Richard Threlfall
Richard Threlfall
Editor, Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry, Wiley

First and foremost, conferences are an important opportunity to present your work, learn about others’ research, and generally see some science that you normally perhaps wouldn’t. But as well as the science, conferences have lots of other things to offer that will enrich your trip, and making smart use of your time out of the lab will make it just that little bit more valuable.

Be Selective

One of the most important things to do when you go to a conference is to choose the sessions and lectures that you’ll attend carefully. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t attend all the sessions or lectures because not every lecture is appropriate for everyone and no one can concentrate fully for talk after talk over long periods of time. Therefore, you’ll get more out of the sessions that you’re interested in if you’ve taken a break and haven’t sat through a couple of hours of stuff that you’re not interested in. Let’s be honest, even your boss isn’t going to go to every lecture, so you shouldn’t feel bad about taking some time out too.

Enjoying the Science and the Scenery

Chances are, most of the conferences you’ll go to will be in interesting places and it's possible some of these are places you would never visit otherwise. Therefore, make sure that you maximize your opportunity to enjoy the city and country that you’re in.


Conference blog post photo 1
New countries can turn up all sorts of surprises, such as cows that have the freedom of the campus! I encountered these guys at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Source: Richard Threlfall

In addition to what you can get up to on your own in the area around the conference venue, such as eating and drinking like the locals, there will often be official excursions connected with the conference that will get you to some of the more famous sightseeing spots. Some of these places might be difficult to get to, so these organized trips are a good chance to hit some of the more well-known attractions. If there is one, the conference dinner is also a great chance to indulge in some fine gastronomy, as the conference hosts are usually keen to show off the best of the local cuisine. By taking part in the social program of the conference, you are also guaranteed to get to know some more people and the shared experience is something that you can use to cement new connections with researchers from around the world.

Meet and Greet

As I wrote in my last post, meeting people and making new connections should be an integral part of your conference activities. There’s networking in the conventional sense, which is meeting people who you may find opportunities to work with, or even for, in the future. In this case, there’s no substitute for personal contact, especially if you’re job hunting.

In addition to this, you should also use your time away from the bench to meet some of your peers and go for a drink, a meal, or even, dare I say it, a night on the town with some new faces (during which you are of course encouraged to go to bed at a sensible hour to get up for the 9 AM plenary the next day). It won’t take you long to start comparing notes about life in the lab and you’ll be surprised how much of your experience will be very similar to theirs. Making new friends is always important, but perhaps even more important is the knowledge that you aren’t alone in going through the trials and tribulations of research life. This simple bit of knowledge will help you more than you might expect.


You might discover more than just camaraderie on a trip into town, like we did outside this bar in Budapest, but that will only add to the fun. (Bonus points to anyone who can tell us what this compound is in the comments section below. Hint: the answer is somewhere in my journal’s twitter feed @AsianJOrgChem). Source: Richard Threlfall

The Complete Experience

Conferences are as much about personal development as they are about professional development and you should allocate your time and energy accordingly. You should feel something between excited, invigorated, and exhausted, if not a strange mixture of all three by the time you get back from a conference, and this is the perfect place to be; excited by all the great research that you’ve seen over the past few days, invigorated by all your new friends and the stories you’ll have to laugh about the next time around, and exhausted after filling your days with all sorts of new experiences for your professional and private self. If you reach this point, then you really have made the most of your trip and you can arrive back home in the right frame of mind to make inroads into your own research, not to mention getting busy with writing your next conference abstract!

    Natasha White 
Natasha White
Associate Marketing Director  Author Engagement, Wiley 

We thought we'd extend last week's Open Access theme a bit longer to shed some light on the various open access publishing options available.  Wiley Open Access team members Verity Emmans and Stefano Tonzani were co-authors on this post.


Source: photodeti / Thinkstock
Source: photodeti / Thinkstock

Open access is on the rise - Simba Information predicts that total revenues collected from open access journals will be $299.4 million in 2014, a 23.6% increase from 2013. Growth to $440 million is expected by 2017.  This revenue stream is a bright spot against a flat market. While STM journal revenue is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 1-2% between 2011 and 2017, open access revenue is expected to more than triple.

According to DOAJ there are now 9,993 open access journals.  That's a lot of journals.  Societies and editors may wonder about launching new open access journals, but is adding more journals to an overcrowded space the right thing to do?  Each journal launched is a financial liability, as a new journal will incur editorial and setup costs of both time and money.

At Wiley we work closely with our society and editorial partners on developing strategies to deliver sustainable open access options that focus on meeting the needs of their members.  We have devised a clear process to help our partners come to an informed decision about the best open access opportunities for them.

So what are those opportunities?

1. Drive hybrid publications

OnlineOpen is Wiley’s hybrid open access option. Authors pay an article publication charge for the final published version of their articles to be made open access. Increasing OnlineOpen articles is an efficient way to offer an open access option, help authors comply with funder mandates, and gain greater visibility and impact while publishing in their preferred journals.

2. Support an existing open access journal

As well as accepting direct submissions, a number of Wiley Open Access journals operate a Manuscript Transfer Program. These journals are supported by other journals, including society-owned titles. The supporter journals refer rejected articles and offer authors the option to submit to a Wiley Open Access journal. Referred articles publish faster because the peer reviews transfer with them; this efficiency is a huge benefit for the authors (and reviewers).

Case study

Wiley’s Clinical Case Reports journal, launched in 2013, is a successful example of this.  With 35 society and journal partners, the journal has now published over 60 case studies and clinical images to date.  The societies and journal partners benefit by being able to publish in an impact factor friendly way, support their subject community and retain editorial control while minimizing editorial costs.

3. Collaborate with eminent Wiley partners to launch a more prominent open access journal

Wiley has experience with successfully launching open access journals on behalf of eminent Society partners.

Case study

Physiological Reports launched in June 2013 receives both cascaded and direct submissions. It is a collaboration between The Physiological Society UK (TPS) for whom Wiley already publish their two supporter journals, and the American Physiological Society (APS) who self-publish their ten supporter journals.  The volume of support really helped to launch the journal, publishing monthly since launch.  The supporter journals have been a very effective filter, meaning a good acceptance rate at Physiological Reports of cascaded papers, resulting in fast publication times.

The Journal’s success has been in defining itself clearly from its competitors. Unlike other journals which can make a subjective value judgment, the Journal accepts solely on the basis of scientific rigor, adherence to technical and ethical standards, and evidence that the study is sufficiently well-conceived and the data support the conclusions. Working with the two key international societies means the Journal serves the global physiology community: by scientists, for scientists.

4. Convert (flip) an existing subscription-based journal into an open access journal

Wiley has successfully converted 8 journals from the subscription model to open access.

These journals publish high quality content and are financially successful. Typically, conversion to open access is more suitable for recently launched titles with a smaller subscription base and high quality content that authors wish to publish in.

Case study

In 2012 the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine was editorially strong with a high impact factor and ISI subject ranking. There was a consistent and impressive demand to publish in the journal which had a high rejection rate, but as a young journal in the traditional subscription model, the core circulation was relatively low.  An analysis of published papers revealed that many authors had funding available for open access article publication charges. Financial modelling showed that shifting to open access would make the future of the journal more sustainable.

Authors were notified, the journal was re-branded, and the transition has been very successful. Submission levels to the journal have been sustained and its long term viability and usage have increased.

5. Launch a new open access (direct submission model) journal

Launching a new, direct-submission only journal is still an option. Wiley has tools and processes for launching new open access journals. We welcome the chance to explore opportunities where a gap in the market has been identified. We guide partners through a decision process to determine the likelihood of success and sustainability.  It is important to note that not all subject areas and journal structures thrive in an open access world. Our modelling effort will direct partners towards endeavors that are most likely to be successful. Through our experience, we have verified that broad scope journals are usually more successful than niche journals. Also, it is easier to launch a successful title based on a manuscript transfer/cascade model than on direct submissions alone.

If you'd like to discuss opportunities with Wiley, please use the Contact Us form on the Wiley Open Access website.

Wiley Open Access by the numbers

Posted Oct 24, 2014
    Candice Beever
Candice Beever
Marketing Coordinator, Wiley Open Access, Wiley

As we close out another eventful Open Access week, we wanted to share some stats on Wiley’s open access program, which has been growing by leaps and bounds since it launched in 2011. Check out the infographic below for the numbers, then visit the Wiley Open Access website to explore our full range of Open Access offerings.

OA Week Infographic

The cost of Open Access

Posted Oct 23, 2014
    Bernd Pulverer 
Bernd Pulverer
Chief Editor, The EMBO Journal 

We all want Open Access – authors, readers, funders and indeed publishers alike. EMBO is keenly interested in the OA question both from a policy viewpoint and as a funder and publisher of high-level biomedical research. EMBO Press publishes four journals, two of which are fully OA and one of which, Molecular Systems Biology, was one of the first OA journals to be founded. MSB is currently the highest Impact Factor OA journal (for whatever that metric is worth). The other two journals offer OA as an option at publication and as a default after one year.

The advantages of OA have been discussed at length and center on equitable access to research supported by public funds, with the immediate benefit for journals being the resulting larger readership and increased web access. As article level metrics become more relevant, these results alone pique the interest of publishers. On the other hand, it is less than clear whether this translates into greater citations to articles, the hard currency of research assessment. For example, a randomized study found no significant citation effect despite a clear boost in web access to OA articles (BMJ 2008;337:a568), which is in line with our own data based on 91 ‘EMBO Open’ papers compared with 510 non-OA papers published in The EMBO Journal between 2010 and 2012. An explanation for this discrepancy is that the ‘professional’ users who are in a position to cite work are likely to have access to a paper irrespective of its OA status. What is more surprising, though, is that at least within the constraints of the small sample we considered at The EMBO Journal, that OA also had no significant effect on social media activity around a paper and, notably, on access from less well-heeled areas such as South America or Africa (it is worth pointing out that the papers in question are mostly of interest to those engaged in basic research).

Be that as it may, almost everyone in principle favors OA - but at what cost? One fundamental characteristic of Article Publication Charge (APC)-based models is that a journal’s income is directly proportional to the number of papers it publishes. This is not a big issue for journals with limited editorial and production overheads and high acceptance rates, but it is a serious issue for highly selective journals (the four EMBO Press publications all have acceptance rates around 10%). The editorial overhead to administer the efficient, fair and informed editorial process cultivated at EMBO Press is very high, yet this cost has to be shouldered by only one tenth of the submitting authors – i.e. those we publish. The result is that OA at EMBO has to cost much more than the 2,000 US$ limit currently considered reasonable by most researchers, institutions and funders.

How can we close the gap on this cost differential? Cutting corners is not an option for us. In fact, we are heavily investing in the editorial process to allow us to publish papers fit for an online world – papers that are proper research tools, not merely online copies of printed papers. Furthermore, we are investing in systematic pre-publication ethics screens to fulfill what we see as an obligation for journals to resolve or flag up issues at the last checkpoint before publication.

Some publishers are taking a leaf out of the Public Library of Science’s (PLOS) playbook, the publisher of PLoSONE, a high revenue journal, despite being OA, to launch ‘low threshold’ journals that generate sufficient profit to support selective journals. Like others, I feel sure, we have discussed similar journal ecosystems at EMBO. Indeed, we are keen to publish all papers that meet our high standards for experimental quality and scholarly discourse in one or another of the EMBO Press journals without the need for de novo re-review. What we want to avoid at all costs, however, is to ‘open the gates’ to half-baked or low quality science: over one million papers are added to PubMed every year, published in well over 15,000 Journals, and we have no intention of adding unnecessarily to this mountain. Information overload is one thing, but more importantly, bad science has a toxic effect – it misleads other researchers who rely on published information to direct their investment of time and funds.

Our current approach, which we hope will allow us to remain selective while publishing all valuable research, is to establish highly efficient manuscript transfer arrangements between the four EMBO Press journals and with outside partners including eLife and the BMC journals. As a second route to providing income to highly selective journals, we would propose that in the event of a successful transfer, the transferring journal would receive an ‘APC rebate’ from the receiving journal as a legitimate means to account for editorial overheads.

A third way would be to levy submission charges. This may ultimately be the only fair means of equitably distributing editorial costs between all the authors interested in publishing in a given journal (in our model, the submission costs for successful papers would be counted towards the APC upon publication). Such charges remain rather unpopular, so journals shy away from them for fear that they may dampen submissions. The jury is out on the question of whether such charges would really discourage appropriate, high-quality submissions. In my view, however, we will require much more efficient online payment systems before we can contemplate this move.

In terms of the additional costs arising from enhanced production processes, such as the typesetting of supplementary information figures (which we call ‘Expanded View’) and Source Data files, we may ultimately replace ‘APCs’ with ‘Article Rendering Charges’ (ARC’s), which would allow authors to opt in to these additional services as they wish.

At the end of the day, the real cost of publishing a paper will not change, whether or not it’s published OA. The main bottleneck to the wholesale conversion to OA is that the funds for publishing are currently sequestered in library budgets, which are still earmarked for subscription fulfillment, while APCs are shouldered by authors. Paying APCs can involve time consuming invoicing, and authors sometimes have to dip into funding that would otherwise be used for more interesting research. When the APC bill comes in, researchers suddenly face a rather significant new cost, and it feels to them like yet another charge they have to shoulder just to share their own work. To add insult to injury, this charge comes from publishers with names heretofore associated with inflated profit margins.

The dichotomy of financial channels (library vs. researcher) has led to a real increase in cost to research organizations (though this increase should of course be transient). As might have been predicted, libraries are increasingly tasked with paying APCs on behalf of authors. This is fine, but we should bear in mind that it bundles payment power, leading to strong incentives for discounts that will then not reflect the actual cost of publishing a paper (OA at high quality journals barely breaks even at present). Everyone is under budget pressures, but it would be  unfortunate if powerful library consortia drove APC discounts, as independent OA journals would have a hard time surviving without compromising on quality. Furthermore, making authors who do not have access to such consortia pay the financial shortfall would be unfair, especially as such authors will often hail from less well-to-do research environments.

EMBO Press and many others are keen and poised to go fully OA, but we need clear signals from funders and governments that they are committed to making this method of publication financially realistic and sustainable. The costs will need to be covered, and at high-level journals they will be higher than a couple of thousand dollars, as has always been the case.

    Deni Auclair
Deni Auclair
VP & Lead Analyst, Outsell, Inc.

We continue our celebration of Open Access week with a reflection on the past, present and future of the movement from Deni Auclair of Outsell Inc This week, Deni participated in the Wiley/CCC webinar: "Open Access: Case Studies Yield Insights for Societies".  View the recorded webinar here.


Source: Getty Images
Source: Sze Fei Wong / Thinkstock

In response to the rise of open access, Elsevier is quoted in Outsell’s 2004 report Competitor Assessment: STM – Revolution In The Land Of The Giants as saying that subscription-based journal publishing is “the most effective and efficient way to deliver to researchers a huge volume of high quality, peer reviewed research through increasingly sophisticated online delivery and navigational tools that require substantial investment.” At the time, that’s how most – if not all – scholarly publishers felt, and it was big news when Springer acquired BioMed Central in 2008, the first commercial publisher to dive into open access in a significant way.

As OA continued to make inroads, Outsell published its first report focused on open access in 2009, An Open Access Primer – Market Size and Trends, covering prevailing business models as well as myriad market drivers. Only two inhibitors were cited in the report: the fundamental cultural change for researchers, and resistance by large commercial publishers. Today, the cultural change aspect appears moot as researchers have more faith in the quality and impact of open access journals. The Taylor & Francis survey of authors, published in June, shows clearly that the majority of the almost 8,000 respondents feel that under the OA model, their research has wider circulation, higher visibility, and larger readership, and will be published faster and drive innovation. In addition, Nature Communications announced it is OA as of this week, the first NPG-branded journal to move to open access, with APCs of  3,150 or $5,200 (plus VAT or taxes, of course), giving researchers comfort that branded elite journals are moving into the open access space.

Finally, the more open culture of today’s startups is helping to move the needle from proprietary technology, paywalled content, and secret journal impact formulas to open source technology, free or freemium content, and an open discussion around analytics, metrics and alternative ways of looking at both.

The second inhibitor cited in the report, resistance from publishers, primarily stemmed from a single issue: finding a business model that would not seriously erode margins. Article publication charges (APCs) in particular presented a challenge as both institutional mechanisms for paying APCs and publisher systems for processing them did not exist or were rudimentary. And when it came to the cost of publishing an article, the basis of determining an APC, the vastly disparate views are represented in responses to the 2003 UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee enquiry into OA, with BioMed Central stating that the “irreducible cost of peer review per article is between  50 and  200,” and the then-CEO of Nature Publishing Group (NPG) suggesting that a cost of  10,000- 30,000 per article would be required to replace subscription-access revenue from NPG’s flagship journal Nature.

Despite the many changes in the scholarly publishing landscape driven by open access – new business models and revenue sources, cascading peer review, devious practices such as predatory and hijacked journals – what remains unchanged is the spectrum across which feelings about open access reside. These passions take the form of new organizations, initiatives, reports, debates around copyright and licenses, and mandates – with some OA advocates railing against profit-driven publishers on one end of the spectrum, and concerns about the quality and ethics of some OA publishing raised at the other.

Today’s status of OA is expressed in a commonly heard phrase: “Open Access is here to stay.” That is difficult to argue with. In 2013, Outsell sized the 2011 open access market at $172 million, growing by 34%. Assuming consistent growth rates, the market will be at around $300 million by the end of 2014, still a mere 1% of the total STM market.

So while open access is at top of mind for most publishers and continues to develop, at the current rate of growth it will be years before it is a significant part of the STM market, and the impact on margins and bottom lines is yet to be determined. While diminished market value is always a possibility, it is not a probability. Publishers and open access advocates – at least the less militant ones – are slowly moving together to make the business model work. While smaller publishers and societies are struggling more than their larger brethren to come to terms with open access, they are involved in the discussion and have not shut it down completely, realizing that it is, in fact, here to stay.

As publishers look to alternative revenue sources, products, and business models, hope springs eternal that both OA advocates and commercial publishers can emerge with some semblance of satisfaction – and profitability. There’s no way of knowing if this will actually happen, but all indications are that both sides, while still not agreeing on every aspect of the debate, are working diligently to make it happen.

    Candice Beever
Candice Beever
Marketing Coordinator, Wiley Open Access, Wiley

We've got #OAWeek fever!  We're hosting a free webinar at 11 AM EDT today on Open Access and scholarly societies.  Register here and join us.  And, don’t forget to join our live Open Access publishing Twitter chat also today at 12 PM EDT with Allen J. Moore and Andrew Beckerman.  Follow @WileyOpenAccess and participate using #WileyOAChat.

As we mentioned yesterday, the focus for Open Access week this year is on students and early career researchers, highlighting their importance in facilitating an open generation.

Wiley colleagues are showing their support for ECRs through a global social media photo campaign, sending messages to the open access community about what open access publishing means to those of us here at Wiley. Colleagues from our offices across the globe are sharing their messages and we encourage you to join in the campaign and show your support for an open generation. Tweet a selfie mentioning @WileyOpenAccess and use the hashtag #OAWeek. We look forward to seeing your photos!

    Natasha White 
Natasha White
Associate Marketing Director Author Engagement, Wiley 

An alliance of six leading UK medical research charities, including the Wellcome Trust, recently announced the establishment of The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF). COAF became operational October 1st, 2014 and is being administered by the Wellcome Trust. We had the chance to catch-up with the Wellcome Trust’s Policy Advisor, David Carr, to learn more. 


Source: insidegovernment.co.uk
Source: insidegovernment.co.uk

Q. First of all David, thank you for speaking with us. To start, tell us about COAF, why has this fund been set up?  What triggered it?

A. COAF is a partnership between six UK medical research charities – Arthritis Research UK, Breast Cancer Campaign, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the Wellcome Trust – to enable publications resulting from the research we support to be made immediately and freely available to access and re-use.

The partner charities are committed to maximizing the societal benefit that flows from the research we fund.  Making the publications resulting from our funding available in open access form ensures that the knowledge they contain can be accessed and used freely to advance research and its application for health benefit.  It also enables our donors as well as the broader public to directly access the outputs of the research they support.

An increasing number of journals are offering open access models where, in return for the up-front payment of an article-processing charge (APC), they will make articles freely available upon publication with a license that permits re-use.  This meets our desire for immediate open access, and potentially provides a sustainable model that allows the costs of publication to be meet.  Clearly, however, it requires researchers and their institutions to be able to access funds to meet these costs.  Through COAF we are working in partnership to enable our researchers to publish via this route.

Q. How did these six medical charities come together and why have they opted to set up a joint fund for open access payments?

A. Earlier this year, the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) – of which our six organizations are members – convened an open access working group, which brought together our six charities and a number of others.  There was a strong desire to work in partnership and the idea for establishing a joint fund emerged fairly early in these discussions.  As a first step in exploring this, we agreed a series of principles that should underpin our approach – including: minimizing burden on both the partner charities and our researchers; enabling us to plan financially for supporting open access; and increasing compliance with our open access policies (and hence increasing the volume of publications available in open access form).  A common joint fund provided the best fit to these criteria.  Given the large amount of overlap between the research communities we fund, it also reflects that a high proportion of the publications that result from our funding report on research that has been supported by more than one charity.

Q. COAF FAQs state that you hope that other Association of Medical Research Charities members will join the Fund over time.  There are 126 members, so why have only 6 joined COAF so far?

A. Different AMRC charities are at different points in developing their policies and approaches to open access.  In addition, many AMRC charities have very limited research budgets.  It is entirely understandable and appropriate that many AMRC charities wish to see how the pilot develops before making a decision to join.

Q. What can the ~ 12 million fund be used for?

A. COAF funds may be used to meet open access costs associated with original peer-reviewed research articles and non-commissioned review articles, where the work described has been supported by one or more of the partner charities.  Funds may not be used for any open access costs associated with commissioned reviews or conference proceedings.

COAF funds may only be used to pay open access article processing charges, not to cover other charges that some journals may levy, such as page and color charges.

Where an APC is paid from COAF, the journal must: (a) deposit, on behalf of the author, the final version of the article - which includes all the changes that arise from the peer-review, copy-editing and proofing processes - in PubMed Central (PMC), where it must be made freely available at the time of publication (a link to the article on the publisher site is not sufficient); and (b) License the content under a Creative Commons Attribution-only (CC-BY) licence.

(Note: The majority of journals* in Wiley's open access program (including OnlineOpen) will now offer authors funded by one of the COAF charities the opportunity to publish their articles under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license when paying the article publication charge.

*A limited number of society-owned journals may opt out of this new license policy.)

Q. Are there any restrictions on the amount of article publication charges charged by publishers?

A. Not at this stage, although this will be kept under review.  More generally, we have been clear that - in making this funding available – we have expectations of publishers to provide high quality services and value-for-money, and to be transparent in terms of their business models.  We are particularly concerned that journals offering hybrid open access models are able to demonstrate that universities are not paying twice to access content through APCs and subscriptions.

Q. The Wellcome Trust will administer COAF on behalf of the partners for the pilot phase. How will Wellcome Trust administer the fund and monitor the funds from each University?

A. The block awards through COAF will operate in the same way as the current Wellcome Trust block award funding for open access.  Universities in receipt of block awards are advised of their allocation at the beginning of the financial year, and claim the funds quarterly in arrears as actual expenditure is incurred.  At the end of the year, all universities will be required to submit a report itemising expenditure against the block award (including details of the APC paid for each paper, and which partner charities supported each paper).

Q. How will the fund make open access publishing easier for researchers?

A. We hope that having a single, shared approach as a group of funders will make things more straightforward for both our researchers and institutions – particularly in terms of reducing the need to negotiate different funder requirements.  Indeed, as part of the process for establishing COAF, the six partners have worked to align our open access policies – so that we have a clear and consistent set of expectations.

Q. This fund enables UK researchers to take the Gold open access route. What are your thoughts about funders in the UK paying for open access through funds like COAF when many other countries are supporting a green OA route and not providing specific funds for open access fees?

A. I can’t speak for the partner charities on this, but the Wellcome Trust strongly supports the position of the UK government.  We believe the gold model provides a sustainable model to support immediate open access, while recognizing that publishing has a cost, and that it is important to make the funding available now to researchers to use this route.

It’s important to emphasize that researchers can still comply with the policies of the partner charities through the green self-archiving route, where the journal allows this, as long as they make the final reviewed author manuscript openly available no longer than six months after the data of publication.  Of course, as you say, COAF funds may only be used to support APCs for the gold route.

(Note: If an author funded by one of the COAF charities chooses to publish in a Wiley journal* that does not offer an open access option the author will be able to self-archive the accepted version of the article after an embargo period of 6 or 12 months, depending on the journal subject area.

*A limited number of society-owned journals have alternative self-archiving policies.)

Q. What are the plans for the future as regards to open access policy and the fund itself?

A. We’ll review the Fund after the first year and take it from there.  We also hope very much that other AMRC charities will join in future years.

From the Wellcome Trust’s point of view, we remain fully committed to supporting open access.  The Wellcome Trust is increasingly looking at how we as funders can work to help ensure that the future market for open access APCs offers quality and value-for-money for the research community.  A report we commissioned in partnership with others (including RCUK, JISC, Research Libraries UK) and published earlier this year set out initial scenarios in this regard, which we are actively exploring.

Q. Where can authors find more information on how they can access COAF funds?

A. If you are based at one of the 36 universities and research institutes in receipt of a COAF block award, please contact the institution directly. If you are unsure who the appropriate contact at your institution is, please contact the Wellcome Trust at openaccess@wellcome.ac.uk.

Or, please feel free to contact me directly (d.carr@wellcome.ac.uk) with any questions on COAF or the information above.

Thank you again, David. We look forward to the future of COAF!

    Puneet Bola-Moore
Puneet Bola-Moore
Community Marketing Manager, Wiley
Source: viralheat.com
Source: viralheat.com

If you’ve taken a great photo recently or found a blog site you wanted to bookmark, then chances are you’ve uploaded or shared them to a social media site, most probably Facebook or Twitter. And if it’s an academic article, you might post it onto CiteULike or Reddit. But have you considered Pinterest?

With over 70 million users, Pinterest is a growing social networking site where people collect, upload and share images and videos by pinning them to virtual ‘boards’.

Each pin includes a description of the image, and a link back to the source. Like any other social network, Pinterest has a social curation aspect where users can like, or repin images to their own boards. What makes this platform unique is the visual aesthetic and appeal of sharing rich media. The majority of images on Pinterest are aspirational; products, fashion, lifestyle and art. In 2012 the Obama Presidential campaign cashed in on the information that 80% of Pinterest users are female and placed the First Family on Pinterest with a view to increasing favor among female voters.

Increasingly, content is shared by universities, museums, libraries and by academics disseminating knowledge from scholarly journals and books content. So when the Social Sciences team at Wiley launched its first Pinterest board in July, we were keen to see how users would share or bookmark the content we had put together.

climate_changeClimate Change on Pinterest

The Social Sciences team worked with journal editors in Geography, Political Science, Policy and Development Studies and Sociology to bring about a visual collection of articles and images on Perpectives on Climate Change – a subject that had seen major news coverage with the approaching UN Climate Summit 2014.

After pinning images from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the American Geophysical Union, WIRES, and supplementary material from sources online, our initial board of 42 pinned images had over 50 followers in the first month. Our experience has been a positive one, and future plans involve expanding our board to include content from our physical and life sciences journals.

  What surprised us was the other ways in which academics engaged with the content. On Twitter, larger associations such as 350.org and MIT’s Climate CoLab got involved, retweeting to their followers and contacting us directly to see if they could also access content on Wiley Online Library. In China, the Wiley Online Library Weibo post was reposted by CNPolitics.org and received over 29,000 hits.

Using Pinterest as a Content Curation tool

Academics, lecturers and teachers are using Pinterest in new and innovative ways to engage with their research communities. We’ve got a few ideas on how you can you use Pinterest to attract the attention of your students, or to disseminate valuable content to your colleagues:

Reading lists

The leading publication, New Scientist, have created a ‘Books worth reading’ board on Pinterest. The board acts as a visual list of recommended reading, with the book covers uploaded as images. Each entry includes a short review as a description, and the link redirects to the full book review on the New Scientist site, allowing visitors to take in other titles or browse further. Why not create a board that highlights essential reading for a university course, or collates articles around a specific interest or theme?

Podcasts and video collectionsPinterest TED screenshot

If your department creates videos, such as student guides, podcasts, webinars, and lectures, try adding a still image from the video and link out to the content on your own site, or the third party site it is hosted on. Brighton School of Business and Management embed their videos online, to promote the courses they offer for professionals. Add context to your videos using the description field and make the content accessible to a capture a new audience.

Study skills guides

The internet is full of tutorials, infographics and lessons to help assist student learning, or even to provide advice on writing that first amazing article. The Roeper School created a Student Resources board to assist their students in studying and choosing the right course for university study. Use Pinterest as a resource hub for your students by updating a board with links to useful content. Teachers have also used it to find ideas for classroom arrangements and displays.

Personal portfolio

You’ve put your CV on Linked In, your bio on Academia.edu and now you’re self-promoting your book on Twitter. If you have a variety of authored works, articles, blog entries and projects, create your own portfolio board of recent works with your own images to encourage followers to read and cite your work. Add your author website URL to your Pinterest board, to generate traffic to your site.

Pinterest LSE screenshot


Collaboration is key in the digital sphere, and what better way to communicate your project work by working together to create a visual board of your institutions efforts. The LSE Urban Studies department partnered with early career researchers to create the Field Research Method Lab board – an online platform for researchers to appraise various constraints encountered in the field.

Already on Pinterest? Improve your profile


    • Don’t just post photos – Pinterest allows users to upload or share videos of events and editors – podcasts and editor interviews could be added to your boards with commentary.


    • Make content discoverable using keywords, # and @ mentions, similar to Twitter.


    • Collaborate with contacts in associations or faculties you work with to improve your visibility and following. Aim to follow thought leaders and larger groups.


    • Consider the various metrics available on Pinterest Analytics to see how you’re engaging with your community; likes and comments per pin, follower engagement, reach, most clicked, most re-pinned, top fans and influencers (the list is almost endless).


    • Photo quality is essential; maximum width 600px and thumbnail view width 190px. And don’t forget to include an alt text (the text alternative to a web image).


    • Allow other users to post to your boards for higher engagement, especially for feedback on your ideas or your work – this will help tell your story and helps to interact with your community.


      Source: wildtangent.com
      Source: wildtangent.com


Let us know about your experience with Pinterest by tweeting us at @WileyExchanges.  Happy Pinning!


    Rachel Zawada 
Rachel Zawada
Senior Marketing Manager, Author Marketing, Wiley 

Since the h-index was first introduced to the scientific community by Jorge Hirsch in 2005 (Hirsch JE. An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2005; 102(46): 16569-16572.), there has been no shortage of skeptics angrily waving their torches and pitchforks in protest. And it’s no wonder why – telling a scholar that you’re going to assign an index to measure the impact and productivity of his published work is like telling a parent that you’re going to assess the value of his baby. You’ve likely heard all the arguments against the h-index before, but let’s recap just a few:

• It awards all co-authors on a given paper with the same value, from the lead author down to the very last contributing author on the list.

• It suffers from a case of reverse ageism – the older an author is, the higher his h-index is likely to be.

• Using it to rank authors across disciplines is about as useful as comparing apples to oranges.

The list of criticisms goes on, but let’s not fail to mention that even the way it’s calculated is so simplistic that it seems like something my eight year-old nephew came up with (just kidding – he’s actually four.)

But as much as people like to poke holes and poke fun at the h-index methodology, the Carrie Bradshaw in me couldn’t help but wonder who is really getting the last laugh. After all, if the h-index is so flawed, then why is it still a topic of heated conversation almost ten years later? I had to sift through countless negative articles, angry blog posts, and borderline death threats, but eventually found some surprising revelations around how the scientific community is embracing one little number in four big ways.

1. Measuring research performance. It’s common knowledge that using h-index to compare research output across different disciplines isn’t fair to more specialized fields. However, some global university ranking systems are beginning to incorporate the h-index into their methodology at the subject level. The most notable of these is the QS World University Rankings by Subject, which started factoring it into their calculations in 2013. Other world university rankings that now utilize the h-index include the University Rankings by Academic Performance, the National Taiwan University Ranking, and the Center for World University Rankings.

2. Grant funding. From Ophthalmology (Svider PF et al. The association between scholarly impact and National Institutes of Health funding in ophthalmology. Ophthalmology. 2014; 121(1): 423-428.) to Academic Radiology (Rezek I et al. Is the h-index predictive of greater NIH funding success among academic radiologists? Acad Radiol. 2011; 18(11): 1337-1340.) to Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (Pagel PS, Hudetz JA. H-index is a sensitive indicator of academic activity in highly productive anaesthesiologists: results of a bibliometric analysis. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2011; 55(9):1085-9.) , studies published in a variety of peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journals have reported that a higher h-index is correlated with obtaining grant funding. World Neurosurgery even found that h-index is the only bibliometric that is predictive of receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health, the preeminent funding body in the United States.

3. Tenure and promotion decisions. Hirsch himself suggested that certain h-index values could lead to career advancement to associate professor or full professorship at major research universities. While this metric certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all in promotion criteria, it does seem to carry some weight in formal evaluation. The School of Medicine at the University of Maryland and Ohio State University are just a couple examples of institutions that were found to reference the h-index in their guides to the promotion and tenure process.

4. Self-promotion. Faculty members at major universities on every continent were found to tout their personal h-index rankings alongside other awards and qualifications in their online biographies, LinkedIn profiles, and resumes. Could it be that authors are having a change of heart about the h-index? That may be an overstatement, but they do seem to be admitting (perhaps begrudgingly) that it has become a widely recognized and influential bibliometric in the scientific community. Love it or hate it – it appears the h-index is here to stay.

What are your feelings about the h-index? Have you seen it used in any of these (or other) ways?  Leave us a comment below or tweet @WileyExchanges

    Marie Boran
Marie Boran
Science writer and PhD candidate, Dublin City University

As a technology journalist, I’ve been fascinated by social media from the very beginning. I loved the fact that the web had evolved into a lively platform for people to engage in conversation and share information with each other; it felt like an exciting movement to be part of. When I hung up my reporter’s hat for a stint as a researcher, I remained just as enthralled, but the focus had shifted. Now I was looking at how computational social scientists were gathering data from social media activity to learn more about human behavior. The web – or at least the open parts of it – became a place to observe homo sapiens at work, at play and, of particular interest to me, at research.

Social media has helped us gain insight into everything from how democracy works to what movies will do best at the box office . By analyzing large datasets of online interactions, social scientists and psychologists can study a population, learn about their habits and even predict future behavior.

During my time as a Masters researcher at the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics at the National, University of Ireland, Galway I decided to look at how academics use social media. What I was really interested in was how they shared scholarly articles and other research outputs across social media. Academics have, after all, embraced online technologies as much as the next professional, and I wanted to find out how this was changing the research landscape, from collaborating with others to sharing their research or raising their profiles.

One of the major parts of my research was to look at the emerging field of altmetrics. These metrics typically capture all forms of interactions by any user of the web around research outputs of any kind (e.g. peer-reviewed articles, computer code, datasets etc.), across both mainstream and research-specific social media; including, but not limited to: activity on microblogging site Twitter, blog post mentions or ‘reads’ on online reference manager Mendeley. These alternative metrics have been proposed as a way to capture wider impact of the research lifecycle rather than Journal Impact Factor, h-index or g-index, which are all based on counting citations of peer-reviewed scholarly articles.

Given the plethora of “things” that can be measured, I chose to focus on a particular kind of metric related to scholarly publications in academic journals: these are known as Article-Level Metrics (ALMs), or the tracking of online activity around a scholarly article e.g. a download or Twitter mention.

Luckily, while carrying out my literature review on how academics use social media, I came across Altmetric.com. Founded by Euan Adie, this service is aimed both at publishers and scholars, giving them information on the social media buzz surrounding individual journal articles. I knew this was the best place to begin looking for information: as of May 2013 the Altmetric.com database contained 9.77 million mentions of 1,258,087 journals articles and I’m sure it has grown exponentially since then!

Euan was kind enough to give me access to the Altmetric.com dashboard, where I could explore the kind of activity I was interested in. I could see if a paper was being downloaded on Mendeley, mentioned by online press or in blogs, or how many times it had been ‘liked’ on Facebook or mentioned on Twitter. What really interested me was Altmetric.com’s breakdown of Twitter usage. At a glance it is possible to see what geographic region your audience is coming from, but more importantly, from my perspective, was the demographic breaking users into four distinct ‘types’: members of the public, scientists, practitioners, and science communicators (see screenshot below).


Screenshot of the Altmetric.com dashboard view of metrics for an individual paper
Screenshot of the Altmetric.com dashboard view of metrics for an individual paper

My research centered around how scientists use social media, so it was possible, by using Altmetric.com’s data, to see what kind of papers were being shared by them across Twitter-not just those shared by the general public. This was the foundation for my second study. After an email chat with Euan about this, I was kindly supplied with a dataset of all papers tracked by Altmetric.com. With the help of Excel, I was able to sort them into popularity by Twitter mentions (as opposed to the default Altmetrics score, which can be seen within the famous donut logo).

This combination of ranked journal papers and access to the dashboard meant I could retrieve the Twitter count for scientists and the other demographics.

Suddenly my research began to take shape: I could see which papers scientists particularly enjoyed - and they were different than the ones that the public liked to share!

Suffice it to say that this kind of social media tracking provided by Altmetric.com can yield all kinds of interesting insights that I am confident will help shape the future of science communication. The more we know about how researchers like to use social media, the more we can confidently interpret altmetrics in the context of established citation metrics and tailor social media to their professional needs.

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