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Durham University



Here are the web sites and services mentioned on the other DRO web pages. We've added a few more, together with an explanation of why we think you might find them useful.

Creative Commons (CC)

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation based in California. It has produced a set of licences under which 'content creators' can publish their work. The licences are not an alternative to copyright, but operate alongside.

This 3 minute YouTube video provides a brief introduction to the licences.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

Searchable database of academic books which are available open access. Also useful for researchers looking for an open access book publisher.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Equivalent service to DOAB above, but for open access journals and articles. Unlike DOAB, you can search for journals which do not charge authors an Article Processing Charge (APC). Particularly useful for early career researchers who may not have an extra £1.5-£2K to spend.

Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC)

Wellcome Trust-funded researchers need to know about Europe PMC and PMC (see below). Europe PMC is a free-to-access, digital archive of biomedical and life sciences literature. It is a European version of PCM which is operated by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). If Wellcome funds your research, you need to deposit your journal articles and conference papers in both these systems. But if you deposit in Europe PMC, your paper will automatically be available in PMC, albeit after a delay of between 2-3 weeks. Wellcome will send Principal Investigators a Europe PMC username and password. Screen-by-screen instructions explain how to deposit.

Finch Report

'Finch' refers to Dame Janet Finch who chaired the Working Group on 'Expanding Access to Published Research'. The Group was funded by the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK), and the Publishers Association. The Finch report was published in June 2012 and its full title is Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications. The UK Government accepted its recommendations, including the preference for 'Gold' open access.

OA overview

Peter Suber's 'Very Brief Introduction to Open Access'. There is also a longer version, with plenty of links to other sources of information. Professor Suber has been heavily involved in open access for many years. He is currently the Director of the Harvard Open Access Project.

This 8.27 minute YouTube animation also provides a useful introduction to OA.

Paywall: the Business of Scholarship

'Talking heads' from academia, the publishing industry and non-academic users of research discussing Open Access. Focussing in particular on the 35-40% profits made by one the largest academic publishers. There's a short trailer and the just-over-an-hour long movie.

PubMed Central (PMC)

The fore-runner of the Europe PMC service described above. PMC is operated by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Any researcher funded by NIH must deposit their peer-reviewed manuscripts on acceptance or arrange to have deposited on their behalf (eg by the publisher).

RCUK Open Access policy

Applies to peer-reviewed research articles and conference proceedings which acknowledge UK Research Councils funding (formerly RCUK), and which were submitted for publication from 1 April 2013. Researchers can choose either the Gold or Green route to open access. But if they opt for Gold, they must publish under a CC-BY licence. If they opt for Green, they must deposit their paper in a repository, and ensure that it is made open access within the specified maximum embargo periods.

REF post-2014

Research England's policy (formerly HEFCE) describing its new open access eligibility requirements for the next REF. Applies specifically to journal articles and some conference papers. But the policy is likely to be of interest to any researcher intending to submit their work.

SHERPA web services

SHERPA is based at Nottingham University. It has provided information and support services to the open access community since 2002. SHERPA hosts three searchable databases:

Provides summary details of publisher and specific journals' policies about which version of journal articles can be made available on the web and where (eg whether on a personal website and/or an institutional or subject repository). Information may not always be up-to-date. Therefore you are advised to use the link provided to check current details on the publisher's own website.

Provides information about key funding bodies' open access requirements. As for RoMEO above, it advisable to connect to the funder's own website to confirm that you are reading the most up-to-date information.

For RCUK and Wellcome Trust-funded researchers. Enter details of your funder and the journal in which you intend to publish to discover if it offers either a Gold or Green open access option which complies with your funder's requirement.

Wellcome Trust Open Access policy

Policy requires that peer-reviewed journal articles are available in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) within six months of official publication. There's also now a requirement that monographs and book chapters are available open access too.