Read more about Open Access

This year’s Open Access Week draws to a end, our exhibition in the Library’s main floor will remain a few more days. In the exhibition, we have a couple of books on Open Access from different perspectives.

One of the books is called simply Open Access and in this brief introduction Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn’t, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold. Distilling a decade of Suber’s influential writing and thinking about open access, this is the indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policy makers.

open-accessThe book is found both as physical copy, but also as e-book. A search for more books on open access in Summon is available here.

Text: Lisa Carlson

What is the cost of reading a journal at the library?

Nothing of course. Our other blog, Researchrelated writes about the subject during Open Access week : “It is know that the journal costs libraries have are high but there has not been too much information or data of the exact costs. There are a couple of reasons for this, among others that it has not been customary to publish this information and that libraries often have non-disclosure agreements with the publishers, which limits the library’s possibilities to make the costs known to public.

Learn more about Open Access.

Open Access-vecka

Text: Lisa Carlson/Pieta Eklund

Open access week 2014

The annual open access week will be noticed in our blog. We will be publishing a post about topics related to open access. Before that you could take a look at our previous post on open access.

Open Access promotes free access to science. It is wrong that taxpayers through universities and colleges have to pay for research several times through:

1. financial support for research at the university and colleges where research is produced

2. researcher reviewing other researchers’ articles (in peer-reviewed journals) are not paid by publishers, they are paid by the university since it is done during workhours when employed by a university

3. university libraries then buy published research from the publishers in the form of journals and databases for access to the results

In our other blog Forskningsrelaterat (Research related) we write about  open access. Previous blog posts can be read here.We write a series of blog posts during this week, five to be exact on varying topics. These blog posts can be followed here.

Here is a film that simply explains Open Access for those who are not familiar with the concept:

We also take the opportunity to tip about the documentary Internet’s own boy that’s freely available on Youtube. It is about Aaron Swartz who was one of the earliest protesting against these norms and wrote the nowadays known Guerilla Open Access Manifesto. The film is freely available to see under a CC-licens, this feels right given that Aaron Swartz was one of the people behind creative commons.

Text: Pieta Eklund and Lisa Carlson

Guerilla Open Access Manifesto

Open access week

Open access week is arranged every year. During the week free access to research results are promoted. Open access deals with free access to research, especially research which is publicly funded.

In our other blog Forskningsrelaterat (Research related) we write about  open access. Previous blog posts can be read here.We write a series of blog posts during this week, five to be exact on varying topics. These blog posts can be followed here.

Pieta Eklund



Peerage of Science

A couple of weeks ago BioMed Central wrote in one of their blogs that they are now accepting manuscripts which have gone through a peer review by Peerage of Science community. I think this is very interesting because this initiative makes the research world and peer review process more open and transparent compared to the traditional peer review process. This means also that journals do not have to put as much of their energy into finding reviewers which might lead to faster publishing process.

Peerage of Science was started about a year ago Peerage-of-Science1 by a couple of Finnish researcher. With this initiative the review process in itself becomes more important. You are able to build your research career and reputation by giving high quality reviews. You have the possibility to review rather than weed out all requests to review from journals. The idea with the service is simple: create a group of peers who all have signed up for making the review process more transparent.

As a researcher you may send a manuscript to Peerage of Science without being a member but you may become a member. There are two ways for this: either you already have a track record of published articles or your manuscript receives favorable reviews.

Read also BMC series blog on how Peerage of Science works.

Text: Pieta Eklund

MOOCs, Open Access and Research Libraries

The fact that more universities join the idea to offer free courses free of charge to students from all over the world, known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, creates issues concerning policys and legal matters for research libraries since they are often asked to support the development of MOOCs.

MOOCs is a form of scientific publishing because they are created by faculty in order to be used in education and research libraries should, just as they do with other types of scientific publishing, advocate that Open Access is standard for materials within a MOOC. Otherwise, the libraries end up in the same situation as with scholarly publications, they are forced to buy back the resources that were once created in their universities.

Libraries’ work to set Open Access as a default for publishing research also includes a thought concerning equal access to educational materials for students. Libraries often have two roles in this that in no way is new to them. First, to support faculty in their need for materials and resources that can be used in the courses. Second, to support the copyright issues surrounding “open” movements. This may require new or revised versions of licenses like creative commons or GNU. Materials used in MOOCs will need to be reviewed before this development includes courses at Swedish universities and other higher education. This is where libraries have the chance to put open access licenses on the material used and created within a MOOC right from the start.

Source: Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and policy issues for research libraries, Brandon Butler (2012).

Text: Lisa Carlson

How open is it and other resources

There is myriad of resources online which aim to help you navigate in the open access world and some of them are presented below.

How open is it  is a document created by SPARC, PLoS and OSAPA. The purpose of the document is to explain open access because all open access is not the same. There are a couple of different kind of restrictions and this document will help you to understand these restrictions and maybe even help you to choose where you want to publish. With this document the three organizations are also changing the focus of discussion from is it open access to how open is it. The brochure is new: it is released this week.

Author rights – Author addendum – is a ready-to-be used agreement to change the publishing agreement you sign with the publisher. This agreement’s purpose is for you to retain your copyright or at least to retain your right to deposit post-print version of your article in BADA. There is even a generator (Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine) where you just fill in the title of your manuscript, journal name, all author names, publisher and which kind of rights you want to retain. Thereafter a pdf is generated that you may attach to the publisher’s agreement. There are no known cases in which the publisher has declined to publish the article when the author has wanted to retain some rights to his/her article.

You can use Sherpa/Romeo to check which regulations apply for different publishers when it comes to copyright and your rights to self-archive research publications in an institutional repository such as BADA. They use colors to describe which version you may use in the repository. Green means that you can deposit pre-print (version before peer review), post-print (version after peer review) or publisher’s version (publisher’s layout). Blue means that you and deposit post-print or publisher’s version. Yellow means that you can only deposit pre-print and white means that the publisher does not formally support archiving in institutional repositories. Most of the publishers allow depositing post-print but to be sure make sure you use the author addendum to at least retain the right to self-archive your publication.

Your library also has a lot of knowledge about open access and can check publisher’s terms and help you to form an opinion of a publisher or a journal if you are suspicious of them being predatory. Contact your library when you need help and support with questions regarding publishing. Your library can help you with other things as well such as information seeking, how you use EndNote, Medeley or other reference tools and a lot of other things.

The guide to assess predatory publishers and journals can be found here.

University of Borås institutional repository is called BADA. You as a researcher should register you publications such as articles, conference papers and posters, reports and books. BADA is used for statistics on how active our researchers are to publish during a specific year. Student thesis can also be found in full text in BADA, most of the in Swedish. Data from BADA is used in Swepub (database for Swedish research) Uppsök och Uppsatser to search for all Swedish student theses.

Text: Pieta Eklund