Opening Up Research

Publishing your research open access means making it free for anybody, anywhere in the world to access and read. It often also means giving others the freedom to reuse or adapt research while still ensuring that you are credited as the original author. That could, for example, allow somebody to create a translation of research into a different language so that it can be read by a wider audience. Open access can have advantages for both authors and readers. Authors can benefit from increased dissemination and citations of their work. Readers get free, equitable access to high-quality research (for more background on open access see https://openaccess.ox.ac.uk/start-here).

The reasons for choosing open access publication can vary. You might be committed to open science and sharing your research. Perhaps your funder requires you to publish research open access. Maybe you work with other scientists whose institution’s policy mandates open access publishing. Once you decide to publish open access, the path to actually doing so can be rocky!

Some journals will charge a publication fee called an Article Processing Charge. Depending on your funding status you may be able to claim this money from your funder. Alternatively, you could choose to deposit a version of your article with no charge into an institutional repository like the Oxford University Research Archive. The University of Oxford currently has a range of publisher deals which allow even unfunded researchers to publish open access papers in certain scientific journals with no charge. Deciding between all these different options can be confusing. To help researchers, we have the Open Access Oxford (OAO) website.

The OAO website has all the information you need, from the background to open access publishing and methods to deposit your research through to advice on how to pay open access costs. If your question isn’t covered on the site, you’ll find details for contacting the open access team for further help.

You can use the OAO site to keep up to date with new developments in open access such as changes in open access polices and the University’s approach to open access.

Finally, if you want to get a sound grasp on open access, it’s a great idea to attend one of our regular free training sessions. For beginners we would highly recommend our Fundamentals of Open Access session.

A row of open doors in different primary and secondary colours, each containing a narrow vertical glass panel.

Improving our websites with your help

The Research Data Oxford and Open Access Oxford websites both provide University members with essential information and resources to help with publishing and managing research. We are currently undertaking projects to improve both these websites so that information is shown in a more user-friendly way and that the content on both sites is aligned with the needs of students, researchers, administrators and academics.

Cat paw on computer keyboard.

At this stage, we would particularly like to invite researchers and research support staff for their feedback on both websites. Participants will meet with an external consultant via videoconference. The usability testing does not involve technical questions, and it is not a test of your knowledge or skills: it is about understanding how the websites help (or hinder) researchers and research support staff in their work. It doesn’t matter if you have little or no experience of Open Access and/or research data management: it’s important to get feedback from people who are new to the topics as well as those with more expertise.

The aims of the tests are to:

  • Understand what users want and what’s needed in order for them to meet Research Data Management/Open Access obligations
  • Determine how well the websites fit into established workflows
  • Consider and prioritise enhancements to the websites to improve the user experience

The user testing sessions will be recorded, and these recordings will be securely stored for a reasonable time by the Bodleian Libraries for future reference to support website improvements.

When is this happening?

There are two rounds of user testing:

  • 1st round in September 2023
  • 2nd round in November 2023

You will be needed for one round of user testing only – i.e. September OR November, at a time convenient for you. The testing session will take a maximum of 90 minutes to cover both websites.

If you are interested in participating, please email Tony Langley.

Open Science Framework

The Open Science Framework (OSF) is a tool for simplifying the management of research projects and related activities, regardless of discipline. It is a service provided by the Centre for Open Science, a not-for-profit organisation based in Virginia in the USA.

Despite its name, OSF is not discipline specific and integrates with many existing scholarly tools such as Zotero, DataCite and GitHUb rather than duplicating services. The Medical Sciences Division is funding these activities to develop case studies exploring how researchers can be supported in the areas of open science and open publishing, in a sustainable way and that encourages high quality and collaborative research practices. OSF facilities will be available to all members of the University, via Oxford SSO provided that they have an ORCID linked to their account.

Direct link to Oxford Integration

New look training for Open Scholarship

In response to attendee feedback, the Bodleian libraries will soon offer an improved series of sessions covering open access. Sessions will be targeted to different levels of knowledge and interest in open access publishing. If you’re feeling a little confused about what ‘open access’ means, are stumped by how to go about getting your research published in an open access format, or if you want to discuss new developments in open scholarship, we have the right session for you!

Fundamentals of Open Access – This will cover the basic principles of open access, such as what it means and who it applies to. Recommended for new starters or those new to open access publishing. This session will run every other month.

Logistics of Open Scholarship – This will cover the practical ‘how to’ of open scholarship such as how to deposit your publications and data and how to apply for funding to cover open access publication costs. This session will run every other month.

Forum of Open Scholarship – This session is intended for advocates and administrators involved in open scholarship. These termly forums will discus forthcoming (and current) challenges and opportunities in open scholarship. It will be a space where people can ask questions and address ‘what’s happening’ for researchers and research support staff.

Each session will be recorded for the benefit of those who are unable to attend in person. All sessions will be advertised and can be booked through the iSkills Information Skills programme website – https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ask/workshops#/

New deal with Optica Publishing Group

The Bodleian Libraries have signed a new deal for Optica journals.

This agreement allows University of Oxford corresponding authors to publish research articles and review articles in hybrid and fully OA journals. Authors must use their Oxford University email address when submitting articles to the journal, and choose the CC BY publication licence.

You can check a comprehensive list of which publishers we have signed deals with (and the content of the deals) here: https://openaccess.ox.ac.uk/publisher-deals

Optica logo

ORA COVID-19 Collection – preserving Oxford’s COVID-19 response

The University of Oxford has been at the forefront of the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of this activity is reflected in the wide array of research outputs – journal articles, conference papers, working papers, preprints, and more – that have been produced in this area.

The Bodleian Libraries Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) COVID-19 Collection seeks to provide a one-stop point of access to all of these outputs, focusing on the full-text items available via ORA, and links to Oxford COVID-related research in a range of other locations. The ORA COVID-19 Collection ensures that these materials are available not only for today’s readers but also in perpetuity – to illuminate the story of the University’s contribution to the pandemic response for future generations.

Highlights include:

This is a live collection that is still being developed and we value your thoughts, comments and suggested additions. Contact ora@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or complete the webform.

If you are a member of the University of Oxford and can’t see your COVID-related paper here, then deposit your accepted manuscript to ORA.

Open Access services

The Bodleian’s ORA, APC and enquiry teams are working remotely and can be contacted via email: OA Enquiries openaccess@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for Act on Acceptance, depositing or any other OA-related matters; APC team apc@bodleian.ox.ac.uk regarding invoices related to the RCUK and Wellcome/Charity OA Fund block grants. The ORA team are continuing to review and process deposits, and can be emailed at ora@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. The ORA website https://ora.ox.ac.uk is available as normal.

Act on Acceptance for Open Access and the next REF

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HEFCE’s OA policy takes effect on 1 April 2016, and requires action by all researchers.

In order to be eligible for the next REF, the final peer-reviewed version of journal articles and conference papers (with an ISSN) must be deposited in an open access repository within three months of acceptance for publication. HEFCE’s requirements are designed to ‘increase substantially the amount of scholarly material that is made available in an open-access form’.

‘Act on Acceptance’ is Oxford’s mechanism to help researchers comply with open access using our new quick deposit form. From now on researchers should use Symplectic Elements to deposit all newly-accepted articles and conference papers into ORA.

The Bodleian team will check copyright and licensing conditions, create an ORA record and make the full-text available after the embargo period.

For more information and to get started visit the Open Access Oxford website:  http://openaccess.ox.ac.uk. Help is available from Subject & Outreach Librarians and the email helpline openaccess@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.