Last week the Wellcome Trust has published information highlighting how much money it has contributed towards article processing charges (APC) in the 2013-14 year. The details indicate that around £4.7 million was spent on making 2556 articles open access, with an average APC payment costing £1837. The data goes further to compare the number of articles published in fully open access journals or hybrid journals, i.e. journals which require a subscription but offer paid open access for single papers.

Robert Kiley’s analysis (See table below) emphasises that there is a continued preference for papers to be published in the traditional hybrid journals, rather than the fully open access journals. He implies that this trend may prove difficult to break due to the pressures on many academics to ensure that their work is published in high impact journals.

Wellcome Table 2

The Wellcome Trust’s blog also explores the problems of the significant difference between individual APC costs in fully open access journals and those which are subscription based. Wellcome’s data shows that the average APC payment in Elsevier journals was £2930, which is £1816 higher than the average cost in PLOS, a fully open access publisher. This may seem troubling as hybrid publishers are simultaneously generating income through subscriptions. The blog notes with interest that FWF, the Austrian Science Fund, has recently imposed a price cap on the APC of hybrid articles, as an attempt to control the ineffectiveness of the hybrid market. We can only wait to see if this is enough to influence both the author’s view towards open access publishing and the publisher’s own prices.

Additionally, Kilney discusses that it can be difficult to monitor whether publishers are complying properly with the Wellcome Guidelines, noting that 13% of APC papers were not available on PubMed Central, although some of these may be made available once the final, published version is produced. He estimates that this equates to around £480,000 of funded APC money! Therefore, Kilney states that in the future this compliance to deposit OA papers in PMC must be addressed as a priority.

I feel that the Wellcome Trust’s report is particularly useful in clearly exposing the discrepancies in APC costs across publishers, and the apparent differences in author attitude and behaviour towards fully open access and hybrid journals, which will hopefully influence a fairer system of funded open access publishing in the future. Similarly, it is useful in identifying the possible issues around compliance and depositing which will need focusing on in the future.



FWF, New Policy for Open Access and Publication Costs, < https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/news-and-media-relations/news/detail/nid/20141219-2097/> [accessed 04/03/2015]

Robert Kiley, The Reckoning: An Analysis of Wellcome Trust Open Access Spend 2013-14, <http://blog.wellcome.ac.uk/2015/03/03/the-reckoning-an-analysis-of-wellcome-trust-open-access-spend-2013-14/>[accessed 04/03/2015]



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.


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.


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

Six UK medical research charities have joined together to create a new fund, the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), which will be available from October this year, to researchers funded by any of these charities, and based at one of 36 universities. Eligible researchers will be able to apply to have their Article Processing Charge (APC) paid by this fund, to make their research immediately open access.
For more information about this two year pilot scheme, please click on the links below.

The six research charities involved are: Arthritis Research UK; Breast Cancer Campaign; British Heart Foundation (BHF); Cancer Research UK; Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research; and the Wellcome Trust.

New plans for a ‘green’ open access China

A huge drive towards open access publishing in China will mean that most of the country’s top research papers will have to be freely accessible within a year of publication. The policy also sees China backing ‘green’ open access, where papers are archived in publicly accessible databases or repositories after a set period of time, rather than paying the journal to make the article available immediately, known as ‘gold’ open access.

In 2012, Chinese scientists published 186,577 papers in journals indexed by Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index (SCI) database, accounting for 13.9% of the world’s scientific output. More than 100,000 of these were funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) scientists published 18,000 SCI papers in 2012. In the same year, another 500,000 papers were published in domestic science and technology journals, mostly in Chinese.

 Currently, most top research conducted by Chinese scientists is published in international journals, making it inaccessible to many domestic researchers. This move sends to Chinese researchers a message in line with funders in other countries. The new policy is not expected to affect China’s own publishing industry however as most journals are subsidised by the government or research institutions.

 The policy’s launch conference was told that open access is an obligation and responsibility of scientists that will promote innovation around the world.

 Read the article:






Dr Aliah Shaheen obtained her BEng degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Birmingham in 2006 and her PhD from Imperial College London in 2010.

Her PhD focused on developing methods for accurate tracking of scapular movement in-vivo. Following her PhD, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the same institution investigating the efficacy of physiotherapeutic rehabilitation techniques of the shoulder in people suffering from shoulder impingement.She joined the University of Surrey in July 2011 as a lecturer in Human Movement Analysis.

In this latest interview for the SRI Talks to Series we talked to Aliah about Human Movement Science , her paper on Scapular taping (found here: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/804175/) as well as a joint project Aliah is undertaking with Khim Horton and Jennifer Jackson examining the effects of ballet and ageing on movement control. We conclude with a discussion of Aliah’s current research and we want to thank her for giving us a very interesting glimpse into her work and research. 


1: You are a lecturer in “Human Movement Science” how would you describe this subject to a member of the public?

 Human Movement Science is a field that encompasses all aspects of studying human movement; including how the movement is learnt, performed, improved and recovered.

The Human Movement Science has applications in many fields. From a clinical point of view, understanding how the movement is affected by pathologies or injuries that affect the brain, muscles or bones can unlock important information about the underlying causes of these conditions. Another aspect of Human Movement study is it allows us to devise effective rehabilitation plans, to evaluate treatments and surgical procedures and to design joint implants and artificial limbs that best mimic the natural human movement. In sports, understanding how the body moves allows you to improve training and technique as well as to reduce the risks of developing injuries. It is due to advancements in our understanding of the human body and its movement that modern athletes are able to run faster,  jump higher and set new records.

But these are not the only applications; analysing human movement is also used in other fields such as ergonomics, arts and animations.   


2: You have written an article on Scapular taping “Scapular taping alters kinematics in asymptomatic subjects”. Could you tell us what Scapular taping is and what is the impact of your findings for people who perform repetitive movements with their shoulders, e.g. swimmers, tennis players, and for professionals who are involved in their medical well-being?

Taping of joints and muscles has been gaining popularity in recent years; this trend is more than likely helped by the many athletes who have been seen with various applications of the coloured tape in recent years. Serena Williams, David Beckham Novak Djokovic and Mario Balotelli have all joined in on the trend. The use of taping, however, is not recent. Non-stretch (rigid) tape has been used for years in the clinic in combination with other rehabilitation techniques.

Interestingly, despite the extensive use of taping in the clinic and in sports, little is known about its effect on movement and there is a general lack of evidence for its effectiveness in relation to the shoulder joint. There are a number of reasons for this; one reason is because, despite the long list of claims of the tape manufacturing bodies, we still do not fully understand what taping actually does. Secondly, because we do not have a complete understanding of how the healthy shoulder moves due to the complexity of its anatomy.   

Scapular taping simply refers to taping that is applied on the shoulder with the aim of correcting the shoulder blade (scapula) movement. The study investigated the effect of taping on shoulder movement and in particular shoulder blade movement in a group of subjects that had healthy shoulders. The results showed that taping did alter the movement of the scapula in a direction that would be of benefit for patients that suffer from a shoulder condition called shoulder impingement syndrome. The condition is particularly prevalent in athletes that use their shoulders repeatedly in an overhead position, such as tennis players, swimmers and baseball players. Interestingly, these athletes often use taping as part of an injury prevention strategy and the results provide some evidence for its use for that purpose. However, a lot of research still needs to be done to allow us to fully evaluate the effectiveness of taping in prevention or treatment.


3: You are currently involved in a joint project with Khim Horton and Jennifer Jackson examining the effects of ballet and aging on movement control, can you tell us your aims and initial findings?

The MILES-funded project was a result of discussions with Khim Horton in Social Care and Jennifer Jackson in Arts about the use of ballet principles in an exercise programme for older people in a similar way that tai chi is used in exercise programmes for older people to reduce incidence of falls.

The aims of the project were to look at the effects ballet practice on balance and risk of falling in older people, and to look at the effect of ageing on balance and movement in ballet dancers. We conducted two parallel studies where we looked at differences in balance and movement parameters between older ballet dancers and older non-dancers and a second study looked at the differences between young and older ballet dancers.

The results showed that older ballet dancers performed much better than older non-dancers in movement activities, such as walking across the room. But they did worse on measurements of balance. Interestingly, older dancers performed to the same level of young dancers in most of the measured parameters. The results of this study will form the basis for a future collaboration with Khim Horton and Jennifer Jackson that will look into the feasibility and effectiveness of using an exercise programme based on ballet principles for older people to improve their movement control and subsequently reduce their risk of falling.


4: Finally could you tell us about your current research?

In general terms, my research employs experimental and computational methods in biomechanics to address clinical questions. I work closely with clinical partners to identify the underlying causes of pathologies, improve the efficacy of treatments and provide clinical tools for the assessment, diagnosis and classification of musculoskeletal problems. My current research is mainly focussed on application of these tools in upper-limb and shoulder problems, amputee gait and the ageing population.

More specifically, I am interested in the concept of movement variability and coordination of body joints and what role they play in musculoskeletal function. I am interested in using our understanding of this biomechanical concept in optimising and restoring function.