Open Access Week – Routes to open access III

To celebrate International Open Access Week, we are highlighting some routes to achieve open access that are available to University of Reading researchers.

Dr Emese Lazar

Dr Emese Lazar, ICMA Centre at University of Reading, published one of her recent papers using a fully open access journal via the gold open access route. Here, she explains why she chose this route and how she applied for funding.

When you were choosing where to publish, were you thinking about submitting to journals that would be able to make your article open access?
Yes, publishing in a fully open access journal was an active choice. Fully open access journals have a reputation for quick publication (as they are usually online only) and I wanted to make my work accessible to the public.

Were you aware of the University’s gold open access fund when you submitted to the journal?
No I wasn’t aware. I filled in the form requesting open access via the University Library website. I didn’t have any external funding for this piece of research.

How easy was the process to apply for and get open access funding?
Applying was very quick and easy. I had help from the open access team in the library and I got the funding approved on the same day that I applied! It took a bit longer to sort out payment with the publisher (almost a month), but this was handled by the Library team.

Has your article received much attention since it was published?
As our article can be accessed from several places, it is difficult to track the full number of reads and downloads. From the journal website, it looks as if the article has been viewed 981 times and downloaded 793 times since 16 May 2017.

Altmetric attention score

Altmetric attention score for Emese’s article

We also uploaded the paper to CentAUR and it has been downloaded 17 times up until the end of September 2017.

The Altmetric score for the paper is above average compared to outputs of the same age and it is ranked number 10 of 112 papers published in the journal at the same time.
I also made and uploaded a video about the paper to YouTube and that has had 60 views.

Will you try and make your next output open access?
I would definitely consider fully open access journals in the future since this publishing route can increase the visibility of my research.

Do you have any advice for others thinking about applying for open access funding?
You might not have thought about publishing as gold open access before but it is quite easy to apply for funding. Publishing this way can get your research published quickly and accessible by the public.

Emese’s article was published in Entropy, a fully open access journal (pure gold).
Pele, D., E. Lazar and A. Dufour (2017). Information Entropy and Measures of Market Risk. Entropy 19(5): 226. DOI: 10.3390/e19050226


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Open Access Week – Routes to Open Access II

To celebrate International Open Access Week, we are highlighting some routes to achieve open access that are available to University of Reading researchers.

Dr Emma Borg published one of her recent papers in a Springer hybrid journal using the Springer Open Choice deal. Here, she explains how she arranged gold open access publication with the publisher.

When you were choosing where to publish, were you thinking about submitting to journals that would be able to make your article open access?
This paper was in a new research area where neither I nor my co-author Bradford Hooker had published before. We asked colleagues at Oxford University what the best journal was in the subject area and submitted to that one. The article was planned as an impact piece so we did wonder about applying for Reading University funds to make it open access.

Did the journal ask you about open access when your paper was accepted? Did they make you aware of any deals or discounts?
I hadn’t looked into what deals with publishers were available through Reading University in advance so it was a pleasant surprise to find out from Springer that there was an arrangement in place with my institution.

How easy was the process to apply for and get open access funding?
Very easy. I didn’t have to apply for funding or complete any forms as the gold open access was covered by a general JISC agreement. The open access team in the Library confirmed to the publisher that I was a member of Reading University staff and it all went through very smoothly.

Has your article received much attention since it was published?
Gold open access was particularly good for this article as it was an impact piece that we wanted to have a broader reach than our standard academic papers. We are hoping that publishing as gold open access will result in a wider readership for the paper.

As the paper was published as Gold Open Access with a CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons license, I was able to post it legally on ResearchGate and The paper has had 27 reads on ResearchGate and 141 views on

Altmetric score

Altmetric attention score for Emma’s paper

The paper has got an Altmetric score of 2 and is number 28 out of 45 outputs from the journal that were published at the same time.

The paper has also been deposited in University of Reading’s institutional repository, CentAUR, and the full text of the article has been downloaded 21 times since April 2017.

I think it might be a bit too  early to tell whether open access has helped with citations.

Will you try and make your next output open access?
I might look at the gold open access route for future publications. I tend to make publishing decisions based on discipline-specific views about the best journals but I may start looking at some bibliometrics and the availability of gold open access in future. By uploading my articles to CentAUR, I’m already making sure that they will be available via the green open access route.

Emma’s paper was published in the Journal of Business Ethics
Borg, E. & Hooker, B. Epistemic Virtues Versus Ethical Values in the Financial Services Sector. J Bus Ethics (2017).




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Open Access Week 2017 – Routes to Open Access publishing I

To celebrate International Open Access Week, we are highlighting some routes to achieve open access that are available to University of Reading researchers.

There are many routes to achieve open access for your research outputs. One route is to publish in selected Taylor & Francis hybrid journals. As the University of Reading Library subscribes to a JISC journal package, Reading authors qualify for a discounted Article Processing Charge (APC) of £450. As this fee is below the £500 threshold, APCs for these journals can be funded by the University Gold Open Access scheme.

Picture of researcher Dr Billy Wong

Dr Billy Wong

In this interview, Dr Billy Wong (ORCID 0000-0002-7310-6418), Lecturer in Widening Participation at the Institute of Education, University of Reading, explains how he published three articles using this discount scheme.


How do you usually choose where to publish your work?
I usually go for the ‘best fit’ between the Journal’s scope, aims and objectives and my article. This could include factors such as the word count and the specific subject area. I’ve not regarded open access as a key priority in the past as I’ve assumed that most of my readers will be academics who will be able to read my articles through their university library subscriptions.

How did you find out that you could publish your paper as open access?
I was not sure whether I would be able to apply for payment of open access fees. I went to a People Development session on open access policies and publishing and found out through the Q&A session that the University Library had a deal with the publisher. This meant that I could publish my paper open access in a hybrid journal for less than £500 and so be eligible for funding through the University Gold Open Access scheme.

How easy was it to apply for funding?
It was relatively straight forward. The online form is clear and it is easy to submit. I heard back quickly with a decision on funding. I did not have to deal with any invoices as this was all handled by the open access team. I applied to have a recent paper made open access retrospectively once I realised that funding was available.

Were you previously aware of the deals that Reading University has with some publishers to provide open access?
No – it was only after I’d published a couple of papers in my preferred journals that I realised that there were discounts available. I would now look at the information available to researchers on the library website or ask the open access team about what’s currently on offer.

Have your articles received much attention since they were published?
With open access, I feel confident and proactive in promoting my articles via social media and email as I know that access to my work is only one click away for everyone. I can also share my article legally on collaboration sites such as ResearchGate. My articles seem to have received more attention compared to other non-open access papers in the same journal.

Will you try and make your next output open access?
Yes, if possible. I think that all publications should be open access. Open access is the first small step towards public engagement with our research. A paywall reproduces the exclusive nature of academia. As authors, it is ironic we cannot openly share our own work. Open access will hopefully amend this.

Do you have any advice for others thinking about applying for open access funding?
Apply for funding if you think you might qualify. It is important that all our research is as widely disseminated as possible. I still remember the times when I could not read an article because it was behind a paywall, which forced me to search for alternatives. We spend a lot of time researching, writing and polishing our work, so it is a shame if people cannot appreciate and use it because they don’t have access.

Attention for Dr Wong’s papers
Billy’s publications are all in Taylor and Francis hybrid journals (journals that have a subscription but also enable authors to pay to make their work open access). All of Billy’s papers have also been added to University of Reading’s CentAUR repository from where they can also be downloaded.

Altmetric donut for one of Billy Wong;s papers

Altmetric score for ‘I’m good but not that good’ captured on 23 October 2017

Wong, B. (2016). “‘I’m good, but not that good’: digitally-skilled young people’s identity in computing.” Computer Science Education 26(4): 299-317. DOI: 10.1080/08993408.2017.1292604

Published February 2017, viewed 364 times on the journal website, cited by 1 other paper according to CrossRef, Altmetric score of 7 and the most mentioned output from the same issue of the journal.

The paper is also available to download from CentAUR.



Altmetric donut for one of Billy Wong's papers

Altmetric attention score for ‘Technical boys and creative girls’ captured on 23 October 2017

Wong, B. and P. E. J. Kemp (2017). “Technical boys and creative girls: the career aspirations of digitally skilled youths.” Cambridge Journal of Education: 1-16, DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2017.1325443.

Published in May 2017, viewed 496 times on the journal website, Altmetric score of 15 and the most mentioned output from the same issue of the journal. The paper is currently at number 11 out of 15o papers tracked by Altmetric for this journal, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.

The article can also be downloaded from CentAUR.


Altmetric attention score for ‘Let me entertain you’ captured on 23 October 2017

Wong, B. and Y.-L. T. Chiu (2017). “Let me entertain you: the ambivalent role of university lecturers as educators and performers.” Educational Review: 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2017.1363718.

Published in September 2017, viewed 508 times on the journal website, Altmetric score of 11 and at number 14 out of 241 papers tracked from this journal, scoring higher than 94% of its peers.

The article can also be downloaded from CentAUR.


For further information on how to achieve open access for your research outputs, please contact or see the Library’s webpages.

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CentAUR statistics for August 2017

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CentAUR stats for July 2017

Infographic showing key statistics from the CentAUR repository

Some key statistics from the CentAUR repository

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CentAUR statistics for June 2017

Key statistics for 2017

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Archaeology in the Open: An Interview with Lisa Lodwick

We invited Lisa Lodwick from our Department of Archaeology to tell us about her work in Open Research.

Hello, please introduce yourself

Hi, I’m Dr Lisa Lodwick, a post-doctoral research assistant in the Department of Archaeology, SAGES (ORCID

Tell me about your research

My research focuses on the relationship between agricultural and urbanisation in later prehistoric and Roman Europe.

At Reading, I have been working on the Rural Settlement of Roman Britain project, a Leverhulme Trust project which aimed to collate published and unpublished archaeological reports to create a new account of rural Roman Britain. The project produced a database, hosted by the Archaeology Data Service, making data openly available from a wide range of archaeological excavations.

Within this project, I focused on collating archaeobotanical evidence – plant macrofossils from archaeological sites. I collated a large quantity of secondary data, which is generally very hard to access (microfiches, archive reports, PDFs, monographs), and very little is available as licensed data files.

What does Open Research mean to you?

Open Research means to me a broad range of practices, including open data, open methods and open access publication.

I am trying to make my research open because I believe everyone should have access to research. This means making sure I archive my postprints, and that my underlying data is published and archived. I use social media to disseminate and occasionally blog about my research. The majority of archaeologists working in the same area as me do so within the commercial and public sectors, beyond the paywall (without subscriptions), so if they can’t access my research, it will have a very limited impact on moving the discipline forward.

You are Editor-in-Chief of the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal (TRAJ), which is being launched this year with the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) as a full Open Access journal. Can you tell me about this journal and what prompted the decision to go fully Open Access with OLH?

The Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC) is a long-running event, founded in 1991, aiming to widen the ranges of voices heard, and perspectives offered, in Roman archaeology. The annual TRAC Proceedings have been published almost every year since 1993. The book-based publication limited the dissemination of papers, and made them less accessible.

In 2013, the Proceedings publisher Oxbow agreed to post individual papers from the Proceedings online after a 3-year embargo. While this was a great step forward, because papers are not indexed, they are still hard to find – for instance, they don’t appear on Google Scholar. This is fairly typical of academic publishing in Roman archaeology, which has a very fragmented publications landscape, with long publication lead times and a large amount of material unavailable or difficult to access online.

Our new open access journal, the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal (TRAJ), will publish papers from the annual TRAC conference and other events, as well as open submissions. It will continue the TRAC Proceedings tradition of publishing innovative and interdisciplinary research, and engaging with current theory and practice in Roman Archaeology.

The new format will address some of the challenges associated with the Proceedings. Working with the Open Library of Humanities allows us to publish a high-quality open access journal with no author-facing publication charges, as OLH covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, of which the University is a member.

Because the journal content will all be openly available and indexed, we can ensure it is easily discoverable and accessible, thus increasing exposure for research in the field and creating opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue.

How will TRAJ support Open Research?

Every article published in TRAJ will be open access from day one of publication. TRAJ will be published in XML format, meaning articles will be easy to read on a range of devices. The journal will have a range of features to encourage sharing and engagement with research, such as article annotation, easy-to-share social media buttons, and article-level metrics.

Authors publishing in TRAJ will be able to choose from a range of Creative Commons licenses, enabling easy re-use of material. We will support sharing of supplementary data files and plan to develop a policy encouraging authors to make their data accessible wherever possible by deposit in a suitable data repository.

I understand you use Twitter to talk about your research. Do you think social media have an important role to play in research today?

Yes, definitely in terms of disseminating research results, engaging a broad range of interest groups in the research process, networking with other researchers, and staying up to date with publications and events in your field. I have been using Twitter since 2011 (@LisaLodwick), mainly to talk about my PhD and post-doctoral research. TRAC also has a twitter account (@TRAC_Conference), which we use to promote events and publications, and we encourage the use of Twitter during the annual conference.

What would you say to a researcher who wanted to develop their social media profile or use social media in their research, but didn’t know where to start?

Just get started and it becomes easier over time. There are loads of resources available to provide advice, such as the LSE Impact Blog.

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CentAUR statistics for May 2017

Infographic with statistics from the CentAUR repository

Selected statistics from the CentAUR repository

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CentAUR statistics for April 2017

Selected statistics for the CentAUR repository

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Talking about Open Research at the University of Reading

Are you an Open Researcher? Do you support or promote Open Research? Did the conference convert you? If you’ve got an Open Research story to tell and would like to write a post for our blog, please drop me a line. We would love to hear your stories.

On 30th March we hosted the conference Open in Practice: Inspirations, Strategies and Methods for Open Research here at the University of Reading. Our aim was to stimulate conversation about Open Research, to showcase the benefits of an Open Research approach, and to enthuse researchers to adopt open methods in their own research practice.

The conference featured a number of guest speakers, including academics, publishers and data specialists, who came to talk about their experience of Open Research and what it means in practice. The audience included a broad representation of University researchers and research students, members of the University’s research support services, and academics from beyond Reading. Altogether 90 people, over two-thirds of them research-active, attended the conference, and took part in a day of stimulating discussions.

Slides from speakers’ presentations and a record of the concluding panel discussion can be found here, and you can relive all the drama of the day at our Storify timeline. In short video clips Marcus Munafo and Simon Tanner summarise the key messages of their plenary talks, and several of our delegates tell us about their Open Resolutions.

Why a conference on Open Research?

This is the first time the University has organised an event of this nature. Why did we do it? For two reasons:

First, because the University’s publications team is based in the Library, while our research data service (for very good reasons) sits in Research Services (our research office), and we had been talking for some time about how we can work together more effectively, and offer more holistic support to our researchers as they produce and disseminate the outputs of their research.

Secondly, we wanted to stimulate a broader discussion in our communities, not just about open access or research data, but about open practice in general, as it applies throughout the lifetime of research, and as it affects the processes of research as well as the communication of its end results. We wanted a conversation to take place not just about publishing open access and open data, but about open methods and materials, and open technologies and standards, and using rapid communications, preprints and other means of collaboration and engagement to bring dialogue and peer review into the heart of the research activity.

From this germ developed our idea for a conference themed around the encompassing concept of Open Research.

Open Research: a definition

The core concept of Open Research has often been advanced under the name of Open Science; we prefer the term Open Research, as being inclusive of both the humanities and the sciences.

Open Research is based on the principle that knowledge produces greatest benefit by being shared as openly as possible as early as possible in the discovery process. It is the idea that the methods, materials and results of research should be made openly and freely available wherever possible, so that they can be consulted and used by others, either to validate original research findings, or to realise additional value, through further research, through innovation, and through translation of created knowledge into other kinds of impact.

Open Research practices include:

  • the use of open digital technologies, tools and services to support collaborative research and engagement with stakeholder communities;
  • transparent documentation of research methods;
  • early communication of results using preprints and other informal publications;
  • sharing of data and software code using open licensing and open standards; and
  • using open access methods to publish research results.

Central to Open Research is the idea that modern technologies and evolving methods of communication have transformed the possibilities of research practice, shifting the focus from ‘publishing as fast as possible’ to ‘sharing knowledge as early as possible’. Open Research affects how research is performed, how researchers collaborate, how knowledge is shared, and, ultimately, how knowledge is realised as social and economic value. The means by which research is communicated are integral to the quality, integrity, and effectiveness of the research.

Open Research:

  • underwrites research quality, and demonstrates integrity in the conduct of research, by providing access to its materials, and enabling the widest possible critical engagement with its methods;
  • uses open publication and licensing to make its data, materials and findings accessible to and usable by others;
  • engages with academic and non-academic stakeholders in the design and conduct of research and its translation into real-world social and economic benefit.

Don’t mention compliance!

We were determined from the outset that we did NOT want to talk about compliance. This conference was not to be about what you need to do to make your publication REF-eligible, or what your obligations are if you are funded by this or that Research Council. Researchers hear enough about this. We wanted to: 1) inspire researchers, by showcasing excellence in Open Research and talking about all the positive reasons why it is a good thing; 2) present to our audience practical examples they could take away and apply in their own day-to-day work to make their research more open.

We also wanted a conversation that would embrace researchers in the humanities as well as the sciences, and that would guarantee something of interest for everyone. Accordingly the speakers we invited included academics from a variety of disciplines who were known as proponents of Open Research practice, and publishers and data service providers who could talk about methods for disseminating research materials and results.

So how did it work out?

Was it worth it? We believe so. We had a good turnout, with researchers from across the disciplinary spectrum and at all stages of the research career, from PhD students to professors, coming together to exchange ideas and engage in spirited discussion. I hope that our guests were inspired by the possibilities of Open Research, and that at least some of them have implemented changes in the way they work as a result. I would single out two key messages, which I hope will continue to resonate in the minds of those who attended.

Open Research is better research

In his formal Welcome at the start of proceedings, University Research Dean Phil Newton advanced the proposition that Open Research is better research. Better for all the reasons elaborated in the course of the day:

  • because Open Research more transparent and trustworthy;
  • because open methods contribute to better research design and better quality control;
  • because open communication maximises the transfer of knowledge to others for social and economic benefit;
  • and because the long term benefit to the individual researcher of being open in their practice (in terms of research integrity, quality, reach and impact) invariably trumps any perceived short term advantage from restricting access to research.

I hope this proposition was axiomatic for every member of our audience, and that it will continue to illumine how they think about, carry out and support research throughout their careers.

Everyone can do something!

In his closing words, Phil challenged everyone present to take away one new thing they had learnt and apply it to make their research more open, or to enable others to be more open in their research practice. In the spirit of practising as he preached, Phil made his own resolutions there and then:

  • To use the ideas generated during the conference to inform discussions about University support for open access and research data management through the steering groups for these services that he chairs;
  • To investigate the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA);
  • To investigate what we as a University can do to enable better research design and statistical reliability in our research results.

(If you want to find out more points 2 and 3, take a look at Marcus Munafo’s talk on Scientific ecosystems and research reproducibility).

A number of delegates at the conference told us about their Open Resolutions too:


The take-home message is that everyone can do something to make research more open, whether as a researcher you resolve to register your next study protocol, or to share your data, or to make your software code open source, or to publish an open access monograph; or whether as a research support professional you work to facilitate or promote open research practices.

Not least of the positive outcomes for us was that a number of staff from our University’s research support and management services attended, and were able to make sense of specific support functions, such as open access and research data services, in the context of the broader Open Research philosophy. This has in turn provoked some discussion of the questions: Are there practical ways in which the University can do more to enable and encourage Open Research practice on the part of our researchers and research students? And by taking practical steps in this direction, can we increase the quality, productivity, and competitive strength of our research?

Would we do it again?

We had excellent positive feedback from our conference guests. I am delighted that through this conference we have stimulated such interest and variety of discussion among our researchers, among those who manage and support research at the University, and also on the part of those from outside the University who joined in the conversation on the day. I hope the conference will have a threefold legacy:

  • Researchers will be encouraged to change how they work and to try new things to make their work more open;
  • The University of Reading will develop its services to better support and promote the adoption of Open Research practices on the part of its researchers;
  • We and our researchers will continue to participate in the ongoing conversations about Open Research and Open Science, and in some measure contribute to the evolution of an Open Research culture, not just here in the UK, but across the world, to the greater benefit of researchers, research organisations and the beneficiaries of research.

We have been sufficiently encouraged by the reaction to the conference to consider making Open In Practice an annual event. It’s too early to say whether that will happen yet, but I hope it will, and by this means we can continue to join in the Open Research conversation.

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