Open Access Publishing Briefing: cOAlition S releases new version of Plan S and Aberdeen launches a Scholarly Communications Service

Background

Plan S was launched in September 2018 by cOAlition S (a global coalition of research funders) in order to effect a decisive shift to Open Access (OA) for the research that they fund. Despite a number of initiatives in recent years, these have been at the national level and different approaches have made them hard for researchers to understand. They have not provided sufficient incentives for researchers, institutions, funders and publishers to make all the changes necessary to make a full transition to OA. Members of cOAlition S include the European Research Council, UKRI, Wellcome and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Plan S has two primary objectives: to recognise the importance of open research (often referred to as open science, but intended to apply more widely to academic research) and ensure that funder policies require and support it; and to address longstanding and substantial financial pressures caused by the combination of year on year journal subscription increases and the emergence of article processing charges (APCs), known as Gold OA, as the preferred option.

The release of the first draft of Plan S in 2018 caused concern amongst researchers, publishers and universities as the proposals had the potential to be very expensive, and to create unintended consequences. There were particular misgivings in relation to the possible impact on small and society publishers, the implications for research outputs in other forms (particularly monographs), and the potentially significant expense associated with moving to full Gold OA by removing ‘hybrid’ journals (where both subscription and OA options are offered). The University of Aberdeen emphasised these risks in its response to the consultation.

Revisions

The revised proposals respond to key concerns from the community. In particular, they address the need for more time by extending the timeline by 12 months to 2021, so research outputs resulting from funding calls from 1 January 2021 will need to comply. Additionally, publishers now have until the end of 2024 to make the transition from subscription business models to full OA.

Additionally, the revisions address the following points:

  • More options for transformative arrangements are supported, making it easier for publishers, libraries and Jisc (as negotiating agent) to work together on sensible and affordable journal deals;
  • Plan S is clearer about its support for a variety of models for OA, and stresses that Open Access does not have to be accomplished through individual APCs;
  • The technical requirements expected of repositories to support the Green route to OA (deposit of final accepted manuscript in a local repository) have been made less stringent. However, where Green OA is selected, manuscripts must be made available immediately, with no embargo;
  • A commitment by funders to value the intrinsic merit of the work and not consider the publication channel, its impact factor (or other journal metrics), or the publisher. This is in line with the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which the University of Aberdeen is now considering adopting;
  • Monographs are excluded and will form a separate process (still to be announced);
  • While the default reuse licence option remains CC BY (the most liberal licence), funders can permit a more restrictive when it can be justified. This responds to the concerns of a number of publishers and researchers about reuse permissions. The proposal is very clear that copyright should remain with the author or the institution, and should not be signed over to a third party.

A rationale for the revisions is available on the cOAlition S site.

Next steps

It is expected that cOAlition S members will make their own decisions on the way that they choose to implement Plan S. UKRI announced in April that there will be a public consultation later this year as part of a review of their OA policy and have previously indicated that they do not feel bound to implement it exactly as it is written.

On 31 May 2019, The Wellcome Trust announced that they will align their policy with Plan S and as a consequence have extended their own deadline by 12 months in the same way. This is helpful both in terms of allowing more time and by reducing the issues caused by multiple funder policies with differing implementation dates.

The University Library will continue to work with Jisc and other research libraries to engage funders and publishers as policies continue to evolve.

Digital & Information Services, in conjunction with Research & Innovation, are pleased to announce the launch of a Scholarly Communications Service which will provide support and advice in relation to all aspects of scholarly publishing. Questions and comments about this briefing, and any other related matters, are very welcome at scholcomms@abdn.ac.uk.  

Simon Bains

University Librarian

simon.bains@abdn.ac.uk

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Friends of Aberdeen University Library Postgraduate Research Bursaries 2019/20 – Applications Invited

Applications are invited for the Friends of Aberdeen University Library Postgraduate Research Bursary awards 2019/20. Applicants must hold an offer of study from the University to begin in September 2019 or be less than 50% through their period of study at that time.

This award of £3000 is offered to a candidate in the early stages of a supervised postgraduate research degree (PhD or Masters by Research). It is a one-off bursary payment designed to support research based on and making particular use of rare and distinctive materials held in University of Aberdeen’s Libraries, Museums, or Special Collections.

For Further details and to apply please visit the Friends of Aberdeen University Library website.

Workshop on Web of Science InCites tool – places still available

Places are still available on a workshop next week (Thursday 28 February, 1400-1500) that will guide academic staff and researchers through InCites and Web of Science (WoS), two powerful tools that can play an important part in any research process. See below for full details of the workshop. You can book your place through the University’s Coursebooking site. An earlier occurrence of this workshop is taking place next Tuesday, 26 February, but is already fully booked.

WoS is a citation index that offers comprehensive citation and publication searches across multiple databases to enable in-depth exploration of research.

InCites Benchmarking & Analytics is a customized, web-based research evaluation tool that allows you to monitor collaboration activity, identify influential researchers, showcase strengths, and discover areas of opportunity. 

Independently or together, these tools can be used to create powerful analytics that complement the research process. The software provider (Clarivate) of these products was recently awarded a contract to supply the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) with citation analysis.

This short session, aimed at academic staff, early career researchers and PhD students who have published (or are on the point of publishing), will guide you through the use of InCites and Web of Science. The session will include:

·         Hints and tips for using Web of Science and InCites

·         Advanced searches in Web of Science and InCites

·         Evidencing research strengths, and collaborations

·         Notes on Open Access and Full text publications

·         Analytics: Citations, Collaborations, Journals, Authors, and Trends

·         Brief overview of Alternative metrics

You can book your place on this workshop through the University’s Coursebooking site but please pay attention to the two actions required of you before attending the session.

Search our digital collections using Find Databases on Primo

Primo will tell you about the hundreds of thousands of digital resources available through the University and will link you to one of over 200 different online academic databases to let you read the material that you’re interested in.

Did you know, though, that if you go straight to the website of specific academic databases you can perform even more powerful searches, often looking across every word contained in every item within that collection? A simple search in Primo is the best place to start a piece of research but using the Find Databases option is the next step, improving the quality of any academic research that you do.

These databases often focus on specific subject areas, meaning that your searching becomes more focused and efficient, saving you time looking and giving you more time to read and write. See below for details of how to use the Find Databases feature in Primo to link straight to digital collections best suited to your area of study.

Use the Find Databases option at the top of Primo. Please remember to login with your username and password.
You can search for specific databases or you can filter by subject area. It is also possible to browse an alphabetical listing of all databases available.

Once you have identified an academic database that you wish to search simply click on its name to link out to it. You may be asked to log in again.

Please note that it is not possible to search across multiple databases at once using this Find Databases option. You must link out to each database that you are interested in and search them individually. This method will allow you to perform the most powerful searches available to you.

For further guidance on using Primo please see our short videos on its various features. For guidance on accessing online resources, particularly when off campus, please see our Library Guide on Accessing Electronic Information and the Toolkit’s section on Remote Access.

Ewan Grant, e.grant@abdn.ac.uk

PhD Literature Searching workshops open for booking

As you begin, or continue, your PhD it is important that you feel confident that you are locating and managing all the literature and information you require to achieve your research aims. For researchers like yourself the University’s Library Service is here to support you.

We are running a short series of Information Skills Workshops in February 2019 which will help you understand the library resources available to you as researchers here at the University of Aberdeen, and how to get the best out of them. Read on for further information on the workshops. To book workshops visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills classes.

There are three workshops on offer, each lasting two hours:

  • Literature searching – Part 1: Getting started
  • Literature searching – Part 2: Using databases
  • Literature searching – Part 3: Managing your references using RefWorks

Across the three workshops we will look at:

  • Planning your search
  • Looking for books: using Primo and E-books
  • Databases of academic literature
  • Getting the best out of Google
  • Managing your references with RefWorks
  • Formatting Word documents with in-text citations and bibliographies

Feedback from those who have previously attended these sessions have been positive and they highlight how after attending they felt better equipped to find and manage the materials they need for research. One quote from a previous attendee nicely sums up what we are aiming for with these sessions:

“I will definitely be searching smarter than before”

Our aim is that after you attend you will also leave feeling this way.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The sessions focusing on the management of references is not suitable for research postgraduates in the School of Law, as the software used does not support the OSCOLA referencing style required for legal theses.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Information Skills classes. We look forward to seeing you at the workshops.

In the meantime, do not forget that Library staff are always here to help with any information needs that you may have. Visit our website for further information on our services.

Information Skills workshops for PhD researchers now open for booking

The Library is here to help all postgraduate researchers as they begin, or continue their in-depth research with a short series of Information Skills workshops designed to their needs. With so much academic literature available through the University of Aberdeen, these workshops will give you the confidence and skills to locate and manage the materials you need.

The workshops will take place between the dates: 30th of October – 15th of November and will help you understand the resources available to you as researchers here at the University of Aberdeen, and how to get the best out of them.

There are three workshops on offer, each lasting two hours:

  • Literature searching – Part 1: Getting started
  • Literature searching – Part 2: Using databases
  • Literature searching – Part 3: Managing your references using RefWorks*

Across the three workshops we will look at:

  • Planning your search
  • Looking for books: using Primo and E-books
  • Databases of academic literature
  • Getting the best out of Google
  • Managing your references with RefWorks
  • Formatting Word documents with in-text citations and bibliographies

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The workshop focusing on the management of references
(Part 3) is not suitable for research postgraduates in the School of Law, as the software used does not support the OSCOLA referencing style required for legal theses.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills classes.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!

Information Skills workshops for PhD researchers now open for booking

The Library is here to help all postgraduate researchers as they begin, or continue their in-depth research with a series of Information Skills Workshops designed to their needs. With so much academic literature available through the University of Aberdeen, these workshops will give you the confidence and skills to locate and manage the materials you need.

The workshops will take place at the start of February 2018 and will help you understand the resources available to you as researchers here at the University of Aberdeen, and how to get the best out of them. Read on for further information on the workshops. To book workshops visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills classes.

There are three workshops on offer, each lasting two hours:

  • Literature searching – Part 1: Getting started
  • Literature searching – Part 2: Using databases
  • Literature searching – Part 3: Managing your references using RefWorks*

Across the three workshops we will look at:

  • Planning your search
  • Looking for books: using Primo and E-books
  • Databases of academic literature
  • Getting the best out of Google
  • Managing your references with RefWorks
  • Formatting Word documents with in-text citations and bibliographies

 *IMPORTANT NOTE: The workshop focusing on the management of references (Part 3) is not suitable for research postgraduates in the School of Law, as the software used does not support the OSCOLA referencing style required for legal theses.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshops.