We hope you are staying well.
Due to the unprecedented circumstances we are seeing publishers, university presses, academic and research led organisations, and a myriad of other institutions and organisations making content free online. This is a sensible response to two crucial needs: to facilitate speedy research about COVID-19, and to assist universities facing closures on a global level.
From our corner of the world, the Open Access and Research Data Management teams of the University of Cambridge are working from home, and we are here to help with all your open access and research data management needs. Please send us an email if you need to contact us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.
Likewise, at the Cambridge University Library all our Departmental and Faculty Libraries are closed until further notice, but we are open to users online. A webpage with FAQs has been set up to update users about future developments. Lastly, there is a dedicated website with advice for Cambridge University staff and students at the University and Colleges on novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Open Research newsletter will continue to bring you news on open research topics in the open access, research data management and scholarly communication landscape. Some sections of the newsletter may be slightly different in focus or style, but we hope that the content will be useful nonetheless and that you enjoy reading it.
In the meantime stay well and talk to you next month!
REF 2021: Further update on coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency planning
The REF team has written to heads of institutions to outline the UK higher education funding bodies’ current position in relation to contingency planning for coronavirus for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. According to the latest update
the submission deadline on 27 November 2020 will no longer apply, and a new submission deadline will be announced no later than eight months prior to the deadline. Full allowance will be made for the impact of coronavirus across affected areas of submissions. The funding bodies recognise the significant effort that has been invested so far by institutions in preparations for the current REF cycle. In view of this, and following the Minister’s advice to universities on supporting their staff, the REF staff census date (31 July 2020) remains unchanged.
In the short term, according to the REF Director, the 3 April deadline for nominations to the expert panels has been lifted. Nominations may continue to be made until further notice and an appropriate notice period will be given when a new deadline is in place.
Impact of Coronavirus on UKRI-supported research
“During the coronavirus pandemic, UKRI has two priorities: the safety and wellbeing of our workforce and, as far as possible, the continuation of our business as a national funder of research and innovation", UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said on 24 March. As a result, the deadline for submissions for the UKRI Open Access Review Consultation has been extended by six weeks to noon on Friday 29 May 2020.General information for institutions, grant holders, applicants, training grants and REF 2021 is available on the UKRI website
COVID-19: Response from the Information Community
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Allen Institute for AI
has partnered with leading research groups to prepare and distribute the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset
(CORD-19), a free resource of over 44,000 scholarly articles, including over 29,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses for use by the global research community.
This dataset is intended to mobilize researchers to apply recent advances in natural language processing to generate new insights in support of the fight against this infectious disease. The corpus will be updated weekly as new research is published in peer-reviewed publications and archival services like bioRxiv
, and others.
Free student e-textbook programme to give university students and staff access to learning resources
With the unprecedented impact on higher education (HE) from the coronavirus outbreak, Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook platform, in conjunction with Jisc, is launching a nationwide programme to ensure all 2.4 million university students and 217,000 academic staff have access to their key learning resources during this crucial revision and exam period.
The programme partners helping to bring this together include Microsoft, which is delivering infrastructure, Kortext who are providing their platform free of charge and the key academic publishers that include; Pearson Education, Cengage, SAGE Publishing, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Wolters Kluwer.
Patricia Killiard, senior deputy director, academic services, Cambridge University Libraries says: “The importance of being able to provide core e-textbooks to our students and teaching staff during such a challenging time cannot be understated. That this access is being offered for free during the coronavirus outbreak marks incredible generosity and care on the part of the contributing publishers who have chosen to make their content available, and Cambridge University Libraries are extremely grateful to Kortext and Jisc for all their work to make this possible."
European Commission awards contract for setting up an open access publishing platform
The European Commission has awarded a contract for the setting up of an open access publishing platform for scientific articles as a free service for Horizon 2020 beneficiaries. The launch of the ambitious EU open access initiative is planned for early 2021. Original articles of various types in any discipline stemming from Horizon 2020- and Horizon Europe-funded research will be eligible for publication on the platform, which will offer an open and transparent peer-review process.
Publishers provide scholarly content free on Project MUSE during COVID-19 crisis
In response to the challenges created by the global public health crisis of COVID-19, Project MUSE announced that it will support its participating publishers in making scholarly content temporarily available for free on its platform. Among the publishers currently opting to make content free on Project MUSE are Johns Hopkins University Press (all books and journals), Ohio State University Press (all books and journals), University of Nebraska Press (all books and journals), University of North Carolina Press (all books), Temple University Press (all books), and Vanderbilt University Press (selected books). The list of publishers
offering free access to content will continually be updated.
Announcing a National Emergency Library to Provide Digitized Books to Students and the Public
On 24 March, the Internet Archive suspended waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in their lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later. This library brings together all the books from Phillips Academy Andover and Marygrove College, and much of Trent University’s collections, along with over a million other books donated from other libraries to readers worldwide that are locked out of their libraries.
DORA Community Call: Roles for libraries in research assessment reform
On 18 March the first DORA (The Declaration on Research Assessment) webinar for the library community was announced
. It will take place on Tuesday, April 7 at 11:00 AM Eastern. The webinar is open to all and will provide an update from DORA, offer ideas about the role that libraries can play to advance research assessment reform, and define next steps. Panelists include: Yvonne Nobis, Head of Physical Sciences Library, University of Cambridge; Curtis Brundy, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communications and Collections, Iowa State University; Leonidas Papachristopoulos, LIBER Innovative Metrics Working Group; Devin Savage, Interim Dean of Libraries, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Launch of a blog series on the State of Open Monographs 2020
On 11 March, Cathy Holland, Director, Global Publisher Business Development at Digital Science, and Sara Grimme, Director of Strategic Accounts at Digital Science welcomed the first post of a specialized and dedicated book blog series supported by Digital Science. Some of the aims of the blog series are to educate, inform, and serve as a platform for sharing ideas that will be instructional for book publishers, work with a variety of people stakeholders and experts and discuss ideas for overcoming certain challenges in the book space.
The blog organisers are looking forward to working closely with guest authors, each of whom will work on a theme close to their hearts. Contact them by email
with ideas you would like to read or contribute about.
Cambridge University Press is offering free, online access to ebooks
Cambridge University Press (CUP) is offering free, online access to a collection of over 2,000 ebooks hosted on Cambridge Core, for university libraries and their associated students and faculty. This collection includes their HTML textbooks
, Cambridge Histories, Cambridge Companions, and Cambridge Elements – please visit the linked homepages for more information and title lists. This offer is open to everyone, regardless of whether access was previously purchased, until the end of May 2020.
If your institution already has access to one of their free reference collections then this should have automatically been updated to reflect the full extent of this offer. For further information, or if you would like to arrange free access for your institution, please ask your librarian to visit CUP's information page
in the first instance.
Jisc Wiley agreement
Jisc, the UK’s research and education not-for-profit that negotiates licences and digital content agreements on behalf of UK universities, and Wiley have struck a four year read-and-publish agreement that offers researchers at UK universities open access publishing in all Wiley journals at no cost to them. As part of the new agreement, the proportion of OA articles published by UK researchers will increase from 27% to an estimated 85% in year one, with the potential to reach 100% by 2022. The agreement begins in March 2020, and all participating Jisc member institutions and affiliated researchers are eligible.
Calling all social scientists
Emerald Publishing is launching a publishing fund of £20,000 to cover the APCs for research published on Emerald Open Research related to the outbreak and similar healthcare emergencies. They are calling all social scientists working in various interdisciplinary research areas to get in touch as quickly as possible so they can help share their research findings. Emerald Open Research is an open access platform that supports rapid publication, an open data policy and open peer review process. Once articles have passed initial checks, they will be available to read, download and reuse.
UKRI announces first Stephen Hawking Fellows and £179 million doctoral training boost
The Stephen Hawking Fellowships were launched by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), working with the Hawking family, in recognition of Stephen Hawking’s exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and popularisation of science. The first nine Stephen Hawking Fellows, announced on 6 March, will continue Professor Stephen Hawking’s legacy by furthering our understanding of the universe and communicating the wonders of science to the public. They will tackle major scientific questions such as the nature of the early universe and dark matter and whether string theory really is a ‘theory of everything’, engaging with the public through stand-up comedy, art and music.
v2.Sherpa Romeo and v2.Sherpa Fact available for public testing
The Jisc open access team announced earlier this month that the release of test versions of two of their established policy compliance services, Sherpa Romeo
and Sherpa Fact
Sherpa Romeo gives a summary of publishers’ open access archiving and publishing conditions for individual journals. The enhanced version of Romeo now has a completely upgraded underlying data model and provides users with an improved layout, with individual sections for each article version.
Sherpa Fact checks if compliance with funder open access policies can be achieved through a particular journal. Fact’s user interface has been upgraded to align with the enhanced interfaces for the other Sherpa services; Romeo, Juliet
. The service interprets open access policies from Romeo and funder data from Juliet. The service covers seven UKRI Research Councils
, the Wellcome
Trust and the Charity Open Access Fund
You can try out the new sites and give feedback using contact forms, feedback survey or via email.
What should be the essential baseline practices for repositories that manage research data?
Earlier this month, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR
) and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC
) published a joint response to the OSTP Request for Public Comment on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting From Federally Funded Research
. Their response
seeks to achieve a balance between the use of best practices for managing data in repositories while at the same time ensuring that requirements are not so overly onerous that they result in excluding a large number of repositories.
Over the next several months, an international working group at COAR will refine, expand and validate the initial framework below, bringing together community-accepted norms and practices across all key areas. Widespread community input will be a critical aspect of this process.
Blogs we've enjoyed
- The “Pure Publish” Agreement Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, The Scholarly Kitchen, 20 February
- CORE raises repository data quality by consolidating information from external datasets Melanie Heeley, Jisc blog, 24 February
- Open Humanities: Why Open Science in the Humanities is not Enough Marcel Knöchelmann, LSE Impact Blog, 25 February
- Elsevier Exit: Q&A with Florida State University about their Big Deal Cancellation(s) Open Access Sparc News, 25 February
- Guest Post — An Open Agenda: European Funder Approaches to Open Science Rob Johnson and Vanessa Proudman, The Scholarly Kitchen, 26 February
- Guest Post - How China’s New Policy May Change Researchers’ Publishing Behavior Dr. Jie Xu, The Scholarly Kitchen, 3 March
- Is it Finally the Year of Research Data? – The STM Association Thinks So Phill Jones, The Scholarly Kitchen, 5 March
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak highlights serious deficiencies in scholarly communication Vincent Larivière, Fei Shu and Cassidy Sugimoto, LSE Impact Blog, 5 March
- Is prestige a problem? Considering the usefulness of prestige in academic book publishing Lucy Barnes, Open Book Publishers blog, 5 March
- Supporting an open research ecosystem Christopher Spalding and Tamir Borensztajn, UKSG blog, 6 March
- Open Access Directory – A resource for making sense of the open access landscape Nancy Pontika, LSE Impact Blog, 6 March
- News & Views: Open Access Charges – Consolidation Continues Dan Pollock and Ann Michael, Delts Think, 8 March
- Generating FAIR — Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable — Resources with Marchantia, a Prototype for Plant Synthetic Biology Guest post by Susana Sauret-Gueto, Benchling blog, 9 March
- Measuring the Success of Transformative Agreements Rick Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, 12 March
- Online training in a hurry - please help yourself Claire Sewell, Librarian in Training, 15 March
- Being an enabling infrastructure, CORE makes open access more visible and reusable Melanie Heeley, Jisc blog, 19 March
- Now Is the Time for Open Access Policies - Here’s Why Victoria Heath and Brigitte Vézina, Creative Commons blog, 19 March
- The Sorbonne Declaration on Research Data Rights Caroline Winter, Open Scholarship Policy Observatory, 20 March
- Covid-19 is reshaping the world of bioscience publishing Jeffrey S. Flier, STAT, 23 March
- Announcing a National Emergency Library to Provide Digitized Books to Students and the Public Chris Freeland, Internet Archive blogs, 24 March
- Learning in Lock Down: Digital Research Team online Nora McGregor, Digital scholarship blog, 24 March
- Universities are adjusting review, promotion, and tenure expectations due to COVID-19 DORA blog, 24 March
- What is up with ORCID and ROR? Laure Haak, ORCID website, 25 March
- eLife Latest: The costs of publishing Jennifer Gibson and Damian Pattinson, Inside eLife, 26 March
- On a challenge of print subsidy for OA Martin Paul Eve, 26 March
- Moving a workshop online: what works and what doesn’t? Lucy Barnes, COPIM website, 26 March
- LIBER Webinar: Research Data - What To Keep? Beagrie Neil, 2 March 2020, Version 1, CC-BY, doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3693692
- Who reviews for predatory journals? A study on reviewer characteristics
Anna Severin, Michaela Strinzel, Matthias Egger, Marc Domingo and Tiago Barros, bioRxiv, 11 March 2020, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.09.983155
- Lessons From the Open Library of Humanities Eve, M.P., Vega, P.C. and Edwards, C., 2020. LIBER Quarterly, 30(1), pp.1–18. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10327
- Discipline-specific open access publishing practices and barriers to change: an evidence-based review [version 2; peer review: 3 approved with reservations]. Severin A, Egger M, Eve MP and Hürlimann D., F1000Research 2020, 7:1925 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.17328.2)
- Harrower, Natalie, Maryl, Maciej, Biro, Timea, Immenhauser, Beat, & ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities. Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities: Recommendations of the ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities, Digital Repository of Ireland [Distributor], Digital Repository of Ireland [Depositing Institution], https://doi.org/10.7486/DRI.tq582c863
- A Realistic Guide to Making Data Available Alongside Code to Improve Reproducibility Nicholas J Tierney and Karthik Ram, 6 February 2020, arXiv:2002.11626v1
- Journal data policies: Exploring how the understanding of editors and authors corresponds to the policies themselves Christian T-M, Gooch A, Vision T, Hull E (2020), PLoS ONE 15(3): e0230281. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230281
- State of Open Access penetration in universities worldwide
Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Rodrigo Costas, Thed N. van Leeuwen
[v1] Fri, 27 Mar 2020, arXiv:2003.12273v1, doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3713422
- Open Scholarship as a mechanism for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Tennant, J., Francuzik, W., Dunleavy, D. J., Fecher, B., Gonzalez-Marquez, M., & Steiner, T. (2020, March 24). SocArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/8yk62
- Evaluating institutional open access performance: Sensitivity analysis Chun-Kai Huang, Cameron Neylon, Richard Hosking, Lucy Montgomery, Katie Wilson, Alkim Ozaygen and Chloe Brookes-Kenworthy, 21 March 2020, bioRxiV, https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.19.998542
- A Tale of Two 'opens': Intersections Between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship Tennant, Jonathan, Ritwik Agarwal, Ksenija Baždarić, David Brassard, Tom Crick, Daniel J. Dunleavy, Thomas R. Evans, et al. 2020. SocArXiv. March 6. doi:10.31235/osf.io/2kxq8
- Funding Sources for Open Access Article Processing Charges in the Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities in the United States Cantrell, M.H.; Swanson, J.A. Publications 2020, 8, 12.
- Wise, Alicia; Estelle, Lorraine (2019): Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4561397.v3
- Davidson, Joy, Grootveld, Marjan, Whyte, Angus, Herterich, Patricia, Engelhardt, Claudia, Stoy, Lennart, & Proudman, Vanessa. (2020). D3.3 Policy Enhancement Recommendations (Version 1.0). Zenodo.
Watch this space!
Cambridge University Libraries are working to deliver online training sessions for the students, researchers and staff of the University of Cambridge. We will advertise them in this section in the next newsletter as well as other offerings available locally.