Author Archives: Megan Loveys

About Megan Loveys

Research Support Officer at the Open University.

New DORA Open University Case Study!

“The Open University used a top-down/bottom-up approach to research & create a new promotion route to recognize & reward social engagement for promotion & tenure”.

The OU has worked with DORA to publish a case study:

“In 2015 the UK’s Open University (OU) published “An Open Research University” a book outlining the outputs from a three-year project to create and implement an evidence-based strategy to embed the principles and practices of engagement with new processes for research assessment within the university. In keeping with the OU’s existing commitment to open research and knowledge exchange, the project aimed to steer their research culture toward recognizing and rewarding a broader range of contributions, specifically in “engaged research”. There were multiple examples of top-down/bottom-up cooperation to inform and promote the policies outlined in the report, such as the sponsorship of a working group to reform the university’s academic promotion criteria by the then Pro-Vice-Chancellor responsible for academic professional development. In 2020, the OU signed DORA and released a statement describing the university’s aim of creating a DORA Implementation Plan by 2021. These actions represent a continuation and codification of a growing institutional movement toward research assessment reform.”

Check out the full study here!

Call for individual evidence on ways to substantially reduce research bureaucracy

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are undertaking a review of the bureaucratic load within the research process, with a view to identifying inefficiencies, improvements and future directions with a view to ” substantially reduce research bureaucracy, primarily for the benefit of individuals and teams conducting research.”.

They have released a call for evidence here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/independent-review-of-research-bureaucracy

It will stay open for submissions until Friday, 1st of October. Please note you should submit an individual response.

They have asked for the link to be circulated widely in the community and have said:

“We are grateful to all those who have already contributed to the Review’s evidence gathering. Responses to the call for evidence will be considered in addition to the evidence already gathered. Those who have already contributed should be reassured that their comments have been captured though they are welcome to provide additional input should they wish to.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Review team should you have any questions. ”

This is a wide-ranging review and is an excellent opportunity for us all to help shape the future of research processes against the vision of open research.

Research Support Win!

Hello and happy Friday! I’m Megan, a Research Support Officer who joined the team in April 2020. I’m also a PhD student researching in the area of Education. I thought I’d share a #ResearchSupportWin with you all today.

We get queries from researchers around literature searching from time to time and these can vary significantly depending on what field the student is searching in. There are other factors that can also affect a literature search such as, how experienced students are with searching. As a research student myself I know how difficult it can be to find relevant papers to support a literature review.

A student contacted me to ask for help in finding more relevant results from their literature search. They were finding their searches were bringing back hundreds of irrelevant results. I set up a meeting with the student so that they could demonstrate their searching strategy which would help me to identify the problem. It became clear that the topic was an under researched area and therefore, there were few relevant papers available from the outset. However, it was clear the keywords they were using were not specific enough to the research question. Broad search terms often bring up lots of irrelevant papers which can be an overwhelming position to be in.

The student was also only using Google Scholar to conduct their searches. Google Scholar is a great tool but if you are finding your searches are bringing back too many results that aren’t helpful to your research then I always suggest checking out the collection of databases on the Library website. I ended up showing the student some different more subject specific databases that the OU Library subscribe to. I also shared some tips and tricks to get the most out of using them including, citation searching and how to use the subject terms within databases. This guidance enabled the student to find some great papers that they were able to use in their literature review. So, a definite WIN!

Please get in touch with the Research Support Team if you have any queries about databases or literature searching.

A Day In The Life – Megan

We’re starting a new series called ‘A Day in the Life’. Over the coming months you will be able to catch a glimpse of what our Research Support Team gets up to in a typical day.

Hello! I’m Meg and I joined the OU and the Research Support Team in April 2020. Prior to this role I was a researcher and graduate teaching assistant at Edge Hill University. I managed to visit the OU Milton Keynes campus for my interview in March 2020 but fun fact, I have never actually stepped foot in our office or the Library for that matter!

Despite Covid restrictions I have had such a great year working with the team. This role has opened my eyes to just how much goes on behind the scenes in academic research.

8:30am – Wake up, have breakfast (I’ve been enjoying baked oats lately, it’s like having cake for breakfast!)

9am – Open my laptop and start the working day. I always get going by working through my personal emails and our group inbox which is where you can get in touch for any general research support enquiries.

10-10:30am – ORO Weekly Catch Up. Open Research Online (ORO) is the OU’s Open Access repository of research outputs from our research community. We have a team dedicated to maintaining and verifying deposits on ORO and this is our weekly drop in session if we want to share anything we’ve found challenging or pose any questions we may need answering.

10:30-11:30am – TEAM GAMES! Since we are all working from home we have set up a team games session every 5 or 6 weeks. We have been following the House of Games theme and it is a really nice way to take a break and have some fun 🙂

12:30pm – Lunch. I try to move away from my screen at lunchtime and the weather has been lovely recently so I opted for a walk with my dog Bella.

The rest of my afternoon was free from any meetings. When I have a few hours of time I like to time block as it keeps me productive and on task. I generally keep the blocks at 45 minutes each and try to get up and make a drink or walk around the house after each one. This particular day I was working on our Open Research Data Repository (ORDO), researching different publisher’s policies on creating new journals, and prepping some social media posts.

I have been learning the ropes with ORDO for the past few months. Researchers can use ORDO to store their data so it can be used freely by the public. Our team maintains ORDO by running thorough checks of all the deposits made and working with the users to ensure each deposit fulfils the criteria.

We had a general research support query come in asking for advice on how to set up a brand new academic journal. So I was tasked with conducting some research into different publishers policies to find out what the process may entail to give the academic a starting point.

I am a Social Media Hero for the OU Library. This means that I have a designated day per week to schedule some posts to go out to our Twitter and Facebook accounts. For the final hour of my working day I brainstormed some post ideas and also scheduled some posts ready for the following Thursday.

We hope you enjoy this new series of Day in the Life posts from our Research Support Team 🙂

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

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.

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’.

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.