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Posts Tagged ‘HEFCE’

The blog post, ‘The Scientists encouraging online piracy with a secret codeword’ featured on the BBC this week has raised a number of pertinent points about access to research, and the restrictions imposed under current publishing models. The post discusses how researchers are harnessing social media to locate and illegally distribute copyrighted materials, which may be part of paid subscriptions. As the article states, this approach plays upon the well-known ‘I can haz’ meme, placing the issues of open access firmly within modern social culture. Similarly, the post below was recently spotted on the popular FML website, again highlighting that the issues surrounding open access are becoming embedded in popular culture, and are becoming a source of casual amusement.

FML OA image

However, in spite of the cute cat references the distribution, or pirating of articles in this way poses many legal and moral questions. In contrast, initiatives such as the Open Access Button help users to locate free, and legal, copies of papers via repositories, authors websites and ultimately by contacting the author of each paper. The OA Button is run by student volunteers and is not an ideal solution to such a large problem, but it does emphasise and promote the need to make papers and research available as open access in a fair way, rather than subversively bypassing publishers.

We may hope that the introduction of HEFCE’s open access policy for the next REF in April 2016  may increase the number of articles which are available via open access. Unfortunately this seems to be far more of the ‘stick’ approach, rather than the ‘carrot’ – and many people may not fully understand the positive implications that open access can have when it becomes a mandatory requirement for UK HE institutions.

The publicity that the BBC’s blog has achieved has helped to show that open access remains a key concern among researchers and that they are willing to adopt potentially unethical methods in order to access pay-walled materials.

By making your research available via the SRI Open Access Repository you ensure that your research can be accessed by anyone in a free and legal way.

For open access support please contact sriopenaccess@surrey.ac.uk or consult our updated Open Access webpages www.surrey.ac.uk/library/research/openaccess

References:

The Scientists encouraging online piracy with a secret codeword, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-34572462 [accessed 21/10/2015]

FML http://www.fmylife.com/ [accessed 11/10/2015]

‘About Us’, Open Access Button, https://openaccessbutton.org/about#how [accessed 21/10/2015]

HEFCE policy http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/year/2014/201407/ [accessed 21/10/2015]

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The Open Access team (SRI) have arranged a number of events 19 – 25 October to mark International Open Access Week and 10 years of Open Access being supported at Surrey. Staff are invited to attend these events to celebrate the University’s successes, to gain insight to recent policy changes, and to ask about all things Open Access.

Introductory Talk with Professor Michael Kearney, Vice-Chancellor
Tuesday 20 October, 12 -1pm in 40AA03

  • What Open Access means For You and the University – Professor Michael Kearney, Vice-Chancellor
  • How the Library has been Supporting Open Access – Caroline Rock, Director of Library and Learning Support Services
  • HEFCE Open Access Requirements for REF – Jennifer McCafferty, Research and Enterprise Support

The Open Access team (SRI) will also be available to discuss any queries staff may have regarding Open Access.

If you would like to attend the talk, please email sriopenaccess@surrey.ac.uk so the team can get an idea of numbers.

Drop-in Sessions

During the week, the Open Access team will also be running drop-in sessions for each of the faculties:

  • FHMS – Wednesday 21 October, Duke of Kent Foyer, 11am – 1pm.
  • FASS – Thursday 22 October, Entrance of Lakeside Coffee Shop, 11am – 1pm.
  • FEPS – Friday 23 October, 13BB04, 11am – 1pm.

No need to register for these sessions, just turn up!

The Open Access team look forward to seeing you there.

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ResearchGate and Copyright

ResearchGate is an online network for academic researchers, particularly focused on the sciences. It allows you to connect with colleagues, share research interests, ask questions and provide answers to research problems. The platform also offers the opportunity to upload copies of your papers. Rogers (2015) estimates that by February 2015 around 80% of ResearchGate users had uploaded at least one full text to the site. Whilst this is an excellent way to gain visibility and promote your research, it may lead to problems with the copyright policies of publishers.

If you use ResearchGate, you must take care to check which version of your work you are permitted to upload, and whether it can be uploaded at the time of publication or if an embargo must be applied. It is vital to consult your publishing agreement prior to uploading a text on ResearchGate, as different publishers allow different versions of academic papers to be uploaded to repositories and author websites: the author’s pre-print, the author’s accepted version, or the published version.

If publishers become aware that an incorrect version is being shared or an embargo is not applied then they are likely to issue take down notices or even sue authors for breach of copyright.

To get the most out of ResearchGate without risking a breach of copyright, please read the Copyright Transfer Agreement or licence that you signed to see how you are allowed to share your paper.  You can also check open access policies on the journal’s website, or by using Sherpa Romeo, a site that allows you to search for policies by journal title or ISSN. However, it is important to remember that these are only a guide: your own copyright agreement is the definitive source of information.

Getting help on copyright

The SRI team can give you further advice on copyright. Please note that we do not perform copyright checks on papers that are uploaded in ResearchGate. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are in line with your journal’s policy.

We do, however, monitor the content of the SRI Open Access repository, and offer detailed advice on what can be posted there. Please also note that SRI Open Access supports compliance with the next REF: ResearchGate does not. HEFCE does not consider that you are complying with their Open Access policy if you deposit your papers in websites like ReseachGate or Academia.edu.

Useful links

Surrey Research Insight: The University of Surrey’s Open Access Repository

SRI Open Access: Information about Open Access provided by the University of Surrey’s Open Access Team

Sherpa Romeo: This allows you to easily search for journals to consult their open access posting policies.

References:

Rogers (2015) How do scientists share on academic social networks like ResearchGate? http://blog.sciencebite.com/how-do-scientists-share-on-academic-social-networks-like-researchgate/ [accessed 19/06/2015]

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