OA and the research lifecycle 7: disseminating your research

OA lifecycle disseminationIn deciding whether and how to provide open access to your published work you need to consider:

  • The nature of the research output
  • Your funder’s open access policy
  • The availability of funds to pay article processing charges (if necessary)
  • Your publisher’s open access policy
  • The availability of an open access subject or institutional repository

Your research output

Researchers at the University of Northampton produce a wide range of research outputs, from journal articles and conference papers, through monographs and book chapters, to creative outputs such as exhibitions and performances. Although there have been some moves to encourage open access to monographs, the main focus of activity has been on making published journal articles and conference papers openly available.  These are the subject of this post.

Your funder’s open access policy

If your research is externally funded then hopefully you will have established your funder’s open access policy when you first submitted your bid (see OA and the research lifecycle 3: bidding for funding).

If a funder requires you to follow the ‘gold‘ route then they will expect any published research papers to be made open access on the publisher’s website and any costs for doing this should have been included in your bid.  Some journals are fully open access; others offer a hybrid model, publishing both open access and subscription articles.  This previous post on finding an open access journal for your article explains this further.

If your funder has specified ‘green‘ open access then they will expect you to deposit a copy of your published paper in a subject or institutional repository such as NECTAR.

Irrespective of whether your research is funded or not, if you hope to submit your published article to the next REF, then HEFCE require you to make it open access as soon as possible via the green route:

The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository.” (HEFCE)

Paying for Article Processing Charges

If your publisher has invited you to pay for open access then you should follow the process described in this post: Open access and your published paper: a guide for authors.  It may be that there is a deal available to reduce the cost of the article processing charge (APC).

Note that the University of Northampton receives no external funding for the payment of APCs and therefore has no central fund from which to award funds for gold open access.

Your publisher’s open access policy

Even if you have signed a copyright transfer agreement when you submitted your article for publication, you are likely to be able to deposit the full text of your work in NECTAR, subject to some conditions.

The SHERPA/RoMEO tool is a good starting point for finding out a prospective publisher’s policy on self-archiving (i.e. depositing the full text in NECTAR) and any conditions or restrictions they may apply.

SHERPA ROMEO New Library WorldThe typical SHERPA/RoMEO journal record shown above is for an Emerald journal.  It shows which versions of the article can be archived and under which conditions (please click on the image to read the original text).  After you have uploaded the appropriate version of the full text to the repository, the NECTAR team will recheck RoMEO and ensure that all necessary conditions are met (e.g. an embargo is applied or a publisher’s set statement is used).

As of 21st October 2015, 78% of the 2166 publishers included in RoMEO allow some form of self-archiving i.e. they allow some version of a published paper to be deposited in NECTAR (Source: RoMEO statistics).  So please do not be put off by the fact that you have signed a copyright transfer agreement.

Availability of an open access subject or institutional repository

In some disciplines the use of subject specific repositories is common practice.  For example, the ArXiv repository, active since 1991, has over one million papers in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics; RePEc has details of over 1.9 million research items in economics and related sciences.

To find out whether there is a specialist repository for your subject area use the OpenDOAR service.  OpenDOAR lists 291 disciplinary repositories and can be searched by key word or filtered by subject area, content type and country.

Most UK universities now have an institutional repository like NECTAR.  If you are collaborating with co-authors from other institutions then you should deposit copies of your published work in each author’s institutional repository.

Sharing your data

Either your funder or your publisher may require you to provide access to your research data:

“Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner” (RCUK).

To allow others to verify and build on the work published in Royal Society journals, it is a condition of publication that authors make available the data and research materials supporting the results in the article” (The Royal Society)

ShareIf you plan to allow others to share your data you should first ensure that you have prepared it for re-use (see OA and the research lifecycle 5: collecting and analysing data).

The next step is to identify a suitable repository for your dataset.  The University of Northampton’s research data management principles and responsibilities state that researchers should “if deemed to be of interest to future research, offer data for deposit to an appropriate national or international data service or repository”.  Your publisher or funder may specify a particular repository, but otherwise check out re3data.org for a suitable disciplinary archive for your data.

A fairly recent phenomenon is the ‘data journal‘ which publishes datasets rather than articles.  To get into a data journal the dataset must be peer reviewed and citeable.  The University of Edinburgh has compiled a list of data journals; subjects covered include psychology, public health, earth sciences, computing, biodiversity and many others.

Image credit: GotCredit via flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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Posted on October 25, 2015, in Library and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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