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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University


Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

PeerJ is an open access, online publication that includes two peer-reviewed journals as well as a “preprint server” called PeerJ Preprints. The two journals are PeerJ, a journal of biology and medicine, and PeerJ Computer Science. A large, international team of expert scholars edits both journals, and new articles are published frequently. Visitors can browse for past articles by a number of Subject pages (e.g. Animal Behavior, Marine Biology, Virology) or conduct a search to find research of interest. Meanwhile, PeerJ Preprints allows users to submit a draft or abstract for unpublished articles or posters in order to share recent research or get feedback. While this unique section of PeerJ may appeal to certain science researchers and graduate students, the two peer-reviewed journals will be of interest to a broader community of scholars and students alike. [MMB]”

[Source Scout Report, 20 Jan, 2017: ]

Jcom: Journal Of Science Communication

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“JCOM, the Journal of Science Communication, is an open-access journal dedicated to exploring the many sides of science communication. As the editors explain, they are interested in “importance of communicative processes into science’s development and the dynamics of contemporary knowledge societies.” This includes issues examining how scientists – as well as journalists and government/NGO officials – communicate scientific developments to the public, exploring interdisciplinary work between scientists and experts of other disciplines, and examining how members of the general public engage with science. Published quarterly since 2002, each issue of the journal includes a number of articles relating to a particular theme, accompanied by an editorial. JCOM content also includes Book Reviews, Essays, and shorter Comments. Recent issues have explored the theme of trust in science communication and the rising trend of citizen science projects, where members of the general public are invited to participate in research. [MMB]”

To access the journal go to:

[Source Scout Report 14 Oct, 2016: ]

British Art Studies

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“British Art Studies is an online, open access art history journal published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Yale Center for British Art. First released in August 2015, British Art Studies features Articles, Editorials, Conversation Pieces (a feature where the journal invites multiple scholars to respond to a single question or idea), and Look First (a feature that takes advantage of the digital nature of British Art Studies by inviting readers to closely examine a film or piece of art). The publication demonstrates the advantages of the digital form for art journals, at it allows readers to view sketches, paintings, sculptures, and other art in close detail while they read accompanying analyses. For example, an article about John Singer Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose allows readers to view not only close-ups of the painting, but also a number of related images, including an X-radiograph of an unrelated portrait that reveals new insights about Sargent’s artistic technique. [MMB]”

To access the journal go to:

[Source Scout Report 7 Oct, 2016: ]

Open access data – from the UK Data Service

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“It is our explicit long-term goal to work with data owners to identify and remove all unnecessary barriers to access.”

“An increasing number of our datasets are available without registration or authentication using open data licences described in our Data Access Policy. These data are for use with an open licence and are not classified as personal. We are also working to gain open data certification via the Open Data Institute.”

“A number of surveys are available to download immediately without the need to register with the UK Data Service. These are subject to either Open Government or Creative Commons open data licences.”

[Source UK Data Service news: ]

The State of Open Data: figshare report on global trends around open data

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

A survey of 2,000 researchers, conducted by Figshare in partnership with Digital Science and Springer Nature, has shed light on the extent to which researchers are engaging with the open data agenda.

The report, published this week, looked into various aspects of open data, including awareness, researcher perspectives, and incentives around its use.

The key findings of the report include:

  • Around 75% of respondents have already made their data open
  • Almost 70% of researchers value data citation as highly as an article citation; a further 10% value data citations more than an article citation
  • Of those researchers who have never made their data openly accessible, 44% will definitely consider doing so in the future and a further 46% might consider doing so
  • Principal Investigators and Professors consistently responded similarly to Early Career Researchers and PhD students.

However, there are some areas of concern for researchers:

  • 60% of respondents are unsure about how their open data has been licensed and the extent to which is can be reused
  • Under 50% of respondents are confident in citing secondary research data
  • More than half of respondents said that they would welcome more guidance on compliance with funder requirements.

To read the report go to:

[Source Figshare blog: ]


United Nations Report Calls for Open Access to Research to Improve Global Health

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“Last month the United Nations released a report with recommendations on how to improve innovation and access to health technologies. The panel’s charge called for it to ‘recommend solutions for remedying the policy incoherence between the justifiable rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules and public health in the context of health technologies.’”

“Of particular interest are the panel’s suggestions for managing intellectual property generated from publicly-funded research. From the report:

  • Limiting access to academic discoveries can obstruct follow-on innovation and force taxpayers to pay twice for the benefits of publicly-funded research. Strong, enforceable policies on data sharing and data access should be a condition of public grants.
  • Public funders of research must require that knowledge generated from such research be made freely and widely available through publication in peer-reviewed literature and seek broad, online public access to such research.
  • Universities and research institutions that receive public funding should adopt policies and approaches that catalyse innovation and create flexible models of collaboration that advance biomedical research and generate knowledge for the benefit of the public.”

“The recommendations clearly urge funders and universities to implement policies that ensure broad access to research publications and data produced through public grant monies. The policies should include provisions that clearly communicate liberal re-use rights to publications and data (for example by requiring CC BY for published articles and CC0 for datasets). It’s also crucial for the policies to address deposit and hosting options, training for grantees and program officers, and compliance requirements.”

To read the full report go to:

[Source Creative Commons blog: ]

Open Access Articles Grow at Twice the Rate of All Published Research

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“The number of open access (OA) research articles published annually is growing at double the rate of the complete spectrum of research articles — this according to the most recent report from media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information.”

“The report, Open Access Journal Publishing 2016-2020, found that open access already represents about a third of all research articles published when articles completing their embargo periods are included.”

“’The open access evolution is in full swing,’ said Dan Strempel, senior analyst business and professional group at Simba Information. ‘This rate of growth will put a lot of pressure on the prevailing subscription model in the coming years. Publishers who are confident of their OA pricing and costs may increasingly choose to convert established subscription journals to an open access model.’”

Open Access Journal Publishing 2016-2020 provides detailed market information for this segment of scholarly journal publishing. It analyzes trends affecting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2020. The report includes an in-depth review of 10 leading OA publishers, including Springer Nature (including Biomed Central), PLOS, Hindawi, John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier, Frontiers, Wolters Kluwer Medknow and others.”

For more information on the report (unfortunately not Open Access!) go to:

[Source STM Publishing News website: ]

Open Book publishers

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

“At Open Book Publishers we are changing the nature of the traditional academic book. Our books are published in hardback, paperback, pdf and ebook editions, but they also include a free online edition that can be read via our website, downloaded, reused or embedded anywhere. We are proud to say that our free online books are currently being accessed by over 20,000 readers each month in more than 200 countries.”

“In addition, our digital publishing model allows us to extend our books well beyond the printed page. We are creating interactive books, and works that incorporate moving images, links and sound into the fabric of the text. More traditional titles are equipped with digital resources freely available on our website, including extra chapters, reviews, links and image galleries — these can be found on the individual product page for each book.”

“Open Book Publishers, founded in 2008, is already the biggest open access academic publisher of monographs in the UK and amongst the leaders in the English-speaking world. We are now the hub of choice for a rapidly increasing international network of scholars who believe that it is time for academic publishing to become fairer, faster and more accessible.”

To access the resource go to the Database A-Z listing on the MMU Library website:

[Source Open Book publisher’s website: ]

Johnson says UK will pursue gold open access

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

“Universities and science minister Jo Johnson has said that the UK should continue to pursue the gold open-access route ‘where this is realistic and affordable’.”

“Johnson’s comments were made in response to a review of the government’s open-access policies, published on 11 February, which did not recommend any substantial changes to open-access policies in the UK. The review, commissioned by Johnson and carried out by Adam Tickell, chairman of Universities UK’s Open Access Co-ordination Group, said, ‘Gold should still be the preference, but green routes are also important.’ This was in contrast to the influential Finch report, published in 2012, which recommended a strong preference for gold open-access routes.”

“In the report, Tickell said that by April 2017 almost all journal articles published by UK university academics would be available under open-access routes, and estimated that of these 20 per cent will available on the date of publication and without any further restrictions. Such figures are ‘higher than anywhere else in the world’, the report said. This progress, it continued, has been stimulated by clear mandates, and in some cases, financial support from the research councils, the funding councils and major charitable funders. Although Tickell did not recommend major changes, his report set out some suggestions for minor ones. He said that UK open-access policy should strive to offer greater choice to research producers.”

The review and the Minister’s response can be found here:

[Source Research Professional news:  ]

10 years of Open Access at the Wellcome Trust in 10 numbers

Monday, November 9th, 2015

“In October 2005 the Wellcome Trust became the first research funder to introduce a mandatory Open Access policy – requiring that all research outputs which arise from its funding must be made open access as soon as possible and in any event within six months of publication. To celebrate 10 years of open access at the Trust, Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at the Wellcome Library – who has been instrumental in the implementation of this policy over the last decade – provides his personal assessment of key developments in 10 numbers…”

Some of the numbers are:

  • 157 – the number of research funders who now have an open access policy
  • £31m – the amount the Wellcome Trust has spent on open access publishing (so far!)
  • 3,411,755 – the number of free-to-read papers in Europe PubMed Central
  • 20% – the volume of UK-funded research which is freely available at the time of publication
  • 100,000 – the number of views of the Homo naledi article within the first two days of publication in eLife

To read the stories behind these numbers, and find out what the others are, go to:

[Source Wellcome Trust blog as above]