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Make all research available through Open Access repositories

“Make all research available through Open Access repositories”
Name: Dr Esther van Lieshout
Position: Research Co-ordinator, Associate Professor
Expertise: Traumatology, Orthopedic Surgery, Clinical Trials
Institution: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Centre, Department of Traumatology
Country: The Netherlands
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An interview with Dr Esther van Lieshout on 28 December 2015

What got you originally interested in Open Access (OA)?

I started depositing my papers in the institutional repository (taking the Green Road) once I got to the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), as depositing our work in the local repository is mandatory here. This may not sound like the perfect sound bite, but this is where we are. In fact, this has worked out well for our group, Trauma Surgery, as it brings everything together. Our research is multidisciplinary (including surgery, orthopaedics, biomaterials, and epidemiology), so our research results are scattered across several disciplinary journals.

What OA activities are you involved in, and how could things be improved?

The Trauma Surgery group contributes its publications to RePub, our institutional repository. This means that our research can be presented in a coherent way, as a collection.

“Updating the repository with our full-text publications is definitely worth the effort.”

Nowadays, when colleagues ask us about our publications, we direct them to our page in RePub. Looking at the increasing number of downloads and citations we are obtaining, updating the repository with our full-text publications is definitely worth the effort. However, this takes quite some effort as I am the research co-ordinator of our group – having the responsibility to submit all of our publications. It currently takes me a fair share of the month of January to urge my colleagues to send their final author versions of the publications from the previous year.

What would save me time is if the repository would already contain references and links to all our publications – including those from commercial publishers – where we would only have to add our final author versions. I would also like to see different university research information systems sharing information to prevent us from having to enter the same information several times.

I’d like to add that what also motivates us to deposit green are the new repository graphics that display the number of publication downloads, where the downloads come from, etc. We are also looking forward to other services such as the professional-looking final author version from MS-Word files.

What are the main challenges for more Open Access, in your opinion?

As regards Open Access publishing, and taking the Golden Road, we are working in a difficult environment. Funders are increasingly demanding that we publish the results of funded research in Open Access journals (taking the Golden Road). Some journals are currently even reinstating submission fees. That fee, for example, is USD 250.

“It is mainly due to local financial constraints that authors question submitting papers to Open Access journals.”

If we use the reasoning that 1 in 100 submissions is accepted, then we are paying USD 25,000 for one accepted submission. So following the Golden Road and paying USD 2,000 for an article published in Open Access is actually not that bad a gamble. However, one challenge for Open Access publishing is that it is mainly due to local financial constraints that authors question submitting papers to Open Access journals. When selecting the most suitable journal for publication, a free-of-charge journal often takes preference. However, with more hospitals taking on the Open Access publishing charges, this may change in the future, and will thereby increase more Open Access publication.

What is your hope or vision for more Open Access to research?

Ideally, all papers in future should be Open Access. This is currently not feasible due to the impositions made by certain journals. In my opinion, the only way all output can be made freely available and accessible is through Open Access repositories like RePub.

Tags: APCs, CRIS, Golden Road, Green Road, OA journals, Open Access, accessibility, author versions, bibliography, citations, commercial publishers, commercial publishing, costs, downloads, full text, funders, graphics, institutional repositories, institutional repository, multidisciplinary, outreach, post-prints, repositories, submission fees

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