Tuesday, 4 December 2012

CORE (COnnecting REpositories)

CORE aims to facilitate free access to scholarly publications distributed across many systems. CORE gives you access to millions of scholarly articles aggregated from many Open Access repositories.

The mission of CORE is to:
  • Support the right of citizens and general public to access the results of research towards which they contributed by paying taxes.
  • Facilitate access to Open Access content for all by targeting general public, software developers, researchers, etc., by improving search and navigation using state-of-the-art technologies in the field of natural language processing and the Semantic Web.
  • Provide support to both content consumers and content providers by working with digital libraries and institutional repositories.
  • Contribute to a cultural change by promoting Open Access.
You can search CORE at: http://core.kmi.open.ac.uk/search      CORE Logo

Monday, 12 November 2012

Green or gold? Open access after Finch

 The Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings reported to the UK's Minister of Universities and Science in mid-2012. This was followed by a new policy for open access (OA) publishing by Research Councils UK (RCUK) as well as a commitment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to require that research submitted to future research evaluation exercises – after the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) – be open access. These initiatives build on a broad consensus, that includes for-profit publishers, that open access is the way of the future. Here, I give a perspective on these issues, both as the head of an institution with particular interests in the future of scholarly publication and also as a member of the Working Group on Expanding Access. The continuing development of informed debate will be critical for the future of the scholarly publishing system.

Insights: Vol. 25 Issue 3: p. 235

Monday, 1 October 2012


The UK Government’s aim of “better access to British scientific research and academic papers by 2014” (as stated in the BIS press release of 16 July 2012) is to be welcomed. The problem with the Government’s policy lies in the strategy for the achievement of the aim. The points below suggest fundamental flaws in the Government’s strategy, flaws which threaten the success of the policy and could set the UK on a slow and expensive route to open access for many years beyond 2014. The Forum held at Imperial College on 27 September 2012 was very valuable in highlighting the issues but the response from RCUK did nothing to dispel the following concerns about the Government and RCUK policies. 
·         The Government policy rules out any addition to the open access pool of the UK’s current research outputs through deposit in institutional repositories. Even if the policy of payment to publishers for open access to journal articles works smoothly, no single route to open access has been 100% successful in the past. Not to use the opportunity of adding to UK open access content through repositories at a lower cost is a perverse decision.
·         The possibility in the new RCUK policy for authors to deposit the final version of their work in a repository without payment to a publisher is so qualified as to be meaningless in practice. The deposit only becomes possible when the article is published in those journals unable to offer an open access option through payment of an “author publication charge”. Most publishers are unlikely to miss the opportunity to gain additional income and will offer a paid open access option.
·         Unusually for important policy statements, neither the UK Government policy statement of 16 July 2012 nor the RCUK open access policy provide any rationale or evidence for the choice of open access journals as the sole (in the case of the Government, preferred in the case of RCUK) route for access to current published research outputs. The rationale outlined by the Government for open access itself is valid but no case is made for the open access model chosen.
·         No mechanism has been set up by the UK Government to ensure that the taxpayer receives value for money. The administration of the payment to publishers for open access is to be left to the UK Research Councils and the university institutions through block payments, reducing the funds available for new research programmes. The payments to publishers for open access to individual articles will not be capped and therefore no prediction can be made about the number of articles to be made open access.
·         Competition between open access publishers has the potential to reduce the cost of publishing in OA journals but will not be effective while RCUK leaves the management of funds to institutions without involving authors. The separation of authors from the cost of library subscriptions is one factor in the high cost of journal subscriptions and this situation will be replicated in the cost of open access publishing.
·         Universities will have to decide what happens to the dissemination of RC-funded research results once the block grant has been used up. Will universities be expected to fund APCs from their Funding Council income in that situation? University repositories have been used by universities as records of publications from their researchers but will that infrastructure fall into disuse as a result of the move to open access journals as the sole or preferred dissemination route?
·         The Finch Report identified a role for repositories as “a mechanism for enhancing the links between publications and associated research data” but created difficulties for researchers in using such links by allocating the publication role to OA journals. Seamless re-use of text and data requires both to be accessible through the same host.
The success of the UK Government’s policy and the cost to the taxpayer will always be at risk until the issues identified above have been resolved. Will this Government be remembered for its wisdom in supporting open access for publicly-funded research outputs or for its failure to implement open access within a sustainable and cost-effective infrastructure?
Fred Friend
Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL

Monday, 16 July 2012

Free access to British scientific research within two years

Interesting piece in The Guardian available at:

Research Council UK and Open Access

The Council has announced its new policy which states that peer reviewed research papers which result from research that is wholly or partially funded by the Research Councils:
  • must be published in journals which are compliant with Research Council policy on Open Access, and;
  • must include details of the funding that supported the research, and a statement on how the underlying research materials such as data, samples or models can be accessed.
Further details at: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2012news/Pages/120716.aspx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Setting up the Blog

We have included links and gadgets that we think might be interesting but let us know if you would like us to link to other sites. ldolben@tavi-port.ac.uk

Monday, 18 June 2012

Call for Papers!

If you are a member of staff at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and have recently published articles,books or  book chapters please send us details so we can include them in the Repository.