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Eprints - What's in it for the Researcher? Presented by Steve Hitchcock, School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Southampton University These.

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Presentation on theme: "Eprints - What's in it for the Researcher? Presented by Steve Hitchcock, School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Southampton University These."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eprints - What's in it for the Researcher? Presented by Steve Hitchcock, School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Southampton University These slides prepared for ePrints UK Manchester Workshop, a one-day introduction to the issues involved in setting up institutional eprint repositories, aimed at HE/FE librarians, information systems staff and academics, on April 22, 2004

2 Abstract Eprints are an essential part of a dual strategy for achieving open access to the refereed journal literature. While open access - immediate and permanent free access - to this literature is clearly desirable for users, the motivations for authors are slightly different: maximizing (and accelerating) research impact. The easiest and fastest way for authors to make papers freely available, and thereby maximise their impact, is by self-archiving them in institutional eprint archives. The paper will explore the evidence showing that free online access increases impact, and will consider how we can extend top-level national and institutional support to ensure that authors everywhere use eprint archives to provide open access to their papers.

3 What researchers want To maximise research progress and their rewards by maximizing (and accelerating) research impact Impact has typically been based on citation measures of journals. Now we can measure the impact of individual Web papers and of their authors. It has been shown that articles freely available online (open access) are more highly cited, i.e. open access increases impact. The easiest and fastest way for authors to make papers freely available, and thereby maximise their impact, is by self-archiving them in institutional eprint archives.

4 Free online availability increases impact Lawrence, S. (2001) Nature: average of 336% more citations to online articles compared to offline articles published in the same venue Kurtz, M. J. (2004) Restrictive access policies cut readership of electronic research journal articles by a factor of two Greg Schwarz (forthcoming): ApJ papers that were also on astro-ph (part of arXiv) have a citation rate that is twice that of papers not on the preprint server bin/wa?A2=ind0311&L=pamnet&D=1&O=D&P=1632 bin/wa?A2=ind0311&L=pamnet&D=1&O=D&P=1632 Brody, T., et al. (2004) The Effect of Open Access on Citation Impact (see later slides)

5 Top-level support for open access: national and international policies Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), 2002 US Sabo Bill ("Public Access to Science"), 2003 The Wellcome Trust Statement, 2003 The Berlin Declaration, 2003 OECD Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding, 2003 See National Policies on Open Access (OA) Provision for University Research Output: an International meeting

6 BOAI dual open-access strategy Gold: Publish your articles in an open-access journal whenever a suitable one exists today (currently <1000, <5%) and Green: Publish the rest of your articles in the toll-access journal of your choice (currently 23,000, >95%) and self-archive them in your institutional open-access eprint archives. There is NO immediate alternative to a dual strategy. The Gold strategy, if pursued alone, will not result in universal open access any time soon Notes. Colours refer to the rights classification of journals adopted by the Romeo project; updated data on publisher copyright policies See OSI EPrints Handbook: 2. A Guide to Self-Archiving and Open Access

7 Romeo green journals (allow authors to self-archive papers)

8 eprints (generic): journal papers - preprints and postprints - self-archived by authors in electronic archives EPrints: software for creating archives of eprints (also known as GNU EPrints) umbrella for research at Southampton that produces tools, services and data to support the growth of eprint (and EPrint) archives (and produced GNU EPrints) This talk will focus on See Christopher Gutteridge on GNU EPrints software at this meeting uk/workshops/manchester/, and earlier at the the ePrints UK Bath workshop uk/workshops/manchester/ Eprints, EPrints or eprints? Clarifying some terminology

9 Which archive software? Decide your application requirements and base your decision on prior reported experience. There are various working packages, see OSI Guide to Institutional Repository Software (2nd edition) _Repository_Software_v2.htm _Repository_Software_v2.htm "The Eprints software has the largest -- and most broadly distributed -- installed base of any of the repository software systems described here" Eprints or Dspace? See Nixon, Ariadne No. 37, October 30, 2003 The target of GNU EPrints software are the estimated 2.5M papers published annually in the 24k peer reviewed journals

10 Structure of the talk What authors want: research impact What institutions should do: motivating top-level support for institutional archives What schools, departments should do: policies and participation exercises What research administrators should do: filling the archives

11 Research impact 1. Measures the size of a research contribution to further research (publish or perish), e.g. citation-counts, co-citations, now we also have usage-measures (hits, webmetrics), time-course analyses, early predictors, etc. 2. Generates further research funding 3. Contributes to the research productivity and financial support of the researchers institution 4. Advances the researchers career 5. Promotes research progress Note the direct connection between open access, impact, research assessment and funding

12 Citebase, a new interface to the scholarly literature Citebase ( was originally produced as part of the Open Citation Project ( It is now a featured service of arXiv.

13 Time-course of citations (red) and usage (hits, green) Witten, Edward (1998) String Theory and Noncommutative Geometry Adv. Theor. Math. Phys. 2 : 253 1. Preprint or Postprint appears. 2. It is downloaded (and sometimes read). 3. Eventually citations may follow (for more important papers). 4. This generates more downloads, etc. Ref. Hitchcock et al., Evaluating Citebase, an open access Web-based citation-ranked search and impact discovery service. Technical Report ECSTR-IAM03-005, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton

14 Correlation Generator: citations vs hits

15 Correlation Generator: users set the parameters Correlation Generator Warning, data-intensive Java process, can be slow to download

16 Correlation scatter-graph generated for all papers deposited between 2000-current. The correlation for these 72,279 papers is r=0.3432 (the probability that a downloaded paper will be cited). From the distribution in the scatter graph it can be seen that the distribution is noisy, but that few articles with high citation impact receive low hits impact

17 Correlation generator: predicting citation impact How soon can hits impact be used to predict citation impact? This shows the correlation increases with time, approximating the final correlation after 6-7 months. (This and previous three slides from Brody et al., paper in preparation)

18 Citation impact ratios From: Brody, T., et al. (2004) The Effect of Open Access on Citation Impact

19 Top-down support for institutional archives Those running institutional archives are working hard on advocacy programmes and cultural change. There are signs that this bottom-up approach (working with authors) is being allied to a new approach targetting top-level support in: Institutions, e.g. Birmingham, see Geoffrey Gilbert, ePrints UK Oxford workshop, March Research councils, e.g. ESRC, see Neil Jacobs, ePrints UK Bath workshop, February

20 Mandating online UK Research Assessment CVs linked to university eprint archives "will set an example for the rest of the world that will almost certainly be emulated in terms of research assessment and research access" Ariadne, issue 35, April 30, 2003 Postscript. 69% of non-Open Access authors would willingly self-archive all of their articles if required to do so by their funders or their employers JISC/OSI Journal Authors Survey, March 5, 2004

21 What institutions should do Sign the Declaration of Institutional Commitment to implementing the Berlin Declaration on open-access provision Our institution hereby commits itself to adopting and implementing an official institutional policy of providing open access to our own peer- reviewed research output -- i.e., toll-free, full-text online access, for all would-be users webwide -- in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration To sign: (not yet officially announced: some important sponsors to be confirmed)

22 What schools, departments should do Heads of schools should lead these initiatives: Set up a departmental eprint archive Adopt and promote a departmental policy encouraging all authors to self-archive To accelerate filling of the archive: Use the archive to produce the departmental list of publications, RAE exercises, etc. Authors realise that to be included their records must be complete and up-to-date When allied to exercises such as these, authors can see a purpose in submitting and it starts to become routine. See OSI EPrints Handbook: 3. Managing an EPrints Service

23 Research assessment, research funding and citation impact Correlation between RAE ratings and mean departmental citations +0.91 (1996) +0.86 (2001) (Psychology) RAE and citation counting measure broadly the same thing Citation counting is both more cost-effective and more transparent Eysenck and Smith (2002)

24 Example institutional policy: ECS Southampton Extracts, see full policy (still to be officially ratified) 1. It is our policy to maximise the visibility, usage and impact of our research output by maximising online access to it for all would-be users and researchers worldwide. 2. We have accordingly adopted the policy that all research output is to be self-archived in the departmental EPrint Archive ( This archive forms the official record of the Department's research publications; all publication lists required for administration or promotion will be generated from this

25 Experience at ECS Southampton: an RAE dry run At ECS Southampton we did the RAE exercise as a dry run and it was almost painless (Hint: the pain came earlier!) Filling the archive so it is complete is the key. The developer created a Web form for input of honour data and a link to the authors list of publications with add, remove buttons to select best publications for the RAE list. Authors appreciated the ease of completing the exercise, e.g. four clicks to select four RAE publications. This highlights the additional benefits of a managed departmental archive: one-time data input for multiple purposes (avoids multiple keying for different databases for different applications).

26 What eprints administrators should do to help fill the archives Identify self-archiving authors "over 1000 peer-reviewed journal articles" discovered online in the domain. "The material is already out there; we just have to look for it". – Theo Andrew Trends in Self-Posting of Research Material Online by Academic Staff, Ariadne, No. 37, October 30, 2003 Analysis of the JISC/OSI Journal Authors Survey (March 5, 2004) reveals 36% of authors are currently self-archiving their toll-access journal articles (but not necessarily in an institutional archive) and 4% are publishing their articles in OA journals = 40% – Stevan Harnad, Review of: JISC/OAI Journal Authors Survey

27 Monitor growth of institutional archives and content Institutional Archives Registry

28 BIG issues facing institutional eprint archives: dont build barriers Lack of content Ownership of intellectual property rights, copyright required by journal publishers Usability (interfaces), e.g. authors complain it takes too long to deposit in an archive These problems are all solvable if we take a visionary approach. They would no longer be problems if all authors were to self-archive all papers routinely at time of submission for publication.

29 Issues for institutional eprint archives NOW Metadata quality, see Jessie Hey, ePrints UK Oxford workshop, March Formats, which are allowable for deposit? These issues relate to preservation (see Hamish James, this workshop), and must be considered in the context of a viable business plan for an institutional archive and an analysis of costs. For reported experience on the management of an institutional archive, see Pauline Simpson, ePrints UK Oxford workshop, March Institutional eprint archives have to be managed at very low cost to ensure permanent free access to their contents

30 Conclusion: filling the archives 1.Authors: follow the BOAI dual open-access strategy 2.Schools and Departments: Create departmental OAI-compliant eprint archives Adopt a policy of self- archiving all university research output, e.g. Southampton (ECS) Research Self-Archiving Policy 3.Universities: Sign the Declaration of Institutional Commitment to implementing the Berlin Declaration on open-access provision 4.Research Funders: Assess research impact online Extend existing Publish or Perish policies to Publish with Maximal Impact

31 Credits: @ Southampton Visionary Stevan Harnad Technical development at Southampton is directed by Les Carr software is developed by Christopher Gutteridge Citebase and the Correlation Generator are produced by Tim Brody For more about see These slides will be on the ePrints UK Manchester Workshop Web site, and can also be found at Contact Steve Hitchcock:

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