Making the most of SciFree – an interview with the company’s founder

SciFree is a clever tool that helps researchers at University of Reading find out which journals are covered by our Transformative Agreements and deals with publishers. With 17 publisher deals covering over 11,000 different journals it can be difficult to keep track of where researchers can publish their work as Open Access easily and how each deal works. The SciFree tool aims to make it simple and quick to find out whether a journal is included in a deal.

To find out more about how to use the tool, check out our previous ORRB post: Launching SciFree, a new tool for researchers at University of Reading

Access the SciFree tool

A conversation with Abeni Wickham

I talked to Dr Abeni Wickham, the person behind SciFree, about how she worked out that the tool was needed and set about building something to meet the needs of researchers and Libraries.

Abeni has a PhD in Molecular Physics and has studied at UCL and Imperial College in the UK. As she has worked as a researcher she understands the importance of publishing research outputs as Open Access wherever possible. Working with both researchers and librarians, she put together a tool that simplifies the complex landscape of transformative agreements and publisher deals that an institution may have signed up to.

Video snippets will only be visible to University of Reading staff and students via Yuja. A full recording of the interview is available on YouTube.

Why create the SciFree journal search tool?

I asked Abeni about her motivation for creating the SciFree tool.

How does the tool work?

Abeni explains how the tool will help you find out whether a journal is included a  Transformative Agreement or publisher deal that is available to researchers at University of Reading. The tool also helps by pointing you to the right Creative Commons licence and further information about how to qualify for the deal. An added bonus of the tool is that all fully Gold (or Pure Gold) Open Access journals that are included in the search will be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and so should be reputable publications. This takes away a checking step for the researcher.

Tips and tricks for getting the most out of the SciFree tool

If your chosen journal does not appear in the SciFree search, it does not necessarily mean that you won’t be able to publish Open Access in that title. Abeni describes how to work with the Research Engagement team in the University of Reading Library to make sure that you explore all your options for Open Access publishing.

Try the SciFree tool for yourself

Give the SciFree tool a try for yourself and find the perfect journal for your next Open Access publication. This companion blog post explains how to use the tool.

A screenshot of the journal search box in the SciFree journal finder tool

View the full interview via YouTube (for non-University of Reading readers)

Creative Commons License
This blog post and the version of the video interview hosted on YouTube are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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