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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.

 

Open Access Week highlights

Catherine Sharp25 October 2019

It’s nearly time to say farewell to Open Access Week 2019. The Open Access Team would like to thank all the academic and library staff who’ve come to our training sessions and retweeted us. In case you haven’t been following us this week, we’ve been celebrating UCL academics’ open access achievements, and encouraging everyone to learn about Plan S in preparation for new UKRI and REF open access policies in 2020. We’ll be updating our webpages, tweeting and offering training sessions once the new policies are announced, but get in touch with us if you’d like to know more now.

If you haven’t already downloaded the OA Button and Unpaywall browser extensions or added your ORCID ID to RPS, we’d like to suggest that you try this today. It’ll only take a few minutes, and will help you find open access outputs, and make your own work open access.

Here’s a quick reminder of this week’s highlights, with many thanks to our communications and publicity colleagues for all their help!

Open Access Week 2019

Patrycja21 October 2019

This year’s Open Access Week runs from 21-27 October under the theme “Open for whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”. This is a direct follow up on last year’s theme “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge” and an invitation to deepen our conversations about inculsivity and to turn those conversations into action.

The pace of the transition to new forms of sharing knowledge accelerates: in 2019 alone there were more than 22,000 outputs uploaded to UCL Discovery, UCL’s institutional repository, contribution to the total of 83,000 outputs in the repository. Also this year UCL Discovery reached the milestone of 20 million downloads, while UCL Press, the UK’s first fully open access university press, reached 2 million downloads. This is a lot to celebrate, but also it is a good moment to consider this year’s theme, to think about strategies for opening knowledge and widening participation in research communication.

Follow #OAweek on Twitter to find out what UCL and other institutions are doing to celebrate this year’s Open Access Week. You can also attend one of the events that we’re running for UCL staff and students during the week:

Open access: a brief introduction

Start: Oct 22, 2019 12:15
End: Oct 22, 2019 12:45

Location: Science Library, room 106

This is an introductory session on open access, addressed mainly to UCL students. The session will introduce available options for making research outputs open access, and explain differences between different routes to open access. It will also provide an overview of open access services at UCL. Booking is available here.

Open publishing: sharing results and ideas

Start: Oct 23, 2019 14:00 
End: Oct 23, 2019 15:00

Location: Darwin Building, B05

Open science approaches are bringing major changes to scholarly communication, not only changing the process by which research is published, but what form it is published in, and what type of material is made available. The aim of this session is to introduce researchers to the various elements of open scholarly communication, helping them make more informed decisions about what to publish, how to go about it, and where to do so.

Further details and registration available here.

The Work of the Open Access Team – training session for library staff

Start: Oct 24, 2019 14:00 
End: Oct 24, 2019 15:30

Location: Science Library, room 417

This training session is for UCL Library staff who would like to find out more about work of the Open Access Team, open access in general, the REF open access policy, and the newest developments in scholarly communication. The session will explain research funders’ open access policies, the REF open access policy and how the Open Access Team helps UCL authors to comply with funders’ and REF requirements. The session will describe the work of the team and will take you through the team’s daily and weekly tasks.

If you would like to book contact the Library HR Team.

RPS and the REF open access policy training session

Start: Oct 24, 2019 11:00 
End: Oct 24, 2019 12:00

Fully booked – contact UCL’s Open Access Team for November dates.

Location: Malet Place Engineering Building, room 1.20

This training session will explain the REF open access policy and what to do to comply with its requirements. Using RPS, we will show you how to:

  • 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

This session will be a good opportunity to ask questions about RPS and the REF open access policy.

We’ll also be running some sessions about Plan S in departments. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about them, or to arrange a talk or discussion in your department.

UCL Open Science Day 2019

Patrycja9 May 2019

Last year in June UCL held the first Open Science Day, attended by over sixty people. This one day workshop provided an opportunity to ask for practical advice and to discuss different aspects of Open Science in a greater detail. Following its success, booking is now open for the second Open Science Day that takes place on Thursday 23rd May, at UCL Institute of Education (Logan Hall).

This one day workshop will explore the facets of Open Science and how these are, or could be, pursued by UCL researchers. In the morning speakers will discuss different aspects of and perspectives on Open Science. Afternoon workshops will offer practical advice on Software Carpentry, Citizen Science, GDPR and Open Education. There will also be opportunity to discuss the steps UCL should take to support Open Science.

Morning sessions include:

  • Open Pharma – Prof. Matt Todd, UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Research Evaluation and DORA – Prof. Steven Curry, Imperial College
  • Reproducible Research Oxford – Dr. Laura Fortunato, University of Oxford
  • Digital Science – Speaker TBC

The afternoon workshops will cover:

  • Scholarly Communication: megajournals and measuring impact – The recently-launched UCL Press megajournal is an an example of how new models of publishing can be used to support open science. This workshop will outline the work done by the megajournal and some of the issues around measuring the impact of open publications, with contributions from members of the editorial board.
  • Software Carpentry. Taster session – Software Carpentry is a project dedicated to teaching researchers basic computing skills such as like program design, version control, testing, and task automation. This is a short taster session to introduce the program and give an idea of what is available.
  • Citizen Science discussion – Citizen Science is a fundamental element of many open science programs, and is part of a broader move to link research with wider society. Universities are having to develop new ways to support this work, with new processes and services.
  • GDPR and opening data – One of the biggest issues surrounding making research data openly available is the protection of personal information. This workshop, delivered by the UK Data Archive, will discuss how the goal of openness can be balanced with the need for protection, particularly in the light of new and more stringent regulations.
  • On the Trail of Open Education Policy Co-creation – This workshop looks at developing policies which can be used to support open education and open science, considering different issues and contexts, and the various interested parties.

And close with a discussion on building open science communities, with UCL researchers Isabelle Van Der Vegt, Dr. Sandy Schumann, Dr. Ben Thomas, and Dr. Vaughan Bell.

This free event is open to all and is delivered by UCL Library Services with support from UCL Organisational Development.

You can register via Eventbrite here.

For any questions please contact lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk

Spring dates for RPS and the REF open access policy training sessions

Patrycja26 March 2019

Booking is now open for training on RPS and the REF open access policy in April. Last term’s training sessions proved very popular, and feedback received was extremely positive: respondents found sessions very useful (65%) or useful (35%).

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, 4th April, 14:00 – 15:00
Foster Court, room 132

Tuesday, 30th April, 11:00 – 12:00
Foster Court, room 235

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 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 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.

Open Access Week 2018

Patrycja4 October 2018

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) established International Open Access Week ten years ago, in 2008, to help open access advocates promote openness to scholarly publications. This year’s Open Access Week runs from 22nd to 28th October under the theme Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge. In preparation for open becoming the default for scholarly research, it’s important to make sure that open systems are inclusive, equitable, and meet the needs of diverse communities.

We are running a series of events for UCL staff during International Open Access Week. They will explore not only open access, and the REF open access policy that plays a huge role in shaping the open access landscape in the UK and at UCL, but they will also discuss other movements that aim to make research open, like open education and research data management.

Meeting of the UCL open education special interest group (SIG)

Start: Oct 23, 2018 11:30 
End: Oct 23, 2018 12:30

Location: Room 712, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7NF

The theme for this special interest group meeting is ‘designing equitable foundations for open knowledge’, to which we are contributing towards through the open education (OE) project, the OER repository, and by shaping OE policy at UCL. We’ll talk about open education as a facet of open access, fill you in on the project’s activities, and discuss with colleagues across UCL. Join us and share your ideas!

RPS and the REF open access policy training session

Start: Oct 23, 2018 14:00 
End: Oct 23, 2018 15:00

Fully booked – contact UCL’s Open Access Team for November dates.

Location: Engineering Front Building, room 104

This training session will explain the REF open access policy and what to do to comply with its requirements. Using RPS, we will show you how to:

  • 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

This session will be a good opportunity to ask questions about RPS and the REF open access policy.

UCL REF and Open Access Lunch

Start: Oct 24, 2018 12:00 
End: Oct 24, 2018 13:30

Location: Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) Common  Room

12:00 – Buffet lunch

12:15-12:45
REF for Absolute Beginners – Adam Cresswell, UCL REF Manager
Adam will explain what the REF is, how it works and what we do to make it happen at UCL.
This session will be particularly useful for administrators and members of staff who haven’t been involved in the REF before, but experienced staff will have the opportunity to ask questions about the RPS REF assessment module and the new REF submission guidance.

12:45-13:15
Open Access: REF and beyond – Catherine Sharp, Head of Open Access Services, UCL
Catherine will explain what academics need to do to comply with the REF open access policy, why it’s important and how to tell whether your papers meet the requirements. Academics and administrative staff will be able to ask questions about RPS and open access at UCL.
Catherine will also discuss the development of open access nationally and internationally beyond the REF, and how funders’ open access policies (including the UK Research Councils’) and the European Commission’s Plan S will affect academics in the future.

13:15-13:30 – Q&A

Booking via Eventbrite here.

The Work of the Open Access Team – training session for library staff

Start: Oct 25, 2018 10:00 
End: Oct 25, 2018 11:30

Location: IoE Library, Training room

This training session is for UCL Library staff who would like to find out more about work of the Open Access Team, open access in general, the REF open access policy, and the newest developments in scholarly communication. The session will explain research funders’ open access policies, the REF open access policy and how the Open Access Team helps UCL authors to comply with funders’ and REF requirements. The session will describe the work of the team and will take you through the team’s daily and weekly tasks.

If you would like to book contact the Library HR Team.

Screening of Paywall: the Business of Scholarship

Start: Oct 25, 2018 12:45 
End: Oct 25, 2018 13:50

Location: DMS Watson Science Library training room, 417 (fourth floor)

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.

Bring your lunch!

Booking via Eventbrite.

FAIR Data Sharing

Start: Oct 25, 2018 13:00 
End: Oct 25, 2018 14:00

Location: Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) Common  Room

UCL’s Research Data Support team is running this lunchtime session on the most effective ways to share your research data.
The first half of the session will give researchers an introduction to the principles and practicalities involved in data sharing. It will also seek to outline the principles of FAIR data and how they relate to the production and use of data over the research lifecycle.
During the second half of the session the Research Data Management team will host a drop-in to help answer any questions about sharing research data.

Booking via Eventbrite.

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.