A brief look ahead to Open Access Week 2016



The 24-30 October 2016 is International Open Access Week – if you’re not exactly sure what that is then let us enlighten you!

 Put simply, Open Access (OA) is online access to research outputs, which are free for anyone to view, read and download, without the need to log in or make a payment. Where possible, Open Access materials should be free of most copyright restrictions.

International Open Access Week is a global event that has been created to celebrate and promote open access and its benefits. OA week events encourage the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access and to share what they’ve learned with colleagues who may not have heard of OA.

Each Open Access week has a theme and this year it is “Open in Action” which is all about taking steps to open up research and encouraging others to do the same.

So, what are we doing?

 The RADAR team has decided to do a series of blogs next week that explain various ways you can open up your research outputs. There will be blogs explaining the different types of open access known as “green” and “gold”, a look into Creative Commons licenses and how they can help you make your outputs open access, and a look into Open Access monographs.

In the meantime if you would like to find out more about Open Access why not check out our blog “The Benefits of Open Access” or watch this great video “Open Access Explained”:

See you all on Open Access Week!

A new home for RADAR, Open Access and RDM guides and information

Over the summer the RADAR team have been busy updating the Research and Knowledge Exchange section of the GSA’s VLE with a range of information about RADAR, Open Access (OA) and Research Data Management (RDM).

To access these new sections, GSA staff can log on to https://vle.gsa.ac.uk/  and then select the Research & Knowledge Exchange community, which should be listed on the right of the homepage. In the image below you can see the three new sections we’ve added.



Update your bookmarks, favourites, reading lists …

 A lot of the information that is now on the VLE used to be housed on the GSA Library webpages, but the RADAR FAQs, along with pages explaining Open Access and Research Data Management, have now been migrated to the VLE – so if you’ve bookmarked any of these web pages, please update them to the VLE.

The GSA Open Access and RDM policies can now be found in their respective VLE sections, and are also accessible from the Institutional Policies section of the GSA website, at the following link:  http://www.gsa.ac.uk/about-gsa/key-information/institutional-policies/

What’s new?      

The new sections of the VLE have enabled us to update our information and advice on RADAR, Open Access and Research Data Management, and we really hope you find it useful!

The RADAR section now brings together all the “How to…” guides you need to become a RADAR pro – they can be found under the ‘About RADAR’ section.   

We have a few new guides that you also might like to check out:

  • The ‘Adding dates to RADAR deposits’ guide explains why RADAR has now started prompting you for an ‘accepted date’ for conference papers and articles, and shows what information you need to supply, and why.
  • We also have a quick guide on ‘How to add a profile picture to RADAR’, which is a nice way to brighten up and personalise your RADAR profile page.

We have also added links to ‘Useful Resources’ that can help you make your work Open Access, and manage your research data – these can be found in the ‘What is Open Access?’  and ‘Research Data Management’ sections.

The RADAR Team are here to help!

The RADAR team hope these new sections on the VLE will provide you with useful information and tips on RADAR, OA and RDM, whenever you need it – but rest assured that the RADAR team are available to provide support and a friendly face if you need further information or assistance.

Dawn Pike, Research Information Co-ordinator

September 2016

The Benefits of Open Access

oa symbol


Following on from last month’s blog about RADAR’s open access download statistics we thought we would look further into the benefits of open access for GSA researchers.

Firstly, you may be wondering what exactly is ‘open access’?

Put simply, Open Access (OA) is online access to research outputs, which are free for anyone to view, read, download and reuse without the need to log in or make a payment.

Many researchers attach creative commons licenses to the outputs they make OA via RADAR (e.g. exhibition images, accepted manuscript of a journal article). These licenses let potential users know how they can re-use it and if there are any restrictions.

The info-graphic below explains the different types of creative commons licenses you can attach to your work, ranging from the most free to most restrictive:

cc licenses infographic

 ©foter.   Licensed under CC-BY-SA

So why should you make your research open access and what are the benefits for you?

Making your outputs openly accessible in a repository, such as RADAR, enables your research to be disseminated quickly and widely making it more visible and discoverable to a diverse global audience.

It also leads to increased engagement with, and understanding of, your research by business, government, charities and the wider public which is good for impact!  As we mentioned in our last blog post you can check your download statistics in RADAR to see how much your work has been downloaded and the impact it is making.

Open access research also has a citation advantage. There have been a number of studies which have shown that research that is made open access is cited more than work which is stuck behind a pay wall. See: http://www.1science.com/oanumbr.html

Open access isn’t just for traditional publications such as journal articles and conference papers!

 RADAR has many images of artefacts and exhibitions available to view and download, which are often some of our most accessed items.

A recent report by the Smithsonian noted institutions that are making images of their art collections open access have increased the public’s engagement with their artworks, and their collaborations with corporate partners.[1]

By making your research outputs OA you will showcase the research being undertaken at the GSA which can lead to potential students and collaborators accessing and using your research.

Open access is also a public good.

Making your images and articles open access provides a good return on public money and can enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of those who do not usually have access to, or engage with, art and design research.  In particular, OA can help researchers in developing countries who do not have access to up to date high level research.

If you would like to make your research outputs OA, but have concerns about copyright, require further information, or are simply not sure how to upload to RADAR, please feel free to contact the RADAR team we would be delighted to help!


[1] Kapsalis, E. (2016) The Impact of Open Access on Galleries, Libraries, Museums, & Archives, Washington D.C.: Smithsonian, p.11.

Dawn Pike, Research Information Co-ordinator

August 2016


GSA authors: Have you seen your RADAR download stats this month?

In the past few months we have seen a marked increase in the number of deposits in RADAR – and a big thank you to everyone who has deposited!  In fact between March – May 2016, a total of 336 new research outputs have been made live in the repository.

What’s even better is that 42 % of the items that have been added to RADAR in the last few months have files attached, that are openly accessible to the public to view and download.

chart 1

Interestingly, we have also noticed a huge spike in our download statistics, which can be seen in the chart below:

chart 2


As you can see from the chart, the number of outputs whose attached files have been downloaded (not just viewed) has vastly increased: from 2,221 downloads in March, jumping to 7,500 in April, and up to over 12,000 in May!  And we’ve had confirmation from our Jisc colleagues at IRUS (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics UK) that these download numbers look to be genuine – i.e.  they have not been downloaded by robots, for example.

So why have RADAR’s downloads increased so much?

The truth is that we can’t be 100 % sure why there has been such a dramatic increase, but one possibility is that the recent addition of so many new items has attracted more users to RADAR, and has led to more items being downloaded.  RADAR’s content also seems to be indexed better by search engines, and we can see that Google is where most of RADAR’s visitors are referred from.   So RADAR – and your research outputs – are getting noticed!

Have you seen your own download statistics recently?

The RADAR statistics aren’t just about overall figures for the repository, they can also be filtered by author, and this is a good way to measure the usage of your outputs.

To check your own download statistics, click on the following link:  http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/cgi/stats/report


Once on the statistics page (shown in the image above), you can begin to drill down to your stats. To view statistics for outputs that have been authored/created by you, click on ‘Filter Items’ and choose ‘Author’; you will then be able to scroll through a list of GSA authors and select your own name.

In the image below, you can see an example of statistics for items by Craig Mulholland:

mulholland 1

You can also filter by date, if you are interested in your statistics over a certain period.  In the image below, Craig’s download statistics can be seen for the period 1st-31st May 2016:

mulholland 2


We’re really pleased to see RADAR helping to promote GSA authors’ research outputs to the wider world in this way, and hope that you will be able to take advantage of the RADAR statistics tool!


Dawn Pike, Research Information Co-ordinator

July 2016

1st April 2016 – An important date for your diary!

On the 1st April 2016, HEFCE’s new open access policy for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) will come in to force, and we’d like to use this blog post to tell you more about what this means for us at the Glasgow School of Art.

What does the HEFCE OA policy mean for GSA researchers?

The policy states that to be eligible for the next REF, journal articles and papers published in conference proceedings with an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) must be deposited and made openly accessible in a repository such as RADAR, within 3 months of the date of acceptance. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.  Articles and papers which have not been made open access will not be eligible for REF submission.

Which version of a paper can be made open access in RADAR, under the HEFCE policy?

The authors’ final, peer reviewed manuscript (or “accepted author manuscript”) is the one that can be deposited in RADAR (and made available to “Anyone”) – as shown in green in this diagram:


Dateofacceptance infographic

So – the accepted author manuscript is the one that has been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review, as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser.

What about other research outputs – do they have to be made OA?

There is no requirement to make other forms of research output such as exhibitions, books and creative work openly accessible in the same way as journal articles, although it is encouraged as a way to increase their impact. However, any output type can be eligible for REF submission, and there is even some indication that credit will be given in the research environment component of the next REF where other research outputs types have been made open access.

Whilst there is no clear advice yet from the Funding Councils as to what makes an exhibition or an artefact “open access”, for example, we are aiming to hold discussions within GSA (and also with colleagues at other institutions) about how this kind of OA might be defined.

Publisher embargoes

Most publishers allow the author accepted manuscript to be made available in an open access repository after an embargo period (the period when you can only access an article with paid access). Information on individual publisher’s open access policies and embargo periods can be found on the SHERPA / RoMEO website.

The HEFCE policy enables you to respect publisher embargoes and still be eligible for REF. Where a publication specifies an embargo period, authors can comply with the policy by making a ‘closed’ deposit. This means the accepted manuscript will be uploaded to RADAR, but the attached file can be restricted from public access by making it visible to “Repository staff only” for the period of the embargo. However, for REF Main Panel D outputs, manuscripts must be free to read and download after a maximum embargo of 24 months, from the date of first publication (online or print, whichever comes first!). Papers that do not require any embargo should be made open access immediately.

The countdown to 1ST April 2016 is now on!

To make sure you comply with HEFCE’s Open Access policy for the next REF, simply upload your author accepted manuscript to RADAR as soon as your research output has been accepted for publication. The RADAR team can assist with checking publisher policies and embargo periods, and we will do our very best to advise and support you with all things open access!

To ensure REF compliance, follow these 3 steps:arrows