Osgoode Digital Commons: Readership Snapshot

 

October 2018


Last month, the Osgoode Digital Commons had 39,867 full-text downloads and 105 new submissions were posted, bringing the total works in the repository to 17,156.

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University scholarship was read by 2,807 institutions across 181 countries.


The most popular faculty papers were:

The most popular publications were:


8 Things You Need To Know About Open Access

Open Access Week 2018 is here! The international celebration of open access (OA) will run from October 22nd-28th. This year’s theme is “designing equitable foundations for open access”. What does this theme mean? To me, it means spreading the word far and wide on some core OA concepts, which will hopefully translate into inspiration and engagement with OA initiatives.

And so, with knowledge sharing in mind, here are 8 things everyone should know about OA.

 

1. What Is Open Access?

Graphic from PHD Comics

Open access refers to the availability of scholarly literature. Peter Suber (Director, Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication) has provided a great definition of OA in his book Open Access (the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series, 2012):

“Open access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”[1]

 

2. Open Access Options

Graphic from the SDSU OA LibGuide

Some authors find green OA intimidating to embark on. Why? Prior to self-archiving, authors must make sure the publisher’s copyright and licensing restrictions permit the submission of their work to OA repositories. In some cases, these policies can be confusing, difficult to find, or non-existent.

At Osgoode Hall Law Library we can provide support with this. Get in touch with our Digital Services Assistant for more information.

 

3. Save Your Post-Prints

Graphic from AUT OA LibGuide.

A paper goes through three version stages during the publishing process.

Each paper version allows authors to take different actions it terms of achieving open access via self-archiving.

Post-prints/accepted manuscripts usually remain under the author’s control, which means they are free to submit them to open access repositories.

 

4. The Author Addendum

Graphic adapted from Cornell University Library LibGuide

In order to have the freedom to further develop and disseminate their work, authors must retain some rights by negotiating their publishing contracts.

The SPARC Author Addendum is your go-to resource for information about retaining copyright over your work. The addendum allows authors to select which individual rights out of the bundle of copyrights they want to keep.[2]

 

5. The Tri-Agency Policy

Graphic from the McGill Tri-Agency Administration Guide

The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy states that all publications resulting from grants awarded by the three Agencies must be made freely available to the public no later than 12 months after its publication.

There are two options for complying with the policy: publishing via Gold OA or Green OA as discussed in point #2.

 

6. Benefits Of Open Access

Graphic from the Australian OA Strategy Group

Here are just a few of the benefits of publishing in open access:

  • Increased visibility of scholarship
  • Greater discoverability of scholarship
  • Higher metrics
  • Greater potential for collaboration
  • Retention of author right

 

7. Open Access Journals Quality

Graphic from the OA Academy

Authors are often perplexed by the reputability and prestige of OA journals. There are several easy to use online resources to help you choose a quality OA journal.

The Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) directory lists OA journals that have received quality scoring via academic crowd sourcing. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists high quality and peer-reviewed OA journals. The bepress legal scholarship journals page lists primarily North American OA law journals.

 

8. Open Access As Part Of The Whole

Graphic from ECU Libraries Open Educational Resources LibGuide

Once a single entity, open access has in recent times brought forth the emergence of several related categories that are now steadily growing into their own initiatives[3]:

  • Open science: applying the principle of openness to the entire scientific research cycle.
  • Open data: making data freely available online.
  • Open education: making educational resources and practices freely available online.
  • Open notebooks: online live-sharing of primary research records.

 

There we have it! The 8 core concepts about open access that everyone should know. Armed with this knowledge about OA and what it can do, I hope you feel inspired to incorporate this practice into your academic publishing activities and share your work with your scholarly community, with the public, and with the whole world.

For questions or help with any of the above, please reach out to the Library’s Digital Services Assistant.

 

[1] Suber, Peter. Open Access, Cambridge, MA: the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series, 2012.

[2] SPARC. Author Rights & the SPARC Author Addendum. Retieved on October 18, 2018 from https://sparcopen.org/our-work/author-rights/.

[3] University of Toronto Libraries. Open Access. Retrieved on October 18, 2018 from https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/copyright/open-access.

Open Access and IR’s in Europe: The PEER Report

Issues related to institutional repositories and the open access of scholarly work continue to gain momentum especially in academic environments in North America. So it’s interesting to consider research that falls outside of this usual scope such as the “Baseline Report” recently made available by the Publishing and the Ecology of European Research (PEER) project.

As stated in the introductory remarks of, PEER Behavioural Research: Authors and Users vis-à-vis Journals and Repositories, the goal of the project is “to understand the extent to which authors and users are aware of open access (OA), the different ways of achieving it, and the (de)motivating factors that influence its uptake.”

Some points revealed by this research:

  • An individual’s attitude towards open access may change dependant on whether they are an author or a reader
  • Researchers in certain disciplines may lack confidence in making preprints available and to some extent this is due to differences in work organisation across research cultures e.g. researchers who work in close-knit groups, such as high-energy physics, tend to have systems in place for internal peer review. Other factors are likely to include career stage and centrality of research to the parent discipline
  • Value-added services such as download statistics, email alerts, etc would contribute to the perceived usefulness of repositories and would help them gain popularity in what is an increasingly competitive information landscape
  • There is a perception amongst authors that if institutions mandate deposit in an institutional repository the dissemination function will be overshadowed by research assessment. This is perhaps reflected in the perception amongst authors that subject-based repositories are more appropriate for dissemination purposes
  • Readers across many disciplines often need to go through a variety of processes to access all the articles that they require and that widespread open access may reduce the need for this time consuming practice.

Growth in institutional repositories has risen sharply in the last few years and PEER notes that, “The Registry of Open Access Repositories currently reports 860 institutional or departmental repositories worldwide of which 172 are in the US, 97 in the UK, 63 in Germany, and 57 in Japan.”

PEER plans a second phase of research that will address the findings in this baseline report in more detail and explore these two additional questions:

1) How do social/institutional factors influence author and reader behaviours (e.g. mandates, embargoes, research cultures)?; and, 2) What tensions, if any, exist between institutional (e.g. employer/funder/publisher) policies and practice, and disciplinary norms and practices? In what ways do such tensions influence authors and readers?

The report includes a nice bibliography as well as the survey questions and responses. Very useful reading for anyone interested in scholarly communication.