Tagged / publishing

eBU PGT & PGR drop in sessions

Publishing should be high on the agenda of any early career scholar, and PGTs and PGRs should feel no different. For those who are concerned or intimidated by the harsh academic publishing world, eBU is here to help.

eBU: Online Journal is the new online working paper journal for the BU community. Putting your work ‘out there’ can be daunting. eBU is particularly useful for early career scholars, PGTs and PGRs who may wish and have something to publish, but have not yet dipped their toes into the world of academic peer reviewed publishing.

eBU works on the basis of immediate publication (subject to an initial quality check) and open peer review. Once published on the internal site, we aim to upload reviews within 3 weeks. Authors are then encouraged to use the comments to aid publication in an external journal. Alternatively, authors also have the option of publishing on the external eBU site. Please note that only using eBU as a forum for internal peer review (with the intention to publish externally – which we encourage!) WILL NOT ENDANGER FURTHER PUBLICATION.

I am holding drop in sessions (aimed at PGTs and PGRs – but anyone is welcome!) for anyone who wishes to discuss eBU further. These will be held on Talbot Campus:

Monday 7th October 11am – 2pm PG30d

Tuesday 8th October 11am – 2pm PG30d

And on the Lansdowne:

Wednesday 9th 11am – 2pm EBC ground floor cafe

To access eBU, when on campus simply type ‘ebu’ into your web browser address bar.

 

eBU in final stages before launch – please submit now!

eBU is going through the final IT phases before the anticipated launch at the end of July.

I have been delighted with the interest that eBU has generated from all sections of the BU community. Academics, students and professional and support staff have all shown an interest in submitting to and signposting others to eBU, and it is clear that eBU will play a significant role in developing academic output.

eBU has champions in each school (I’m happy to put people in contact), and section editors across all of the research themes under which submissions will sit.

Authors will be encouraged to submit by logging in to the eBU site. However, if you’re interested in submitting to eBU before the live date, please get in touch and email submissions to me at eBU@bournemouth.ac.uk or aharding@bournemouth.ac.uk

We already have some submissions, and submissions sent to me before the launch date will be among the first to be published by eBU and undergo immediate publication and open peer review.

Author guidelines can be found here – eBU guidelines.

Comment on BU Blog leads to academic publication

Authorship differs between disciplines

Paper by Hundley et al. published 2013

Last year Prof. Matthew Bennett1 raised some interesting issues about academic authorship on this award-winning BU Blog.  Authorship is an issue that many academic colleague see as challenging.   On September 27th, 2012 two of us replied to this blog by adding some of our own observations on the web. Having penned our online comments we discussed the issue with BU Visiting Faculty Dr. Padam Simkhada Senior Lecturer in International Health at ScHARR, University of Sheffield (www.shef.ac.uk/scharr/sections/ph/staff/profiles/padamsimkhada).  Between the three of us we came to the conclusion that the issue of academic authorship can be very confusing as well as tricky.

 

We discussed a wide-range of issues around academic authorship, including who should be an author and who should not be so, the order of authors, and that there are different conventions between different academic disciplines.  Being academic we rapidly came to the conclusion that there was a paper in this.  We drafted our ideas, searched the literature for other discussions on authorship, general guidelines on authorship, etc.   We wrote the paper and submitted it to the academic journal Health Renaissance; an Open-Access journal, which is freely available world-wide.  The editor liked it and published our paper ‘Academic authorship: who, why and in what order?’ this month as a guest editorial. 3

 

 

We would like to highlight that there are two separate messages in the publication of this paper.  The first message is about academic scholarship; some of our colleagues may find the content of this paper is a useful guide in deciding authorship order, or at least in helping to open the debate about who should be included as co-author and who is not eligible.  The second message is more about academic citizenship, namely that messages on the BU Blog and even comments in reply to other people’s messages may contain useful information to the wider academic community and should be taken further.  Our message here is don’t see the BU Blog as an end point, see it as a stepping stone to the wider academic world!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen*, Prof. Vanora Hundley* & Dr. Padam Simkhada**

* Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health, HSC, Bournemouth University

** ScHARR, The University of Sheffield

 

References:

1.      Bennett, M. (2012) What’s in a list?, BU Research Blog, http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2012/09/27/whats-in-a-list/?utm_source=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily

 

2.      Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2012) Response to What’s in a list?, http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2012/09/27/whats-in-a-list/#comment-17234

 

3.      Hundley, V., van Teijlingen,      E., Simkhada, P. (2013) Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Health Renaissance 11      (2):98-101  www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Download/vol-11-2/Page_99_101_Editorial.pdf

eBU staff drop in sessions to be held in each school

I am pleased to announce that I am holding drop in sessions in each school for the BU community to ask questions about eBU: Online Journal.

These sessions will be:

Mon 24th June – DEC 12 -2pm in P411

Mon 24th June – School of Applied Sciences 2-4pm in C122

Tues 25th June – HSC 9-11am in the Wellbeing Centre, B112 Bournemouth House 

Tues 25th June – Business School 2-4pm in EB205

Thurs 27th June – School of Tourism 1.30-3.30 in P410

Fri 28th June – Media School 8-10am in CAG04

 

Open access publishing – common minsunderstandings!

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceReflecting on the experience of our recent mock REF exercise I noted that there were some negative views towards open access publishing that were expressed during the process. This is a little concerning considering the UK government is planning to make all outputs arising from publicly-funded research available via open access outlets by 2014 and considering the open access mandates the major research funders have as part of the terms of their grant funding (including the research councils, the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission).  In addition, the four UK funding councils are currently consulting with the sector regarding their proposal to introduce a requirement for all outputs submitted to the post-2014 REF exercise to be published on an open access basis, wherever the concept of open access is relevant.  As an institution and as individual researchers we need to ensure that we are able to comply with these requirements and that we are able to positively embrace open access publishing.

I did a bit of research and came across an excellent article by Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project.  In the article, Peter addresses the common misunderstandings and misconceptions about open access publishing, many of which we part of the concerns raised during the recent mock REF exercises.  I’ve selected the ones I most frequently hear and provided a summary below, and would urge you to read the article in full here – A Field Guide to Misunderstandings About Open Access.

1. “All open access is gold open access” – not at all! Gold open access refers to open access through journals and green open access is via repositories.  Suber notes that researchers often overlook the existence of green open access or think they will not be permitted by their publisher to deposit a copy of their paper in an open source repository.  At BU we have our own institutional repository, BURO, and BU researchers can add the full-text version of their papers via BRIAN.  Suber notes that between 50-70+% of journal publishers give permission for postprint achiving in repositories.  BRIAN will check the copyright of the publisher for you and let you know which version of your paper can be added to BURO. Easy peasy!

2. “Open access is about bypassing peer review” – not true!  The goal of open access is to remove access barriers, not quality filters.  Open access journals can, and usually do, use the same peer review processes, the same standards, and even the same reviewers as traditional print journals.  Many traditional print journals offer an open access route as part of publishing in their journal (hybrid publishing).

3. “Authors must choose between prestigious publication and open access” – incorrect!  There are two reasons why open access is compatible with prestige:  a gold reason and a green one.  First, a growing number of open access journals have already earned high levels of prestige, and others are earning it.  Do your part to move things along as an editor, referee, reader, and as an author, by submitting your best work to suitable open access journals.  In the meantime consider the second reason.  Most traditional print journals allow open access archiving, such as in an institutional repository.

4. “Open access makes sense for second-rate work, but not for first-rate work” – again, not true!   The idea behind this misunderstanding is this:  the best work generally winds up in the best journals, where it has the best chance of being seen.  At least it should be steered toward the best journals, where it will have the best chance of being seen.  When we add the suggestion that this path doesn’t allow open access, or that open access can’t improve upon it, then an idea that was largely true becomes completely false.  It assumes that the best journals are never open access (not true – Nature, Science and IEEE for example all offer open access options); that only journals can deliver open access (not true – green open access); that the best journals never allow open access archiving (not true – see SherpaRomeo, Science for example permits achiving of post-print of the publisher’s PDF); and that open access archiving can’t increase the visibility and impact of work published in the best journals (not true). 

Suber notes 20 other common misunderstandings about open access and his article is well worth reading!

At Bournemouth University we are committed to supporting the open access movement and have been running the BU Open Access Publishing Fund for two years now and will continue into 2013-14.  For information on accessing the Fund please visit this page – BU OAPF.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on open access publishing!  Have you tried it, are your sceptical, are you a supporter?

Developing a working paper at BU

I would like to make you aware of an exciting development at BU.

A multi-disciplinary group of BU academics has been meeting over the last 6 months in order to design a online journal that is capable of acting as a central focus for the dissemination of the high quality research and scholarly outputs from UG and PG dissertations, post graduate researchers, early career researchers and established academic staff. The group has designed a developmental working paper online journal that will support ‘would be’ authors and their potential publications. Although particular emphasis has been given to maximising high quality outputs of UG and PG students and early career academics, this online journal will be capable of supporting the potential of all those engaged in research and scholarship at BU.

Below are a series of Q & As:

 

What’s the name of the working paper?

The provisional title is eBU: Working Papers Online

 

How is the working paper structured?

The working paper will not be limited to any one discipline or allied to any one particular methodology, but will aim to publish articles driven by the key BU Research Themes: (Creative and Digital Economies, Culture and Society, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth, Environmental Change and Biodiversity, Green Economy and Sustainability, Health, Wellbeing and Ageing, Leisure and Recreation, Technology and Design). Apart from the build-up to launch, the working paper will have no deadlines or specific calls for papers. Instead, the working paper will work on a rolling submission process.

A set of author guidelines and details about formats are currently being considered and written. However, the guidelines are likely to accommodate a wide range of formats.

 

What are the submission processes for staff and students?

It is envisaged that staff will act as gatekeepers and encourage undergraduate and master’s students to submit high quality work into a format this is publishable. Post-graduate researchers and academic members of staff will be able to submit papers on their own accord.

After a short review from the editorial board, two designated BU academics will provide an initial quality check. The paper will then be uploaded to the internal intranet working paper site. This will allow any member of staff or student to read and offer feedback. However, within a few weeks the two designed reviewers will then provide a more comprehensive and detailed critical review. All reviews will take place in a safe, secure and INTERNAL environment. After a detailed review, students will then be encouraged to make any recommended changes and submit to external publication/or make their work available to be published on external working paper website.

This working paper is set to go live in March.

 

Further information

If anyone is interested in becoming involved in helping to create this online journal, and/or at an editorial level please get in touch with Andrew Harding (aharding@bournemouth.ac.uk), Andrew Adams (aadams@bournemouth.ac.uk) or Fiona Knight (fknight@bournemouth.ac.uk).

 

RCUK to provide some universities with a block grant for open access publishing costs

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceWe’ve added posts to the Blog previously about the outcome of the Finch Report (Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications) (access previous posts here) which was published on 18th June 2012 and came out of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch. On 16th July 2012 the Government announced that it has accepted the recommendations of the report. The report recommended a balanced programme of action to enable more people to read and use the publications arising from research, and to accelerate the progress towards a fully open access environment, particularly for all government-funded research.

Upon publication, the Report generated some negative reaction from Russell Group institutions concerned about the cost implications given the output of their staff and the high proportion of RCUK funding they receive. The Government has responded to this by providing funding to some institutions to support the costs of OA publishing. This approach so far has been two-fold:

1)    In September 2012 the Government announced funding of £10 million, understood to have come out of budget underspends, to support a number of research-intensive universities to kick-start the transition to OA publishing and setting up funds to meet the costs of APCs (Read the BIS announcement here: http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Government-invests-10-million-to-help-universities-move-to-open-access-67fac.aspx). The funding will support 30 institutions, selected on the basis of their combined QR funding and RCUK income. BU did not meet the threshold and will unfortunately not receive any funding from this initiative.

2)    In November 2012 RCUK announced block grant funding to support selected universities to support open access publishing costs from RCUK-funded grants (read the RCUK announcement here: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2012news/Pages/121108.aspx). Payments will be made from April 2013 to March 2015, with a mid-term review to assess the system is working. Grants have been calculated for individual universities based on the proportion of direct labour costs awarded on grants that they have received from April 2009 to March 2012. These labour costs have been used as a proxy of research effort leading to the generation of publications. Only universities that are eligible for a block grant of £10k or more will receive funding. RCUK have confirmed that unfortunately BU does not meet the threshold of £10k and will not receive any funding from this initiative.

Although BU has missed out on both block grants we are continuinging to support open access publishing, supported by a central, dedicated budget specifically set up to pay open access publication fees (BU Open Access Publication Fund). This has been live since April 2011; its use will continue to be monitored and the budget increased to cover the increasing demand from BU academics wishing to publish via open access routes.  There is no doubt that this fund will need to grow substantially over the next few years to cater for the changes in train.

Green open access publishing is of course possible using our own institutional repository BURO which is now even more accessible given the new interface provided by BRIAN which tells academics the publisher’s rules on self-archiving for each output when they log into the system; it is hoped this will increase the proportion of full-text articles available in BURO.

BU is encouraging all academics to continue to embrace open access publishing at least as part of the dissemination strategy for all current grants and to ensure that they bid for open access funds as part of future grants as this becomes possible (it is already possible with some funders, including Research Councils).

Twitter – what’s the point?

We’ve written a lot about Twitter in previous blog posts and the benefits of using it to support and enhance your research (you can read more here: Twitter posts). Academics across the world are using Twitter to support their research through, for example, sharing papers and research findings, asking questions and providing advice and guidance, networking and establishing links, keeping up to date with what is being discussed by peers in areas of interest, and undertaking research. Twitter provides a free and easy to use platform from which you can do all of these things from your office, using a laptop, or even using you tablet/phone, and it is an excellent way of making connections and expanding your awareness of research being undertaken in your field, as well as enhacing the impact of your own research in your field. In this post I’m going to look at two ways Twitter can seriously improve your research and your experience as a researcher through 1) using Twitter to garner opinions and obtain guidance and, 2) using Twitter to enhance your publication impact.

Using Twitter to garner opinions / obtain guidance – Twitter can be used to crowd-source advice quickly and effectively on an important topic. A recent post on this topic featured on The Contemplative Mammoth blog (post: Crowd-Sourced Advice for Writing your #firstgrant) in which the author, Jacquelyn Gill, created a hashtag, #firstgrant, and asked for advice from her Twitter followers on how to write a first grant application. Within a couple of days, she was inundated with useful comments, guidance and advice from peers around the world, showing how powerful Twitter can be in obtaining opinions and advice on important topics, and especially in getting views from peers outside of your institution and country (you can read the original tweets here if you’d like).

Enhancing publication impact – Twitter is also an effective tool for sharing research papers and findings and enhancing publication impact. Research indicates that highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles. Top-cited articles can be predicted from top-tweeted articles, with 93% specificity and 75% sensitivity (Eysenbach, 2011). The LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog featured a post about this earlier this year (post: Who Gives a Tweet? After 24 Hours and 860 Downloads, we Think Quite a Few Actually do) which reported on the amazing success of a research paper released on Twitter by the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). Within 24 hours of being uploaded to Twitter the paper was retweeted 10 times to over 5,000 followers and shared 135 times (using tools such as email, microblogging, social bookmarking, social networking, etc) on the NCRM website. The result was 861 downloads within 24 hours. As the paper was not publicised anywhere else at this time it is safe to say this was a result of releasing it via Twitter. Over a period of two months the paper was downloaded 3,936 times and shared 518 times using social sharing tools.

Help with using Twitter – If you’re interested in trying Twitter to see how it can benefit you and your research then give it a go! It is free to sign up and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Advice in-house can be provided by Paul Hughes, Marketing & Communications, and also Rebecca Edwards, RKE Development and Operations. There are also a number of helpful online guides available:

Justice for Survivors at the International Criminal Court – PhD student’s publication success

Twelve months into her PhD, Law research student Ellie Smith has published an article entitled ‘Investigating Rape at the International Criminal Court: The Impact of Trauma’ in the Issues in International Criminal Justice Journal. Ellie’s current research focuses on the scope for narrative truth at the International Criminal Court, survivor perceptions of justice, and the nature of rehabilitation as a legal remedy for survivors of gross human rights violations. A second article is currently under review with the A-rated Journal of International Criminal Justice.

Ellie joined the University on a full-time studentship. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre on Human Rights, University of East London, and has 10 years of experience in the conduct of multi-disciplinary (legal and clinical) and intersectional research in the field of justice for victims of gross human rights violations, including for eight years as Lead Researcher for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. She is a member of the Victims’ Rights Working Group to the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and has also served as a member of the Expert Advisory Panel to the British Home Office on the Trafficking of Women. Ellie achieved a Degree in law from Girton College, Cambridge University (1992) and a Masters Degree in Law from the London School of Economics (2000). She qualified as a solicitor in 1994.

You can access a copy of Ellie’s article online here: http://www.iccsn.com/IICJ2012.pdf

More Fall-Out from Gold Open Access?

Following the Finch Report, the Government’s endorsement of its recommendations and the statement of policy from RCUK, Gold Open Access (OA) and its implications are at the forefront of many minds.

To refresh memories: Green OA is where a pre- or post-print of a traditionally published article is placed in a publicly accessible institutional or subject repository, often with an embargo period of 6-12 months; Gold OA is where the author or institution pays the costs of publication (of the editorial and peer review process, etc.) of an article, known as the article processing cost (APC). Gold is now the preferred option of Government and the Research Councils.

There are currently just over 28k peer-reviewed journals; of these only 3k, or 13%, are open access; some others will of course be hybrid, combining Gold OA with subscription. But the subscription model, which has been with us for 350 years, is still dominant. If the Finch Report’s recommendations are followed, the next few years will see an upheaval in the mechanisms and funding of scholarly communication as we switch to Gold OA. The research-intensive institutions stand to pay far more, the research-light ones to save. Decision-making on where to publish will take account not only of impact factors but also of the new metric of APCs. Provided that universities can gain access to this information, publishers will increasingly be challenged on the combined metric, and not on subscription price.

It is in this context that the recent acquisition of Atira by Elsevier is of such interest. As we all know, Elsevier is one of the major scholarly publishers, which also has Scopus in its stable. It thus has a major interest in two ends of the scholarly publication chain: the citation data on which to judge a journal as a target for publication (Scopus) and the journals publishing the research outputs. The middle link of the chain is the research management system, of which Atira is one of the leading providers.

The acquisition can therefore be seen as a clever, perhaps aggressive, move by Elsevier to offset potential fall in revenue from subscription journals by controlling more of the publication chain and the information it contains, thus influencing decision-making.

Should the Finch Report have gone for green not gold?

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceLast week Matthew added a post (Decisions, decisions: where do I publish?) about the long-awaited Finch Report into expanding access to published research findings. The Report advocates a move to Open Access publishing for all government-funded research, a view which has been embraced by the Government. Open Access publishing is something that BU fully supports and encourages academics to undertake and just over a year ago we launched a central, dedicated budget specifically for paying Open Access publication fees on behalf of our academics (BU Open Access Publication Fund). Even so I am somewhat disappointed with the decision of the Finch Report and the reason for this is because the Report isn’t green, it’s gold.

The Report supports the gold open access model of publishing – this is where authors pay publishers for the privilidge of having their work published which, upon publication, is made freely available to anyone (no need for a subscription) on the internet. The green open access model on the other hand describes the situation where articles are published in subscription based journals as now, but a peer reviewed final copy is placed in an open access repository (such as an institutional repository like BURO). Unfortunately the gold model simply redistributes the costs of publishing by charging authors publishing fees up front rather than readers on a subscription basis, and by so openly supporting gold over green the Report is clearly supporting the commercial interests of publishers over the interests of UK research, universities and the general public. It could be argued that a better outcome of the Finch Report would have been support for green open access publishing by increasing the number of UK institutions and funders with green open access mandates from 40% to 100%.

At BU we are lucky that we have the BU Open Access Publication Fund to meet the fees of open access publishing (i.e. gold model) but what about if this budget cannot keep up with demand during a fast transition to gold open access publishing? And what about authors who don’t have access to similar funds and who can’t pay? Many PGRs and ECRs in the UK might fall into the latter group and a lack of published articles could put them at a disadvantage when applying for jobs and progressing their careers.

Last week the THE ran an interesting article on the Finch Report (Staggered open-access gold run ‘won’t break bank’) reporting that the move to gold open access publishing will be a steady transition rather than an immediate change. However the speed at which the Government adopted the Report’s main recommendations and promoted the benefits of the gold model, coupled with RCUK’s publication of a final version of their new open access policy (in which researchers are required to publish in gold open access outlets or self-archive outputs within 6-12 months, depending on discipline) and news that the four funding council’s (including HEFCE) intend to consult over plans to require all papers submitted to the next REF to be published in open access journals, gives the impression that the transition may be more imminent that the THE article suggests.

Overall it can only be a good thing that the Finch Report and the sector at large is so supportive of open access publishing – however I wish the Report had been a little less biased in its outcome and hope that universities are given the time required to make the transition smoothly. Thankfully BU is ahead of the game with the BU Open Access Publication Fund and we will continue to keep up with external developments to ensure BU staff are fully supported with open access publishing. We will also continue to support colleagues with making published outputs available via the green model of open access, i.e. self-archiving on BURO. Our new system BRIAN will tell you the publisher’s rules on self-archiving when you click through to add an output to BURO (via BRIAN). This will also be checked for you by the Library prior to the output going live in BURO.

If you’ve published a paper via a gold open access outlet we’d love to hear about your experience – do you think this has increased the impact of your research and has making your findings available quicker to a larger audience made a difference?

Decisions, decisions: where do I publish?

My beloved cat – Tilman Bennett – is sitting on the key board right now trying to help write this post as he often does.  We will ignore the fact that he has just dribbled in my tea and focus instead on when we first met in August 1997.  In those days academic publishing was relatively decision free – you wrote the paper, selected the journal from the one or two in your field and committed it to the post to await the verdict of an editor and reviewer in due course.  Fifteen years later everything is online with a bewildering array of journal titles to choose from and academics now keep libraries of PDF’s instead of cat-eared photocopies.  Despite these changes traditional publishing models remain largely the same; free to the author with the reader having to pay for the privilege of reading your work. 

This model has been challenged in the last few years by Open Access Publishing in which articles are free to read and the author has to pay for the privilege of being published.  There are also some new online journal titles which are free at the point of submission and for the reader as well.  This debate has been stoked further in recent weeks by the publication of the Finch Report which advocated a move to Open Access Publishing for all government funded research, a view endorsed recently in an article in the Guardian, although not funded, by Willets the Minster for Higher Education. 

The Finch Report proposes three different models of Open Access Publishing:

  • Gold Open Access: where the costs of peer review, editing and production are met by charging an author’s fee, but the article on publication is free to readers.
  • Green Open Access: where articles are published in subscription based journals as now, but a copy is place in an open access repository.
  • Green Open Access (Overlay): where articles are placed in repositories which are only open up to the public once peer review has been completed.open access logo, Public Library of Science

The government supports the use of Gold Open Access which they estimate will cost the research community around £40 to 50 million a year to ensure that all publically funded research is available free to the user.  This assumes that publishing models remain largely as they are now, with existing journals and the publishing houses that produce them simply switching production fees from the subscriber to the submitter.  This is a point worth returning to, but if one accepts this for the moment then you have to ask where this additional money is to come from and sadly the answer is from existing research budgets.  There is no new money on the table although publishing costs will become eligible expenditure within government funded research in the future.  The alternative of course is that researchers will change their publishing habits, especially where they don’t have access to publication costs from research grants or where institutional open access funds like our own [the BU Open Access Publication Fund] become increasingly stretched, to favour those publications which are free to both the submitter and subscriber.  This is an intriguing question; will open access change publishing habits?  One would like to think so especially in the face of the shifting cost burden, but in reality journal rankings and the perception of what constitutes a quality journal are so ingrained in UK academics, particularly as the unofficial currency of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), it is perhaps unlikely at least in the short term.

This creates a rather negative view on something which is actually a real positive to the research community.  Ultimately it is about allowing the free movement of knowledge between researchers, the public and business/industry to help drive innovation, societal gain and economic growth.  Removing the restrictions on the dissemination of knowledge is a big deal and one we should actively support as an academic community, or at least in my opinion.  The only questions are around the implementation of this ideal and where the burden of cost will lie between the producer and user of that knowledge.  The point here is that there are some excellent low cost solutions to Open Access.  A couple of weeks back I read a piece in the Guardian about how physicist’s use a discipline specific archive (arXiv, curated by Cornell University) to provide free access to their publications, in addition to publishing in a mainstream and conventional journal.

It is of course possible to do the same using our own institutional repository BURO which is now even more accessible given the new interface provided by BRIAN.  So there are lots of ways to follow the Open Access philosophy without necessarily incurring big costs.  It is perhaps a shame that one method was so openly favoured by the Finch report.

So far the response to the Finch Report from academics has been very positive since most researchers want to be read, but it is also a change and as we all know academics can be quite conventional in their outlook.  In this respect you can understand how the model of Gold Open Access appeals since it simply involves the journals we know and love just changing the cost from reader to author and most big publishing houses already offer this service.  There has been some negative reaction from Russell Group institutions who are concerned about the cost implications given the output of their staff and the high proportion of RCUK funding they receive, but otherwise it has been welcomed by most.  I have seen some comment from journals based around learned societies dependent on their income who feel threatened by a shift in publication models; something which is understandable and potentially an issue if the publishing landscape was really to change radically. 

This is the big question – will it change the publishing landscape for research in the future, or will the status quo remain with a simple shift in who pays?  This is an intriguing question since part of me would like to see the growth of free publishing options – free at point of submission and free to the reader – and there are some online journals that are growing in reputation that do just that, but in truth I suspect that as conventional souls academics will simply continue to publish in the same journals they have and look to their institutions or research funder to bear the cost.  I would love to see the publishing landscape change but I suspect that Tilman and I are living in an utopian dream if we believe this is likely. What is clear however is that Open Access is now something that all researchers will need to actively consider in deciding where and how to publish our results.

So where does this leave academics within BU?  Well we have had the BU Open Access Publishing Fund for the last 15 months supported centrally and we will continue to monitor its use and invest further in this fund to ensure that this caters for academic demand within BU.  There is no doubt that this fund will need to grow in future and while one could expect subscription packages to decline I doubt, being a little cynical about the publishing industry, that this will happen very quickly or in pace with the needs to invest further in our Open Access Fund.  I would encourage all academics with Charity or RCUK based funding to start to embrace Open Access Publishing at least as part of the dissemination strategy for all their current grants and to ensure that they bid for open access funds as part of future grants as this becomes possible (it is already possible with some funders, including Research Councils).  This already entered my own planning with respect to dissemination of the results from own NERC grant.  In short Open Access Publishing is set to increase and to be a big part of our futures and as publishing model change we will need to change with them.  Increasing our academic reach through Open Access is in line with BU’s research strategy to be more societally focused and to impact on the world in which we live.  In the meantime periods of transition and change require one to be adaptable and I have no doubt that we will need to be.  For those wanting a cat update, he is now asleep on the floor dreaming of a day when open access extends to the cat food cupboard!

Business School’s Ven Tauringana wins award for outstanding reviewer!

BU’s Business School’s Dr Ven Tauringanahas been chosen as an Outstanding Reviewer at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012.

Each year Emerald names and rewards the Outstanding Reviewers who contribute to the success of the journals.  Each journal’s Editor nominates the Reviewer they believe has been that title’s most Outstanding Reviewer. This year Ven received this nomination due to his role as Reviewer for the Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies throughout 2011, his efforts described as ‘very impressive’ and making a ‘significant contribution’.

Well done Ven!

Increasing publication impact – Using social media, e.g. Twitter, blogs, YouTube, social networking, etc.

TwitterTwitter is a micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as ‘tweets’. Academics are increasingly promoting their research papers via Twitter, which are then picked up by other researchers and practitioners. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Twitter allows you to set up search terms to enable you to monitor what is being talked about in your areas of interest. You can then comment on the relevant conversations. The more you engage, the more people will follow you to listen to your comments and recommendations. As followers come to you, rather than you approaching them, Twitter is an ideal way to reach new audiences.

Research indicates that highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles. Top-cited articles can be predicted from top-tweeted articles, with 93% specificity and 75% sensitivity (Eysenbach, 2011).

There are some excellent guides available on how to use Twitter for research projects, such as:

SAGE’s guidelines for how to use Twitter are available here: http://www.sagepub.com/repository/binaries/pdfs/twitterguidelines.pdf

BU guidelines on how to use Twitter are available here: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2012/01/19/get-tweeting-using-twitter-for-research-projects/

LSE Impact of Social Sciences guidelines on using Twitter are available here: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/09/29/twitter-guide/

Paul Hughes from our M&C department is currently offering workshops to BU academics on how to get started with Twitter – read more here: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2012/05/16/twitter-for-research-academics/

 

BlogsAcademics who blog about their research regularly report positive outcomes, such as networking and collaboration, finding new audiences and opportunities, disseminating research more widely, increasing citations and downloads, and building reputation. Bloggers argue that far from diluting scholarly success (as has been suggested by some academics), online writing can be a serious tool for academic practice. Blogging should be seen as part of a programme of dissemination and collaboration, and is best used alongside traditional academic outlets (such as journals) as a means of amplifying the reach, and potentially the significance and future direction, of the research. Research indicates that blogging about a research paper causes a large increase in the number of abstract views and downloads in the same month (McKenzie and Ozler, 2011).

Rather than setting up a personal blog, BU academics can add posts about their research to the BU Research Blog. The BU Research Blog is visible to a global audience and is searchable by search engines, such as Google. Good post topics could include:

  • Your area of research and papers that you have published – and/or other related papers in your field of research. Link to the full-text article/DOI for maximum impact.
  • Conferences and training events that you’re due to speak at.
  • Your last conference – were there any interesting questions that came up?
  • Your opinions about any recent press coverage of your subject area.
  • You can also ask your colleagues and co-researchers to add posts to the Blog and comment on your own posts to stimulate debate.

 All staff at BU can have access to add their own posts to the Research Blog. Just email me and I will set you up with access.

 

YouTube Visual content accessed on sites such as YouTube is increasingly popular, particularly with students. The publisher Sage reports seeing an increasing amount of traffic to their journal sites via YouTube as students use video as an initial way of researching a topic. Many publishers are now embracing YouTube, for example the Sage YouTube channel is a collection of videos, primarily by academics, about Sage journal articles. BU has a YouTube channel and M&C are able to film short videos of academics discussing their research. These videos can then be used in multiple places to maximise impact. Watch Alan Fyall’s video below as an example:

httpv://youtu.be/RvR3fFDrTLQ

 

Join academic social networking sitesAcademics are increasingly using social networking sites to meet and converse with people who share similar research interests. Examples include: MyNetResearch, Academia and Academici. On these sites you can see what other people are discussing and what issues are pertinent in your field of research. If you have undertaken research in these areas then you can contribute and share your research findings, which in turn should increase the citations/downloads of your work.

Increasing publication impact – open access publishing

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceResearch indicates that articles published via open access outlets normally achieve higher citation counts and increased downloads. Open access publishing typically has much shorter publication times, often only 2-3 months between submission and publication. This means your research findings can be in the public domain while they are still novel, which makes them more likely to be picked up by colleagues. Research by David et al. (2008) found that open access articles were associated with 89% more full text downloads, 42% more PDF downloads, and 23% more unique visitors than subscription access articles in the first six months after publication.

BU staff have access to a dedicated central budget – the Open Access Publication Fund – to meet open access publishing costs.

Book Citation Index for WoK – 3 month Trial – take part now!

BU have just enabled a trial of Web of Knowledge Book Citation Index.  It will last for 3 months, until 6th August.

The Book Citation Index allows you to search for books and book chapters using all of the fields and features available in Web of Science. They have added two new indexes to Web of Science:

  • Book Citation Index– Science (BKCI-S) — 2005-present
  • Book Citation Index– Social Sciences & Humanities (BKCI-SSH) — 2005-present

Key features available when searching for books and book chapters include:

  • View citation counts captured for books and book chapters for Citing Articles, Cited References, Related Records, and Shared Records for all available years.
  • View citation counts provided to book sources from journal articles and conference-proceedings that cite books and book chapters and vice-versa.

Whilst we don’t currently have a subscription, we are interested in seeing what the coverage is like for BU academics, particularly in the humanities and social sciences that have traditionally experienced less comprehensive coverage by citation databases, although science books are also covered.   Please note, not all published books appear here, with concentration on purely research books rather than text books or more populist titles.

There are 143 items listed as having BU Authors:

http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library/resources/w.html

Please have a look at what WoK can offer and provide feedback to Emma Crowley: e-mail: ecrowley@bournemouth.ac.uk web site: Library and Learning Support