FAQs

Q. What is meant by Open Access?

A. Open Access(OA) means free, immediate, and unrestricted access to digital scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

Q. What is an Institutional Repository?

A. An Institutional Repository (IR) is a digital collection capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community.

Q. How is an Institutional Repository different from an Open Access journal?

A. There are two discrete strands to the Open Access paradigm: The Open Access journal is a peer reviewed online journal and first cousin to the traditional subscription based scholarly journal. An Institutional Repository, however, does not publish material but simply makes material available that has already been published in a traditional peer-reviewed journal (so called post-prints) or that has been accepted for publication in a traditional peer-reviewed journal (so called pre-prints). Moreover, an Institutional Repository can contain “intellectual output” other than research; Learning Objects; “grey” literature (conference proceedings etc); students’ work (phD theses/Masters’ dissertations); digital images of heritage collections.

Q. Why would a commercial publisher allow the deposit of research in an Open Access repository for which it owns the copyright?

A. The Open Access movement represents the academic community taking back control of their intellectual output from publishers and ever since the concept was first mooted by Stevan Harnad in 1994 there has been a growing body of advocates and lobbyists who have been successful in raising the profile of OA at national and international level. Publishers are increasingly adopting a formal position on “self-archiving” (the practice whereby an author makes an article freely available in an Open Acees repository) and the University of Nottingham SHERPA project maintains the RoMEO database which gives a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher’s copyright transfer agreement.

Q. What is meant by the terms “pre-print” and “post-print”?

A. These are established terms in the repository community but are recognised to cause confusion elsewhere. In the context of OA “pre-print” is the version of the paper before peer review and “post-print” refers to the version of the paper after peer-review, with revisions having been made.

Q. What is meant by the term “self-archiving”?

A. In the context of OA the term “self-archiving” means the practice whereby an author makes a copy of their work freely available in an Open Access repository. An individual author may literally upload their work themselves or the process may be mediated (by the library for example).

Q. How many journals actually allow self-archiving into an Open Access repository?

A. This is a difficult question to give a definitive answer and it is really necessary to review individual publishers using the SHERPA RoMEO database. A related question, then, is “How many publishers are covered by RoMEO?”. Currently the database has records for 386 publishers and it is estimated that this covers between 8,000-9,000 journals; the vast majority of titles of interest to UK researchers. The database is being added to all the time.

Q. Does the article you put in the repository have to be the final version printed by the publisher with the same pagination?

A. No. In fact the majority of publishers will not allow the final published version of an article to be self-archived and the version in the repository will be an author’s final draft. This may well have different pagination to the final published version.

Q. How do we reference articles we find in repositories, they may have different pagination for direct quotes, do we need to get the pagination from the publisher’s copy?

A. Yes. The established academic practice is to ensure that references are to the final published copy of an article and not to a version in a repository that may well have different pagination.

Q. What will be the content of Leeds Metropolitan University’s repository?

A. The initial focus of the repository will be an Open Access research archive and as such the content will be published, peer-reviewed research output (i.e. post-prints); this will diversify to incorporate articles that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal but not yet published (i.e. pre-prints). In the future, it is also intended that the repository will further diversify to include Learning Objects; “grey” literature (conference proceedings etc); students’ work (phD theses/Masters’ dissertations); digital images of heritage collections.

Q. Will be the content of Leeds Metropolitan University’s repository be limited to published, peer reviewed material?

A. No. Although the start-up phase of the project will focus on published peer-reviewed output (i.e. post-prints) it is anticipated that it will diversify to incorporate articles that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal but not yet published (i.e. pre-prints). In the future, it is also intended that the repository will further diversify to include Learning Objects; “grey” literature (conference proceedings etc); students’ work (phD theses/Masters’ dissertations); digital images of heritage collections.

Q. Has there been adequate user testing of the software that is being used for Leeds Metropolitan University’s repository?

A. Ease of customisation has been an important criterion in our selection process and our software partner (to be announced shortly) will work very closely with the project team and the wider university community to ensure the software is fit for purpose. Testing will include user needs analysis with a pilot group of academic staff and assessment of accessibility issues.

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