New Open Access Blog

If you are interested in open access and scholarly communication there is new blog to monitor:

Open Access Blog: Open Access and Digital Scholarship at Imperial College London

“This  blog is dedicated to Open Access and related scholarly communication and digital scholarship activities at Imperial College London. It is managed by members of the Open Access project, a cross-departmental initiative that supports the transition to open access publishing at Imperial College. We will share  updates about  of the OA project as well as news about what is happening outside of the university.” from: about the Open Access Blog.


Seven Elsevier titles go Open Access

Seven Elsevier journals have recently been flipped to Open Access, including Physics Letters B and Nuclear Physics B as part of Elsevier’s participation in the SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) initiative. Other titles include Stem Cell Research, The International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Epidemics and EJC Supplements.

The titles will use the Gold open access model.

Web of Science re-brand and interface change

Thomson Reuters has re-branded the Web of Knowledge interface to Web of Science and the collection of citation databases former known as Web of Science will now be known as Web of Science Core Collection.

Web of Science Core Collection

They have also implemented a redesigned interface which is much clearer and easy to use. One useful thing to bear in mind is that to do a cited reference search you need to be searching Web of Science Core Collection.

For further information take a look at Web of Science or watch this video:

Email Jenny
if you have any further questions.

SCOAP3 to begin 1 January 2014

SCOAP3 – Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics

“After intense preparations and consensus building, CERN1 has today confirmed that the SCOAP3 Open Access publishing initiative will start on 1 January 2014. With the support of partners in 24 countries2, a vast fraction of scientific articles in the field of High-Energy Physics will become Open Access at no cost for any author: everyone will be able to read them; authors will retain copyright; and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information.”


What is SCOAP3?

“SCOAP3 is a one-of-its-kind partnership of thousands of libraries and key funding agencies and research centers in two dozen countries. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3 is converting key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors. SCOAP3 is centrally paying publishers for the costs involved in providing Open Access, publishers in turn reduce subscription fees to their customers, who contribute to SCOAP3. Each country participate in a way commensurate to its scientific output in this field. In addition, existing Open Access journals are also centrally supported, removing any existing financial barrier for authors.

As a result, articles are Open Access, the copyright stays with the authors, permissive CC-BY license allow text- and data-mining applications.”


Open Access Week 2013

As this week is the 6th international Open Access Week, an initiative to raise awareness of what open access is and what it means for research communication, this is a guest blog post written by Ruth Harrison, Team Leader Education & Research Support, Imperial College London Library.

Open access: what is it?International Open Access Week

Providing open access to your publications and other work means that there are no price or other restrictions to your research for other researchers, readers, students, the interested public, and anyone else, wherever they are. Open access aims to remove the barrier of subscription costs, and barriers relating to re-use and re-purposing of work.

What it is not about is providing access to poor quality non-peer reviewed work, and it is not about removing your right to be recognised as the author of your work. Peter Suber, a longstanding commentator and advocate of open access, addresses some open access misunderstandings here. (Read his book, Open access, published by MIT Press last year, for a short and comprehensive outline of where things currently stand. It’s available on open access…)

How do you do it?

Open access has been a method of making research work available online, free of charge, for over 10 years, and in some disciplines there is much more research available in this way than in others. See the arXiv – this is an example of researchers saying to each other we want to share our work, as well as get it published, and we want to make sure researchers in our field can access what we share without needing to have a subscription.

There are two main ways in which you and other researchers can make your work available:

  1. Self-archive your work, generally referred to as  ‘green’OA  –  put a copy of your journal article, conference paper, research data, into a repository. A use licence will be applied to this content so you will know what people can do, and you will retain your copyright to that original work. Publishers sometimes require you to wait for a certain period of time after the article etc., has been published before you can self-archive, but many do allow you to self-archive a version of your work at about the same time it is published.
  2. You can also choose to immediately publish your work on open access, generally called ‘gold’ OA, which means there isn’t a delay on making the work available to anyone who wants to read and use it. This usually also requires payment to the publisher of the work (although not always), and is the method of open access that many people have heard about.

Self-archiving (green)

Continue reading

Changes to Library Search and your library account

Over the summer we have made some changes to library services which we hope will make life easier for you.

You can borrow up to 40 items at a time including up to 4 core text titles. Items are issues to undergraduates and taught postgraduates for one week and research postgraduates and staff for three weeks. Items will be automatically re-issued for up to one year before they must be returned for re-issue. If an item is request by another member you will need to return it by the due date.

Library Search is now your one stop shop for managing your Library Account in addition to searching all of our print and online collections and more.

To manage your Library Account

As well as check what you have on loan and place reservations go to Library Search and click on Sign in [College username] – using your College username and password. You no longer need to use your Library PIN.

Library Search

Sign in


Sign in to:

  • Get full access to articles and databases
  • Access your library account
  • Place a request for a book, DVD, etc. which is out on loan or at another campus
  • Save your queries
  • Post reviews and tags
  • Save results to your e-shelf

Library Search…books and more


  • Books and e-books
  • Journal and e-journal titles
  • Database titles
  • Theses
  • Maps
  • Standards
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Imperial staff publications

Library Search…articles and more

Searches Imperial subscriptions to:

  • Journal articles
  • E-book chapters
  • Conference papers
  • Reports

In addition to this you are searching a huge range of other sources, both content not subscribed to by Imperial as well as open access sources including the Directory of Open Access Journals, EThOS – Electronic Theses Online Service, the arXiv, NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) and data repositories such as DataCite and Figshare.

Please do let us know your thoughts on these changes to the service!

Update to information about RCUK open access fund

Just an update to the RCUK open access fund blog post I wrote on 15 November 2012, which talks about the funds College has available to pay for open accessing publishing of research.

We can now also refund publication fees for previously published articles resulting from RCUK-funded research, where payment was made from an academic personal (F) account. The article will have to meet RCUK conditions so needs to be published under a CC-BY licence.

For further information see Refund of OA payments from F accounts on the RCUK Open Access Fund pages on the Library website.

RCUK open access fund

As you may be aware, in July 2012 RCUK announced a revised OA policy, which will apply to all RCUK grant holders from 1 April 2013, and will mean that RCUK-funded research outputs have to be made available on open access.  From April RCUK will provide a block grant to all institutions in receipt of RCUK funding to cover article processing charges (APCs) and other publication charges, and you will no longer be able to charge these to your RCUK research grants.

In recognition that this will be a considerable shift for many researchers in the UK, RCUK has allocated funds to 30 HEIs to contribute towards the costs of open access (OA) publishing of RCUK-funded research outputs. The College has received £729 000.

From November 2012 Imperial researchers are now asked to apply to this intermediary fund to cover open access article processing charges (APCs) and other publication charges for any material which:

a) has been accepted for publication from today, and

b) is the output of RCUK-funded (wholly or partly) funded research. 

The publication (ie journal) should be compliant with the RCUK Access to Research Outputs Policy; the Library will check all applications and inform you if the publisher does not meet RCUK conditions.

  1. Articles should be published under a CC-BY licence , and you will find many publishers already offer this, or are working towards doing so.
  2. You can check information about your publisher’s OA policy using Sherpa Romeo .
  3. Information on publishers who provide Paid options for open access can also be found at Sherpa Romeo.

The application form is available at the Library website and to complete it you will need:

  • the details of your publication,
  • costs of the APC and page charges (where applied),
  • and your grant information.

Please note that:

  • Not all articles will require the payment of APCs to made available on open access
  • This intermediary fund is for RCUK-funded research outputs only; if you want to publish non-RCUK funded work on open access and require fee payment, please apply to the Wellcome Trust or OA Publication fund as appropriate.

If you have any questions please contact Jenny

Open Access Week 2012 (22 – 28 October)

International OA Week is currently in progress, with events taking place all over to raise awareness of what open access means for research, scholarly communication and researchers. The aim is to open up research publications so that instead of having to pay to read a journal article, a charge is made for the article to be published, and this article is then openly available for access and re-use. This means that there aren’t the restrictions to reading and finding out about research that exist now.

There are lots of debates about open access, and what impact it will have on libraries, institutions, publishers and researchers. There are also a number of myths, one that authors will now have to cover the costs for their research to be published, and another that open access means poor quality research being published. Authors will be asked to pay a charge, but this is being met by funders in many cases, and here at Imperial, as at other institutions, an open access publication fund exists so that publication costs can be covered by the College. Publishers are starting to introduce schemes providing discounts on open access fees or re-funding open access fees if an institution has paid for journal subscriptions, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry. And quality will not be affected, publishers and editors of open access journals ensure the same peer review standards as for subscription journals.

The Library is managing a number of funds for the College to help authors meet funder requirements and enable researchers to publish in open access journals without having to fund charges themselves. Very soon, there is likely to be a significant increase in open access publications because RCUK is requiring all RCUK-funded research outputs to be published open access, and will be making funds available for this. More information about their revised policy is here (PDF).

For more information about the open access movement, how you can make your work open access, and to read more about the debate, see the Library’s open access web pages. In addition the Science Communication Forum has organised 2 debates this year about open access and you can listen to these here and here.

Spiral top twenty downloads for July and August 2012

The list of the top 20 downloads from Spiral for July 2012 and August 2012 are available to view on the Library website.

Spiral, the Digital Repository for research output of Imperial College London, aims to:

  • increase the visibility of the College’s research publications
  • allow free and open access to all material added to it, and
  • provide links to academics’ professional web pages

To find out more about Spiral, click here.