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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Archive for the ‘Open Access news’ Category

Open Access events

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Open Access week (20-26 October) is coming up!

To highlight Open Access the Open Access Steering Group (Library and RKE) is organising a series of lively Open Access information sessions and debates taking place across the University in October as follows:

16th October, Open Access in the Humanities, 12 – 2pm in Geoffrey Manton

Includes talks from MMU Professor Cathy Urquhart, Dr. Frances Pinter (Manchester University Press) and Dr. Martin Eve (Open Library of Humanities) as well as a “tradeshow” with representatives from Open Access publishers. Book tickets at:

22nd October, Open Conversations, 12-1.30pm in MMU’s Special Collections

A light-hearted and provocative exploration of different perspectives on Open Access. Speakers include MMU’s Dr. Sam Illingworth, Professor Cathy Urquhart, Ruth Jenkins and Rob Johnson (Director of Research Consulting and lead of a national project on costs associated with Open Access). Book tickets at:

24th October, RKE Social “Open All Hours”, 4 – 5.30pm in MMU’s Special Collections

Join the RKE team at their regular end of the month networking session. Join MMU’s Sam Illingworth, Mary Pickstone and Jayne Burgess who will talk you through their perspectives on Open Access. Book tickets at:

Please join us to find out more and engage with the debate.

Open Access

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

I seem to have spent quite a lot of this academic year reading, writing, hearing about, discussing and debating Open Access with colleagues both in MMU and externally at meetings and conferences.  The outcome of much of this discussion has been consolidated into an excellent guide put together by my colleague David Jenkins which you can browse here: and via the library website.

I also wrote a series of blogs back in the Spring for the Research and Knowledge Exchange blog.  Here are the links in case you would like to have a look at, or revisit, them:

Blog 1: what is OA?:

Blog 2: different types of OA:

Blog 3: advantages and disadvantages of OA:

Blog 4: MMU’s response to OA:


Please get in touch if you would like me to come and share any of this with your Department or research group.

Wellcome Library: Opening doors to easy access…

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Today we’ve made two changes to our access procedures that will open the door even wider to our online archives and website features.

You no longer need to register to access the majority of our digitised archives – approximately 30,000 items. Archives and manuscripts under 100 years old, along with older archives now simply require you to accept our terms and conditions.

We used to ask you to register with us to gain access to the online archives and manuscripts which are under 100 years old, in order to preserve the duty of care we have towards the people who created them and are described within them.

The numbers show that many of you preferred to not register with us, and so missed out on many of our more recent archives. So we’ve done away with the registration requirement. Now all you need to do is to accept our terms and conditions of use to go straight through to the online digitised material. Some sensitive archives and manuscripts remain closed at the request of depositors or for legal reasons.

[Source Wellcome Library blog: ]

Unlocking chemistry: it’s time to make the subject as open as bioscience

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge, in a blog on the Guardian Higher Education Network, says: “Now that millions of patented compounds are open information, chemistry has a chance to catch up.”

“The conventional business model for chemical information has been to collect it, enhance it, then charge for access. This started with the visionary Friedrich Konrad Beilstein who founded the famous Handbuch der organischen Chemie (Handbook of Organic Chemistry). The first edition, published in 1881, covered 1,500 compounds in 2,200 pages.” 

“Now there are tens of millions of compounds electronically abstracted from research literature in great detail, but most are behind paywalls. The closed access model increasingly frustrates the community. In the internet era, citizens – not just practising scientists – want to develop new ways of using information: mashups, linked data, apps, new displays and more.” 

To read more, go to:

[Source Guardian Higher Education Network as above]

E-conservation magazine becomes e-conservation journal

Monday, December 9th, 2013

“E-conservation magazine, which has been in operation since 2007 as an online, open-access, magazine dealing with conservation issues, has recently made the move to a more formal scientific journal, in partnership with Laboratorio Hercules at the University of Evora, Portugal.”

“The first issue of e-conservation journal (issue 1, autumn 2013) has just been released, and is available to download at the following link:

[Source heritage Portal: ]

First Wellcome Trust open access book charts the increase in serious fungal disease in Britain and the USA

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Fungal Disease in Britain and the United States 1850-2000, written by Dr Aya Homei and Professor Michael Worboys from the University of Manchester, is the first research monograph to be made open access under an extension of the Wellcome Trust’s open access policy. The book is also the first open access book from academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan.”

“The book charts the history of fungal infections over the course of last century. It examines how some types of infection – for example, invasive aspergillosis and systemic candidiasis – became more prevalent and serious.”

“The authors highlight that these infections mostly affect people who have benefited from medical advances, such as antibiotic treatment and transplantation, and those with conditions affecting immunity. By contrast, minor, chronic and mostly external fungal infections (e.g. ringworm and athlete’s foot) have remained common, but better controlled by antifungal medication.”

Fungal Disease in Britain and the United States 1850-2000 is published by Palgrave Macmillan under a CC-BY license and is now available for free in all main digital formats, via Palgrave Connect and major online retailers.”

To access the book go to:

[Source Wellcome Trust news: ]

Implementing the recommendations of the Finch report

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: A Review of Progress in Implementing the Recommendations of the Finch Report

“The Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings – the Finch Group – has [as its final act] published a review of progress in implementing the recommendations of its original Report which was published in June 2012. That original Report  – Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: how to expand access to research publications  – recommended a series of measures to accelerate and manage a transition to open access (OA) over an extended period that would be characterised by a mixed economy that would provide OA via a variety of routes, along with extensions to current licensing arrangements.”

“The review is based on a rigorous analysis of evidence from a wide range of sources. It finds that research funders, universities, libraries, learned societies and publishers have all made substantial moves to facilitate and promote the transition to the kind of mixed economy we advocated. The policy positions adopted by the Government, Research Councils UK, and the UK Funding Bodies – and the responses to those policies from universities, publishers and learned societies – mean that there is now real momentum behind the moves to OA across all parts of the scholarly communications system.”

To read the report go to:

[Source Research Information Network (RIN): ]

British Academy’s vice-president for publications discusses the challenges of open access policies

Monday, November 4th, 2013

“The British Academy [has announced] a new research project looking at the impact of open access policies on academic publishing, particularly focusing on humanities and social sciences (HSS). The research looks at three areas:

  • The half-lives of journals, discipline by discipline.
  • The degree to which different disciplines are involved in no-UK journal publishing, and the degree to which different countries are committed to moves towards open access in different disciplines.
  • The effect that different embargo periods would have on library acquisition policies.”

“The research is funded by HEFCE but independently managed by the Academy. The results of the research are expected to be available in early 2014, and will be used to inform Academy advice to HEFCE on how to pursue the implementation of open access in the post-2014 REF.”

“Professor Chris Wickham, [the British Academy’s] vice-president for publications, [also] discusses the challenges of open access policies in a new video:

[Source British Academy news: ]

Wellcome Library launches open access fund for Library users

Monday, November 4th, 2013

“The Wellcome Library [has] launched an open access fund to enable users to publish their papers, monographs and book chapters in open access form.”

“Anyone with peer-reviewed work accepted for publication that draws significantly on the Library’s collections is eligible, if they do not already have access to funds to make their publication open access.”

“The work of researchers who use the Wellcome Library collections is as diverse as the Library’s contents, which range from ancient Egyptian papyrus prescriptions to the latest digital biomedical images and together make up the one of the world’s most comprehensive resources for the history of health and medicine. Too often, however, authors simply do not have the means to share their research with the widest possible readership.”

“Publications made open access through this fund will be deposited in Europe PubMed Central, which receives 35 000 daily visitors. Open access research can be freely read by anyone, is disseminated further and is downloaded more frequently. By covering the publication costs, the Library will allow many researchers of the history of medicine to find new audiences for their work.”

“The Wellcome Library is part of the Wellcome Trust, which has required its grantholders to make their research papers open access since 2005. This policy has recently been widened to include monographs and book chapters. The Wellcome Library Open Access fund is a voluntary scheme that stems from the same set of ideals, extending the commitment of the Trust to open access and the free circulation of knowledge and ideas.”

[Source Wellcome Trust news: ]

UK Data Service supports Open Access Week

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Open Access Week “highlights the potential benefits of Open Access and Open Data, particularly as an important method of supporting and stimulating the knowledge economy.”

“The UK Data Service is involved in the movement toward Open Access in the data environment, providing a number of datasets without registration or authentication and plans to make more of its open licence data available as Open Access in the future.”

“Data currently available at the UK Data Service without registration or authentication include:

  • World Banks World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, Africa Development Indicators openly available to all at UKDS.Stat
  • Unrestricted Access Teaching Datasets: ONS Opinions Survey, Well-Being Module, April 2011, Living Costs and Food Survey, 2010, Quarterly Labour Force Survey, January – March, 2011”

“In support of Open Access Week, the UK Data Service is adding an open access area to its website, intended to draw attention to data that is available to anyone without restriction.”

[Source UK Data Service news: ]

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