Short news about research and publishing

A lot of things has happened in research and publishing world. Here is a short summary of some of them.

All research funders are facing the same challenges such as assessing the quality and potential of research applications they receive. This is one of the reasons why a meeting on the subject was organized. During the Global Summit on Merit Review leaders for research financers from more than 50 countries met to discuss how evaluation according to peer review should be done. They were able to agree on six principles and take the first steps toward a global understanding on assessment of research applications. These principles are on expert assessment, transparency, impartiality, appropriateness, confidentiality and integrity and ethical considerations. Next meeting will be held in Berlin 2013 and the topics then will be open access and research ethics. Read the principles they agreed upon: Statement of Principles for Scientific Merit Review.

In the begining of april representatives from different parts of the university and research world met for a workshop organized by Luleå University of Technology and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond to discuss how to manage research data. They agreed that national policy and guidelines are needed for all universities and other concerned parties. They also agreed on that an infrastructure should be developed for research data. Universities are responsible to archive research data but an accepted model and system for archiving this material is missing. A report was published from the workshop (in Swedish).

Representatives from the University visited Brussels during the spring to learn more about EU Horizon 20/20, an EU project for research and innovation and how the university could receive a part of the €80 billion budget. What is good news is that they support open access (either green or gold) and see it as the standard way of publishing. Neelie Kroes, vice president for EU commission responsible for digital agenda has said in connection to Horizon 20/20: ”First, when research is funded by the EU, we will require open access to the results. Whether by ”green” or ”gold” routes.” Read Neelie Kroes speach here.

At the same time as there is lobbying process going on to lobby White house to work for open access, especially for the research paid by taxpayers a federal court has ruled against the publishers and given Georgia State University right in all but five accounts. The teachers at the University had distributed material under copyright protection electronically to their students. The university means that this case “highlights the importance of fair use in providing academic faculty a cost-effective, legal way to spread important knowledge to their students.” So the use of copyright law varies a lot and the publishers are now saying they “hope that this decision will start us down a path where librarians, teachers, and publishers can work together to chart a course through this evolving landscape.” Chronicle of Higer Education has written about the court’s decision.

First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2012-06-12

By: Pieta Eklund

Demands from Funders

A growing number of research funders are demanding that research funded by taxpayer money should be freely available to all. One reason is the argument that research is spread quicker that way and is cited by more. Four big research funders’ demands on Open Access are presented below

The Swedish Research Council (VR)
In January 2010 VR introduced a demand for Open Access publishing. This demand means that researchers funded by VR must publish their results Open Access. VR says that researcher can either use his/her institutional repository or publish in an Open Access journal to comply with the demand.

This demand does not affect projects granted before January 2010. VR states that the publications should be freely available no more than six months after publishing. If the publisher does not allow self-archiving the researcher should demand an exception and for this there is an author addendum to use. The VR is of the opinion that if the publisher does not accept the exception the researcher ought to consider another publisher and journal. In exceptional cases VR can accept prolonging the time to access up to 12 months. For the VR to grant prolongation, the researcher must be able to document all efforts made to fulfill the six-month demand.

These demands apply to scientific texts published in scientific journals and conference papers, not monographs or chapters in books.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)
Even RJ has since 2010 demanded that a researcher who receives funding from RJ is to publish their peer reviewed texts and conference papers Open Access. RJ encourages and urges researchers to publish even monographs and book chapters Open Access. Researchers are eligible to apply for a special publishing grant to finance Open Access publishing.

RJ adds a gauge of 30 000 SEK per project. They also demand that the publications are made available directly after publishing in an open repository or no later than six months. If the publisher does not allow this the research should choose another publisher and if this is not possible the researcher should contact RJ with documentation on what has been done to reach an agreement with the publisher.

Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) (
The EU Commission introduced in 2008 an Open Access project within FP7. The project means that researchers from the research areas energy, environment, health, information and communication technologies (only cognitive systems, interaction, and robotics), research infrastructures (only e-infrastructures), science in society, and socioeconomic sciences and humanities must make their peer reviewed research articles freely available.

According to the demand the publications must be archived and made publicly available six or twelve months after publication. Which time span is applied depends on the subject area. Money from the FP7 may be used to cover APC costs for an Open Access journal or hybrid journals (a traditional subscription based journal that has individual articles freely available).

This means that research articles that are a result of a project financed by FP7 are to be self-archived in BADA.

Something called Best Effort is included in the framework. This means that the researcher must follow the next four steps:

  1. Seek information on publishing models and copyright/licensing policies of the journal(s) to which authors plan to submit e.g. via Sherpa/Romeo
  2. If publishers’ policies do not allow compliance with FP7, authors should negotiate an amendment to allow self-archiving
  3. If negotiations are unsuccessful, researchers should consider submitting to another journal
  4. If negations fail, beneficiaries should inform the Commission and provide publisher’s letter of refusal

Formas (Swedish)
Formas demands that all peer reviewed journal articles and conference papers which are a result of research financed fully or partly by Formas are to be published Open Access. This demand is applied from January 2010 and onwards.

Formas also demands that all texts are made available no later than six months after publishing. The researcher may choose Open Access or hybrid journals or self-archiving.

First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2011-10-26

By: Pieta Eklund