Boosting Open Access to research
Academics in City University London’s Centre for Information Science in the Department of Library and Information Science (#citylis), in collaboration with London-based open access publisher Ubiquity Press, are attempting to enhance the adoption of Open Access and the impact of published research. Open Access refers to unrestricted online access to academic research which can be applied to all forms of published research outputs including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed book chapters, monographs and academic journal articles.
Through the Streamlining Depositing project, funded by JISC #DataSpring, Dr Ernesto Priego (Project Lead), Dr Stephann Makri (User Experience Lead) and web publishing developers (Lead Developer Andy Byers and Developer Mauro Sanchez) at Ubiquity Press, want to make it easier for academics to deposit scholarly papers in institutional repositories by creating a suite of open source plug-ins which integrate Open Journal Systems (OJS) with a range of repositories. Open Journals Systems refers to a suite of open source software tools for the management of peer-reviewed academic journals, created by the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.
JISC is a registered charity championing the use of digital technologies in UK education and research.
Dr Priego says the idea behind the project arose out of the challenges faced by academics “desiring to more easily comply with the Open Access mandate by allowing authors to deposit published journal outputs directly to Dryad (an international data repository underlying peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature) and Figshare (an open access repository developed by Digital Science) from the journal management system itself”.
“The Streamlining Depositing project allows us to create a plug-in or code which easily connects the Open Journal System to other repositories via the JISC publications router which can be subscribed to by universities and other institutions to receive submissions.” Dr Priego thinks projects of this nature underscore the brave new world which academic research has entered: “As academics in the new millennium, we are quickly discovering that our research products are valued by ordinary readers and non-academics outside of the academy, so to speak. We raised funding for this project via a Sandpit, which is an innovative approach for funding formal research. It is essential that university researchers move with the times and make their work relevant to a variety of audiences”
Dr Makri says the Streamlining Deposit project will provide much-needed improvements to the user experience of journal management systems:
"The user experience of authors and editors is not generally considered when designing tools to support article submission and depositing. By making the process smoother and the tools easier to use, we aim to encourage more academics and practitioners to share their work and improve the discoverability of the world’s knowledge."
It is hoped that through the project, the Centre for Information Science will be a trailblazer in fulfilling the UK’s Open Access mandate.
To listen to a recent podcast interview in which Dr Priego and Andy Byers discuss their work on the JISC #DataSpring project, please visit this weblink.
A plug-in is a software add-on that is installed onto a program, enabling it to perform additional features. For example, Internet browsers allow users to install plug-ins into the browser to give that browser features not found in the default installation.