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Persistent Identifiers 101

Kirsty27 July 2020

You might have heard the phrase ‘Persistent Identifier or even PID in passing, but what does it actually mean 

A persistent identifier (PID) is a long-lasting reference to a resource. That resource might be a publication, dataset or person. Equally it could be a scientific sample, funding body, set of geographical coordinates, unpublished report or piece of software. Whatever it is, the primary purpose of the PID is to provide the information required to reliably identify, verify and locate it.” – OpenAIRE 

These identifiers either connect to a set of metadata describing an item, or link to the item itself.  

In 2018, the Tickell report was released. It presented independent advice about Open Access, which had implications for the world of PIDs. Adam Tickell recommended that Jisc lead a project to select and promote a range of unique identifiers for different purposes, to try and limit the amount of confusion and duplication in this area.  

The JISC project has been in progress for the last year. They are working on what they describe as ‘priority PIDs’ which cover the following categories:  

  • People 
  • Works 
  • Organisations 
  • Grants 
  • Projects 

So what are the PIDs we need to be aware of? 

People 

The primary PID for people is one that you will already be familiar with if you are a regular reader of the blog. Even if you aren’t, you have probably heard of it – it’s ORCID.  

ORCID is an open identifier for individuals that allows you to secure accurate attribution for all of your outputs. It also functions quite nicely as an online bibliography, and can be used to automatically collect and record your papers in RPS. All in all, it’s pretty useful 

If you want to know more about what you can do with ORCID, have a look at our recent blog post ‘Getting the best out of your ORCID. All of the details about linking ORCID to RPS and vice versa, are available on the blog and the Open Access website 

Works 

The next identifier is for works. It’s another that you have probably seen, even if you don’t know a lot about themDOIDOI stands for Digital Object IdentifierIt’s a unique registration number for a Digital Object. This could be an article or a dataset, but it could equally be an image, a book, or even a chapter in a book. DOIs are unique and persistent which means that if your chosen journal changes publisher, you will still be able to find your article because the DOI is independent and will keep up to date.  

DOIs are most often acquired through a Registration Agency called Crossref, but you will also come across DataCiteBoth of these services do the same job, providing and tracking DOIs, but the underlying tools are slightly different.  

Did you know: if you have the DOI of a paper, an easy way to find that paper is to add https://doi.org/ to the front. The URL this creates will take you to the paper, no matter who published it. For example: 10.1080/08870446.2019.1679373 is DOI, and https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2019.1679373 will take you straight to the paper 

Organisations 

The Research Organisation Registry (ROR) is a new PID registry that is being created by key stakeholders, including Crossref and Jisc, to bring more detail and consistency to organisational identifiers. The definition of organisations goes beyond institutions like UCL to include any organisation that is involved in research production or management, so this can include funders, publishers, research institutes and scholarly societies.   

Grants 

Crossref is key in the identification of individual funders and in creating identifiers for research grants. Grant IDs are DOI’s, but connected to grant-specific metadata such as award type, value and investigators. The intent is for funders to register each grant and provide a GrantID, which has the potential to make tracking papers and data linked to individual projects much simpler in the long run. Several hundred grants have been registered already, mostly via Wellcome (With thanks to Rachael Lammey for the clarification 03/08/2020)

Projects 

The Jisc project is supporting Research Activity ID (RAiD), a project based in Australia which creates a unique identifier for a research project. The intent is for this to be the final part of a network of identifiers that will allow people, works, and institutions to be linked to their projects and funders. This will complete the chain and allow accurate attribution and accountability at every stage of the research process.   

How can I get involved? 

The work being undertaken to select and support individual PIDs at each stage of the research process is a good idea, and if it works then it will be a step towards a fully interconnected, open and transparent research process. The next stage of the Jisc project is currently underway, and they are surveying all sectors of the UK research community about awareness, use, and experience of PIDs. If you want to contribute, their survey is open and has just been extended until 21 August!  

PIDs diagram

PIDs environment – Click to enlarge

Everything you ever needed to know about Registered Reports (*even if you weren’t afraid to ask)

Kirsty3 July 2020

The concept of Registered Reports was developed in response to a vast range of meta-analysis over the past few years (1) that showed that a lot of research being published exhibited bias. Different papers analysed publication bias, hindsight bias, and selective reporting which demonstrated that published works overwhelmingly showed predominantly positive results. There were also significant issues with reproducibility and transparency as people were not sharing sufficient results or enough detail in methodologies to allow for the results stated to be replicated.

The nature of good research is to investigate, to take a hypothesis and test it dispassionately, discovering the results and presenting them as new or confirmed knowledge – whether the hypothesis is proven or not, it’s all knowledge! Unfortunately, this isn’t always the reality. The issue at the core of all of this is the research environment itself – good, objective practice is not always what gets rewarded.

Researchers are often given the message (intentionally or otherwise) by publishers, funders, institutions and colleagues that positive, world-changing, elegant and simple results are prized above all others. It’s these results that researchers and publishers want to publish. Since publishing is key to career advancement, this inevitably influences how researchers carry out their work. Leaving aside for now deliberate falsification of results, and the arguments about alternative ways of disseminating them, we can see how this leads to behaviours that produce at best selective and incomplete results, and at worst downright misleading ones. Behaviours like HARKing (Hypothesising After Results are Known) and P-hacking, testing variables until you find something significant, are particularly problematic. Since researches also tend to cite positive results more than negative ones, this positive publication bias continues to be amplified after publication, too.

So, what can be done?

Registered reports are a new way of getting your work accepted for publication. The idea is that you submit only part of a study, like the first half of an article, and the peer review is conducted on your idea and study design, before any data is collected. If you are successful, you receive an Acceptance in Principle, do your research and write it up. If the research hypothesis and methods section that has already been accepted hasn’t changed significantly, the final acceptance is based on a peer review of the remaining parts of the article. This second round of peer review focuses on how complete and robust your work is, completely uninfluenced by the results of the study.

If I want to use Registered Reports for my next project, where do I go?

There is a list of journals that are supporting Registered Reports on the Center for Open Science website.

Naturally, if you aren’t working in a hypothesis-driven subject area, Registered Reports might not be for you, but there are other options to consider. They are a little less well known, but still have their own benefits:

Results Blind Peer Review is very similar to registered reports. The article is submitted and reviewed as normal, but the results are withheld until after the first peer review stage.

Exploratory reports are the newest method and lean more towards supporting exploratory research in less hypothesis-driven subject areas. This allows meta-analysis and confirmatory research, and more flexibility in the flow of the research from design to results.

Do registered reports really work?

The logic behind Registered Reports has already proven its worth: compared with papers published in the traditional way, a much higher percentage of Registered Reports have ‘null’ results. This suggests they really do reduce publication bias. And they’re still cited at similar rates to conventional articles.

These forays into addressing bias are just a beginning. The issue isn’t going to go away overnight but these journals, with the support of researchers, can start to redress the balance and make sure that results that disprove hypotheses get as much air-time as those that prove them. These journals show that there is a way for researchers and publishers to work together to address the problems of publication bias. Meanwhile, institutions are changing their promotion and assessment criteria to ensure that the research quality, rather than where the work is published, is taken more into account. A similar path is being taken by funders and even the REF. We all need to support these journals and together commit to an open research culture.

 

(1) Chambers, C. D. and Tzavella, L. (2020) Registered Reports: Past, Present and Future. MetaArXiv. doi: 10.31222/osf.io/43298.

Spotlight on: Kudos – helping people find, read, understand and cite your research

Kirsty3 June 2020

Kudos (growkudos.com) is not a social networking site, or yet another profile – it’s a toolkit. Kudos is a free service which exists to help you manage your profiles and social media posts more effectively to maximize visibility of your work.

Kudos allows you to claim and describe your work for a variety of audiences, from your colleagues, to potential multi-disciplinary collaborators, to the general public. It also allows each contributor to put a personal statement onto a paper, describing your part in the work and putting your own personal spin on it. For example this publication, chosen at random, has been annotated with a short summary, had an image added, and each of the contributors has added a short personal comment.

Then all you have to do is use the inbuilt tools to share to multiple sources at once. You can even generate trackable links in Kudos for items without DOIs, so that however you do share your work – via email, social media, posters, discussion groups, scholarly networks etc – you can track which of those is really helping you maximize readership.

The metrics generated by these links include the number of people you have reached, the number of views, a global breakdown (which countries is your work attracting attention in), the Altmetric score (how is your work being discussed online), citation counts for publications, and a granular breakdown of the different ways you have communicated and which of these have been most effective. A recent study has shown that explaining and sharing via Kudos takes on average 10 minutes and leads to over 20% more downloads.

Kudos pro

Kudos have recently launched a pro version of their free to use platform, which extends their service beyond publications into the rest of your research, called Kudos Pro. This new service allows you to create profile pages for your work – whether for a specific project, or a general overview of your body of work. These pages are quick and easy to set up using a template. For example, this project, chosen at random, includes links to the profiles of the contributors and institutions, some publications as well as images and an extensive background to the project.

You can link from these pages to relevant materials and outputs, from links to surveys, code, data, images, to links to pre-prints/publications in your institutional repository, publisher website, pre-print server or even Kudos itself – this helps you provide a single ‘entry point’ to which you can direct people looking for more info about your work – while also enabling you to post outputs on other appropriate sites as you normally would.

Kudos Pro also includes a planning tool which can guide you through creating a communication, engagement and impact plan, helping you to identify target audiences, impact goals, and different activities that will help you achieve those goals with your project. You can also gather evidence of engagement and impact within this tool and download the plan and results for reporting, or to submit as part of a grant application to demonstrate the rigour with which you will plan and manage impact of your project.

Free access to Kudos pro

Given that many of the usual ways researchers communicate their work are currently off limits due to the current situation (e.g. conferences, workshops, meetings with stakeholders etc) Kudos have opened up the pro platform so that researchers can use it for free – people can claim their free access by signing up at https://growkudos.com/hub/projects

Kudos are also maintaining a project of their own collating Covid-19 research that has been annotated.

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.

Understanding Preprints

Patrycja29 April 2020

A preprint is a draft version of a research paper that’s posted on a public server, often at the same time as it’s sent for peer review. By definition a preprint is not peer-reviewed, but some open access journals, including UCL’s own megajournal, UCL Open: Environment, UCL Child Health Open Research and Wellcome Open Research publish preprints as part of an open peer-review process. You can post your manuscript as a preprint instantly, allowing you to communicate new research and share results quickly without having to wait for the peer-review process to be completed.

Preprints can be critical in public health emergencies like the COVID-19 and Ebola pandemics. That’s why the Wellcome Trust’s new open access policy requires preprints to be published where there’s a “significant public health benefit”.

UCL encourages authors to use disciplinary preprint servers. Then, once your manuscript has been accepted for publication in a journal, upload it to RPS: that’ll mean that it’s made available in UCL Discovery, UCL’s open access repository, and can be submitted to the REF.

Have a look at this short video by ASAPbio (Accelerating Science and Publication in biology), explaining the origins and history of preprints, and how they work:

Benefits

Uploading your work to a preprint server allows you to make it available and get your results out there as quickly as possible, accelerating the communication process. It helps you get evaluation and feedback, and establish new collaborations. Preprints can help you build your portfolio and showcase your work: even if the paper isn’t subsequently accepted, the research has still been shared. Many funders, including the Wellcome Trust, now encourage researchers to cite preprints in grant applications and reports, so their effort isn’t wasted. Danny Kingsley, former Head of the Office of Scholarly Communications at Cambridge has written a brilliant overview of how preprints are being used in the COVID-19 world, and what you should watch out for.

It’s pretty rare now for a journal to refuse to accept a submission that’s been published as a preprint, but you can check, either with the journal themselves or using Sherpa Romeo, which is a service that collates and outlines the policies of each journal. The Sherpa services are run by Jisc, and are frequently updated with the latest policies.

Some journals have embraced preprints as it makes it easier to build on early feedback and avoid resubmissions. Others have gone further and offer open peer-review, which is a great way to benefit from speedy publication as well as peer-review. If you can make your data open too, so your research is fully reproducible, that’s even better!

There are a wide range of preprint repositories out there including:

The Centre for Open Science hosts an aggregated collection of preprints from a range of verified services. If you are interested in using preprints for your work, have a look here first.

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

FORCE11 – reflections on afternoon workshops

Patrycja24 August 2018

This summer saw the second FORCE 11 Scholarly Communication Institute (FSCI) held at the University of California, San Diego, which I had an amazing opportunity to attend. Participants of the FORCE 11 summer camp selected three courses from an extensive course list; morning classes ran through the whole week, afternoon ones took place over two days.

Open South: The Open Science Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean

For my first afternoon course, held on Monday and Tuesday, I attended the workshop Open South: The Open Science Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was taught by a group of librarians and researchers: Gimena del Rio Riande, Researcher from Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas y Crítica Textual (IIBICRIT), April M. Hathcock, Scholarly Communication Librarian from New York University, Wouter Schallier, Director of Hernán Santa Cruz Library and Daniel O’Donnell, Professor of English at University of Lethbridge, Canada.

We learnt about the long history of Open Science in Latin America and the Carribean, and discussed national laws in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru that seek to make scientific knowledge produced with public funds openly available. The instructors also highlighted regional projects such as Scielo (collection of open access journals from 14 countries) and redalyc.org (another platform of open access journals, created by Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México). The projects play an important role in making open access the most established communication model in the region.

At the end of the workshop we discussed how to make the Open Access movement more inclusive, how to bridge the gap between the Global North and the Global South. The classes made me reflect on how limited my view of Open Science was, and I realised rich the movement is outside of Europe and North America. One of more interesting initiatives is South-South Programme ran by CLASCO that integrates a network of researchers from the Global South.

Public Humanities as Scholarly Communication – brainstorming

Micah Vandegrift, Open Knowledge Librarian at North Carolina State University and Samantha Wallace, PhD candidate in English at University of Virginia led my Wednesday – Thursday workshop on Public Humanities as Scholarly Communication. Discussion in the class focused on two texts: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Giving it Away: Sharing and the Future of Scholarly Communication and Sidonie Smith, Manifesto for the Humanities: Transforming Doctoral Education in Good Enough Times.

The class turned into a brainstorming exercise; we are used to discussing Digital Humanities, but Public Humanities go further than Digital Humanities and securing Open Access for publications. There was a long and thought provoking discussion on nature of humanities, and the public, where we reflected on the role of the public in public humanities, and how public is intrinsic to humanities. The discussion in turn led to creating a new framework for public humanities, aligned with citizen science, and that would engage public and communities. Further reflections on the class from one of the instructors, Micah Vandergrift, are available here.

UCL Open Science Day

Patrycja18 July 2018

On 25th of June UCL held the first UCL Open Science Day, a one-day workshop organised by UCL Library Services with support from UCL Organisational Development. Over sixty people attanded the workshop, and the day began with a welcome from Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research).

Morning sessions discussed different aspects of and perspectives on Open Science. Dr Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services and Pro-Vice-Provost, started with an analysis of the LERU Roadmap for Open Science from the League of European Research Universities. After this introduction to Open Science Dr Catriona MacCallum, Director of Open Science, Hindawi, followed with a publisher’s perspective on the Open Science movement. Professor James Wilsdon from the University of Sheffield presented an overview of the responsible use of metrics in an Open Science environment.

After the break Simon Hetrrick from Software Sustainability Institute followed with a talk about the role of software in Open Science. Dr Emily Sena from the University of Edinburgh ended the session with a presentation on how Open Science can help in pre-clinical work.

In the afternoon attendees participated in one of the five breakout sessions:

  • How do we make Open the default at UCL?
  • How to make your data Open and FAIR
  • UCL Press: engaging in Open Peer Review
  • Open Education: Introducing OpenEd@UCL
  • Citizen Science in research: UCL ExCites

These workshops gave an opportunity to ask for practical advice and to discuss different aspects of Open Science in a greater detail.

The day ended with a panel discussion – Dr Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services and Pro-Vice-Provost, Professor David Bogle, Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Doctoral School, and Clare Gryce, Director of Research IT Services, UCL ISD answered questions from the audience about the emerging role of Open Science at UCL. Following the panel, Rebecca Lawrence from F1000 delivered a final presentation on embedding Open Science in university culture.

Presentations from the sessions are now available in UCL Discovery, under the following links:

UCL Open Science Day: developing open scholarship at UCL

Patrycja12 June 2018

On 25th June UCL is holding Open Science Day. The workshop will explore the facets of Open Science and how these are/could be pursued by UCL researchers. In the morning speakers will discuss different aspects of and perspectives on Open Science, and the afternoon workshops will offer practical advice.

Open Science, or Open Scholarship, is a movement that extends the principles of openness to the whole research cycle; it goes beyond making the primary outputs of publically funded research open access.

Open Science beehive, available from https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/content/what-open-science-introduction, under CC BY licence

Open Science includes various movements that aim at making every step in the research lifecycle open. It starts with Open Notebooks, an emerging practice of sharing the entire record of the research project. With Open Notebooks researchers share raw and processed data, failed and other experiments that otherwise would remain unpublished. Open Data focuses on the next step in the research cycle. The data related to a research project is managed to ensure that it is easily discoverable and accessible, and can be shared. You can find out about Research Data Management at UCL here.

Open Peer Review has many definitions. The most open approach would be to post the whole pre-publication history of the article online, with reviewers’ comments, authors’ responses and previous versions of the article. See Wellcome Open Research for an example of a platform that publishes research with open peer-review. Open Access is making research articles freely available online, preferably under a licence that allows re-use, so that they can be used and shared easily. Open Source involves sharing software including the source code, also in a fully accessible and discoverable way; the code and software can be freely disseminated and adapted.

In the movement, there is also space for Scientific social networks; researchers can share scientific knowledge not only by responsible use of social sites like ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu but also via platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn .

Part of the movement is involving general public in the process of scientific research via Citizen Science, where non-academic public can actively contribute to science. This can be a part of public engagement programme at an institution or crowdsourcing research activities, as in UCL’s project Transcribe Bentham or ExCiteS. Open educational resources is yet another step in making research openly available, and it involves making materials that are useful for both teaching and research purposes freely available and usable.

If you want to find out more about Open Science register for UCL Open Science Day via Eventbrite.