The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) established International Open Access Week in 2008 in order to help open access advocates promote openness to scholarly publications. In 2017, its 10th year, hundreds of institutions are participating in this annual celebration around the world. This year’s Open Access Week runs from 23-29 October under the theme “Open in order to…” This theme is an invitation to think about many benefits of making research publications openly available.
More and more researchers are aware of the importance of open access, not least because ever-increasing numbers of funders and institutions mandate it. The policy that affects all UCL researchers is the REF open access policy, which requires authors to deposit the final accepted manuscript of all research articles and conference proceedings in an open access repository in order to make them openly available (after a delay period, if publisher requires it).
Open access has many benefits beyond compliance with institutional and funders’ requirements, and this year’s Open Access Week is an excellent opportunity for us to talk about those benefits! Openness is beneficial to authors and their institutions, with papers that are open access getting increased downloads and citations. And let’s not forget that open access is good for the readers also, be it other researchers or non-academic audiences without access to institutional subscriptions.
This Open Access Week we will demonstrate the benefits of making publications open access in a series of blog posts that present examples of highly-downloaded items from UCL Discovery, UCL’s institutional repository. UCL Discovery is a long-established repository. Authors depositing their papers in UCL Discovery benefit from increased visibility of their work, as articles available there are downloaded hundreds of times in many countries across the globe.
This week we will also announce very exciting changes in UCL’s Research Publication Service (RPS), recently upgraded to its latest version that includes automated claiming. This new function makes maintaining publications lists in the author’s RPS profile even easier and less time consuming.
Institutions and authors are welcome to join the discussion about the benefits of openness. Do you make your research openly available in order to increase access to knowledge? Facilitate collaboration? Raise your research visibility? Whatever your answer, you can share it on Twitter, using #OpenInOrderTo, and see the whole conversation here. You can also follow the Open Access Week events at participating institutions online and on the ground here.