How do you make your research OA?

The Association of Swedish Higher Education and National Library of Sweden have signed the Berlin Declaration but as an individual it might not be something you want to do. In this blog post you will find some tips what you as a researcher, librarian, employee of the university or research funder can do to work to make research freely available. The tips come from the official page for Open Access Week 2012.

As a research you could send your article to an open access journal when a suitable journal exists within your area of research. Just make sure it is not a predatory journal and if you are suspicious contact your library for advice. You may also deposit pre-print of your publication in the institutional repository, BADA. You have even deposit the post-print if the publisher allows it. There is some confusion about the terms pre-print and post-print. Pre-print in this case refers to the version of your article which has not yet gone through peer review and post-print refers to the version which has gone through peer review and possible changes are med but the article is still missing the publishers layout and typeface. Close to 80% of all publishers allow you to upload post-print to your institutional repository. Just remember never to transfer copyright; the publisher does not need the copyright to publish your article or make money of it. If the publisher does not allow you to retain your copyright you should consider if this is a publisher you want to work with. If you still want to publish in one of their journals make sure you at least retain the right to deposit post-print in your institutional repository. A few more tips for researchers.

If your organization does not have an institutional repository you might want to start working for implementing one. If your organization does not have their own repository you might want to look in to the orphan repositories and recommend these to your researchers who want to make their research available for all. You might also want to help researcher to register and upload publications in the repository. You might even want to discuss the options researchers have to publish in an open access journal and the benefits of open access publishing (e.g. results will be used quicker, everyone has access to research, and there will be more citations). A few more tips for librarians.

Even research funders can support open access. A lot of research funder are already demanding open access publishing for all research funded by them (among others National Health Institution, Wellcome Trust, Swedish Research Council, World Bank). Of course there can be exceptions to the rule if research is classified top secret or if there is a patent application pending or that research results are expected to generate income. Research funders might offer to pay for the article processing charge, sponsor open access journals or help these journals cover costs for researchers from countries and institutions with poor economic situation. A few more tips for research funders.

Universities and administrators can also work for open access. They can do this by implementing a policy which supports open access publishing. University of Borås policy can be found here. It could be made clearer when it comes to open access publishing and that researchers should always aim not to transfer their copyright. A few more tips for university and administrators.

In other words there is a lot an individual, in some cases in co-operation with other, can do to promote open access.





First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2012-10-23

By: Pieta Eklund

Set default to Open Access

Set default to Open Access is this year’s theme for Open Access week. The idea is that Open Access should be the first choice when publishing research. Goal of Open Access week is to raise researchers’ awareness of Open Access as an alternative way to publish instead of the traditional “closed access” way of publishing and distributing research results. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was created and signed by many universities and libraries almost ten years ago. The declaration defines open access and states that the research process is only half finished if the results are not spread throughout the society so that the public can easily get access to the results. The declaration basically supports Open Access publishing.

During 2012 Open Access movement has reached several milestones. In April the World Bann announce that they will implement Open Access policy which in the long term means that all research funded by the World Bank will be made available with no cost to the reader. In July some British politicians suggested that the British government should make sure that all research funded by public funds should be made available online with no cost to the reader. During the same month even some American politicians recommended that all research funded by NIH (National Institute of Health) should be freely available no later than six months after publishing.

The Finch report which was published last summer stated that Open Access will be the way for the scholars to publish in the future. Finch report recommends the gold way (publishing in Open Access journals) instead of the green way (depositing publication in an institutional archive). The transition to Open Access journal will not happen immediately and it will not be without costs. At the moment the British universities pay about £200m a year for access to scientific journals. According to the Finch report it will cost about £60m a year to have all British publicly funded research freely available. Now the British government is planning to make all research available by 2014 though there will be no special funds for this reform. It is planned that a part of the existing research funds will be used to fund this change. It is an admirable goal the British goverment is working towards but there are those who criticize the chosen road to Open Access. Stevan Harnad, one of the most influential people within the movement, is of the opinion that the gold road to Open Access is not the best or most effective way to reach the goal, especially when there will be no additional funds. He advocates the green road.

One other great success for Open Access is that the EU Commission has said that all research funded by Horizon 2020, EUs new framework for research with €80 billion to allocate, has to be made open access six to twelve months after publishing. Just a couple a weeks ago the news that the whole area of particle physics will be transitioning to open access was published.

In Sweden the government has published its proposition for research politics for 2013-2016 (Forskning och innovation Prop, 2012/13:30) and in it they have commissioned The Swedish Research Council to develop forms and guidelines for open access, for both research results and research data.





First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2012-10-22

By: Pieta Eklund

Understand Your Rights

As an author, you have both immaterial rights and financial rights. The economic rights can be transferred to another part whereas the immaterial rights cannot. The purpose of Copyright in Sweden is to have balance between the creators’ (in this case author’s) need for protection and users’ need for access. E.g., as a user you can copy for own use and cite public texts but as a creator you have always the right to be referred to. If you have transferred your financial rights to a publisher it is they who then decide over the use of your work. This means that the publisher may, with licensing agreements, restrict your rights granted in the law.

To be able to self-archive in BADA you have to know whether you have copyright to them or not. The following is a way to categorize publications according to a publishing policy:

  1.  Author keeps, if no other agreement is signed, copyright to that what is published by University of Borås and the author is recommended to self-archive in BADA.
  2.  When it comes to international scholarly journal publishers, the author has entered an agreement with the publisher and has either limited or transferred his/her rights. Most of the publishers allow self-archiving if some conditions are met. You can find publishers’ publishing policies in Sherpa/Romeo.
  3.  If a monograph dissertation is published by University of Borås or any of its departments the author should publish the dissertation in its entirety in BADA. If a monograph dissertation is published by a publisher you have to ask for permission to self-archive.
  4. An author has copyright to his/her compilation dissertation. The author has signed an agreement for each of the articles or other publications which are a part of the dissertation and are published by a publisher. The possibility to self-archive has to be controlled separately with each publisher.
  5. For books, book chapters, anthology contributions, journals without policies and published conference papers publishers are to be contacted to control rights to self-archive.

First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2011-10-27

By: Pieta Eklund