Friday, 26 October 2018

Open Access - what, monographs too?

Concluding our series of Open Access Week posts, Kate Petherbridge muses on the increasing importance of open access monographs and some of the different publishing models emerging... 


We are used to the idea that many funders and universities want academics to publish articles Open Access (OA). However, dismay met the push to make monographs available OA as well. In 2016, HEFCE (as it then was) flagged the expected expansion of OA requirements to monographs in the third Research Excellence Framework (REF). When this was discussed during the University Press Redux in February 2018 there was great debate about whether this is realistic - or even desirable. So what are the concerns and are they valid? What would be the benefits of OA monographs?

What is Open Access?

The International Open Access Week website describes OA as “the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need”. In order to achieve the second aspect, content needs to be licenced to enable reuse. Commonly, this means that content is published under Creative Commons Licences, which allow authors to retain the rights to their work and to set the conditions around which others can copy, distribute, and reuse that work.

Why is it important? 

OA is important for a number of reasons. The obvious ones include meeting REF requirements and funding conditions. OA content tends to be viewed more than content that needs to be paid for, and this often results in higher citation rates. The increased visibility helps build your academic reputation. OA brings research to new audiences, inside and outside academia, and this is likely to increase public engagement. Increasing the public’s perception of the relevance of HE is important in the current climate, and demonstrating this has been difficult when the research done is closed and inaccessibly to so many. It also brings the maximum value from research by allowing it to be reused as a building block in ongoing conversations and research.

When is Open Access not really Open Access? 

To start with, let's look at OA models for article publishing. These are now widely accepted (though it’s worth remembering the concerns when this discussed began). The Green OA model seems most common. Academics deposit a pre-publication version of their accepted article manuscript in either an institutional or subject repository. They then publish their article, often in a traditional journal. After an embargo period, set by the publisher but (hopefully!) in line with the funder’s criteria, the repository version can be accessed for free. So while the published article may still sit within a subscription journal, a free version is available to everyone once the embargo period ends.

All good, right? Well, yes and no. The repository version is not the same as the published article (usually considered the “version of record”). Academics can find this frustrating.  The arguably more accessible repository version (embargo period aside) sometimes lacks key formatting, may not look as professional, and will lack citation-relevant structure (page numbers etc.). Having multiple versions can also mean it’s harder to measure impact and combine metrics etc. Repository versions can also fall under publisher copyright, preventing them being shared and reused freely. This doesn’t really embrace the full spirit of OA (even if it does tick all the boxes from a funder perspective).

Hybrid journals publish some articles free-to-access while others remain behind subscription paywalls. Again, while this offers free access to the OA articles, the copyright remains with the publisher so limiting sharing and reuse. Many funders are now considering if hybrid journals really do meet their OA criteria.

Gold OA, where an article is published in a full OA journal, with no issues around different versions, paywalls or embargo periods, and where the content is published under a licence that allows sharing and reuse, delivers both the free access and reuse aspects of OA.

Image Open books by Latemplanza available under
CC-BY-SA 4.0 at Wikimedia Commons

So... back to monographs

That was relevant. Really! Having a clear understanding of how OA monographs models could work in practice will save time if we hope to include monographs in the third REF.

A Green OA monograph model sees the book sold for a period before becoming free to access online. While being sold it would presumably be “rights reserved” but could flip to a more liberal licence once it becomes OA. This is almost equivalent to the article embargo period. Some publishers already use this model, or something very similar. It doesn’t replicate the version/formatting issues we see with Green OA article publishing, but does create other questions.

Is it fair to the book’s audience that one day they have to pay for something that becomes free the next? Publishers would need to declare the “becomes free” date to prevent backlash. This could change customer behaviour, with readers waiting till the book was free to access it. In the current context of ever-increasing pressure on library budgets, it’s hard to justify buying access to research that will become free for everyone after 12 months. This could then delay the impact of the research by a year, which would frustrate authors and funders keen to see research embraced by the academic community.

There is also question of sustainability. Green OA for articles doesn’t require funding of publishing charges. The publisher covers the costs out of profit made from journal subscriptions, as normal, while the author simply deposits e.g. a PDF of the pre-published manuscript in a repository. For monographs publication costs will apply. These are unlikely to be covered by e.g. a single year of sales. If OA publishing becomes widespread, how will publishers fund these monographs unless passing costs on to funders/institutions? If that happened, wouldn’t this be the Gold model with a delay?

Gold OA monographs

Gold OA for monographs would see instant free access to the full published version with maximum potential impact through widest possible dissemination from initial release. A recent White Rose University Press (WRUP) publication, Star Carr, reached nearly 1000 downloads in its first week of release and has now reached well over 4000 downloads after 6 months. Published under liberal licences, so the author retains ownership of their work and to enable sharing and reuse, this would seem to be the obvious solution. So what is the problem? 

Who pays?

It’s a thorny issue. Gold OA is often called “author pays”- though in reality funding should come from funding bodies, institutions, societies rather from the author themselves. It might be more accurate to call it a “funding required” model. This is likely to be true of any sustainable OA monograph model if we are honest so it’s probably best to explore how to handle it. In Plan S, Science Europe’s cOAlition S addresses fees and funding (who should pay, potential capping). Institutions need to consider the reason for the research they support. Surely, releasing the knowledge gained can only help in engaging with the public, with outreach, with student recruitment etc. as we showcase what we do in HE and why this is so important. Shouldn’t that be part of a business model and so worth investment?

How can we ensure quality?

There is a suspicion, hopefully dwindling, that OA content is of a lesser quality. This may come from misunderstanding “author pays”- they pay and OA publishers will publish anything. This is not the case, and it should be noted that “vanity publishing” is neither new nor linked exclusively to OA. As with any publisher, academics should consider the publisher’s quality control process. How are works commissioned? Is there rigorous Peer Review? What will the quality of the published output be? Publishers, OA or not, should be able to answer such questions. WRUP, for example, details its Editorial Board, commissioning and peer review process on it’s website, and authors can explore for themselves (freely!) the quality of the digital publications.

What about third party content?

It’s assumed to be difficult to use third party content in OA publishing. (Which is ironic, as if everyone published content OA, there would be no barriers). This doesn’t have to be a problem. Most right holders don’t have policies in place for use of their content in OA publications, though a growing number do, and WRUP has found that most are very reasonable when the OA model is explained. Third party content can be licenced separately from the main volume e.g. in an image caption- very much as you might see in a traditional publication. Often the issue for a rights holder can be around the free to access digital version of their content. This is little different in terms of risk to putting the image on their website, if the same rights statement is applied. Working through this can put the rights holder’s concerns to rest. Authors can also search content licenced for reuse (a growing amount is), especially where something is illustrative only rather than a specific image being required.
 

Isn’t OA complicated? Who can help?

Like anything new, OA can seem complicated. There are lots of people around that can help. Most institutions have the equivalent of York’s Research Support Team: email them at lib-research-support@york.ac.uk. Open Access is just one of the many areas they can advise on. York, Leeds and Sheffield Universities also support a “friendly” OA University Press in WRUP (email universitypress@whiterose.ac.uk) to offer help and answer any general questions about OA publishing, or to discuss potential proposals for journals or monographs.

Support is out there and the appetite for OA is growing, as is the pool of scholarly OA content. Engaging with the drive to include monographs in this would seem the next logical step.


As White Rose Libraries Executive Manager, Kate Petherbridge works across the university libraries of Leeds, Sheffield and York, leading and facilitating their areas of collaboration. These are varied, and include shared repository services, shared collection management work and, most recently, White Rose University Press.


Thursday, 25 October 2018

“A great way to get your work read more widely”

Continuing the theme of Open Access Week, Kirstyn Radford speaks to York PhD holder Dr Clare Cunningham about how an open access thesis can extend the reach of your research ...

For University of York postgraduate researchers, Open Access is not some far-off future aspiration like a professorship or a global patent - it’s a reality they plan for as soon as they start writing their thesis.  The University’s Policy on Research Degrees dictates that “all theses deposited by research students after examination... will be available to the general public for consultation and for reproduction (as permitted in copyright law)”, unless commercially-valuable or sensitive material is present.  An author can ask to embargo their thesis for a year or more whilst they explore commercial possibilities,  but by keeping their work under wraps, might they risk missing out on opportunities to develop their scholarly reputation at the point when their doctoral research is most newsworthy?

Accessing theses then...
From the earliest days of the University, successful York PhD holders were required to supply a bound volume of their thesis for the University Library, where it would be shelved in a locked room to protect it from unwanted attention.  Potential readers were expected to identify a title of interest from the Library Catalogue or the British Library’s Index to Theses, submit a request to read it, and collect it in person, for perusal strictly on the premises.  Readers who weren’t based in York and couldn’t travel were able to enjoy a microfilm version, sent by post.  (For our younger audience: a microfilm was like a ginormous reel of photos of the thesis, page by page. Black and white - well,  yellowish really. Easily torn, or tangled up in knots. Only readable on a machine the size of a photocopier).

Aware that this wasn’t an optimal delivery model for the fruits of their postgraduate researchers’ labour, the Universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield decided to collaborate on an online platform for theses: White Research eTheses Online (WREO).  Launched in 2008, WREO now holds over 14 000 theses and dissertations, almost all free-to-view,  except those which are embargoed for the reasons above.  In addition to all York theses examined since 2012,  WREO also provides a home for earlier titles which have been retrospectively digitized by the British Library due to popular demand,  including two dating from 1968, just five years after the University was founded.

...and now.
Most WREO records include a searchable abstract and keywords supplied by the author, to maximise the chances that the thesis will be well-placed in any list of Google search results. A stable and succinct url makes for straightforward citation and social media mentions.  A York thesis uploaded this year on the subject of bi- and multi-lingual children in English schools has already been downloaded 238 times!  (For comparison, the most widely-read thesis in the Library’s collection of bound volumes, also originating from Education, has been requested 19 times in 6 years).

Dr Clare Cunningham, author of the ‘most-downloaded’ thesis, has this to say about her first experience of Open Access publishing:
It seems such a shame to work on something for 7 years (in my case…!) and for it to only be read by your examiners and those people kind enough to proofread for you! And that’s why I decided to take it a bit further and actually cite it on other websites and posts I was writing, with a link to the White Rose repository: a great way to get your work read more widely.  I didn’t embargo it because I decided I wasn’t going to write a monograph straight from it, but even if you are, a thesis needs to change a lot to become a good book, so it may as well get read!
Rather than relying wholly on word-of-mouth or serendipitous Googling to attract readers to her thesis, Clare took advantage of a relevant scholarly society’s blog platform for postgraduate researchers, publishing a plain English summary of her doctoral work.  An approach from The Conversation’s editorial team followed, with an invitation to contribute an article on the social and political context in which teachers work with multi-lingual children in English schools, which has been read over 10 000 times.  Now employed as a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at York St John University, Clare can look forward to many years of building her academic reputation on sound foundations: her examined thesis, free-to-view on a stable platform underpinned by the resources of three Russell Group universities.

Kirstyn Radford is a Research Support Librarian at the University of York.  She has worked in academic libraries for 25 years, long enough to remember when microfilm readers operated by electricity rather than hamster power were the latest innovation...

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Textbooks: the potential of Open


Open access isn't just about research, but can be invaluable in supporting teaching and learning. Continuing our series of Open Access Week themed posts, Sarah Thompson writes about developments in Open textbooks...

Free the textbook! flying books
Image courtesy of opensource.com, https://goo.gl/images/m4HDqJ 



Supporting student reading

Like most academic libraries in the UK, we take the provision of student reading very seriously. It is standard practice at York to buy at least one copy of every Recommended book on a reading list, and multiple copies of books marked as Essential. Wherever possible, we buy ebooks, often in addition to print copies; surveys continue to show that while students prefer print books for close, sustained reading, ebook versions are more convenient; they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, downloaded for offline reading, searched for keywords etc. Ebook content used in conjunction with SensusAccess or screen reading software can also be easier than print books for many people with visual or learning disabilities/difficulties.

Isn’t everything available as an ebook?

Unfortunately, not all books cited by lecturers on their reading lists are available digitally on library ebook aggregated platforms such as Dawsonera, Ebook Central and VLeBooks. Those that are available may only be sold on a restricted use model and therefore are only available to a small number of people at the same time (1 or 3 concurrent user licences are common) and, in addition, are usually subject to Digital Rights Management (DRM) which restricts printing and copying to a set amount (for example, 10% of a book). These restrictions are usually in place for titles which publishers have classified as Textbooks, and they negate many of the convenient features of ebooks. We know that students can at best feel frustrated, at worst put off using ebooks altogether, when they are turned away from reading an ebook because it is already ‘in use’, or they are added to a virtual queuing system.

Why the restrictions?

So, why do some publishers insist on these restrictions when allowing their textbooks to be sold to libraries via the ebook aggregated platforms? For the same commercial reasons that other textbook publishers don’t sell to these platforms in the first place: fear about lost revenue due to lost sales. The textbook publishing model is predicated on selling to individuals, not to libraries, and on selling large numbers; the biggest selling textbooks are regularly re-issued in new editions, keeping them up-to-date and maintaining new sales. Easy access to e-textbooks via the library would inevitably reduce sales to students. The e-textbook models that publishers have embraced are those that maintain and grow their revenues: rental models to students, subscription models to libraries and sales to institutions. The institutional model provides access for a pre-defined cohort of students via platforms such as Kortext and Bibliotech, and is costed on a price per student basis, usually for a period of a semester or a year; prices are high because this model presumes this is the core title for a particular module, and that it will be fully incorporated into lectures, seminars, activists, tests and assignments. These costs are unlikely to be scalable or sustainable if applied to all modules across the university, and - perhaps even more importantly - they do not seem fair or proportionate when textbooks are not integral to the teaching of a module, but are merely one of a number of resources which students are directed or encouraged to read.

https://openstax.org/

Open Textbooks

Could Open be the solution to escalating, unaffordable textbook prices, while also delivering content that is free from copyright and digital rights restrictions? A number of interesting Open Textbook initiatives are happening in the US, where students are expected to buy their own textbooks. One notable initiative is OpenStax, which produces peer-reviewed, openly licensed online textbooks that are free to use and adopt. Open licencing means students can share the content on social networks, discussion forums and in blended learning environments without any restriction, or convert it into a format that meets their study habits. They will have access throughout the whole of their course, not just during the relevant module or semester, as well as later for lifelong learning. OpenStax are supported by Rice University and a number of philanthropic foundations.


Other initiatives

https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/
The Open Textbook Library is another significant US initiative, again supported by educational and charitable organisations. They don’t produce their own content, but instead provide a managed listing of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks from different authors and publishers. Like OpenStax, all their titles can be freely used and adopted. Almost all have a licence that permits them to be edited and for a derivative to be created, e.g. for use outside the US it might be helpful to add local or regional contexts and examples. Other examples of major platforms include College Open Textbooks and OER Commons.Tools like Open Author support people who want to create open educational resources and make them widely available. In addition, there are regional initiatives such as BCcampus OpenEd, eCampusOntario and Florida’s Orange Grove.


http://ukopentextbooks.org/

What’s happening in the UK?

The UK Open Textbook project set out to raise awareness and host activities to encourage the adoption of open textbooks. It has reached the end of its pilot phase and is now seeking further funding; you can read a report of its achievements to date in the Insights article “Open textbooks – an untapped opportunity for universities, colleges and schools”. Jisc’s Institution as e-textbook publisher project, which has just completed, has worked with the universities of Liverpool, Nottingham, UCL and the Highlands and Islands and Edinburgh Napier to support them in creating their own e-textbooks (8 in total) and experiment with different business and licensing models. Both of these projects are important and will hopefully drive further research and experimentation. But so far there’s been relatively little activity, especially when compared to initiatives elsewhere in the world.

Interested? Please get in touch

We’d love to hear from anyone at York who’s might be interested in adopting or adapting an existing open textbook, or potentially creating their own - contact me or your Academic Liaison Librarian. Let’s start a conversation and see what we can achieve together.


Sarah Thompson is Head of Collections at the University of York Library. She is responsible for the the teams who acquire, catalogue and make available print and electronic information resources, as well the budgets associated with acquiring those resources and the technology that underpins their management and discovery. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Open data and the scientific gift culture


Continuing our theme for International Open Access WeekProfessor Kevin Cowtan, Department of Chemistry, writes about the value of open data for scientific research.

If you've applied for a research council grant recently, you'll know that research councils have become rather keen on 'open data' in recent years. Funders would like us, not just to produce new results, but also to provide all the data used in deriving those results. Many journals are introducing similar requirements.

At first glance this might appear as research funders imposing more bureaucracy on grant holders. However I would like to suggest that open data is fundamental to how science works, and in addition that releasing research data can provide significant benefits to the researcher themself.

All science involves building on the work of others, or 'standing on the shoulders of giants'. This makes science a gift culture - we take the gift of the work of others and in turn gift our own work to others for them to build on. Making our results available sooner increases the opportunities for others to build on them, or if necessary to point out our errors, both of which increase human knowledge. Releasing our data often increases the value of our work, because other researchers can test our hypotheses and others against the data. In open source software, these benefits are characterized by the slogans 'release early, release often', and 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow'.

Or that is what is supposed to happen. But does it work in practice? I would like to highlight three experiences from my own career which suggest that it does.

Example 1: In the 1990s Dr Paul Emsley and myself developed a new piece of software for X-ray crystallography, called 'Coot'. University culture at the time was heavily focussed on the commercialisation of software outputs, however we (not without difficulty) made our work 'open source', meaning anyone else could build on our work, and we in turn could incorporate the work of others. This turned out to be a very good decision: Coot quickly surpassed and largely replaced all competing tools, and for the past few years the software has typically been cited in around 10 new peer-reviewed papers every day. The use of the software in industry as well as in academia produces an economic impact.

Example 2: Around 2013 I became interested in climate science, and identified a problem with how a major historical temperature dataset was being used. Users assumed that the data were global in coverage, when in fact they were not. I published a paper on estimating an unbiased global mean from the incomplete data, but also released the data and monthly updates from then on. The dataset has attracted over 200 citations and been used in official reports from government organizations. The name recognition this has generated has made it easy for me to build collaborations with climate scientists - which is not always easy when starting in a new field.

Example 3: In 2015 I identified a problem in how climate model simulations are compared with observations - the most commonly used method did not provide an 'apples to apples' comparison because of complexities of the historical data. A correct comparison involved some dull but careful data analysis. Again, I released the software as well as the data. Several subsequent comparisons have made use of this code, leading to both citations and co-authorships, at least one of which will be REF returnable.

Image courtesy of XKCD, https://xkcd.com/1827 
under a CC BY-NC 2.5 licence
Now, this may all have been luck. After all, had I not had success in releasing data and computer code, I would not have been asked to write this blog post. There could be hundreds of people releasing data and not seeing any benefits. I could be the beneficiary of 'survivorship bias', explained by Randall Munroe in the comic XKCD.

However there are objective reasons to believe that releasing data does benefit the researcher. In 2013, Piwowar and Vision found that after controlling for a range of other factors, papers with open data received more citations than papers without open data. Open data also provides economic impact, estimated for example by Houghton and Gruen in 2014, which when measurable may be useful to the department and the researcher for REF "impact" studies.

In summary, open data is a natural extension of the principles of good scientific research: science is and has always been a social activity, and the gifting of information is fundamental to that activity. Studies of open data publications show benefits both to the researcher and to the wider economy. My own research career has been built on giving away data and computer code: not every case has led to benefits, but the net benefit over the course of my career has far outweighed the time cost of releasing the data.


Professor Cowtan is an interdisciplinary data scientist working in the fields of X-ray crystallography and climate science. While most of his career has been at the University of York, he has also spent sabbaticals at San Diego Supercomputer Centre. He is the chair of the university Research Data Management committee.

Monday, 22 October 2018

White Rose University Press: an Open Access publisher from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York


To kick off our series of posts for International Open Access Week, Kate Petherbridge, White Rose Libraries Executive Manager, writes about the work of White Rose University Press and the benefits that open access publishing can bring for authors and the wider research community.


White Rose University Press (WRUP) is the library-led university press of the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It opened for proposals in 2016. Two years later, WRUP has made considerable progress from a standing start. Open Access (OA) Week 2018 seems a good opportunity to reflect on this progress and why new academic-led and university presses like WRUP are becoming more important in the HE environment.

Why an Open Access Press?

The White Rose Libraries (WRL) work together on different projects. WRUP is a product of this collaboration. One driver behind its creation was feedback from academics across Leeds, Sheffield and York universities who flagged that there were limited options for academics who wanted to publish their research OA. This coincided with institutional concern about the costs of buying content from traditional commercial publishers, and the growing focus on OA by funders and the government. WRL developed a not-for-profit university press to offer an OA publishing solution.

As a library-led press, WRUP operates in an area used to providing support to academics, and also with a focus on collaborative working. OA makes publishing evolve into an academic service, and WRUP enjoys working closely with its academic authors and editors. They have input into production choices, licensing, design, distribution and marketing for their publication. Feedback shows that academics appreciate the opportunity to work closely with the publisher in this way.

How does it work?

As with other academic publishers, books and new journals go through a formal proposal and full peer review process. Commissioning decisions are made by the WRUP Editorial Board, consisting of academics from across the three universities. Commissioned publications are produced to a high standard, with all the expected design elements and processes such as copyediting, typesetting, indexing etc. available.

What is different about OA?

OA publishing is different in some key ways, notably in the areas of dissemination, rights and funding.

Dissemination

OA books and journals are free for everyone to access online. You don’t need to be associated with an institution that can afford a subscription or to buy a copy of a book to access the research. The primary OA product is digital. WRUP offers its books and journals free to read online or downloaded in a variety of formats. This free global access means that academics, practitioners, policy-makers and the public all have the same access to high-quality academic research. WRUP also offers books for purchase via print-on-demand as OA publishers understand that people still want the option of a printed volume.

Rights

In traditional publishing, authors commonly sign their copyright over to the publisher. This can make it difficult for them to reuse sections of their own work. It is also a barrier to other academics freely sharing and building on that research. OA content is published under Creative Commons Licences. Authors retain the copyright to their work, and can use the licence to set the conditions around which others can copy, distribute, and make use of their work. This opens the research up in a way that traditional “all rights reserved” publishing does not. OA maximises the value of that work in terms of how it can be shared, but also how it can be built on and combined with other research in an evolving discussion.

Funding

This is a key source of contention around OA publishing. It’s a divisive issue and one that OA sceptics use to predict the long-term failure of the model. Many describe Gold OA (the WRUP model) as “author pays”. There are costs associated with the publication process and these have to be covered. In the case of WRUP these costs have been met through grant funding, funding from societies, or funding from the author’s own institution – the authors themselves have not had to pay.. A scalable solution is needed, however. Latest discussions include proposals from Science Europe’s cOAlition S. Their Plan S details 10 principles, some of which address fees (who should pay these, potential capping). It will be interesting to see how that conversation develops.

What are the benefits of OA?

There are many benefits to authors who publish in OA journals. OA articles tend to be viewed more than those that need a subscription, which often results in higher citation rates. OA articles can also reach a wider audience as they are not dependent on those who can afford the subscription cost. OA increases your visibility within your field and helps you build upon your academic reputation. It brings research to new audiences, inside and outside academia, and because of this there is likely to be greater public engagement. OA publishing makes your research easy to access if found through Google and other general and academic search services.

How is WRUP doing?

WRUP currently has four journals, each with its own editorial structure and peer review process. Two were “born” with WRUP, and two flipped from other publishing models. These journals have a mix of publishing patterns (from rolling publication of content to regularly publishing a defined volume) and cover a range of subject areas.

WRUP has also published three monographs since April:

•         Star Carr Volumes 1 and 2, Prof Nicky Milner, Dr Chantal Conneller, Dr Barry Taylor (eds.)
•         320 rue St Jacques: The Diary of Madeleine Blaess, translated and edited by Dr Wendy Michallat
•         Oysters, nightingales and cooking pots: Selected poetry and prose in translation. By Tristan Corbière, translated by Christopher Pilling, edited by Dr Richard Hibbitt and Dr Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe

Star Carr, WRUP’s first monograph, was downloaded nearly 1000 times in its first three days of release in April. Five months on and it has been downloaded over 4100 times by a global audience. 140 print volumes have also been sold via print on demand. The Madeleine Blaess diary, released a couple of weeks ago in September, has been downloaded over 230 times already. For context, the average commercial print run for monographs is now reported to be 150 copies, many of which sit on the shelves of HE libraries. The OA figures represent active engagement with the research.

What next?

The OA debate increasingly focuses on monographs. The expected expansion of OA requirements to monographs in the third Research Excellence Framework (REF) was flagged in 2016. Research England continues to move this forward and explore how the policy could work. It is an advantage for academics of Leeds, Sheffield and York to have a “friendly” OA University Press to offer support and information. WRUP colleagues are happy to answer any questions about OA in general, or to discuss potential proposals for journals or monographs. To get in touch email universitypress@whiterose.ac.uk or ring 01904 323803.

WRUP has more publications in the pipeline, including monographs on Capability Brown, the ongoing cultural legacy of Charles Dickens, and the prehistoric development of human social emotions. It’s exciting to see so much fantastic work made freely available to all, and add to the growing pool of OA scholarship.


As White Rose Libraries Executive Manager, Kate Petherbridge works across the university libraries of Leeds, Sheffield and York, leading and facilitating their areas of collaboration. These are varied, and include shared repository services, shared collection management work and, most recently, White Rose University Press.