Approaches to Deposit: Imperial College

Context

Imperial College has approximately 4000 research staff and 3000 Postgraduate research students, and produces approximately 10,000 research publications annually.

Research is managed in Symplectic Elements which is connected to a DSpace institutional repository, Spiral, by the Symplectic repository tools module.

Open Access governance

Imperial’s Open Access Publishing Group has responsibility for compliance with funder policies and managing Open Access funds. The group is chaired by the Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships) and consists of College Secretary, University Librarian, Scholarly Communications Officer, Director of Strategic Planning, representation from ICT and senior academic staff from each of the faculties.  The group meets six times a year and reports to the College on Open Access compliance.

There is also an Open Access operational group, made up of the College’s Scholarly Communications Officer, the Library’s Scholarly Communication Support Manager, the Head of Library Systems and the ICT’s Head of Information Insight, who leads on Symplectic and Spiral.  This group meets every six weeks.

The repository is managed by Library Services and the University’s ICT department.  Policy decisions are made at a senior level.  The Library’s main role is to ensure content is added to the repository and ICT provide back end configuration support.

Imperial launched an institutional Open Access policy in 2012 which mandates deposit of the Author Accepted Manuscript in Spiral.  The policy hasn’t been strictly enforced because resource was diverted from internal policy implementation to focus on the launch of RCUK’s Open Access policy.

Scholarly Communication Team

Open Access support is provided by a team made up of 6 members of staff:

Scholarly Communication Support Manager (1.0 FTE)
Open Access Support Assistants (5.0 FTE)

Repository support is provided by 0.1 FTE from Imperial’s ICT department.

Two Support Assistants focus on Green Open Access, verifying deposits to Spiral, with other staff concentrating on Gold Open Access payments.

Staffing numbers have recently increased to provide support for the HEFCE policy.

Approach to deposit for HEFCE’s Open Access policy

Imperial have designed a ‘self-service’ workflow that supports both Gold and Green Open Access, based around the ‘on acceptance’ deposit workflow in Symplectic.  When depositing a paper in Symplectic authors can also request Article Processing Charge (APC) funding for Gold Open Access, via an in-house APC management system.  Minimal metadata is required when depositing a paper or requesting funding:

  • Journal title
  • Article title
  • Acceptance date
  • DOI (if available)

Authors who have deposited a paper in another repository can provide a link to the article instead of depositing the full-text.

The workflow was piloted for 7 months with 8 research groups in 2015, when the Symplectic ‘deposit on acceptance’ workflow was released.  The pilot helped Imperial understand how long the deposit process would take, information used to inform resource decisions.

During the pilot authors had the choice of sending a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript and the date of acceptance to the Library, either to request Open Access funding or for the Library to deposit the paper in Spiral, or of creating a publication record in Symplectic themselves.  Despite the Library offering to take on the administrative tasks associated with depositing papers, approximately half of the researchers from schools participating in the pilot did not favour a wholly facilitated model over self-deposit.  Many researchers involved in the pilot followed the self-deposit route and they deposited older papers.  Imperial believe that researchers were happy to deposit themselves because they were already familiar with using Symplectic to create and manage publication records.

One aim of the pilot was to reduce the administrative input required of research staff.  A key learning point for the Library was the difficulty of identifying metadata from Author Accepted Manuscripts, especially for conference papers.

Although the final project report did not indicate a strong need for a library mediated support model, Imperial continue to provide two support routes: self-deposit by author and submission of manuscript to the Library.

Having set up author alerts in Symplectic, authors are reminded to deposit on acceptance and are nudged if their post-2014 publication records don’t have a full-text attached.  These features and the levels of self-deposit during the pilot convinced Imperial that this approach will increase policy compliance levels.

Communication

The Library’s campaign has been led from the top, with the University Librarian speaking alongside the Research Office’s Scholarly Communications Officer at research committee meetings.  Presentations have been delivered by Scholarly Communication leads all departments and Liaison Librarians have been briefed so that they can reinforce the message in their regular interactions.

The campaign has focused on two key points – “one: on acceptance you need to do something; two: get in touch with the Library” – and has emphasised to a staff already familiar with creating or claiming records in Symplectic on publication that the action point has now shifted to acceptance date.

Other awareness raising activities that have taken place include Open Access Week events, including a talk by Professor Stephen Curry, and an event for departmental Open Access champions.  The Library’s website has been updated and includes a video on how to use Symplectic, and Open Access booklets, screenwipes and pens have been distributed.

Workflow

Step 1

On acceptance author creates publication record with minimal metadata (or claims existing publication record) and deposits manuscript in Symplectic.

OR

On acceptance author creates publication record with minimal metadata (or claims existing publication record) and provides URL to publication in another repository.

OR

On acceptance delegate creates publication record with minimal metadata (or claims existing publication record) and deposits manuscript in Symplectic.

OR

On acceptance delegate creates publication record with minimal metadata (or claims existing publication record) and provides URL to publication in another repository.

OR

On acceptance author submits manuscript and minimal metadata to Library by email.

OR

On acceptance delegate submits manuscript and minimal metadata to Library by email.

Publication record is created in Spiral when a full-text item has been uploaded in Symplectic or a link to another repository has been added

Step 2

Library carries out checks on Spiral record:

Is publication metadata accurate?  If not, Library amends metadata.

Does article acknowledge EPSRC? If so, does article include a data statement?  If not, Library contacts author to explain requirements and signpost online guidance.

Does journal comply with HEFCE/REF OA policy?  If journal embargo exceeds HEFCE requirement, record as possible exception. If journal does not permit deposit, reject submission and record as possible exception.

Can submitted manuscript be deposited?  If not, contact author to request correct version.

Library sets indefinite manuscript embargo period in Spiral.

Library monitors publication of deposited papers in Symplectic.

OR

Library creates manual record for submitted manuscripts and checks:

Does article acknowledge a research funder with an Open Access policy?  If yes, Library checks compliance with relevant policies.

Does article include a data statement?  If not, Library contacts author to explain requirements and signpost online guidance.

Does journal comply with HEFCE/REF OA policy?  If journal embargo exceeds HEFCE requirement, record as possible exception. If journal does not permit deposit, reject submission and record as possible exception.

Can submitted manuscript be deposited?  If not, contact author to request correct version.

Library sets indefinite manuscript embargo period in Spiral.

Library monitors publication of deposited papers in Symplectic.

On publication

Stage 3

Library enhances publication record using Symplectic merge function, as needed.

Library maintains Spiral publication records using reports developed in-house.

Library sets embargo period.

Reporting

The Library plans to use the Open Access Monitor in Symplectic and will create compliance reports for the College.  A statistics dashboard in Oracle will display details of publications and deposits, based on data from the Open Access Monitor.  This information will be available to department heads and research directors.  Imperial are investigating the possibility of producing reports on individuals using the Open Access Monitor.

Effectiveness

Imperial aimed to test the effectiveness of the workflow through the pilot.  The main success criterion considered during the pilot was an increase in deposit levels within compliant timescales. Deposit levels will be monitored regularly and processes may be revised if appropriate.

Cost of approach to deposit

The time for a publication record to be created and a full-text attached is estimated to be 3 minutes.  On the assumption that academic staff carry out this task the cost per paper is estimated to be £1.65.

The time to manage a deposit for a problem-free paper is estimated to be 6 minutes.  The cost per paper is estimated to be £2.00.

The total cost for problem-free papers is estimated to be £3.65. It is likely that problematic papers will take double the time for staff to process and will cost £5.65 per paper.

To calculate the estimated annual total cost of Imperial’s deposit workflow it is assumed that 80% of papers will be problem-free and 20% of papers will be problematic.

(8000 problem-free papers @ £3.65) + (2000 problematic papers @ £5.65) =

£40,500.

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