X Close

Open@UCL Blog

Home

Menu

Archive for the 'Advocacy' Category

Deep Dive: DOIs

Kirsty8 September 2020

In our recent blog post, PIDs 101, we covered a wide range of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) and looked at how they link together, and what the future holds for them. This week we are drilling down to investigate Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) in more detail.

In the last post we discussed DOIs being a unique registration number for a Digital Object, and the fact that a digital object in this context could be an article or a dataset, but it could equally be any of a number of other item types, such as on this list defined by Crossref.

How do DOIs work?

Each publisher, funder or repository that is registered to provide DOIs is given a unique registration number. This number, along with the ‘10.’ common to all DOIs, forms the first part of a DOI, called the prefix – shown below. Each registered provider is then responsible for choosing their own suffix pattern.

 

 

This is where DOIs get extra clever. Each registered provider can construct the suffixes to their own design, and these can be as simple or as complex as needed. For example, the Wellcome trust uses DOIs for identifying grants as well as publications, and PLOS uses different suffixes to identify which articles come from which journal – for example:

 

 

 

In the three PLOS DOI examples above, the unique registration number is 1371. Each suffix starts by designating the item type: journal, and then follows with an acronym of the individual journals themselves, pbio (PLOS Biology), pone (PLOS one) and pgen (PLOS Genetics). Each journal then uses article numbers in a predetermined sequence for the final part of the DOI. These numbers match the article numbers shown in the article citations. Every registered provider needs a scheme like this that they use to generate their DOIs, as it is essential that each item receives a unique DOI.

For every DOI that is generated, it is the responsibility of the provider to send metadata and a link to the top level webpage for the item to their individual registration agency. In the UK this is most likely to be Crossref or Datacite. This metadata is then made openly available so it can be used to build overarching databases or added into other tools and services like the search interface at doi.org. Crossref and DataCite make the metadata and DOIs registered with them openly available via APIs so that it can be used in databases like Europe PubMed Central.

The different publishers, repositories, universities and funders all have a responsibility to keep the metadata of all of the DOIs they generate up to date. This is important in order for the DOI to be persistent. For example, if your chosen journal changes publisher after your article has been published, it is the responsibility of the publisher to facilitate updating the metadata of every article so that you will still be able to find your article using the DOI.

Why is having a DOI beneficial?

The purpose of a DOI is to accurately identify, link to and discriminate between online works. DOIs are unique to the work they identify and permanently link to it. This means that a DOI must link to the authoritative and authentic web presence for the work hosted on a sustainable platform.

So, having a DOI for your work (whatever it may be) means that it will always be findable: even if the journal where it was originally published no longer exists, there will always be a record of your work no matter how much time has passed. It also helps ensure that your work is cited properly, and that every mention of it is correctly attributed and easy to track. If your work has a DOI, it can be included in other tools like Altmetric or Plum Analytics. These tools track mentions of works in social media, news media, policy documents and other places.

How do I get a DOI for my work?

It is relatively unusual for journals to be unable to provide you with a DOI for your article. If your publisher does not have the facility to give you a DOI, or you wish to get a DOI for another type of material, the simplest way to go about getting one is to create a record in a repository that can provide a DOI for you.

At UCL we have the Research Data Repository (RDR) which can accept a wide range of outputs including data, figures, presentations, software, posters, even images and other media. There is the option in the record creation process to ‘Reserve’ a DOI which will become live once the record is checked and verified by the RDR team.

Outside UCL, there are also independent repositories that are able to give you a DOI. You can choose a subject repository appropriate for your data – there is lots of information available on the Research Data Management team website – or a generic one such as the UK Data Archive, Zenodo, Figshare or Dryad.

Introducing the new UCL bibliometrics policy

Kirsty26 August 2020

UCL has recently launched its new bibliometrics policy, which sets out principles for the use of citation metrics in research assessment across the university. It aims for sensible, fair, and balanced use of metrics in research assessment that values research and researchers on their own merits, moves away from some of the more inappropriate methods like focusing on the impact factor of journals or the h-index of authors, recognises diversity in research practice and outputs, and emphasises that the use of citation metrics is not mandatory.

This is an important step in supporting the use of Open Science and Scholarship across UCL. A key aspect of the open science movement has been in challenging traditional ways of disseminating research – whether that be through publishing in Open Access journals, opening up peer review, disseminating work at an early stage via preprints, or a range of other methods.

Many of these approaches, however, do not fit well with traditional methods of assigning credit using citation metrics.

For example, a relentless focus on the impact factor was a barrier to early adoption of open access journals. Newly created Open Access journals – which did not qualify for an impact factor – were seen as lower quality than the established journals, deterring authors from submitting to them. Similarly, megajournals, which did not cherry-pick papers for “significance”, had impact factors substantially lower than more selective titles – an author who was being judged on impact factors would be less keen to publish there.

In addition, limitations of the citation databases can penalise supporting material like data or code, which are often not indexed properly – if they are cited at all. This makes them appear less significant than they are. Similarly, preprints often get the majority of their citations before they are “published” – and these may not be tracked or credited accurately.

Factors like this mean that a focus on using traditional metrics can actively deter people from adopting Open Science approaches for their articles or their data. It is of vital importance that the ways we assess research do not discourage people from being able to conduct their research in the way that is best for them, and best for the wider research community.

Our new policy tries to move away from traditional uses of metrics, emphasising that citation-based metrics are not always appropriate and we do not have to use them if they’re not generally accepted in the field. Where they are used, we should avoid trying to impose a one-size-fits-all model, and consider all works in context.

Alongside the policy, we have provided detailed guidance for using alternative metrics, going beyond the impact factor or simple citation counts to assess citations in the context of other comparable work. We have also created the video below, and a Moodle module to walk you through the key elements.

 

Getting the best out of your ORCID

Kirsty13 May 2020

Green circular ORCID iD logoSo you have an ORCID – now what?

Of course taking the time to set up and populate your ORCID is a great first step, but there are so many things that you can use an ORCID for. Today we are going to talk about just a few:

1. Stand out from the crowd

Having and using your ORCID is a great way to distinguish yourself as a researcher. Using an ORCID makes sure that all of your works are correctly attributed and that no-one but you gets the credit for them.

2. Easily collect your work

Did you know that a lot of the work updating and maintaining your ORCID record can be done for you? Using ORCID’s in-built tools you can connect up your ORCID to a huge range of other tools and systems. We would recommend starting with CrossRef and DataCite as they supply DOIs to publishers and other providers. It might also be worth connecting other profiles such as Scopus and ResearcherID. All you need to do is spend some time linking the systems together at the start, and check on it occasionally, like when you have a new paper out.

Another way to collect your work together easily is to use your ORCID wherever possible when publishing works. A lot of publishers are using end-to-end workflows. This means that if you use your ORCID when submitting a paper, once the paper is published they will send it to CrossRef, which populates your ORCID record for you. PLOS, Hindawi and Springer are just a few examples of publishers who use this system.

In the next couple of weeks you will also be able to use RPS to update your ORCID record too – watch this space!!

3. Curate your online presence

Your ORCID record is very versatile. It allows you to list not only your articles and book chapters but any kind of output, be it data, a conference presentation or poster, or something less common like patents or publications written by students you have supervised.

More than that, you can also list employment, funding, memberships, awards, and even your peer review contributions if you want to share them.

Each item on your ORCID profile is completely controlled by you. Each individual item can be assigned one of three visibility settings.

  • The first is everyone. This means that information is public and anyone who looks up your ORCID record can see this, from a prospective collaborator to a funding body. For the most part, this is what you want to use. There is little point curating information that nobody can see!
  • The second is trusted parties. This means that you can give rights to individuals or systems to access that content. For example, if you link your ORCID to RPS (keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post about that!) you give RPS the right to edit your ORCID record for you.
  • The final one is only me. Ideally you would only use this to protect information not for the public domain, such as your personal email address (though you should consider displaying at least one) or details of a publication that isn’t ready yet.

4. Your online CV and bibliography

Ever been asked to populate a publication list for an online profile, role or funding bid? If your ORCID is up to date, you can use your ORCID instead!

Copying the full link from the box under your name in your profile allows you to share a permanent link to your ORCID record. There is even the option to create a QR code to put on a poster or in a presentation. There are so many different types of information that you can include in your ORCID, from publications and funding to awards, editorial board memberships and voluntary activity such as organising a conference. Everything you would want in one place.

5. Share your work far and wide

The great thing about using ORCID is that you have one number, one tiny URL that can be used to represent you and your work anywhere you want. You can use your ORCID in your email signature, in your social media accounts, and in your profiles on other services.

Curate your ORCID effectively, and it’ll be a great time-saver, avoiding your having to enter the same information over and over, and standing for you all through your professional life.

Send us your ORCID stories and find out more

If you like ORCID, or have stories about how ORCID helps with managing your research, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below or tweet us at @UCLopenaccess.

Look out for our post next week on sending publications to ORCID from RPS. To get an alert when we post new articles, fill in the “Subscribe by Email” section on the right of this post.

Open Access and your Research in a COVID-19 World

Kirsty6 May 2020

On 20 March, days after lockdown began, JISC and partners issued a statement calling for Publishers to help in the global effort to combat COVID-19 and support institutions and students to continue their education by making resources available where possible. Since that day, numerous publishers have made temporary changes to their policies, and have begun to make more content freely available online. The Library has been maintaining a list of these newly open resources on the website, along with other help and advice for finding and using resources remotely. There are also lists of resources available from the British Library as well as a brilliant collated list of data and computational resources from the National Institute of Health.

The Copyright Licensing Agency has also made some temporary adjustments to the licence that allows books to be scanned and shared. Please contact the Teaching & Learning Services team for more information.

In addition, there are now tools that allow you to search the web for trustworthy Open Access versions of content from inside your web browser. Just searching Google can bring up not only illegal copies of material, but also inadvertently support predatory and fake journals. The recommended tool is called Open Access Button. More information about Open Access Button is available here

Open Access choices

Just because publishers are making things open for the time being, doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Be careful about the choices you make for your research – in the long term, will the publisher of your chosen journal stop access to your paper? When you are choosing the journal to submit your research to, take a look at the guidance provided by the Open Access team, and also check Sherpa/Romeo to find out whether you are allowed to share your work on RPS, or even on a pre-print service to get it out there even faster!

Don’t forget that you can use the Research Publications Service (RPS) as well as the Research Data Repository (RDR) to take advantage of Open Access to share all of your research outputs to get them out to the rest of the research community.

Open Access Button

Kirsty26 March 2020

One of the most frustrating aspects of doing research is when you come up against an article you can’t get at without paying. Even with the wide range of databases and journals that the library subscribes to, coverage is not complete. JISC, SPARC, Open Society Foundations, the Centre for Open Science and many others have worked together to create a solution to this problem called the Open Access Button.

What does it do?

The Open Access Button tool tells you if there are free (and legally available) copies of articles available as you go along – without you having to search them out. The tool, once installed, searches an extensive collection of existing repositories and aggregators in the background of your browser and indicates when it finds an Open Access version of something using a discrete icon on your screen.

They also provide another option – a button that you can install on your browser to run a quick search for Open Access versions of something.

Why do I need it?

The Open Access Button team support the Open Access movement and believe that outputs of publicly funded and supported research should be openly and freely available for use by the public and by other researchers.

There has been a lot of work in the last few years to increase the amounts of Open Access content available online. The number of works which are available open access is growing every day, but many are still only available to those that can pay subscriptions.  Not only does this mean that only rich institutions can have access to the results of research, but also, public resources that could be used to develop research are spent just to read the work that has already been undertaken.

The role of the Open Access Button is to make it easier to access works already freely available by allowing a single point of search for the numerous repositories out there, assuring what you find is legal and from a reliable source. At the same time, it is identifying restricted works and working with researchers to release their full potential for the public good by allowing you to request copies of works that are not yet Open Access.

How does it work?

When you find an article, the Open Access Button tool uses the information on the page (the bibliographic metadata) to search its approved sources for an open Access copy of the work. Sources include most of the major global aggregated repositories. Such as:

  • OA DOI which provides the data behind Unpaywall, an app that leads straight to legitimate author uploaded versions of the publisher’s articles like the OA Button.
  • SHARE, a US service developed by the Association of Research Libraries in partnership with the Center for Open Science
  • CORE which offers “seamless access to millions of open access research papers, enrich the collected data for text-mining and provide unique services to the research community.”
  • OpenAIRE, a European resource that offers an OA search engine and a campaign platform driving Open Access development and policy.
  • Dissemin, a French resource with a slightly different approach: “ Dissemin searches for copies of your papers in a large collection of open repositories and tells you which ones cannot be accessed”
  • Europe PMC which specialises in life sciences research
  • BASE a Germany based aggregator.

In addition, if you ask the Open Access Button to search for an article that is not available openly, a request is sent to the author asking them to share. The service is able to support the authors in sharing the article quickly and legally.

Is it legal?

The Open Access Button will only show you legal, freely available copies.  Your assurance of this comes from the sources they use and the supporters of the initiative.  These include:

How can I get it?

Check your Browser

Open Access Button works with Chrome, FireFox and Safari.  It is less successful with Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

Ways to use the Open Access Button

  1. Use the Search Engine: On the homepage, enter any part of a bibliographic citation and the search engine will seek out an open access copy – if one exists.
  2. Use the Button: Add the Open Access Button extension for unpaywall to your browser.  Whenever you land on a journal abstract page for a work or find a reference in Google scholar the icon on the right-hand-side of your screen will tell you if the work is available and why.  If the work was self-archived on an institutional, funder or subject repository, then the icon will be green, if it is open access on the publisher pages, the icon will be Gold-coloured. If it doesn’t automatically identify the status, you can click the button to do a search manually.

RPS and the REF open access policy training sessions – more dates

Patrycja18 October 2018

This academic year, UCL Open Access Team introduced a programme of regular training sessions on RPS and the REF open access policy. October dates proved very popular, and now we’ve added more sessions in November and early December.

All UCL authors are required to maintain a list of their publications in UCL’s Research Publication Service (RPS). To comply with the REF open access policy, they must also upload the final accepted manuscript version of their research articles and conference proceedings to RPS. This needs to be done no later than three months after first online publication. The Open Access Team review the manuscript and make it open access through UCL Discovery, UCL’s open access repository.

Our training sessions will explain the REF open access policy and what to do to comply with its requirements. They will also show you how to, in RPS:

  • set up name-based search settings
  • use all the advantages of RPS’s automated claiming tool (including linking RPS to your ORCID ID)
  • record a publication
  • upload a file

The sessions will be a good opportunity to ask questions about RPS and the REF open access policy, and they are open to all UCL staff and interested research students. New members of staff, and anyone who is unsure about any of the features mentioned above, are strongly encouraged to attend. Regular reports on compliance with the REF open access policy, and on academics’ use of RPS, are sent to Faculty Deans and Heads of Department. 

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, 1st November, 11:00 – 12:00
IOE, 20 Bedford Way, room W3.07

Tuesday, 6th November, 11:00 – 12:00
Foster Court, room 243

Tuesday, 20th November, 14:00 – 15:00
1-19 Torrington Place, room B09

Thursday, 6th December 11:00 – 12:00
1-19 Torrington Place, room B09

To book, and if you have any questions, please email: open-access@ucl.ac.uk
Also let us know if you would like to organise group training or drop-in sessions in your department.