Friday, 31 January 2014

Is Open Access Harming Book Sales?

(Image: The Guardian)
A common concern over Open Access book publishing is that it harms book sales, with potential buyers simply opting to read the content online for free rather than actually purchasing a physical copy.

In answer to this concern, in October 2013, the OAPEN Foundation published a study on the effect of Open Access on the sale of academic monographs in the Netherlands. The project was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and was undertaken in collaboration with nine academic publishers.

The OAPEN-NL report found no evidence that Open Access has an impact on monograph sales. Indeed, books with Open Access had similar sales to those without Open Access in the experiment's control group. There was, however, a clear effect on online accessibility. By making books available online, the study showed that average book discovery through Google Books increased by 142% and that full-text usage (in terms of Google Books page views) increased by 209%. On average, each e-book within the study attracted 144 sales as against 2800 downloads.

The report also makes several recommendations for different groups including authors, funders, publishers and libraries on how to improve Open Access for monographs.

The full OAPEN-NL report can be found online.

Neil Waghorn
Steve Smith

The Finch Report: A Year On

The Finch Report on increasing access to research publications was published in 2012 and included a list of recommendations and identified steps to achieve them. In October 2013 the Working Group published its findings on the state of progress.

The review stands by the recommendations made in the original Finch Report, that Gold Open Access, primarily funded by article processing or publishing charges (APCs), will be the eventual optimum form of Open Access, although they did 'not recommend a rapid transition'.

In light of the Finch Report, the RCUK announced new policies to which universities adhered. It was noted, however, that universities' actions seemed to only meet requirements rather than to go further. An example being that universities have apparently continued their investments into Green Open Access rather than the recommended Gold Open Access.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Introducing the Researcher Identifier ORCID

ORCID (Open Researchers and Contributor ID) Inc., was created in 2010 with the aim to create permanent unique identification codes for researchers that could be used as an international, cross disciplinary, cross institution system to identify researchers and attribute their respective work.

This non-profit effort works through the insertion of an individual's ORCID identifier into the content metadata, allowing the permanent clear association with that individual. Registration for ORCID is free and by the end of the 2013, there were over 460,000 individuals with their own ORCID identifiers.

Users can attribute as much, or as little, personal or professional detail to their ORCID account, and can also tailor their privacy settings to control who has the ability to access said information.

Universities and institutions world-wide, from Boston to Hong Kong and Sweden, are beginning to integrate ORCID into their systems, and are especially useful in regions where there are high concentrations of similar surnames, such as in Wales.

To find out more information about ORCID, or to sign up for an individual identifier, visit the ORCID website.

An Introduction to Creative Commons Licences

Creative Commons Licenses offer a way for material to be copyrighted in a manner that is less restrictive than traditional 'All Rights Reserved' copywriting. These licenses 'provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice'.

Creative Commons Licences are in wide use around the world, arguably most well-known at photo sharing site Flickr and the online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. There are also other companies and organisations that have opted to make some of their content less restricted than traditional copyrights, an example being GlaxoSmithKline, who surrendered all copyrights in its malarial data set, which includes more than 13,500 compounds known to be active against malaria.

The Creation Commons website describes the various types and combinations of licences below:


This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.


This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Horizon 2020 Open Access Guidelines Published

Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020
(Image: European Commission)
On 11th December 2013, the European Commission published their latest guidance document for Open Access to scientific publications and research data. These Guidelines are designed to 'provide context and explanation for the rules on open access applicable to beneficiaries in projects funded or co-funded under Horizon 2020.' Horizon 2020, the largest ever EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available (2014 to 2020), is designed to open up access to published research.

According to the guide, 'information already paid for by the public purse should not be paid for again each time it is accessed or used, and that it should benefit European companies and citizens to the full. This means making publicly-funded scientific information available online, at no extra cost, to European researchers, innovative industries and citizens, while ensuring long-term preservation.'

While the document details and describes both Green and Gold versions of Open Access, it does not make a clear preference over which form of Open Access the data should take, only that it be open.

The guide sets out the political and legal basis for rules on Open Access in Horizon 2020, detailing various EU policies that correspond with Horizon 2020, including the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union policy.

Hitting the Button for Open Access

Open Access Button
(Image: Open Access Button)
Coming across paywalls for content can curtail and frustrate research. To log this frustration and attempt to highlight the need for Open Access two medical students, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur, have created an Open Access button.

Once installed, this plugin allows users to simply click to record that they hit a paywall and could not access the desired material. Your approximate location is then logged on a map, helping build the global case for Open Access. Once you have filled in a brief description the plugin offers alternative routes to the desired material, including an automatic Google Scholar search and similar articles that are available through Open Access sources. In the future the developers plan to add the ability to directly email the author of the work for a copy.

The button had a formal beta launch in Berlin in November 2013 and at the time of writing had reported 4269 paywall hits.

You can find out more and download the button for your browser at the Open Access website, or follow them on Twitter.

Neil Waghorn
Steve Smith

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Improve your referencing for Law modules with OSCOLA

A post by Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager and Law Librarian.

(Oxford University Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities) 

•  4th ed 2012 -

•  Quick Reference Guide

•  Citing international law 2006

OSCOLA is the authoritative guide, with worked examples, to referencing legal materials. It covers books, journal articles, cases, statutes, treaties, online journals, government publications, websites & blogs……………………

For this and other law & criminology library help, contact Lillian Stevenson, Law Librarian I am often in the Thomas Parry Library so please ask for me there too.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Meet your Academic Services Librarian #11

Ffion Bell
Library Graduate Trainee 2013/2014

I'm Ffion, and I'm the other 50% percent of the Library Graduate Trainees working in Information Services this year. Before the new year I worked with Lending (mainly trying to be helpful at the enquiry desks) as well as E-services & Communications. Now I've moved over to Academic Services (which explains this blog post) and Collections, Acquisitions & Resource Management.
On a boat-bus in Copenhagen
Originally from Pembrokeshire, I studied towards a BA in English and Archaeology at Queen's University Belfast - an excellent chance to read (getting distracted from my first library shelving job in the evenings) and spend summers digging holes in Irish turf bogs as well as places like Transylvania and Pompeii. For my 3rd year I studied abroad at Aarhus University in Denmark...I liked it so much I moved back over there shortly after graduation.

Friday, 3 January 2014

E-resource trial to 5th February 2014 - Chatham House Online Archive

A post by Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager and Law Librarian.

Access via or via the Electronic Resources Trials page.

"Chatham House Online Archive contains the publications and archives of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the world-leading independent international affairs policy institute founded in 1920 following the Paris Peace Conference. The Institute's analysis and research, as well as debates and speeches it has hosted, can be found in this online archive, subject-indexed and fully searchable".

  • Explore by subject including - Energy & Environment ; International Politics ; International law ; International Economics ; International Security, War & Conflict ; United Nations
  • Explore by Region
Aberystwyth University in the Chatham House Online Archive
Aberystwyth University features in 71 records, the earliest in The British Year Book of International Law 1922-23. In 1929 A Directory of Societies and Organizations in Great Britain Concerned with the Study of International Affairs summarises Aberystwyth’s Department of International Politics and its Library: