Open Access at Bath

We support open access publication at the University of Bath

Posts By: Katie Evans

Open Van Gogh


📥  Open Access

Good news for art lovers:  the J. Paul Getty Museum are making thousands of high quality images of art works in their collection freely available without restriction on use, including this famous Van Gogh:

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

See the Getty Open Content Program for thousands more beautful images - all freely available for you to use as you wish!


HEFCE consultation on open access in the post-2014 REF

📥  Open Access

HEFCE have set out proposals for implementing an open access requirement in the post-2014 REF.

The core of HEFCE's proposal is that journal articles and conference proceedings should be accessible through a UK HEI repository (like the University of Bath's Opus) immediately upon either acceptance or publication.  Both 'green' and 'gold' routes to open access would be acceptable, as long as the accepted, peer-reviewed text is accessible through a repository.  Embargo periods on copies in repositories are also acceptable.

HEFCE propse to apply this open access criteria to publications from 2016 onwards.

HEFCE's consultation is open until 30th October 2013 and they intend to announce their policy decision in early 2014.


Bridging the access gap


📥  Library, Open Access

Open access copies of research publications are enabling UK researchers to access the material they want.

About half of the 3,498 respondents to a major survey of UK academics strongly agreed that they “often would like to use journal articles that are not in [their] library’s print or digital collections” (Housewright et al., p.38).

When faced with this situation, 90% of the respondents said that they look for a freely available version online (Housewright et al., p.39).

University of Bath researchers: make sure that 90% can access your work by putting a copy in Opus!

Read more in the JISC press release: UK wide survey of academics spotlights researchers’ reliance on open access

Housewright, R., Schonfeld, R.C., & Wulfson, K. 2013. Ithaka S+R | Jisc | RLUK UK Survey of Academics 2012. Available from:


Extending open access to scholarly books


📥  Open Access

Wellcome Trust have a well established policy requiring research papers written by their grant holder to be open access.  They are now extending this requirement to research published in scholarly monographs and book chapters as well.  See the Wellcome Trust press release for full details.

HEFCE's consultation on open access requirements for the REF post-2014 invited comment on whether it would be appropriate to expect monograph content submitted to the REF to be open access.  We're still waiting for the results of that consultation.  Meanwhile, I'm eager to see how the Wellcome Trust requirement fairs: How easily will it be for grant holders to comply?  Will it encourage more open access options for researchers?


Open access for humanities and social sciences

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📥  Open Access, Publishers

Today the University of Bath launches the Institute for Policy Research.  We hope the new Institute's research will be made open access.  There are a lot of new publishing models engaging with the discipline specific challenges of open access for humanities and social sciences.  Here are a few that have caught my eye recently:

OAPEN - a quality controlled collection of open access academic books in humanites and social sciences.

Open Library of Humanities (OLH) - an aspiring non-profit, peer reviewed open access mega journal for the humanities.

Social Sciences Directory and Humanities Directory - two more up and coming peer reviewed open access mega journals notable for their low article processing charge (APC) of  £120 +VAT.



📥  Open Access

Come along to the University of Bath's Exchange! 2013: Sharing Ideas for Learning, Teaching & Research event tomorrow, Thurs 9th May, for a chance to discuss open access - where are we now and what does it mean for you?  See for full program and to book your place.


What’s your publisher offering?

📥  Open Access, Publishers, RCUK

Publishers have a key role to play in enabling authors to make their work open access.   This is a hot topic for authors obliged to meet funder requirements such as the RCUK’s open access policy.

Have you heard from any publishers recently about changes to their open access options and policies?  If so, we’d love to hear from you.  So far I’ve seen a real mix, including:

  • Elsevier and IEEE now offer CC-BY licencing for gold open access
  • ACM have introduced a new ‘gold’ open access publishing option and still support green open access
  • Sage have removed their 12 month embargo period for green open access
  • Conversely, Springer have introduced a 12 month embargo period for green open access

Please email to let us know what the journals you publish with or edit for are offering.


Open access requirements for the REF post-2014: HEFCE consultation


📥  Open Access, Repositories

HEFCE have announced their intention to “introduce a requirement that all outputs submitted to the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise are published on an open-access basis” (para 8), with some flexibility and exceptions for where this is not reasonably possible.

HEFCE’s proposals would require research outputs submitted to post-2014 REFs to be accessible through an institutional repository (such as the University of Bath’s Opus).  Both green and gold forms of open access would be acceptable, and there would be an allowance for reasonable embargo periods for green open access.

For me, the most striking part of the proposal is the intention that “work which has been originally published in an ineligible form then retrospectively made available in time for the post-2014 REF submission date should not be eligible, as the primary objective of this proposal is to stimulate immediate open-access publication” (para 12).  This means we need to start acting on this now.  It can’t wait until the next REF!

Read the full document: ‘Open Access and Submissions to the Research Excellence Framework post-2014’.

HEFCE invite responses to this consultation by 25th March 2013.


What do you get for your money?


📥  Open Access

Gold open access is growing.  This is where the author or research funder pays and an article processing charge for the publication to be freely available online.  Charges vary from nothing to thousands of pounds.  So what represents good value for money?  Clearly this is an important question for the author, institution or funder paying the fee.  But it also matters to the general public whose tax money funds research.

I’ve seen a couple of interesting approaches to answering this recently:

Eigenfactor’s Cost Effectiveness for Open Access Journals plots article processing charges against the journal’s article influence score (a weighted citation based measure of a journal’s merit).

Ross Mounce, a doctoral research here at the University of Bath, has produced a plot of article processing charges against the standard of openness: will you and your readers be able to re-use the paper, text-mine etc?

Both helpful steps towards transparency and demonstrable value for money in this emerging publication model.