New Accessibility Guidance for your eThesis

The word inaccessible type written on a page with the first two letters crossed out to indicate the word should be accessible.

We have added new guidance to our Research Support Website on how to ensure your eThesis is created in an accessible format. Covering:

  • What accessibility is
  • An accessibility checklist
  • How to check your eThesis is accessible
  • How to convert your eThesis to a PDF file
  • PDF accessibility evaluation

We also have included downloadable Word and PDF documents for you  to print and read offline. To find out more head over to Creating an accessible eThesis.

We’ve also included a subpage which offers guidance on creating accessible tables in Microsoft Word. Any tables used in your ethesis also need to follow accessibility guidelines, to find out how head over to How to create and accessible table.

Have you seen our eTheses page?

Have you seen our eTheses page on our Research Support Website?

The page offers guidance in a range of areas related to your eThesis including:

  • How to deposit your eThesis
  • Personal information
  • Depositing a PhD by published work
  • Embargoes
  • Guidance on issuing take down requests for theses being sold on third part sites including suggested text for the request
  • Copyright and your theses
  • Underlying materials and data

To view electronic copies of OU theses on ORO follow this link.

If you need any further help or can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch with the Research Support Team at library-research-support@open.ac.uk

UK Data Service Introductory Training Series 2021

The UK Data Service specialises in the management and archiving of research data in the social sciences. They are running a comprehensive series of free online training over the coming months which may be of interest to readers of this blog.

See below for these events in Spring 2021 and see the UK Data Service’s events pages for a full list of training events.

The workshops in the series will have a new practical element.

To book a place visit the UK Data Service events page or click on the links above.

Recordings of UK Data Service webinars can be found on the UKDS YouTube channel and slides can be found on the past events pages.

Thinking about social media data management…

Are you planning to use social media data for your research? If so, a recent talk by Ben Wills-Eve at Lancaster Data Conversations may interest you. Entitled ‘Social Media Data Management for Digital Humanities,’ Ben takes you through some of things you should have on your radar when using data from social media platforms like Twitter. Ethical use of data, adhering to data usage policies, copyright, data processing, access to data via APIs (application programming interfaces), data storage, coding/programming, are some of the areas Ben talked about. Before using data from Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media sites it is essential that you read and understand their policies first.

Attendees were signposted to some useful guidance, such as the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) documents on ethical internet research, and reference was made to an interesting paper on the challenges of using historical Twitter data, and deleted Tweets, ethically. The Programming Historian site may also be useful to explore. Not only are the tutorials free and Open Access, they could be just what you need to enhance digital skills you already have, or to learn new ones! The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter Data is an example of what they offer.

If you have any queries about your Data Management Plans, or want to find out more about the ethics of obtaining research data, please visit our Library Research Support website or get in touch with the team.

 

Plan S Survey of Researchers

cOAlition S is committed to implementing the necessary measures to fulfil Plan S’s main principle: make full and immediate open access a reality. In their continual efforts to monitor the effects of Plan S on Research and Scholarly Communication, they have launched a pulse survey asking researchers if and how Plan S has affected their publishing practices and their views on Open Access.

The survey is accessible here and will be opened periodically throughout 2021 (first round ends on 16th March, 2021). All responses will remain completely anonymous.

New year, new publisher deals!

Find out if you can publish gold open access at no cost to you

You may be aware that the Library has deals in place with several publishers which allow OU authors to publish gold open access (where the final journal article is immediately freely available to read or download from the publisher’s website) at reduced or zero cost to the author.

These deals, known as offsetting deals, transformative deals or Read and Publish deals, are exploratory models in the shift from pay-to-read (the journal subscription) to pay-to-publish. The costs of open access are part of an overall OU payment to the publisher covering both subscriptions and open access publishing. The open access charges are part of the agreement.

We are now pleased to announce that the Library has invested in several new offsetting deals with publishers starting from 1st January 2021, including Cambridge University Press, the Company of Biologists, Future Science Group, Geological Society, PLOS, and the Royal Society.  Existing deals also cover major academic publishers such as Wiley, SAGE and Springer, as well as several smaller and society publishers. See the Library Research Support team’s webpages for full details of all the deals we have in place, along with their eligibility requirements.

These deals all vary – some will give you discounts on the full article processing charge (APC) and some waive it altogether; some deals cover only hybrid journals and others cover fully open access journals too. Most of the deals are only available to OU corresponding authors, and there may be restrictions on the types of paper covered (e.g. research and review articles only). Please ensure you check the details of the relevant publisher deal on the website before placing an order with a publisher and ensure you follow any instructions for authors to make sure eligibility for the deal is identified.

Where a discount applies, the Library is unable to pay the remainder of the APC, so these will need to be funded from a Faculty or other budget. The exception to this is articles from UKRI funded projects, if this applies please check the  requirements and complete the request form and the Library will advise you whether the  APC cost can be covered.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the deal webpages, since these agreements can change at short notice and new deals are being negotiated all the time.

Open Access ToolKit Seminar

 

On the 20th January 2021 we are hosting an OA Books ToolKit seminar. In this seminar Sotiria Psoma will give an introduction to the Open Access books toolkit. Sotiria is a member of the editorial advisory board and a lecturer at The Open University.

The OAPEN Foundation has launched a new open access (OA) books toolkit for researchers and academic book authors. The toolkit is a free-to-access, stakeholder-agnostic resource that aims to help authors better understand OA for books, increase trust in OA book publishing, provide reliable and easy-to-find answers to questions from authors, and to provide guidance on the process of publishing an OA book.

A broad and diverse Editorial Advisory Board is involved in the development and maintenance of the toolkit, including authors, publishers, research support staff, funders and other key stakeholders. The Editorial Advisory Board provides editorial support, which includes identifying new resources, suggesting changes and maintaining regular update cycles.

The seminar will be followed by discussion, questions and answers.

To sign up follow this link to Eventbrite and click ‘Register’.

News you may have missed…The OU signs the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

In November, The OU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Blackman signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA has been signed by over 16,500 individuals and by over 2,000 organisations worldwide so far, in a commitment to making research assessment fair and transparent: –

“Under this agreement, the OU commits to not allocating staff career advancement opportunities based on Journal Impact Factors (JIFs). In its DORA implementation plan it will make explicit the criteria used for attracting, retaining and developing a diverse research community. The OU will recognise the importance of processes for staff evaluation that are transparent and evidence-based, as part of a culture that aims to be fully inclusive.”

To find out more, take a look at the OU’s news item and read the OU’s official DORA statement, and to keep up-to-date with developments, the DORA blog is a useful read and they can be followed on Twitter @DORAssessment.

Wellcome Trust Open Access (OA) Policy is changing in 2021.

 

 

Below are some points authors may like to consider before the new policy comes into force, for articles submitted for publication from 1 January 2021. Full details of the new policy can be found on the Wellcome Trust website.

What is the new Wellcome Trust OA policy?

All research articles submitted from 1 January 2021 must be freely available in PMC/Europe PMC at the time of publication and with a CC-BY licence. The 6-month embargo will no longer be permitted. OA publication costs in hybrid journals will no longer be funded.

What research is affected by the new policy?

The new policy will apply to all research articles supported in whole or in part by Wellcome.

Will I still be able to use Wellcome Open Research Platform?

Yes. If you haven’t used the Wellcome Open Research publishing platform before, you may like to check if it will suit your needs as it is still a compliant option under the new policy.

Will Wellcome continue to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs)?

Under the new policy Wellcome will pay APCs for articles published in fully open access journals (ie not subscription journals with an OA option or hybrid journals) which meet the CC-BY and PubMed Central/Europe PMC requirements.

How can I check that my chosen journal is fully open access (i.e. all articles are published immediately OA in the journal) and therefore WT compliant?

  • If your chosen journal is listed in the Directory of OA Journals it means it is fully OA.
  • Before 1st January 2021 Wellcome Trust will publish further guidance on which journals are compliant with its policy, and which will include compliant journals that may not be listed in DOAJ (e.g. BMJ Journal which publishes all research articles open access, but charges for access to other content such as editorials and commentaries – this type of journal is not considered to be hybrid by Wellcome).
  • Wellcome mentions eLife, PLoS journals and Wellcome Open Research as compliant.
  • Contact library-research-support@open.ac.uk for further help.

My chosen journal is not fully OA. Will I be able to publish in it and still be compliant?

You can publish in a subscription journal and be compliant with the new policy providing:

  • You can self-archive your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in Europe PMC.
  • Your AAM is made immediately available (no embargo) under a CC-BY licence.

Examples of already ‘green compliant’ publishers: Royal Society, Microbiology Society.

Will Wellcome pay page and other non-OA publication charges?

No. Wellcome will not provide funds for non-OA publication costs, e.g. colour, page charges etc. Note that since 1st March 2019 you may not include such charges within grant applications or claim them back. This policy will continue with the revised OA policy. WT states that “Where these costs apply, researchers must use other funds to meet these costs.”

Open University Open Access Policy Refresh

The Open University Open Access Policy, approved by the Research Committee in 2015, has been updated.

The purpose of the policy is to identify the Open University’s position with regard to open access publishing and to outline the responsibilities and requirements of the University and its researchers. 

For further inforamtion or to read the updated policy, head over to the Library Research Support website.