Tagged / publishing

Congratulations to Jon Williams: Associate Editorship

Dr Jonathan Williams have just been invited to become an Associate Editor for the journal BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation  (http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcsportsscimedrehabil/about/edboard).

 

Whilst last week Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen has been invited to join the editorial board of Health Prospect (http://nepjol.info/index.php/HPROSPECT)

Good start of the year: Early crop of 2014 publications

HSC staff saw the fruit of their hard work in 2013 as a great number of papers have been accepted for publication or actually appeared in print in the first three weeks of January.  

 

 

There are a number of 2014 papers in health care journals, including papers in Nurse Education in Practice, The Practising Midwife, Journal of Clinical Nursing, Birth, ISRN Family Medicine, Perspective in Public Health, an editorial in Midwifery and two in the same issue of Health Science Journal.  There was also an early contribution from our social science colleagues in The Journal of Adult Protection and, last but not least a book chapter in Case Studies in e-Learning Research.

 

  1. Morley, D., 2014. Supporting student nurses in practice with online communication tools. Nurse Education in Practice, 14, 69-75.
  2. Bennett, S and Scammell, J (2014) Midwives caring for asylum-seeking women: research findings.  The Practising Midwife. 17 (1) p9-12
  3. Whitford, H., Aitchison, P., Entwistle V.A., van Teijlingen, E., Davidson, T., Humphrey, T., Tucker, J. Use of a birth plan within woman-held maternity records: a qualitative study with women and staff in northeast Scotland, Birth (accepted).
  4. Norton, E. 2014 The application of humanization theory to health-promoting practice. Perspectives in Public Health, (online first 2013)
  5. Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to the United Kingdom: A qualitative study.  Health Science Journal 8(1):  57-74.
  6. Hunt, J.A., Hutchings, M. (2014) Innovative group-facilitated peer and educator assessment of nursing students’ group presentations, Health Science Journal 8(1): 22-31.
  7. Harding, A., Sanders, F., Medina Lara, A., van Teijlingen, E., Wood, C., Galpin, D. Baron, S., Crowe, S., Sharma, S. Patient choice for older people in English NHS primary care: theory & practice,  ISRN Family Medicine (accepted).
  8. Norton, E., Holloway, I., Galvin K. 2014. Comfort vs risk: a grounded theory about female adolescent behaviour in the sun. Journal of Clinical Nursing. (online first 2013)
  9. van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V., Matthews, Z., Lewis, G., Graham, W.J., Campbell, J., ten Hoope-Bender, P., Sheppard, Z.A., Hulton, L. (2014) Millennium Development Goals: All good things must come to an end, so what next? Midwifery 30: 1-2.
  10. Parker, J.,  Ashencaen Crabtree, S. (2014) Covert research and adult protection and safeguarding: an ethical dilemma? The Journal of Adult Protection (accepted).
  11. Hutchings, M, Quinney, A., Galvin, K.  Clark, V. book chapter IN: ‘The Yin/Yang of Innovative Technology Enhanced Assessment for Promoting Student Learning’ Case Studies in e-Learning Research.   Book is now available at:  http://www.academic-bookshop.com/ourshop/prod_2915879-Case-Studies-in-eLearning-Research-for-Researchers-teachers-and-Students.html

 

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

Open access and monographs – a new HEFCE project – UPDATE

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceLast month I added a post about HEFCE’s plans to launch a new project to investigate the issues regarding open access publishing of monographs and other long-form scholarly works (Open access and monographs – a new HEFCE project). HEFCE have now confirmed that this project has started and is being undertaken in partnership with the AHRC and the ESRC.  It aims to identify and draw together a body of evidence concerning monographs and open access publishing and is expected to run until mid-2014.

You can read the full report here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2014/news85292.html

You can access all of the project documentation here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/rsrch/rinfrastruct/oa/monographs/

Further updates from the group will be posted over the coming months.

Strategic approaches to getting your work published

I read an extremely good article this week on Strategic Approaches to Getting Published, written by Phil Ward (University of Kent) as well as a presentation by Frances Bell (University of Leicester) (Developing a Publication Strategy).  Now that we’re in the assessment period for the next REF exercise (likely to be REF 2020) we need to focus on personal publication strategies.  This post shares some of the key messages and advice on personal publication strategies:

Have a publication strategy and review it every year or two – Try to keep in mind the direction in which you want your research to develop, and what publications will help to build your profile.  Try not to be diverted from this!  Your strategy should include different media and channels.  It should include information on your goals (what will you publish in the next week, year, five years, etc), uncertainties and development needs, and resources available to you (e.g. a mentor, peer review of your paper prior to submission, access to funds for open access charges, etc).  You should regularly check progress against your goals.

Balanced publications portfolio – Try and develop a balanced publication portfolio. You don’t always need to be targeting top journals, and sometimes you need to balance several factors:

  • Audience: who do you want to appeal to? Should you be thinking beyond your narrow disciplinary boundaries, or focussing more intensively on it?
  • Impact: do you want the findings of your research to be felt outside of academia?
  • Career Progression: will the publication help in the development of a strong CV?
  • REF: will the publication be a strong, positive contribution to your discipline?
  • Timing: do you need to get something out quickly, or work longer on a discipline-changing piece of research?
  • Co-authorship: would co-authorship help or hinder your publication record?
  • Open Access: will be increasingly important for the REF, but is it worth considering to help with your citations and the impact of your research?

Choosing the right journals – the ‘right journal’ is often viewed as being one with a high impact factor however this is an archaic and somewhat controversial system, and is based on the average number of citations over a two-five year period.  The system is open to abuse, and varies widely between disciplines.  However, it is still seen as a rough and ready indicator of esteem.

The following video is by Karin Dumstrei, Senior Editor at EMBO Journal.  It is worth 3 minutes of your time to watch and listen to the tips she gives!

Her advice for writing a journal article is to always:

  • Choose a project that excites you;
  • Tell a good story;
  • Select the right journal;
  • Avoid the three ‘don’ts’, namely: dont’ overstate your case, ignore others, or hold back data;
  • Be responsible with your data – i.e. say what you see rather than what you want to see.

High impact journals tend to have broader audiences, so you need to:

  • avoid jargon;
  • concentrate on the message;
  • write shorter articles (e.g. Science articles are generally 3-4 pages);
  • avoid too much detail. Additional data can be provided in ‘supplementary material’.
A good covering letter is essential.  It should summarise why your article is right for the journal you’re targeting.  Take time to get this right. Keep it succinct, but explain the novelty and importance of your research, and why you are approaching that journal in particular.
There are seven key tips for writing and publishing a journal article:
  • Title: make it engaging but keep it short, and avoid technical terms.  Also avoid terms which might give the impression of limited reach and significance of your research, e.g. ‘a local case study’ or ‘a small investigation’;
  • Story: structure your article round a good, cohesive, logical ‘story’;
  • Step Change: emphasise what makes your research important. Talk about ‘step changes’ rather than ‘incremental progresssions’;
  • Conclusion and Evaluation: a strong, persuasive and critical conclusion is essential for giving your paper clout;
  • Cover Letter: ‘sell’ your article and particularly why it is right for the journal you are targeting;
  • Feedback: get as much critical evaluation as possible;
  • Rejection: never take no for an answer.  Rejection is an inevitable part of the process. Don’t be discouraged, but take on board comments and criticism and keep trying be resubmitting.

Consider the role of social media in your publication strategy – social media has been shown to dramatically increase the academic and societal impact of research (see my previous posts on the benefits of using Twitter).  Social networking platforms such as Twitter are excellent for promoting and sharing your research, as are blogs either by writing your own blog, contributing posts to other blogs, or commenting on posts written by others.  Your publications strategy should include social media outlets.  For advice on using social media as part of your publication strategy please contact Sally Gates in the R&KEO.

Good luck!

Password? Not another one!

The increasing volume of academic activity on the internet coupled with a growing obsession about privacy and data protection means for many academics a rapidly expanding number of online accounts and associated passwords. This is, of course, over and above our regular dose of accounts and passwords as citizens of the virtual world. The average adult in the UK must have at least 25 internet accounts, for the bank/building society, supermarkets, phone companies, social media, airlines, trains, insurance companies, eBay, the website of the parents’ council of your children’s school, your electricity provider, the council tax, etc.

I feel as an academic, the burden is even worse. Every single time another scientific journal invites me to review a paper it opens an on-line account for me. Every time I apply for a grant from a funding body to which I have not previously applied, I am required to set up an account with a new password. When you apply for 20-odd grants every year and review manuscripts for a similar number of different journals the number of accounts and passwords add up rapidly. Then there are the other accounts and passwords related to work for sites such as this BU Research Blog, BRIAN, Survey Monkey, for the university for whom you act as external examiner, for Drop Box, the British Library, ORCIC, ACADEMIA.EDU, ResearchGate, Researchfish, Linkedin, and the list goes on.

These last few months I was reminded how non user friendly some systems are. First, I received new secure email account for my part on a REF sub-panel. The account name chosen for me is different from what I would have chosen and what I am used to at Bournemouth University. The importance of confidentiality for the REF work is clear so my password has to be different from anything I use elsewhere. Secondly, a few weeks later I attempted to put my name done for the tri-annual conference of the International Congress of Midwifery in Prague next year. It turns out you cannot join the conference without opening an on-line account first. The account name was automatically chosen for me and so was the password. Unfortunately, both are impossible to remember, neither the account name nor the password (which was case sensitive) were ones I would have selected personally.

There is some hope as some journals allow you to choose your own account name and password. Elsevier has brought most of its journals into one account, with your own email as the account name and all with the same password. Similarly a group of English-language journals in Nepal called Nepal Journals OnLine (NepJOL) use one account name for all participating journals. For the rest of my account names and passwords I can only follow the advice given by Stephen Fry on an episode of QI: “Write it down somewhere on a piece of paper”. The underlying idea is that the people who try to steal your internet account details sit in a bedsit in London or Hong Kong and won’t come to your office or living room to steal a piece of paper with computer addresses. The people who try to break into your house or office are looking for objects with a street value, such as your TV, phone or laptop, they are generally not interested in a piece of paper with some scribbles on it.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

BU Professor at COST Action Training School (Malta)

Bournemouth University contributed to the successful Cost Action Training School 2013 earlier this month (see: www.um.edu.mt/events/costactiontraining2013/). The Training School ‘Writing for maternity services research, theory, policy and practice: Integrating new theoretical insights from the iR4B COST Action’ was held at the University of Malta.
The 24 trainees who were successful in their application came from a wide-range of European countries. At the Training School each trainee was linked to one of six experienced trainers, three from Ireland: Prof. Declan Devane, Dr. Valerie Smith, and Prof Cecily Begley, and three from the UK: Prof. Soo Downe, Dr. Lucy Firth, and BU Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. These trainers brought to the Training School not only their extensive experience as writers, but also that of scientific editors, reviewers for academic journals, and PhD supervisors.

(photo by Mário Santos, Portugal).

The Training School included presentations on how to incorporate notions of salutogenesis and complexity into maternity care and midwifery publications, issues around writing academic English as a non-native English speaker, plagiarism, how to start writing an academic paper for a MSc or PhD thesis, and many more related topics.
In their feedback some trainees stressed that this is the kind of helpful information every postgraduate student and budding academic should know about. Others said “I wish I had known that before as no one ever addresses these issues.” The trainees discussed the outlines of their papers, and they were given ample time to draft papers under the watchful eye of their trainer. All trainees have committed to submit a paper derived from the Training School by early Spring 2014.
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe. For further information on OST in general see: http://www.cost.eu/ ).

Bournemouth University was represented by Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen based at the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health in the School of Health & Social Care.

Co-producing and co-creating with eBU

As I’m sure you are all aware of, co-production and co-creation are key facets of Fusion. What better way of engaging in co-production and co-creation than through pursuing publications with students?

eBU is well placed to help academics co-produce and co-create outputs with students for peer review publications. eBU is encouraging academics to act as gatekeepers who, upon marking or seeing high quality student work, will approach students with the view to asking them if they wish to take this further and publish.

Putting your work ‘out there’ is daunting enough for anyone, let alone an early career scholar or student. Primarily as a publishing forum for internal peer review, eBU is a place where these types of outputs can be constructively critiqued in a safe internal environment. This provides students and/or early career scholars with some valuable experience of opening his/her work up to review internally, before doing so in the wider world.

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.

With the academic year only just underway it may not be the right time to identify high quality student output and enquire if they wish to make changes and reformat any output for publication. However, can I ask staff to make all students aware of eBU. It’s a win-win situation – engaging with eBU will boost your publication rate and give students something positive to put on their CV for their chosen career path.

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

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).