Summary – Open Access Chat – Feb 2013
Posted by Sam (LibWig)
1) What do you think is the biggest barrier to open access?
@Andy_Tattersall: I can’t help but think it’s the academics.
@BooleanBerry: Barriers to OA: publisher reticence, researcher reticence (VERY hard to shake off old ideas about prestige, value and impact).
@Andy_tattersall – common problem – scholars like a physical artefact, something with ‘history’ and ‘kudos – @BooleanBerry summed it up when he said – ; if the choice is between a big name and a newer OA journal, it’s a career/life goal no-brainer for many. @GeraldineCS pointed out that papers published in “traditional journals” can be avail in #OA, the two are perfectly compatible. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding open access.
@BooleanBerry has been trying to convince others of the benefits of OA by getting key university figures to promote OA to others, and helped to prepare the marketing for an open access week. There were a lot of orange posters!
@poetryghost: would also say need for an agreed international system for independent peer review outside of journals or qualifications is required for open access to succeed.
2) How do you define open access?
@Sarahcchilds: I suppose people think of it being about articles not being behind paywalls but it’s more than that.
@LibWig: See #openaccess in a number of guises – we learned about green and gold routes on my masters course; the author pays model etc – others had also learned about these routes through library courses.
@bookslinger: Something that can be accessed by all
@Andy_tattersall: something that is easier to share, spread, and does not sit behind such huge paywalls
@AgentK23: it seems to be free combined with work of a scholarly nature. Therefore it should go through a review process of sorts?
@Dymvue: One of our academics said (angrily) last week #openaccess is a way of demolishing peer review. This prompted much discussion, and it was pointed out that there are open access journals that are peer reviewed, and that open access need not equal poor quality. @Andy_Tattersall put it nicely: “I think that is one of the issues for them, that open is poor quality – that’s like all music should be from big labels” – so there!
It was mentioned by @BooleanBerry that a friend recently said he views OA journals as ‘last chance saloon’ for work not accepted elsewhere. I hasten to add that @BooleanBerry did not agree! The researcher in question was willing to believe in open access, but needed quality assurance.
3) After the Finch report & with the emphasis arguably now on gold Open Access what is the future for Institution Repositories & green OA?
@Kangarooth: at many universities the institutional repository is the main output for REF so has vital role. I expect will become the norm to deposit into IRs. @BooleanBerry replied : This, exactly. REF was a massive influencing factor on academics depositing into our IR. @GerladineCS asked do researchers deposit full text or reference only for REF? Is the full text in IR compulsory to included? @BooleanBerry wasn’t sure – but full text deposit with the chance of citations was used as an incentive. @ GeraldineCS: it could be that additional incentive is offered by HEFCE by REF2020 for #OA only submission.
@LibWig pointed out that from a user’s point of view, IRs are liked- they allow the user to search an institution’s research if you know a prominent scholar is there. @Sarahcchilds agreed, though most downloads of papers from repositories will be via Google Scholar due to poor IR search interfaces – @BooleanBerry pointed out that he recently got given an incomplete reference from user and easily followed it to an IR in Sweden. Result!
@Sarahcchilds – IR search interfaces need redesigning to make them more accessible – @GeraldineCS suggested a cheaper way to get around this problem by optimising the metadata so that Google Scholar and other search engines can index papers and research more effectively. Money and time to do these things was seen as a problem, but not just in OA! @JenFosterLib pointed out similar problems in improving databases, Library Management Systems etc.
@GeraldineCS gold route and green routes are definitely complementary for the time being, maybe for ever, but the green route coupled with an embargo is not true #OA and it is reliant on paying subs still.
4) Are there any negatives to OA, and any way to address them?
@Andy_Tattersall There could be a surge in published content, making finding better quality research potentially harder
@Kangarooth with hybrid OA there is possibility universities will pay twice- for article processing charge AND subscription. @GeraldineCS said that publishers and universities must be working actively to avoid double dipping! The RCUK is telling publishers that subscription costs must come down in line with #oacosts but agree that hybrid #oa is not ideal option, and should only be tolerated as transitional.
5) Where does Finch take disciplines that do not get public funding e.g. archaeology? How can these disciplines sustain OA journals?
@Sarahschilds: I think that there is a lot more opposition from humanities/arts academics than in the sciences, though hopefully the humanities version of PLOS will start to change this
@AgentK23 I know someone who reckons it will be detrimental to the more obscure fields, and I think she may be right
@Liz-Jolly recommended we look at @openlibhums as an example of the arts working in Open Access
@poetryghost: It seems to me that in the sciences you have the added issue of business finance of research & desire of intellectual property – this is not as prevalent in the arts
@AgentK23 I do feel that the impact on arts research isn’t being addressed and accounted for by #oa –there is a lot more focus on the sciences
6) How can we change the default setting for scientists to ‘open’? (articles, code, data etc.)
@Sarahcchilds this is a huge challenge, though you may find more recent academics/research students etc. to be more receptive?
@Kangarooth I think the RCUK mandate will go a long way in doing this. @GeraldineCS replied that this will help to highlight benefits and evidence of higher citation rate is growing. This is something that researchers really do care about!
@GeraldineCS There is a moral imperative to use #oa for the distribution of publicly funded research, but the RCUK and government policy will help to encourage this too.
@Andy_tattersall: hopefully key academics can act as champions, also perhaps public opinion would swing things when the lid becomes more lifted.
@GeraldineCS: unexplored opportunities for creating new online collections, research topic alerts, opportunities for librarians. Open access is not a threat to information professionals!
7) Does the onset of open access publishing change the way in which we both communicate and educate with our science?
@Liz_jolly: An #oa repository with an institutional mandate can increase research impact –see the work of Alma Swan and others
@andy_tattersall: I think it will certainly speed up output and will dovetail better with social media for promotion and sharing
@GeraldineCS: yes, #oa helps democratising access to knowledge, and equals an opportunity to read information that has previously been locked up in libraries (sorry folks!) but this by the way might be perceived by some as a threat to privileged expert status, fear of misrepresentation, and creates an open challenge.
@BooleanBerry: Wider access will create greater need for scientific literacy on wider scale. Don’t just open doors, empower people to engage.
@Libwig hoped so – only when leaving university is it that you realise how locked away information is. @sarahchilds agreed: the potential of OA to encourage more democratic access to information is one of the most exciting parts of it in my opinion.
@AgentK if people didn’t know about it already: irs.mimas.ac.uk searches across different IRs – try Richard III for an example!
Numerous examples were provided for exciting new research that captures the public imagination, but access to the actual research papers is then restricted – ie the new Richard III research, and the Tintagel Plaque a few years ago. If the final research was published in OA then it would help to encourage further scholarly research, and help people to understand the work of academics.
8) Any advice for ECRs who want to publish OA, but have been told that this could potentially damage their careers?
[Note: ECR = Early Career Researcher]
@Andy_Tattersall To try to publish at least one paper in #oa – ask who is telling them not to – and why? Too much emphasis is placed on publish or perish
@GeraldineCS The most used journal by NERC, MRC and BBSRC funded researchers used to publish results is PLoSOne. Publication in #oa is not likely to be an issue! And greater public visibility of evidence based research will balance all the random information already available on the Internet!
9) What benefits can researchers get from Open Access repositories?
Not so much researchers, but librarians! @AgentK23 – wonders if there’d be scope for new job roles for people to help find the gold amongst the gold (pun intended)!
@Liz_jolly: evidence of a clear link to increased impact of individual and of the institution -see Southampton Uni as an example!
@GeraldineCS IR offers a wider opportunity to #oa other writing/data/files/images etc that does not get published in journals
10) Do you believe that OA repositories can contribute to increase the culture/literacy level in society?
@AgentK23: I want to tie this in with #mooc - it’s there for all but who has the skills /knowledge to access and make use of it?
@LibWig culture and literacy level increases is a possibility – giving people access to original research rather than through others… means people can go to the horse’s mouth as such, rather than via another source
We received comments from many about how tabloids should cite more sources – perhaps this would increase and become more common if more information was OA? Though could lead to some confusion and bias through misrepresented data?
@poetryghost: despite our comments on tabloid misrepresentation I’d still say yes. How can it not?
@andy_tattersall: Potentially, it could allow people outside of the paywall to carry out own research – independent researchers, carers, charities
@BooleanBerrY: OA can contribute to greater literacy but as we established, it can’t happen in a vacuum. Who aids that literacy? HINT HINT – LIBRARIANS.
@AgentK23: it would help people who know how to research. And then when learning filters down it would, but might be tricky?
@GerladineCS: doctors, patients, academics in universities without subscriptions, businesses, policy makers- anyone reads everything with #oa -isn’t it fab!
@Liz_jolly: there is an element of democratic process and a right to access information
11) We (our University) are trying to prepare for any compliance monitoring by RCUK which will take place after implementation of the new RCUK policy on 1 April 2013. Are other universities doing the same thing? If so, please share any ideas or advice you have for what information you think will be mandatory to gather for RCUK, how this info might be stored, and in what format RCUK might want it reported (for example, Excel spreadsheet).
@GerlaldineCS The RCUK will issue updated guidance by the end of Feb. The info needed is likely to include citation, DOI, grant number and fees if APC has been paid.
@nataliafay: DOIs and how made OA (Gold/Green/neither) will be key for reporting to RCUK.
@GeraldineCS really important for UK HEIs to collect this info as will inform future policy development and amount of #Oa block grants. You will need evidence! There is plenty of good practice advice out there from the repository community. The RCUK is also looking at funding project to share good practice.
#uklibchat feature on Open Access written by Geraldine Clement-Stoneham
The RSP was recommended for Open Access information – rsp.ac.uk
M Pickton wrote her dissertation on OA – try out your library skills and track it down!
UK Open Access Implementation Group open-access.org.uk is an interesting site
CORE is also a very good search tool across IR’s, full text core.kmi.open.ac.uk/search
Info on Oxford’s OA, a joint venture between the Bodleian and the Uni’s Research Services: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/researchsupport/awards/openaccess/
About Sam (LibWig)Chartered London law librarian
Posted on February 11, 2013, in Discussion Summaries and tagged #uklibchat, APC, author pays, barriers, data, gold route, green route, model, oa, open access, open information, RCUK. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.