Tag Archives: open access

Preparing for the end of COAF

The Open Access team are getting ready for the end of Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), which is due to dissolve on 30th September 2020.  

From 1st October 2020 onward, there are going to be changes to the block grants that we receive, and as a result, there will be a change in our policies on whether or not we can cover researchers’ article processing charges (APCs).  

We have outlined how researchers should go about securing funding for the APC’s below: 

Funder name Are article processing charges covered by a block grant? How do I pay for my article processing charge? 
UKRI Yes No change: researchers should continue to upload their paper to us for a funding decision
Wellcome Trust Yes No change: researchers should continue to upload their paper to us for a funding decision
Cancer Research UK Yes No change: researchers should continue to upload their paper to us for a funding decision
British Heart Foundation No- institutions apply to BHF for reimbursement No change: researchers should continue to upload their paper to us for a funding decision
Blood Cancer UK No- authors must include cost in their grant application  1. For payment, contact research@bloodcancer.org.uk
2. Upload your paper to ensure REF compliance. 
Parkinson’s UK No- authors must include cost in their grant application  1. For payment, contact researchapplications@parkinsons.org.uk,
2. Upload your paper to ensure REF compliance. 
Versus Arthritis No – authors must request support direct from funder  1. Use funder’s Grant Tracker for OA support,
2. Upload your paper to ensure REF compliance. 
Multiple funders acknowledged  If your paper includes funding from UKRI, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK or British Heart Foundation then we may be able to help with the APC. Researchers should upload their paper to us for a funding decision

There is no change in the funder’s open access policies for the rest of 2020. However, there are significant changes due in 2021, specifically to Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK.  

We have outlined the policy changes in the table below: 

Funder name Change? Outline of policy 
Wellcome Trust Changesee new policy document   1. Policy covers original research articles, 
2. Policy applies to papers submitted for publication after 1/1/2021, 
3. Papers must be made immediately open access (no embargo allowed) in Europe PMC, 
4. Papers must be published with a CC BY licence, 
5. Papers must be published in a journal that is indexed in DOAJ (Wellcome will no longer cover APCs for subscription journals)
6. The authors must retain their copyright. 
Cancer Research UK Changesee new policy document 1. Policy covers original research articles, 
2. Policy applies to all papers after 1/1/2021, 
3. Papers must be made immediately open access (no embargo allowed) in Europe PMC,
4. Papers must be published with a CC BY licence. 
Multiple funders acknowledged  Any papers acknowledging Wellcome Trust or Cancer Research UK must be compliant in order to access funds. 

To summarise:

From 1 October 2020, authors should continue to submit their papers to the Open Access Team as usual via our website. The Open Access Team will continue to advise on the best course of action to meet funder requirements, but we may not always be able to pay APCs. 

The funders’ policies remain the same until 1st January 2021. We advise authors covered by Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK to familiarise themselves with the changes to their funder’s open access policies, which are outlined in COAF’s table

Cambridge response to the UKRI open access policy review

Open access is transforming scholarly communication, and both the University and its Press are fully committed to the transition to open access publishing without embargo. It is inspiring us to think more deeply about how the research publishing ecosystem can be improved to the benefit of all society.

The open access policy review being conducted by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will have a major impact on how publicly funded research in the UK is published. The UK already has a strong commitment to open access, and we look forward to the new UKRI policy dramatically speeding up the country’s transition to open access.

Cambridge unites a world-leading research university, with a world-renowned Press and Library. We believe there is strength in this partnership, including the ability to challenge and test solutions that must work for academics, funders, publishers and research institutions. Our joint response to the UKRI policy review reflects the range of perspectives across the University and highlights some of the challenges and opportunities we face as an academic university and publisher.

In brief:

  • There are many aspects of the proposed URKI policy that we support without reservation. For example, authors should retain their copyright, journals and publishers should be more transparent about their services and costs, and key metadata, such as funder and grant information and author IDs, are vital for efficient scholarly communication and research evaluation infrastructures.
  • There is a conflict between the need for sustainable journal publishing models that provide access to the final published article and affordability for research-intensive universities. Collectively we believe that this contradiction in approach is not sustainable and necessitates a UKRI policy that is more flexible in the short term while supporting a much bolder shift in publishing practice that will require significant changes from all stakeholders. The Library and the Press are working together to explore bold innovation and disruption for scholarly communications built round a shared commitment to the goals of open research.
  • There are also areas where we agree that allowances must be made for the different needs of different research communities. While all research communities must be able to benefit from OA, flexibility on details such as Creative Commons licenses and third party content is needed to allow research, and international collaboration, to flourish. There are concerns from academics, Library and the Press, for example, about the potential for requiring open access to all monographs in the REF-after-REF 2021 in the absence of funding for publishing these monographs, around the cost implications of requiring open access to articles and monographs that include third party content and around unintended consequences for early career researchers in certain disciplines.
  • For books, we need the time and freedom to find scalable, sustainable approaches to OA. No model has been found so far that would allow us to publish large numbers of high-quality OA books at the global scale and reach of the Press. The impact of making pre-final versions of books open access after an embargo is inadequately understood, undesirable from the perspective of researchers in particular disciplines and may be economically unrealistic (because we believe book purchasing habits will change significantly under a delayed-OA approach). While new approaches are explored, we suggest a couple of options for UKRI to consider adopting: (i) broadening the definition of ‘open’ to include ‘free to read’ and (ii) allowing books to be published under a ‘transformative programme’, perhaps along the lines of the Subscribe To Open model for journals.
  • For journal articles, we cannot ignore an essential paradox. On the one hand, zero embargo Green OA depends upon subscriptions which are becoming ever more unsustainable as more content becomes OA. On the other hand, many research-intensive organizations are unable to pay the costs of their publishing without subsidies from subscribers around the world. Our academic University would need to comply with the proposed UKRI policy predominantly through the Green OA route, while CUP needs to transition to Gold OA. To resolve this paradox during a world-wide shift to full open access, UKRI must make two transitionary allowances: modest embargoes can be applied by publishers to support the subscriptions that sustain Green OA, and Gold OA in hybrid journals must continue to be supported. We want to see a scholarly communications landscape that has diversity reflecting the breadth scholarship across the disciplines, including smaller publishers and learned societies that require support in the transition to Open Access.

As we said earlier, we look forward to the new UKRI policy dramatically speeding up the UK’s transition to OA. We hope that the fine details of the policy will allow us to fully play our part in the transformation.

This post has been developed jointly by Cambridge University Libraries and Cambridge University Press and has also been shared at https://www.cambridge.org/core/blog/?p=36924.

Clearing the final hurdle – automating embargo setting

One of the biggest issues facing the Open Access Team has been keeping up with the constant stream of accepted manuscripts that need to be processed. In many cases we receive notification of an accepted manuscript well before formal publication. This has presented a significant challenge over the last five years because although we know there is a publication forthcoming (or at least we trust that there this), we have no idea as to when an article may actually be published.

This means that we have many thousands of publication records in Apollo which have ‘placeholder’ embargoes because we simply did not know the publication date at the point of archiving and therefore could not set an accurate embargo. After archiving, many of the records in Apollo may have been supplemented with a publication date thanks to metadata supplied via Symplectic Elements, but we still need to set an accurate embargo.

In other cases we might be waiting for an article to be published gold open access so that we can update Apollo with the published version of record.

While we are now very adept at archiving manuscripts in Apollo (thanks in large part to Fast Track and Orpheus) it remains a challenge to properly and accurately update Apollo records with either correct embargoes for accepted manuscripts, or the open access version of record. It is a futile task to be constantly checking whether a manuscript has been published. While the Open Access Team keeps a list of every publication that requires updating, this is a thankless job that should be highly automatable.

To that end, we have recently leveraged Orpheus to do at lot of the heavy lifting for us. By interrogating every journal article in Apollo and comparing its metadata against Orpheus we can now quickly determine which items can be updated and take the necessary next steps, changing embargoes where appropriate or identifying opportunities to archive the published version of record.

To do this we created a DSpace curation task to check every “Article” type in Apollo that had at least one file that was currently under embargo. We then compared the publication metadata against the information held in Orpheus to determine what steps needed to be taken. In total we found 9,164 items in need of some attention. The results are displayed below in a Tableau Public visual and summarised in Table 1.

Of these items, 3,864 had a published open access version archived alongside the embargoed manuscript, so we skipped any further updating of these records. This is actually a very good sign, and indicates that the Open Access Team has been going back to records and supplementing them with the open access version of record.

Amongst the remaining items, 2,794 were successfully matched against Orpheus and had their embargoes verified: 1,862 records were updated with shorter embargoes and 412 had longer embargoes applied, leaving 520 items which were unchanged because they already had the correct embargo period.

The final 2,506 items were primarily composed of records with no publication date (1,132 items), publications that could potentially be supplemented by the open access version of record (537 items) or had no embargo information in Orpheus (434 items).

Table 1. Summary of outcomes after comparing Apollo records against Orpheus.

Date archived in Apollo2014201520162017201820192020Total
The item has an open VoR version710512001019130022673864
Accepted version – embargo updated21457613223051342794
No publication date available10159327142171132
Orpheus VoR embargo: 014511854517537
No AAM embargo information available3664393326425434
Other outcome837114472316212403
Total1915415841358152541224029164

We plan to run this curation task on a regular basis and periodically check the outcomes. Any items that continually fail to update will be processed manually by the Open Access Team, but our intention and desire is to move away from manual processing wherever possible.

Published 3 April 2020

Written by Dr Arthur Smith

Image showing that this blog post is under CC-BY licence.