that the vast majority of academic publishers in this field permit open access via self-archiving in an institutional repository.

It is to be hoped that the extension of funder open-access mandates to books and chapters, which may well also be reflected in revised open-access requirements for the post-2021 REF in due course, will help to close this discrepancy in outcome between publication types, and by extension, departments by subject area within UCL and other UK Higher Education Institutions.

Research Publications Service (RPS) upgrade: what’s changed?

By Harry, on 8 November 2022

Post by Alan Bracey, Open Access Compliance Manager.

RPS has been upgraded from version 5 to version 6. While most of the functionality is unchanged, users will notice a refreshed look and feel, differences to the Homepage layout, and a new menu structure and navigation.

The guides to RPS for researchers on the Open Access webpages will soon be updated. Our RPS videos will be updated soon!

The following changes are outlined in this post:

  • Homepage
  • Menu and shortcut icons
  • Publications page
  • Preprints
  • File deposits turned off: preprints, data, software/code
  • Reporting, exports and ‘collect later’ functionality
  • Changes to administrator roles

Homepage

The Homepage has a revamped ‘My Actions’ section, with new visuals and additional guidance to help researchers complete key tasks.

Menu and shortcut icons

The main menu structure has been redesigned. The icon in the top left now opens the Menu to navigate around RPS, and the icons at the side are shortcuts to Home, Profile and the Reporting Hub.The Menu used for navigating around RPS has been reorganised. Pages generally have the same names as currently, though, and users can find pages with the new ‘search’ functionality.

(The menu items depend on roles and permissions: not all of those in the screenshot will be available.)

The three icons at the top of the screen link to ‘Impersonate’ (for administrators who have been given this functionality), ‘Help’ (with links to UCL guides), and a notifications window (e.g. ‘There are 14 Publications for you to claim or reject’). Clicking on your name opens a sub-menu with key system settings.The System Search is now found at: Reporting > Search > System Search

Publications page

The tabs containing information related to publications have been rearranged. There is a new ‘labels’ tab, and the display of metrics and relationships has been redesigned.The tabs show information relating to the publication as follows:

  • Summary shows the basic bibliographic data and is displayed by default.
  • Metrics displays the Times Cited and Altmetric data.
  • Deposits displays details of uploaded files.
  • Labels presents ontologies available to be associated with the publication.
  • Relationships lists the other RPS users who are linked to the record.
  • Sources shows a list of the data sources that comprise the publication.
  • History is the log of all activities performed against the record.

To change the publication type, select the pen icon next to the article type when viewing the summary tab.A new ‘focus on’ feature allows you to show the same tab for all outputs, e.g. if you wanted to review whether files have been uploaded for all publications.

Preprints

The upgrade to version 6 will introduce a new Preprints publication type. Previously, preprints came into the system as journal articles, and would be manually changed to ‘Working/Discussion paper’. Preprints will now come into the system under the new Preprint type. Preprints already in the system will keep their current publication type but can be changed manually (contact the Open Access Team for help if required).

Uploading files is now turned off for preprints (see below), but these can be uploaded by the OA Team on request.

Preprints should automatically link to articles, so that the system creates an ‘is preprint of’ relationship between the preprint and a published article (providing both outputs have Crossref identifiers). These links can also be created manually by researchers or administrators if desired.

Depositing files restricted for some publication types

The new version of RPS allows file deposit to be turned on and off for different publication types. We have taken advantage of this functionality to turn off deposits for preprints, datasets and software/code. This is to prevent researchers uploading a preprint instead of an accepted manuscript, which does not meet funders’ open access requirements. Preprint servers are also typically open access. Data, software and code should be uploaded to the Research Data Repository. Please contact the Open Access Team if you need to upload a preprint.

Reporting, exports and ‘collect later’ functionality

Reports and dashboards in version 6 are collected in the new Reporting Hub, accessed by using the bar graph icon on the left of the screen, or at Reporting > Reports & Dashboards > Reporting Hub. The ability to set ‘favourite’ reports has been introduced, and reports and dashboards should be easier to find.

The Reporting Hub includes some exports and reports formerly found on the Basic Reports page, but not all of them have been migrated. Basic Reports are still available at Reporting > Reports & Dashboards > Basic Reports. More reports will migrate from Basic Reports to the Reporting Hub in later upgrades.

If a report takes longer than ten seconds to show, then you will be offered the option to collect the report later. When the report file is ready to download you receive a notification and can collect the report file from the new Download Centre (Reporting > Reports & Dashboards > Download Centre).

Changes to administrator roles

Some roles will be renamed due to the upgrade. Access and permissions are expected to remain the same, but please contact openaccess@ucl.ac.uk if you experience any issues.

 

Open peer review: what is it and what is UCL Press doing?

By Kirsty, on 28 October 2022

Guest post from Ian Caswell, UCL Press Journals Manager.

When discussing peer review, generally, I find it helpful to remind myself of some of the values as to perhaps why researchers publish in scholarly journals. In essence, it usually comes down to these 4 headings.

  1. Knowledge and discovery
  2. Evaluation and validation
  3. Credit
  4. Access to research

Within this environment, peer review is arguably the fundamental gold standard aspect of scholarly and academic publishing and is, at least in its most fundamental use of it, the facilitator for publishers to sell journals and its content.

So then, what is the role for peer review precisely, and what does it serve to accomplish?

An easy question to answer, right? In the book Editorial peer review: It’s strengths and weaknesses, the author writes the role of what peer review serves is, as ‘the goal of the process is to ensure that the valid article is accepted, the messy article cleaned up, and the invalid article rejected,’ thereby ensuring that the article made available to the reader is quality controlled.

In another book titled Peer review: A critical inquiry, the author here writes that the process of peer review also benefits the author, as they are later certified by the process if published proceeding peer review: “Careers are often made or destroyed by the process.”

In scholarly publishing, peer review acts to validate and assess work and is the current system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Other experts in the relevant field assesses the research or article for things like fact, validity, and significance, that aid the assessors (i.e. Editors) to determine whether the manuscript should be published in the journal or not. I think it is pertinent to remember here that journals do play a vital role in the scientific and scholarly process, by refining research through peer review and disseminating it to appropriate communities by publication, and it is this role of review by peers that has been a part of scholarly communication since the appearance of the first journal in the 17th Century (see the brilliant book by Professor Aileen Fyfe et al, A History of Scientific Journals: Publishing at the Royal Society, 1665-2015.)

Challenges in peer-review

There has been a lot of discussion around the challenges peer review present, stemming from bias and prejudices towards authors, fraudulent behaviour, non-expertise reviews, and so on. In the article Peer review in a changing world: An international study measuring the attitudes of researchers by Mulligan et al in 2012, notes that:

“Although alternative forms of peer review have evolved to tackle issues of bias, it is less clear what effect, if any, they will have upon fraud. High‐profile cases of fraud and plagiarism have brought the debate about the efficacy of peer review to a wider audience, attracting greater public attention. Such incidences include [certain individuals], tipped to be a Nobel Prize winner, who published a series of fraudulent papers that were withdrawn from NatureSciencePhysical Review, and Applied Physics Letters.”

Journals typically tackle these types of concerns by anonymising authors and reviewers from each other to ‘enable a fairer and just review system’. In this article Mulligan et al surveyed around 40,000 published researchers that were randomly selected from the Web of Science (then known as the Thomson Reuters ISI list) and concluded that the majority of respondents were happy with the current system, but noted the system is imperfect and more can be done to ensure a higher level of efficacy and efficiency.

Now, being led by open science principles, it is largely seen that being more open and transparent with research publication and assessment can we increase scholarly rigor, accountability and trust.

What is open peer-review?

There is a growing evidence base of the challenges and flaws in the current anonymised peer review system (albeit, mainly within the biomedical and clinical sciences), and major publishers and journals are already testing open peer review processes (or have already implemented a practice of it already).

In April 2017, a systematic review of what open peer review is was published online in F1000Research (itself an innovative model of open peer review). It concluded: “Open peer review has neither a standardized definition, nor an agreed schema of its features and implementations. The literature reflects this, with a myriad of overlapping and often contradictory definitions.”

What this review very accurately depicts, is that there are a number of definitions of open peer review that can be collated together into themes and it purports there are 7 open traits to what open peer review concerns itself with, and that open peer review can take either a single aspect, or a multitude or mix of any of these traits, to operate as an open peer review model. Briefly, these are:

  1. Open identities, where authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identity.
  2. Open reports, where the review reports are published alongside the relevant article
  3. Open participation, where the wider community are able to contribute to the review process
  4. Open interaction, where direct reciprocal discussion between author(s) and reviewers, and between the reviewers themselves, is allowed and encouraged
  5. Open pre-review manuscripts, essentially, a pre-print server, where manuscripts are made immediately available (e.g., BiorXiv) in advance of any formal peer review procedures
  6. Open final-version commenting, where the review or commenting on the final “version of record” is published
  7. Open platforms (or “decoupled review”), where review is facilitated by a different organizational entity than the venue of publication

What is UCL Press doing?

At UCL Press, we launched our very own open peer review and open science journal called UCL Open Environment: a fully non-commercial, Open Science journal, publishing high impact, multi-disciplinary research, on real world environmental issues, with the overall aim of benefitting humanity. The journal is for any researcher or professional at knowledge-based universities, institutions, and organisations (including Non-Government Organisations, Think Tanks, Inter-Government Organisations, and the United Nations) and submissions are invited from those at all career stages, including early career researchers, mid-career professionals, and senior scholars. There are also no barriers to the Open Peer Review Process (whereby the identity of the reviewer and the report are made publicly visibly at all times); engagement from all will advance the greatest leaps and discoveries.

Reviewers are firstly asked to sign in to the system using their ORCID account and when they submit their review report, the report is posted up online in the preprint server alongside the article, under the CC-BY licence and assigned a unique DOI. You can find out more information about this at https://ucl-about.scienceopen.com/for-reviewers/peer-review-process.

Reviewers can therefore attain credit of their report and readers are able to follow the process openly online. We hope this will also aid the development for others (especially earlier career researchers and students) with examples on how a review is written and how an article is revised accordingly, aiming to improve the way we should engage critically and beneficially with research.

Readers of this blog can see for themselves how the journal works (you can see here the list of the latest submissions and open peer reviews, as well as here for publications accepted after peer review). It is my hope that readers will be encouraged to provide more open peer reviews or open comments, adding to the corpus of open debate around research, and consider contributing to UCL Open Environment, as we believe that by removing barriers and innovatively working openly and together will we accelerate finding solutions to the world’s most significant challenges.

Indigenous knowledge and Citizen Science: enabling paths for Climate Justice

By Kirsty, on 27 October 2022

Post by Harry Ortiz, Office for Open Science & Scholarship Support Officer

This year’s Open Access theme, Climate Justice, allows us to explore how research openness can promote diverse paths to achieve it. In this particular occasion, we will focus on how citizen science can work as a bridge to connect the so-called modern societies with rich indigenous environmental knowledge to confront the climate emergency and learn from their day-to-day practices.

According to the United Nations (UN), climate justice refers to a paradigm shift that focuses on the impacts of global warming on the most vulnerable people rather than just discussions on gas emissions. Expanding the discourses based on natural resources and biodiversity depletion to more ethical and political spheres under the human rights framework and civil movements from those communities who are, and will be, the most affected by those changes (Unite Nations, 2019).

CC-BY-NC Picture by Joe Brusky https://flic.kr/p/pkVrKZ

Paradoxically, indigenous communities, who have been the protectors of the land through sacred ties with nature, are one of the most affected groups confronting climate change hazards. Receiving special attention due to their leader’s climate justice activism based on their traditional knowledge, demanding urgent policy transformations and more comprehensive mitigation plans (United Nations, 2021). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognise the crucial role of indigenous peoples’ knowledge in those plans, especially regarding ecosystem and biodiversity conservation as key to ensuring sustainable development and climate resilience (IPCC, 2022).

As climate justice movements note, the effects of the planetary phenomena affect vulnerable communities worst and faster. Not only about social and economic extents but their ‘abilities to produce, disseminate, and use knowledge around the climate crisis’ (International Science Council, 2022). This a critical reality for indigenous and local knowledge reproduction, which might contain the answers to new forms of human existence in symbiosis with all forms of life on earth.

Openness can help to share that traditional knowledge and inform novel paths to generate resilient modern societies. However, it is first necessary to understand and capture the indigenous and local expertise, where citizen science practice, one of the eight pillars of open science, takes enormous relevance for climate justice.

But how can scientific methodologies and indigenous/local knowledge coexist when they belong to completely different epistemologies? How do we avoid new ways of colonisation against indigenous peoples in the name of science and climate justice?

Citizen science offers a solution, a link between the two distant worlds. With ethical considerations carefully implemented, it can deliver new knowledge collaborations and approaches to solve local and global sustainability issues. Citizen science aloud reciprocally valuable knowledge systems to coexist, open discussions about power dynamics in the academic world, promote diversity, participation in decision making and address historical inequalities (Tengö, M. et al. 2021).

The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IGWIA), answering the IPCC 2022 report on mitigation, indicate the need for ‘a new paradigm of climate partnership with Indigenous Peoples that harnesses the benefits of different knowledge systems and ways of knowing is needed. Although the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge holders in research is increasing, more significant efforts are needed to support community-based and Indigenous-led research.’ (IGWIA, 2022). Addressing the need to respect indigenous peoples’ rights in the knowledge co-production development and their participation in all levels of climate mitigation decisions in ethical and equitable processes.

The UCL press book’ Geographic Citizen Science Design – No one left behind’ shows good examples of citizen science with indigenous communities who take into account cultural factors, participant-centre design and the local contexts from holistic perspectives. We encourage you to visit their third chapter, where the authors build from an anthropological and human-computer design perspective providing several case studies regarding geographic citizen science with indigenous communities and their knowledge. You can download the Open Access PDF for free!

Despite diverse opinions and perspectives, citizen science practices can hybridise two knowledge traditions that seemed to run in parallel paths. Sharing those findings in open and accessible ways beyond academia can promote more fair, equitable and sustainable societies.

Can you imagine new ways to co-existence with all the living world informed by indigenous knowledge and practices? Following Tyson Yunkaporta’s ideas in his book Sand Talk, what if indigenous knowledge can save the world? For some, the idea might sound romantic or taken out of science fiction movies. But what if finding an encounter point between the modern and the indigenous world is the most effective path towards climate justice?


International Science Council, 2022. 2022 International Open Access Week will focus on ‘Open for Climate Justice’. [online] Available from: https://council.science/current/news/2022-international-open-access-week-will-focus-on-open-for-climate-justice/ [Accessed 06 October 2022]

IGWIA, 2022. A new paradigm of climate partnership with Indigenous Peoples. An analysis of the recognition of Indigenous Peoples in the IPCC report on mitigation. IGWIA Briefing Paper. Available from: https://iwgia.org/en/resources/publications/4845-iwgia-briefing-analysing-a-new-paradigm-of-climate-partnership-with-indigenous-peoples-ipcc-report.html

IPCC, 2022. Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Working Group III Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Summary for Policymakers. WMO – UNEP. Available from: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_SPM.pdf

Tengö, M., Austin, B.J., Danielsen, F., Fernández-Llamazares, A. 2021. Creating Synergies between Citizen Science and Indigenous and Local Knowledge. BioScience, 2021; biab023, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab023

United Nations, 31 May 2019. Climate Justice. Goal 13: Climate Action. [online] Available from: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/climate-justice/ [Accessed 04 October 2022]

United Nations, 09 August 2021. How indigenous knowledge can help prevent environmental crises. Environmental Rights and Governance. [online] Available from: https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/how-indigenous-knowledge-can-help-prevent-environmental-crises [Accessed 04 October 2022]

What is Open Access?: new video for UCL researchers

By Kirsty, on 26 October 2022

This Open Access Week, we’re delighted to be launching a new video designed to help new UCL staff and students understand some of the key ideas in open access. With so many different open access routes, including fully OA, transformative agreements and Green, and myriad open access policies – including UKRI, Wellcome, NIHR, CRUK, Horizon Europe/ERC and REF – unfortunately open access is often more complex than we would like. We cover all the detail on our webpages, but we’re hoping that this short video, the first of a pair, will be a helpful introduction for new UCL staff and early career researchers, and a handy reference for other researchers. In just two-and-a-half minutes, it covers:

  1. What open access is and why it is important
  2. Green/Gold open access
  3. Fully open access/hybrid journals
  4. Transformative agreements

The eagle-eyed will spot a small spoiler about a second video, which will explain what UCL authors need to do about open access. We’re working on that now, and it should be available in the next few months.

Departments may like to add links to our videos to their induction materials. Here are the videos available at the moment:

  • What is Open Access?
  • What is RPS?, Claiming and adding publication in RPS, Uploading a manuscript to RPS

We hope you enjoy these new resources.

Office for Open Science & Scholarship Newsletter – Issue 7

By Kirsty, on 25 October 2022

Welcome to the seventh 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:

  • Editorial
  • Update from the Head of the Office for Open Science & Scholarship
  • Community voice – Semantic Open Data Science Platforms for Advanced Materials Discovery
  • Special Feature – UCL and the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN)
  • Deep Dive – Highlights from the Blog
  • News and Events

Go to the newsletter on Sway, or view it below. If you use the version below, we recommend clicking the ‘full screen’ button to get the full experience!

When viewing a Sway, you can turn on Accessibility view. This view displays a high-contrast style for easier reading, disables any animations, and supports keyboard navigation for use with screen readers.

To turn on Accessibility view:

  • If you’re using a mouse or touchscreen, on the More options menu (shown as three dots on the Sway toolbar), choose Accessibility view.
  • If you’re using a screen reader, on the More options menu, when Accessibility view is selected, you hear “Displays this Sway in a high contrast design with full keyboard functionality and screen reader access to all content.”

Welcome to Open Access Week – Review of the year 2021-22

By Kirsty, on 24 October 2022

Another year has passed and another Open Access Week is upon us! Since the foundation of the UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship, it has become traditional for us to start Open Access week with a review of the last year.

It has been a busy year in the Office and in all of the teams that support Open in various guises across the university. Instead of a dull report from me about facts and figures, the LCCOS communications team have created a fun, snappy video with all the highlights!

In the past year UCL Press has released numerous new books, and their e-textbooks project is coming on in leaps and bounds. The team at the office have released new resources, and the Open Access team has a huge range of new Transformative deals as well as video content in the pipeline to help simplify the complicated world of Open Access for you – one is even coming out later this week!

We hope you enjoy Open Access week – and here’s to another great year!

Open Access Week is coming!

By Kirsty, on 6 October 2022

International Open Access week - text on a white background, with an orange padlock to the left. We’re getting excited again for the upcoming Open Access Week!

We have our usual range of blog posts lined up for you to enjoy, including an exciting roundup of the last year, our latest newsletter and a post on this year’s OA Week theme – Open for Climate Justice.

If that wasn’t enough, we have an online event for our ERC academics and a brand-new resource being released, so watch this space!

Featured event: Open Access for Horizon & ERC Researchers

Are you a UCL researcher whose publications acknowledge EU grants? Then you need to know about the new Horizon Europe and ERC open access requirements.

Register now for our online Open Access Week Horizon Briefing, on Monday 24 October, 13:00-13:50.

This session will set out the relevant open access policies, and explain where you can publish and what funding is available. We’ll also be joined by colleagues from F1000, to show you the Open Research Europe platform, which offers rapid publishing, open peer-review and compliance with the Horizon open access and open data policies.

New Open Science Resources for 22-23

By Kirsty, on 21 September 2022

The team at the UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship are pleased to be able to share two brand new resources for the 2022-23 academic year!

Open Science & Scholarship video

The first, a new video giving an overview of Open Science at UCL. Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice Provost for Library, Culture, Collections & Open Science (LCCOS) opens the discussion and outlines the context, before local experts delve into each of the core areas that we support. It is accompanied by a short quiz to affirm your new understanding of each area.

This video was created with the support of grants from Research England and Horizon 2020. It was produced by Scientific Knowledge Services (SKS).

After watching the video, you can take the quiz! If you are interested in learning more about anything you heard, visit the OOSS training and support pages for this and further resources.

Guide to Open Science for PhD students

The second resource is entitled Open Science – a practical guide for PhD students. This guide has been designed especially for UCL’s community of PhD students, aiming to introduce the principles of Open Science, but linking them directly to stages of the PhD journey and showing the benefits of embracing Open from the start of their academic journey.

This guide is developed from the original which was published by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

This and other resources to help and support you in your Open Science journey can be found on our website.

 

Altmetric – now available at UCL!

By Kirsty, on 2 September 2022

Guest post by Andrew Gray (Bibliometrics Support Officer)

What is it? 

Altmetrics are the concept of “alternative metrics” – measuring the impact of research beyond scholarly literature. It encompasses a wide range of activity in diverse sources  social media (eg twitter, blogs), news publications, and grey literature (eg policy documents). This can help to get a wider sense of the impact of papers that might otherwise be missed were we to focus just on traditional academic citations. 

The primary commercial database for these is Altmetric (https://altmetric.com) – UCL has just taken out a one-year subscription to this service. We hope it will be useful for anyone interested in public engagement or research impact, as well as individual researchers looking at the response to their own work. 

It is open to everyone at UCL by visiting https://www.altmetric.com/explorer/login and entering your UCL email address. It will then authenticate through the UCL single-sign-on system. 

How does it work? 

Altmetric tracks a range of individual sources looking for DOIs, links to papers, or free-text descriptions of articles. It then matches these to the underlying paper and produces an index of the mentions. Here we can see the range of responses to a climate-change study. 

You will also sometimes see this coloured “doughnut” on publisher or repository sites – clicking through will get you to this same page. 

The most interesting part of the service, however, is the dashboard. This aggregates the results from all individual papers, and we can then filter down by subject area, date, publication venue, etc., to produce a more specific analysis. It is also possible to search for keywords to see the change in activity around a specific topic – one like “artificial intelligence” tends to show a steady level of interest, while one like “gravitational waves” shows very dramatic spikes connected with major discoveries. 

What can we do with it? 

The dashboard has been integrated with UCL’s RPS service, so it has a dataset of UCL papers since 2013, each linked to the faculty/department of the authors. This means we can do the same types of analysis for just UCL papers – or just those from a specific department or a specific author. 

The search can also be tweaked to identify specific topics. Here we can see policy documents published in 2022 which cite a Bartlett paper. 

Policy documents are one of the key strengths of Altmetric – they can be used as evidence of wider impact, especially for the social sciences. While they are formal documents, and very distinct from more ephemeral news or social media mentions, they are not indexed in most citation databases and so this impact can often be hard to trace. 

Altmetric data can also be exported – any set of results can be exported so that we can do detailed offline analysis of sets of papers, or at the individual mentions that make up the score. This data includes identifiers such as DOIs and ISBNs, meaning it can be linked up to other datasets easily 

What next? 

We are very keen to get this tool in the hands of as many people at UCL as possible and find how it can be used most effectively. Please have a go and let us know what you think! 

UCL-specific training and guidance is currently under development, and will be published in September 2022. Until then, please feel free to get in touch with the team (bibliometrics@ucl.ac.uk) with queries or requests for assistance. We are happy to arrange training as well. 

The tool is currently provided with a static dataset drawn from RPS, covering papers published 1 January 2013 up to 12 August 2022. We are working with the providers to improve the integration so that it will include “live” data, refreshed from RPS every night; until then, we plan to make periodic updates so that publications are added on a rolling basis.