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 SPARCPLoS 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 ochUppsatser to search for all Swedish student theses.

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First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2012-10-26

By: Pieta Eklund

Publish Open Access

Open Access publishing means that a researcher chooses to publish his/her article in an Open Access journal. These journals are available free of charge for everyone with an internet connection for reading, downloading and citing. Research results are available to everyone not just those who can afford to pay for subscriptions. With Open Access your article will be more visible and receive more citations which give it more impact.

To publish Open Access does not affect quality since the articles go through the same peer review process as articles in traditional scientific journals. One main difference is that the author retains Copyright; it is not transferred to the publisher.

Open Access journals were started as an alternative to the traditional journals. Costs for publishing are usually financed by article processing charge (APC), membership, support from research institutions and, to some extent, advertising. APC varies and can be between $US 1 000 to $US 3 000. It is possible to apply for means to cover the APC or you can include APC cost in your research grant application.

You can find Open Access journals via DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals). Thousands of journals are listed there. Be observant and examine the publishers since there are some unreliable publishers. These publishers seem to be Open Access but in reality they sell expensive subscriptions to libraries or contact the researcher directly to get hold of the APC-money. You can read (in Swedish) about the unreliable publishers in the latest issue (15/11) of Universitetsläraren. In the article, Caroline Sutton, presents different criteria to help you  recognize a serious OA publisher and a serious OA journal. Caroline Sutton is the chairman of OASPA, an international branch organization for OA-publishers. She means that at least the following information must be visible from the publisher’s or journal’s web site:

  1. Clear information about the ownership, who is the owner, and in which country and in which country the organization is located.
  2. Well documented peer review process (most important point)
  3. Full names and name of home university of those in the editorial board.
  4. Licensing conditions need to be clear and visible next to the article so that the reader can directly see what can be done with the article when found online
  5. There should be a contact person whom can be contacted for possible complains and questions. (Universitetsläraren, 2011, 15/11)

A few other points to take into consideration are: is the invitation to write an article well written, which other authors have published in the journal and how well-spread are other articles and books from the publisher.

Both Lund University and Blekinge Institute of technology have informative web pages on gray zone Open Access publishers. If you have been contacted by a publisher you do not know or are uncertain of, do not hesitate to contact Library and learning resources.

Self-archiving is also a way to publish Open Access. This means that you make your peer reviewed article available online free of charge by using BADA. Self-archiving is also a way to meet research funders’ demands on Open Access. There are studies that say that self-archiving increases an article’s citations frequency. It is also good to know that 90 % of publishers allow, without any additional permission, for authors to self-archive in the repository of their home institution. It is the author’s last version that may be submitted to the repository, not the publisher’s version. There might be an embargo period which means that the article may be self-archived after a certain time period but all that is taken care of by BADA. If you want to read publishers’ policies visit Sherpa/Romeo.

First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2011-10-24

By: Pieta Eklund