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Open Access at UCL in numbers

Patrycja8 October 2020

This is the first in a new series of regular posts in which we plan to celebrate the huge numbers of research outputs that UCL academics are making open access, and the impact of this worldwide.

UCL Discovery in numbers

Despite this year’s unprecedented demands on academics, UCL authors have been depositing their papers at the same impressive rate as before COVID. Our team has continued to process 1,600 papers each month, on average, making them openly available in UCL Discovery, our institutional repository. As of October, the repository holds over 105,000 outputs that are currently openly available to download – this is a significant increase from over 83,000 that were available at the same time last year, and a testament to the success of the REF open access policy.

Research outputs in UCL Discovery have just reached over 22 million lifetime downloads, of which over 3 million are downloads of open access books published by UCL Press. Our global readership spans over 250 countries; the top five countries downloading from the repository are the US, UK, India, Canada and Germany.

This year alone, the repository had over 3,300,000 downloads. The most popular item so far in 2020, with over 11,000 downloads, is a journal article originally published in Nature, Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge. Other popular items include a recent publication from UCL Press, The Responsibility of Intellectuals: Reflections by Noam Chomsky and others after 50 years, with over 8,000 downloads (interestingly, this book is particularly popular in Canada). How the World Changed Social Media is also going strong this year, and kept its position in the top 10 most downloaded items (more than 88,000 lifetime downloads). Unsurprisingly, an article on COVID-19, The continuing 2019-nCoV epidemic threat of novel coronaviruses to global health, is also one of the top downloaded items, with over 8,000 downloads so far.

RPS in numbers

We’ve written before about the new functionality that we introduced to UCL’s Research Publications Service this summer. It allows you to send publications recorded in RPS to your ORCID record automatically. 75% of research staff have added their ORCID record to RPS to enable autoclaiming. We’re very excited that 20% of those have also now given RPS permission to send publications to their ORCID record, so they don’t have to add them manually. It’s great that so many academics are linking and sharing information about research outputs in this way, and we hope that it soon becomes a time-saver for many more. You can find out more about the tool, and how easy it is to set it up, on our ORCID guide.

Doctoral theses in UCL Discovery

Of all the items that are available in UCL Discovery, over 18,000 are doctoral thesis. At UCL, the requirement to submit an electronic copy of your thesis as a condition of award has been in place since 2009. In addition to that, we have retrospectively digitised theses from earlier years, as a part of a collaborative project with ProQuest. Currently, over 8,000 retrospectively digitised thesis are available in the repository. The oldest digitised thesis dates as far back as 1933.

UCL theses are one of the most downloaded types of item in the repository, with over 7 million lifetime downloads. The most popular doctoral thesis, with over 3,600 downloads over the last twelve months, is a 1992 thesis, Fatigue and fracture mechanics analysis of threaded connections, available here.

Gold open access in numbers

So far, we’ve focused on the Green route to open access, where outputs are made available, usually as final accepted manuscripts, after the publisher’s embargo period. Plan S funders, of course, will soon require immediate open access, and Plan S’s Rights Retention Strategy will allow authors to make papers published in subscription journals open access without an embargo (option 2 in Plan S).

Many UCL academics publish via the Gold route to open access, either in fully open access journals (option 1 in Plan S), or under transformative agreements (option 3 in Plan S). This year to date UCL’s Open Access Team has arranged immediate open access for over 1,800 UCL papers.

There are more than 5,000 journals covered in UCL’s transformative agreements, including small and society publishers like Electrochemical Society, European Respiratory Journal, IWA Publishing, Microbiology Society, Portland Press Biochemical Society journals, Rockefeller University Press, Royal Society of Chemistry. This allows authors publishing in these journals to comply with their funders’ requirements and Plan S. Negotiations with other publishers are happening for 2021.

Until the end of this year, papers funded by the Wellcome Trust that are submitted to  subscription journals can still use UCL’s Wellcome funds. Papers submitted from 1 January 2021 will need to follow the requirements of the new Wellcome open access policy [link], which means that funds will only be available for open access in fully open access journals and subscription journals that are part of UCL’s transformative agreements. Other papers will need to follow the Wellcome’s second route to open access, depositing their manuscript in Europe PubMed Central, to be made open access immediately, under the Rights Retention Strategy. We expect the current arrangements for papers funded by one of the UK Research Councils to continue until a new UKRI open access policy is introduced next year.

During OA Week we have a Q&A session on open access. This event, for UCL researchers, is an opportunity to ask questions about the new open access funding arrangements, transformative agreements, Plan S, depositing your research in UCL Discovery, and more. Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session.

RPS and ORCID – 3 ways to play! 

Catherine Sharp12 August 2020

We have written a number of posts recently about ORCID and other identifiers, and another introducing you to a new feature of RPS, but we could tell you wanted more!  

So, as we discussed in our last RPS blog post, you can now link your ORCID iD to RPS, and use it to send your publications from RPS into your ORCID record. Nearly 1,000 UCL researchers have started sending publications from RPS to ORCID in the last 3 months. It’s been possible to use your ORCID iD to find publications for RPS for some time, but there are several different options for how both these things are done, and how much data is sent and received by the two systems, so let’s take a look at them.  

When you link your ORCID iD to RPS in RPS > Menu > MyAccount > ORCID Settings, you’ll be given three options. The first is the most restrictive: Only use my ORCID to support automatic claimingIf you choose this option, RPS won’t access your ORCID record at all. It’ll simply use your ORCID iD to help verify your identity in the papers found in other sources. In essence RPS works exactly the same as it always has, finding publications in external sources like Web of Science and Scopus, but it has one more piece of data to use when it’s identifying your papers. It’ll then claim those papers automatically for you.    

The second option is similar but it does allow RPS to use your ORCID profile. Read data from my ORCID account looks at the content of your ORCID record to improve the accuracy of its searches when it looks for new papers in its usual sources.  

The final option is Read from and write publication data to my ORCID account. This is the best and most useful option, and it also gives you more choices! This option gives RPS permission to send publications to your ORCID record, so you don’t have to add them yourself. It also allows RPS to read the content of your ORCID record to improve the accuracy of its searches when it looks for new papers in its usual sources (as in option 2). 

Read from and write publication data to my ORCID account will send everything from RPS to your ORCID record, but you can select some restrictions as follows:  

  1. You can choose to only send Published journal articles to your ORCID. This means that articles that have the status of acceptedsubmitted, in preparation or no status won’t be sent. This will also apply to pre-prints where these have been added to RPS.  
  1. You can choose whether or not to send publications where your relationship to them has been marked as private. It won’t stop them ending up in a co-author’s ORCID record, but it will stop them appearing in yours.  
  1. You can choose to send only your favourite publications. This option is good if you want to curate your ORCID for use as a CVif you have a large number of papers coming into RPS and ORCID from different sources, such as pre-print servers, or if most of your publications are already in your ORCID record and you want to avoid duplicates. The downside of this option is that you need to remember to favourite each new paper as it goes into RPS – it’s not a big thing, but it will slow the process down. 

Whichever option you choose, make sure you add your ORCID to RPS, but it is equally important that you use it elsewhere – link it to other systems, and especially to your publications, grants, and even Je-S. The more you use your ORCID, the more reliable it becomes as an identifier, and as a representation of your work all in one place!  

Using RPS to add publications to ORCID automatically

Catherine Sharp19 May 2020

Green circular ORCID iD logo

Last week we wrote about how spending a few minutes setting up your ORCID record will repay you many times over, helping with grant applications, online profiles and the like. We talked about some of the nifty things you can do with ORCID, like creating a QR code to put in a poster or presentation. Most of you already know about “auto-claiming” publications containing your ORCID into RPS (and even “auto-rejecting” others), saving you having to review long lists of publications that match your name. A whopping 72% of UCL researchers, nearly 4,000 of you, have added your ORCID to RPS for auto-claiming.*

Even if you’re using your ORCID whenever you publish, until now it hasn’t been plain sailing getting publications into your ORCID record, especially since this was completely separate from adding them to RPS. There’s now a new tool in RPS that makes this much, much easier.

*By faculty, UCL Institute of Education researchers top the table at 81%.

The old way: using ORCID to record publications

Until now, you’d use “auto-update” in ORCID, from a third-party source like CrossRef, to import publications that contain your ORCID to your ORCID record. To add publications that don’t contain your ORCID, you’d select publications matched to your Scopus record and/or ResearcherID, add them manually, or upload a BibTeX file.

If this sounds like a lot of effort, read on.

The new way: send to ORCID from RPS

You’re already recording your publications in RPS so that you can make them open access, select them for REF, and include them in your IRIS profile. Now, you can send them to your ORCID record automatically. This gives you the added benefits of a permanent ORCID record of your publications, without any extra work.

Take a moment to enable send to ORCID in your RPS profile (see below); then make sure you’re using your ORCID, e-mail address, Scopus ID, arXiv ID and/or ResearcherID to auto-claim publications into your RPS record. Your auto-claimed publications from all of these sources, as well as any you claim yourself based on matches to your name, and any that you add to RPS manually will all be sent to your ORCID record. Job done.

How to do it

For privacy reasons, you need to authorise RPS to send to ORCID, even if you’ve already allowed RPS to talk to your ORCID record for auto-claiming. Even if you’ve forgotten your ORCID password, it should take no more than a minute.

  • Click on the Menu tab near the top of your RPS home screen. In the My Account column, choose ORCID Settings.
  • Click on Connect your ORCID iD.
  • If you’ve previously recorded an ORCID in RPS, you’ll be sent to an ORCID login screen. If you haven’t, but you have an ORCID account, click on Sign into ORCID. (If you don’t have an ORCID at all, you can set one up by choosing Register now).
  • Click Authorize to allow RPS to update your ORCID record.
  • When you’re sent back to RPS, choose the first option, “read from and write”.

Screenshot of RPS ORCID Settings page after ORCID authorisation.

Your existing and new publications will be sent to ORCID automatically within a day or two. Clicking “Run Sync” on this page (see the image in the next section) isn’t necessary, but will speed up the sending. Once publications been added to ORCID, you’ll see an option on this page to remove them; you can also combine, delete and edit them in ORCID.

Extra send to ORCID settings

After you set up send to ORCID, the ORCID Settings page will give you a few options. By default, RPS won’t send journal articles with a status other than “published” or “published online”, nor publications you’ve marked as private (by clicking the eye icon in your publications list). Untick the first box and RPS will send journal article records regardless of their publication status. Tick the second and it’ll send publications even if you’ve marked them as private.

If you want to select specific publications to send, you can tick the option “Only send favourite publications”. You’d use the heart icon in your publications list to select favourites.

We’d suggest that you click “Send affiliation” at the bottom of the page: this will add your UCL affiliation to your ORCID record.

Screenshot of options on RPS Search Settings page for sending publications to ORCID.

If some of your journal article records in RPS were created manually, they might not have a status. If you don’t want to change the default send to ORCID settings, you can add the “published” or “published online” status to individual records.

Image of RPS status field in manual book record

More about RPS and ORCID

You’ll find more on our ORCID webpages. For guides to auto-claiming using ORCID, e-mail address, Scopus ID, arXiv ID and/or ResearcherID, and information about how RPS selects publications it thinks are yours, see the section on our RPS training page called “Recording publications in RPS”.

Look out for future posts on RPS and ORCID. To get an alert when we post new articles, fill in the “Subscribe by Email” section on the right of this post (or below, if you’re reading on your phone).

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.

RPS and the REF open access policy training sessions

Patrycja3 January 2019

In the new year we are back with our programme of regular training sessions on RPS and the REF open access policy.

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

Tuesday, 8th January, 11:00 – 12:00
Gordon House, room 309

Thursday, 24th January, 11:00 – 12:00
Engineering Front Building, room 104

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.

RPS and REF open access policy training sessions

Patrycja27 September 2018

This academic year, UCL Open Access Team is introducing a programme of regular training sessions on RPS and the REF open access policy.

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

Tuesday, 9th October, 14:00 – 15:00
Engineering Front Building, room 104

Tuesday, 16th October, 12:00 – 13:00
IOE, 20 Bedford Way, room W2.06

Tuesday, 23rd October, 10:00 – 11:00
Engineering Front Building, room 104

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.