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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Archive for the ‘Open Access news’ Category

Some Open Access resources

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

The aim of the DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books.  It is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access.  The DOAB is a service of the OAPEN Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to Open Access publishing of academic books.

OAPEN Library

OAPEN provides a platform for the full text dissemination of Open Access books and provides services to publishers and libraries. The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences:

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals. It contains over 10,000 journals of which nearly 6,000 are searchable at Article level.

The Directory of Open Access Repositories OpenDOAR

OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories and is one of the SHERPA Services including RoMEO and JULIET, run by the Centre for Research Communcations (CRC) at the University of Nottingham.


Search OAIster to locate and access digital documents held in more than 1100 Open Access repositories. The content includes journal article pre-prints and postprints, research papers, theses, technical reports, image collections, audio files, movies and datasets. MMU’s e-space is among the repositories searched by the service. OAIster is part of WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalogue.

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)

BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library, Germany and is one of the world’s largest search engines for academic open access web resources.

BASE provides more than 60 million documents from more than 3,000 sources. You can access the full text of about 70% of the indexed documents. – an example of a subject repository

ArXiv is the granddaddy of subject repositories going back to the early 1990s.  It gives open access to nearly a million e-prints (electronic pre-prints) in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics.

e-space, MMU’s institutional repository

e-space aims to capture and preserve the intellectual output of Manchester Metropolitan University and make it freely available over the Web creating a showcase for research at MMU.

e-space contains pre-prints (journal articles submitted for peer-review), post-prints (final versions of papers that have gone through the peer-review process and have been accepted for publication), book chapters, working papers and conference presentations.

Open access is not enough on its own – data must be free too

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

“Academics have been encouraged to make their research freely available, but their data also needs to be open to scrutiny.”

“If your research has been funded by the taxpayer, there’s a good chance you’ll be encouraged to publish your results on an open access basis – free at point of publication and with reuse and redistribution rights.”

“This [] article makes publicly available the hypotheses, interpretations and conclusions of your research. But what about the data that led you to those results and conclusions? Isn’t the underlying data just as important to support the quality of the findings?”

“A huge amount of data is being produced by scientists every day, but too often key information is left to rot in an Excel document on someone’s desktop, or handwritten in a notepad that is later thrown away.”

“Increasingly, policymakers and funders are introducing data-sharing and stewardship policies to solve this problem. Funders want to see this data being properly described, stored, shared and reused, to realise its full potential. Data producers are also somebody else’s data users, and they have also come to the same realisation. Open data ensures that the scientific process is transparent, helps others to reproduce results and can even help speed up the process of scientific discovery.”

[Source Guardian Higher Education network: ]

The Academic Book of the Future

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

“The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Library are launching a two-year research project which will explore the future of academic books in the context of open access publishing and continuing digital change.”

“Dr Samantha Rayner, Director of the Centre for Publishing at the University College London (UCL) will lead the project ‘Communities of Practice: The Academic Book of the Future’. Alongside colleagues Simon Tanner and Professor Marilyn Deegan from King’s College London and Nick Canty from UCL this multi-disciplinary team will engage with the publishing and academic community to better understand the current landscape of academic publishing. A combination of large scale scoping work and more focussed mini-projects will ensure that opinions, approaches and ideas are included from the UK and beyond.”

[Source Arts and Humanties Research Council (AHRC) news: ]

Introducing #OpenCollections [in Europeana]

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

“#OpenCollections highlights some of the most interesting and high quality collections from around Europe.”

“So why do we call them open collections and not just ‘beautiful collections’? Open Collections can be re-used without restrictions, and we believe that culture should be shared with minimum restriction. Works that are open because either copyright has expired, does not exist or permission has been given to freely copy, modify, remix and print the material – subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness.”

“This is important for us to highlight because a lot of cultural objects from the previous century are still protected by copyright. This means that you as a user can’t just make copies or modify the work without consulting with the rights holders. A work that can be considered ‘open’ does not have these restrictions.”

“By highlighting the open collections, it not only becomes easier for you to find some of the best material available in Europe, but we also like to support the great work being done by the museums, libraries and archives that make these collections available to you. In this way, we want to bring European culture closer to a worldwide audience. And the good part is, you can share it as well! This is the material you can share freely via social media or use in your own remixes, websites, apps, educational material, and whatever else you can think of.”

[Source Europeana blog: ]

[Wellcome Trust] Keeping open access simple

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

“The Wellcome Trust believes that access to the published outputs of research should be open and unrestricted. But, argue Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at Wellcome Library, and Chris Bird, Senior Legal Counsel for the Wellcome Trust, policies and licences designed to support open access publication must also be easy for researchers to understand and use.”

“In April 2013 we simplified our open access policy: now, where we pay an open access fee our research must be published under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). Why did we do this? Because we passionately believe in the power of sharing knowledge, and because CC-BY is the strongest available tool to deliver access to and re-use of our funded research. We also believe that CC-BY has become the globally recognised open access licence. Now, The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) has published a new set of open access licence and is encouraging its publisher members to adopt them: unfortunately, we feel this can only confuse the picture.”

To read the rest of the blog go to:

To read the Wellcome Trust’s OA policy go to:

[Source Wellcome Trust blog as above]

Jisc Scholarly Communications

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I have recently discovered a blog from Jisc on ‘Scholarly Communication’ which contains many references to Open Access:

Here is Jisc’s statement about the intentions of the blog:

“Jisc’s work in scholarly communication recognises the changes brought about by the affordances of networked, digital technologies, which bring new possibilities and perturbations into a system that was relatively stable until the advent of the internet.  One of these affordances is Open Access.  This blog is a place where Jisc will share project news and advisory group work and ask for feedback on this. All other announcements support, guidance and resources are made available through the Jisc website.”

Some recent topics have included:

  • Helping institutions comply with the REF open access policy
  • Jisc’s evidence to the review of the RCUK OA policy
  • Collecting and sharing APC data

[Source Jisc Scholarly Communications blog as above]

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]

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