Open Access services and support at St Andrews

Kyle Brady
Friday 28 October 2022

With this being the last #OAWeek2022 blog post, we felt it was high time we highlighted some of the services that the OA team can provide, but also highlight some of the things we do for the community here that may not be as obvious.

Open Access Team in front of Walter Bower House sign
The Open Access team
Left to right: Kirsty, Michael, Gia, Kyle, and Barbara.

Pure record imports and updates

The way Pure research outputs are populated is often mistaken for an ‘automagical’ process, but in fact it is largely the combined effort of researchers, administrators in Schools, ‘deposit hubs’, and the Open Access team. Gia, in the team creates the most records and has this as her core responsibility. Gia created almost 1000 Pure records in 2021 alone! Barbara, the newest member of the Open Access team monitors and enhances the information in Pure research output records, ensuring their accuracy and consistency, benefiting the way research outputs are surfaced online and on research profiles.

Deposit hubs

Although it is always going to be researchers’ responsibility to keep profiles up to date, there is a community duty to ensure the University’s scholarly record is complete and accurate, so this is something we are keen to support. Part of that support comes in the form of ‘deposit hubs’, a network coordinated by Kirsty – where research administrators in Schools are provided with training and advice to better equip them to perform Pure record creation and deposit of accepted author manuscripts, alleviating pressure on researchers, whilst simultaneously building up local knowledge and expertise and benefiting from familiarity with grants and related research activities.
We currently support local ‘hubbers’ in Classics, Chemistry, Medicine, Psychology & Neuroscience, and Physics & Astronomy. If you think your School could benefit from this support mechanism let us know!

Publisher agreements and partnerships

Along with our colleagues in the Acquisitions and E-resources team (locally known as A&E) and other colleagues in Libraries & Museums, the Open Access team spends a great deal of time evaluating publisher agreements that have been negotiated at national level.  This is to determine whether an agreement fits with strategic aims of the University and the wider community; whether the administrative and financial costs balances with the benefits to the research community; and if we can justifiably use Open Access funding. We also liaise with external stakeholders and communities of practice across the UK to gauge opinion and ensure we consider national interests as well as local concerns.

At the time of writing, there are over 30 publisher agreements and partnerships in effect, which can be described as Read and Publish or Transitional Agreements, i.e. those that seek to transform business models to more cost-effective and sustainable Open Access models. In addition there are community-driven models that seek to democratise open access costs across stakeholders and limit or reduce entirely per article OA payments. We also support book publishers who are striving for new equitable business models while moving to fully OA book publishing, as well as Open Infrastructures and Diamond Open Access models.

Check out the current list of agreements and partnerships, a resource painstakingly updated by Michael!

The policy stack

Open Access and the word ‘policy’ are comfortable bed fellows. Policies can be drivers of change, but are numerous and often uncomplimentary. For instance, what must a researcher do if their journal article acknowledges funding from EU and the Wellcome Trust, and the chosen journal is hybrid? Policies mean Gold Open Access cannot be paid for from WT funds, and if the EU grant acknowledged has closed, there are no funds there either! To add to the complication, what must be done to ensure REF requirements are met? The ‘policy stack’ is never easy to dissect, but luckily the OA team are there to help!

Journal Hosting Service and publishing advice

Journal Hosting Service - front end
Journal Hosting Service

Did you know the Open Access team manages a journal hosting platform, which runs on the open source software Open Journal Systems (OJS)? Well, we do! This is a full journal management system with complete editorial functionality, and is used by over 25,000 journals worldwide. On our platform we host 12 journals currently, including fully student- and academic-led journals, covering a broad range of subjects, including theology, international relations, anthropology, philosophy, film studies, and more!

Beyond the training (mainly provided by Kirsty) and support we provide when setting up a new OJS journal (mainly provided by Michael), we can also provide expert advice on journal publishing best practice even if you are looking to publish elsewhere. We want to share our knowledge and expertise, such is the spirit of openness!


The above are just some of the services we provide, but not all, so if you are not sure if we can help just email us, phone us, Teams us, or even visit us at Walter Bower House at the new Eden campus.

Happy #OAWeek2022!


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Contact us

Open Research
Walter Bower House
Eden Campus
Main Street
St Andrews
KY16 0US
Fife, Scotland, UK

Open Access email:
[email protected]
Research Data email:
[email protected]

Phone: 01334 468851(OA) / 01334 462343(RDM)