5 Days of Open Education – Day 4: Open Access Publishing
|Time Required (approx)
|10 minutes (incl. 8.24 min video)
Open access (OA) publishing has been an issue that has come to the fore in recent years, especially since the HEFCE requirements for the next REF were published. These state that, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, ‘authors’ outputs must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.’ (HEFCE 2015). This applies to journal articles and conference papers, but there are also advantages to publishing open access with other types of information too. Likewise the open access debate contains much more than the need to adhere to HEFCE regulations.
This video by PhD Comics explains this more. Although it has an American and scientific bias, the claims made are transferable to other areas.
Laura Wilkinson, a librarian at the University of Sunderland, has also written a great overview of the main issues for academics. She covers some concepts you may have heard in the past, in relation to OA, such as green and gold publishing, and the key drivers for the OA movement.
You may have heard various things about OA, but it is important to note that publishing in this way does not mean a drop in quality (there are peer-review processes in place, just as there are with the traditional publishing model), nor does it make you more prone to predatory publishers (these have always existed – OA is just the latest excuse for them to use). We have written more on evaluating publishing options for quality on our researcher blog in ILS.
There are lots of different platforms and methods of open access publishing. Making your work available on an institutional repository, such as RaY here at YSJ, will help ensure your work is made both open access and eligible for the next REF. Using RaY will also ensure you get the input of a librarian who understands the restrictions your chosen publisher may have put on your work – something to definitely bear in mind (and which links to the licensing issues we covered in Day 3). There are other open access options though.
Some journals offer open access at the point of publication (although there is sometimes a charge associated with this, and there may be an alternative way of making the work open access without paying – if you get an email offering OA for a charge, it is definitely worth discussing it with a librarian before you part with any cash). There are subject specific repositories (e.g. CogPrints for Psychology, Linguistics and Neuroscience). Lots of people self-archive using ResearchGate or Academia.edu, although this doesn’t make a work REF eligible, and you should make sure you are aware of the terms you are agreeing to when you use these sites. There may also be surprises ahead in terms of the direction in which these sites are going, as this Twitter conversation about potential payment shows! With any of these options it is important to understand what your publishing agreement allows you to repost. Some authors have received a shock later in the process, as people who received take-down notices found out.
Róisin Cassidy (Technology Enhanced Learning),
Ruth MacMullen, Ruth Mardall and Clare McCluskey-Dean (Information Learning Services)
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