Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It is increasingly the case that open access to research outputs includes open access to electronic theses. It can be argued that PhD theses have always been ‘openly accessible’ or ‘published’ in the sense that they are open to the general public for reading. Indeed, this has long been an essential requirement for the work to earn its title. So all that has really changed in the doctoral thesis world is the form of access, i.e. the internet.

This is still a big change, however; and so – quite understandably, I should add – a number of concerns have since arisen. Chief among them is the belief that most publishers and journals consider anything in an e-thesis ‘pre-published’, thereby disqualifying it from consideration for publication.[1] Relatedly, many believe that by depositing their work on an institutional repository, they forfeit intellectual property, again disqualifying consideration.

The fear over intellectual property is, to be sure, a very simple case of misinformation; though it is a serious one at that, as every year it causes unnecessary panic and stress for many students going through the submission process. The intellectual property of an e-thesis, unless expressly stated otherwise, lies with the author/PhD student and a Creative Commons License can be used to that effect.[2] University staff contracts detailing institutional rights over intellectual property apply only to research staff and/or research conducted outside of the PhD.

Regarding the question of ‘pre-publication’, there have been numerous survey-based studies on editorial policy and every single one comes to the same conclusion: publishers and journals, generally speaking, welcome submissions of manuscripts or proposals based on a thesis or a segment of a thesis, on the basis that the published manuscript is likely to be a substantially revised version of the original.[3] The chances of the content of an article or monograph substantially mirroring the PhD from which it is derived, are minimal. Journals and monographs are almost always written in an entirely different style to PhDs. Whereas PhDs are overtly technical, dense and reference/ content-note heavy, journals and monographs are more polemical, concise and accessible. For this reason, most publishers require substantial revision of material derived from a PhD dissertation, regardless of whether an e-thesis is openly accessible or not. As one university press commissioning editor we contacted put it:

We would generally only publish theses that were substantially revised on the basis that a standalone book and a thesis have different jobs to do. On this basis whether or not the original thesis is available on open access is a fairly minor factor in considering a thesis for revision and publication as a book.[4]

Though there are many other factors to consider, this goes some way in explaining why e-theses do not usually preclude publishing opportunities.

In an attempt to provide further and more up-to-date insight into publishing trends and editorial policies regarding the publication of material derived from OAETs, we (Surrey Research Insight) initiated our own survey-based study. We approached hundreds of university and commercial presses (specifically, commissioning editors) focused on monographs, as well as esteemed journals (specifically, journal editors), across all disciplines. Though ongoing, the results gathered thus far vindicate the conclusions of previous studies.

None of this is to say that there can never be a legitimate reason to restrict access to an e-thesis. But it is to say that much of the fear and anxiety over e-theses is ill-founded.

If you have any queries regarding access to or depositing your e-thesis at the University of Surrey please contact: etheses@surrey.ac.uk


[1] See, for instance http://theprofessorisin.com/2011/08/24/the-perils-of-publishing-your-dissertation-online/ [Last accessed 10 February 2016].

[2] See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ [Last Accessed 10 February 2016].

[3] Seamans, N. H. (2003) ‘Electronic Theses and Dissertations as Prior Publications: What the Editors Say’, Library Hi Tech, vol. 21(1), doi: 10.1108/07378830310467409; Barnes, T. et al (2012) ‘Electronic Doctoral Theses in the UK: A Sector-wide Survey into Policies, Practice and Barriers to Open Access’, UK Council for Graduate Education, pp. 23-4., available online: file://homes.surrey.ac.uk/home/Electronic%20Doctoral%20Theses%20in%20the%20UK.pdf [Last Accessed 10 February 2016]; University of the West of England (2012) ‘Publisher positions on e-theses and prior publication’, available online: file://homes.surrey.ac.uk/home/publisher-pre-pub-guidance.pdf [Last Accessed 10 February 2016]; and Ramirez, M. L., et al. (2013) ‘Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?: Findings from a 2011 Survey of Academic Publishers’, College & Research Libraries, vol. 74(4), pp. 368-380.

[4] The respondent requested anonymity.


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Every person is unique; but when it comes to names, some of us may be less unique than others.

If, for example, you are called T. Smith, or C. Wang, others will have a hard time identifying you as the author of a particular publication. It is also likely that your name will get mixed up with other authors with similar names, leading to missed citations.

Even if you do have a distinctive name, it is still not guaranteed that others will be able to find and cite your work correctly. It is very common to be inconsistent in how we cite our own names in different publications: typos, spelling variations, and inconsistencies in whether we use middle initials or special characters will all increase uncertainty about our identity. You may ‘know thyself’, but others don’t; not necessarily.

Claiming your identity with ORCID

ORCID, the Open Research Contributor ID, offers you a permanent digital identifier that groups together all variants of your name – or previous names you may have used. By linking your unique ORCID number to all your publications, as well as other contributions like datasets, patents, projects, arts outputs and media stories, you make sure that all your publications and research activities are attributed to you.

Reducing multiple data entries

Entering the same data over and over again in different systems is the bane of a researcher’s existence. ORCID has begun to automate a lot of your admin jobs:  you can use your ORCID ID to link to other systems, including those maintained by some funders and publishers. Major publishers including Wiley, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and Springer can now integrate ORCID numbers into the manuscript submission process, saving you time completing submission forms.  Funding bodies have also started implementing ORCID, with Research Councils UK ready to integrate with ORCID early this year. ResearchFish has also become an ORCID member, meaning that, once the integration is in place, you should be able to just provide the ORCID to auto-populate publications lists and other reporting information.

Since its launch in 2012, ORCID has been widely adopted. Figshare, SSRN and the Web of Science are among the many services now integrated with ORCID. This allows you to share information between systems, without having to enter the same information again.

How does it work?

Registration is free and takes about half a minute.  To register, visit the ORCID registration page  http://orcid.org/ and enter a few details about yourself. You will then be assigned an ORCID ID, which looks something like this: 0000-0000-1234-5678. The ORCID registry also offers you an ORCID profile, e.g. http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5651-4754, where you can:

  • Add variants of your name and previous affiliations to this ID.
  • Link your ORCID to other publications and other contributions, including data sets and grants.
  • Link your ORCID to other identifiers like ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID.

Your ORCID number and profile is unique, permanent, and belongs to you, not your institution. It follows you throughout your career even if you change affiliations. Using privacy settings, you can choose what information held in your ORCID profile is visible to the public.

Supporting ORCID at Surrey

The University has been looking into ways to implement ORCIDs for all researchers.  In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to register and maintain an ORCID profile directly at http://orcid.org/. Please contact sriopenaccess@surrey.ac.uk if you need more information.

The full benefits of ORCID for researchers and research communication at large become more evident as it is more widely adopted.

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In October, Springer announced a new Open Access agreement for UK institutions: Springer Compact. This pilot scheme aims to remove the double payment by institutions to publishers, often referred to as ‘double-dipping’.

Many publishers now offer a ‘hybrid’ OA model, which requires institutions to purchase subscriptions to journals, but then also to pay Article Processing Charges to make individual papers available open access in those same journals. Therefore institutions are paying to make their own research available as open access but then also buying this research again as part of their subscriptions.

Springer Compact seeks to rectify this by combining subscription costs and open access fees into a single annual payment. This radical move will see papers automatically made available via the Gold route if the lead author’s institution subscribes to the journal that the paper is due to be published in. Springer hope that this will allow a far greater amount of research to be made available open access, and will reduce the administration time for processing such requests.

The University of Surrey Library has signed up to the pilot scheme which will run until December 2018. To take advantage of Springer Compact at the University of Surrey:

  • Make sure that the article is to be published in an eligible Open Choice journal
  • Ensure that the corresponding author is at the University of Surrey – use your institutional email address
  • Publish an Original Paper or Review Paper

Once an article has been accepted and recognised as being eligible for Springer Compact, the SRI Open Access team will be asked to verify that the lead author is at the University of Surrey. Once this has been done the paper will be automatically made available open access on publication.


Useful links:

‘Open access agreement for UK authors’ http://www.springer.com/gp/open-access/springer-open-choice/for-uk-authors-intro/731990


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SRI recently interviewed Dr Christopher Wiley who is Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching in the School of Arts. His interview provides a fascinating insight into his broad areas of research – with mentions of Michael Jackson, Les Miserables and Frozen. Read more of Dr Wiley’s work on the SRI open access repository http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/view/creators/Wiley,_C.html or follow him on Twitter @Chris_Wiley

In your chapter ‘Putting the Music Back into Michael Jackson Studies’, you discuss the implications of an audience’s knowledge of an artist’s biography altering their perception of the artist’s work. Could you explain how and why this occurs?

My work on Michael Jackson was borne of my wider interest in musical biography (the subject of my doctoral dissertation), which examines how biographies can reveal much information about the values and preoccupations of the authors who wrote them and the reading communities for which they were produced. In much the same way, it is inevitable that a reader – or listener, or viewer – will bring their pre-existing knowledge of an artist’s biography to bear on their interpretation of that artist’s output. How can we not think of the controversies surrounding Jackson’s fading skin pigmentation when we hear him sing ‘it don’t matter if you’re black or white’, or of those serious allegations (never proven) of child sex crimes when we see children prominent in his music videos? One facet of my research on musical biography investigates the relationship between a subject’s life and their works, and that’s the reason I was drawn to studying Jackson in the first place: it would be difficult to name an artist whose output is more widely consumed, and whose biography (including its highly controversial aspects) is more widely known.

As an academic who researches and teaches music, do you feel a responsibility to bring the focus back to the musical output of artists who may have had a controversial past or led an unconventional lifestyle?

Without wishing to overlook or obfuscate the seriousness of some of the controversies with which artists have been associated, I do believe that researchers have a responsibility to contribute to public discourses according to their disciplinary specialisms – for instance, in my case, shedding some uniquely musicological light on Jackson’s musical output where little previously existed. Given the research-led nature of much university teaching, mine was a study that benefited from being cultivated in the crucible of the classroom; and one of the most thought-provoking challenges I have ever received came from a student who remarked that claims about academia’s social responsibility may be well-meaning, but they are compromised by the extent to which views set forth in scholarly monographs reach widespread public audiences in reality. It was truly heartening to be able to respond that in the new era of open access, academic research is more widely disseminated than ever before – and that my article on Jackson was freely available online. It is even more reassuring to be able to track downloads and confirm that others are indeed engaging with my work!

Your range of research is very broad, covering Music for Television, Musical Theatre, Historical Musicology, and many other subjects. Could you tell us about a particularly innovative or interesting way you have seen music used either by a director or performer during your research?

I’m teaching a class on Musical Theatre at the moment, and several recent examples of innovative or interesting uses of music spring immediately to mind. In the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables, director Tom Hooper opted to record the cast’s singing live during filming wherever possible. While this was by no means the first time ever that live vocals on film had been attempted, the sheer scope of activity of the film’s sound department, coupled to the use of live piano accompaniment on set, meant that Les Misérables broke much new ground. I remember seeing the film at the cinema on the day of the première and thinking that the sense it gave of the actors’ physicality – that the characters onscreen were genuinely singing – could be extraordinarily persuasive. Let’s hope that others will follow Hooper’s lead in future film productions of musical theatre works.

The world of musical film has also recently been taken by storm by Disney’s Frozen, and particularly by the ubiquitous song ‘Let It Go’ – a subject on which I contributed expert comment to an article published last December in The Telegraph. Disney seemed to dominate the arena of film song in the early 1990s and it would be great to think that Frozen might herald a return to the era that saw Disney receive five Academy Awards for Best Original Song in the space of seven years between The Little Mermaid and Pocahontas. Finally, I might mention Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revolutionary adoption of the television talent discovery show format as a means of casting principals for revivals of shows including The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Some of my thoughts on that fascinating phenomenon are already available on Surrey Research Insight.

Would you be able to tell us what you are currently researching?

You’ve already mentioned the broad-ranging nature of my research activity, so it may not altogether come as a surprise when I say that I’m currently working on two projects in completely different areas! One is an essay on eighteenth-century literature, focussing on aspects of the role played by music the early novels of Samuel Richardson and Frances Burney, together with a glimpse forward to Jane Austen’s works of fiction. The other is a journal article on student evaluation of teaching, which seeks to establish students’ perspectives on the standardised module evaluation surveys that have become prevalent at many UK universities in recent years. In the medium term I’m also preparing a monograph on musical biography, focussing on the original incarnation of the renowned Master Musicians biographical series, so I remain very much active within my primary area of research specialism as well.

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From 2017 publications will need to be OA immediately, no embargo period allowed!


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Open Access Policy

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to information sharing and transparency. We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated. We have adopted an Open Access policy that enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation, including any underlying data sets.

As of January 1, 2015 our Open Access policy will be effective for all new agreements. During a two-year transition period, publishers will be permitted to apply up to a 12 month embargo period on the accessibility of the publication and its underlying data sets. This embargo period will no longer be allowed after January 1, 2017.

Our Open Access policy contains the following elements:

  1. Publications Are Discoverable and Accessible Online. Publications will be deposited in a specified repository(s) with proper tagging of metadata.
  1. Publication Will Be On “Open Access” Terms. All publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/> (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required.
  1. Foundation Will Pay Necessary Fees. The foundation would pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms.
  1. Publications Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. All publications shall be available immediately upon their publication, without any embargo period. An embargo period is the period during which the publisher will require a subscription or the payment of a fee to gain access to the publication. We are, however, providing a transition period of up to two years from the effective date of the policy (or until January 1, 2017). During the transition period, the foundation will allow publications in journals that provide up to a 12-month embargo period.
  1. Data Underlying Published Research Results Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. The foundation will require that data underlying the published research results be immediately accessible and open. This too is subject to the transition period and a 12-month embargo may be applied.

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1. You are a veterinary surgeon and anatomist, with a wide range of research interests and publications, in particular in the areas of research methods (3-D technologies), comparative anatomy, neuropathology and ageing. Can you tell us how you became interested in veterinary medicine and how you developed these interests?

I was first interested in the surgical aspect of Veterinary Medicine and had my degree in Veterinary Medicine back in 1991. During the under-graduate course I became very interested in Veterinary Anatomy and that is why, after I graduated, I did Master and PhD specifically in Veterinary Anatomy. Subsequently, I was invited to be a Research Fellow for University College London (UCL) for two years and that was the time when I got interested in 3-D technologies applied for Quantitative Microscopy (or Stereology) which I have been implementing for the past 12 years.

In total, I have been teaching Veterinary Anatomy for the past 22 years and using and implementing 3-D technologies for Microscopy for the past 12 years.

2. Your recently published the article Stereological and Allometric Studies on Neurons and Axo-Dendritic Synapses in Superior Cervical Ganglia which reviews existing findings on the structure of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) in a wide range of mammals. How important is comparative anatomy in understanding and driving future research in pathology and ageing?

The Superior Cervical Ganglion (SCG) is a sympathetic ganglion located in the proximal part of the neck. In mammals, the SCG provides sympathetic innervation to the head and neck as well as to the mandible, submandibular and pineal glands, cephalic blood vessels, choroid plexus, eye, carotid body, salivary and thyroid glands. Removal of SCG brings about several neuroendocrine dysfunctions in mammals, including the disruption of water balance in pituitary stalk-sectioned rats and the alteration of the normal photoperiodic control of reproduction in hamsters, ferrets, voles, rams and goats.

Better understanding of the autonomic nervous system could prove vital in improving early diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, including stroke, epilepsy and the peripheral form of Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It could also have an impact on our understanding of how ageing affects other parts of the body.vet1

3.Can you briefly explain the latest technologies help us visualise and understand the nervous system at the synaptic level? What can we learn from these methods?

There is a startling difference between 2-D methods for quantitative microscopy, the so-called morphometry, and Stereology.

Stereology is a state-of-the-art and more accurate and precise approach, which elicits more robust and reliable results. Stereology methods use 3-D spatial sampling and we can estimate total cell numbers (and not only number of cell profiles in a known area as morphometry does) and we can also access the real size of a cell which is expressed by its volume and not by its area as 2-D methods provide.

4.You are a surgeon as well as a researcher. How do other practitioners benefit from your findings? Are they able to access your research if they are not at a University themselves?

I am an academic conducting Teaching and Research. Our research is very clinically-oriented and we hope that our colleagues working in Veterinary practices will start to understand the vital roles the autonomic nervous system (and mainly SCG) plays in neurological disorders affecting animals. The findings of our paper are available on Open Access repository and our colleagues and the public in general can always contact me at a.coppi@surrey.ac.uk to discuss this further.

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The University has long been committed to making our research highly visible, openly accessible and widely disseminated. In 2005 we set up the University of Surrey’s Open Access repository followed by a policy supporting the deposit of peer-reviewed literature into this shared service.
Today our open access repository, now known as Surrey Research Insight Open Access (SRI Open Access), is growing rapidly in size. New items from every active area of research at Surrey—journal articles, published proceedings, book chapters, monographs—are being added every week.
We have seen over 1.3 million downloads of our research from over 200 countries. Open Access helps us reach new audiences worldwide and in doing so strengthens the recognition of our research, scholarship and staff achievements, and leads to higher citation rates of our publications.
There are now over 1,100 University of Surrey PhD theses available for immediate download from the British Library. These titles have been digitised on demand from researchers worldwide to access the excellent work our research graduates generate.
On the occasion of this year’s International Open Access week, I would like to highlight Surrey’s continuous commitment to open scholarly communication. In line with the rapid developments in publishing models, we will continue supporting our researchers in making the most informed and sustainable choices to maximise the visibility and impact of their research.

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden

We have spoken with Professor Susan Lanham-New from the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, Dr Emanuala Todeva from Surrey Business School and Dr Adrian Coyle from the School of Psychology about the impact open access has had on their research, while Professor Jim Al-Khalili discusses open access in the context of science communication.

Susan Lanham-New
Open Access Week Interview with Professor Susan Lanham-New

Dr Emanuela Todeva
Open Access Week Interview with Dr Emanuela Todeva

Dr Adrian Coyle
Open Access Week Interview with Dr Adrian Coyle

Professor Jim Al-Khalili
Open Access Week Interview with Professor Jim Al-Khalili

Professor Michael Kearney
Open Access Week Interview with Professor Michael Kearney

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