Seminar Publish for Influence, November 1st

November 1st, 13.30-16.30
Door opens at 13.00

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Van der Goot Building, M1-19
Burgemeester Oudlaan 40
3062 PA Rotterdam

Speakers include:

Chair: Marco de Niet, Leiden University Libraries

The seminar is free of charge. Please register by filling out this form.

The seminar will focus on different aspects of publishing, visibility and influence– be it academic, societal, or economic. It will highlight the importance of being open and discuss complementary indicators and methods for measuring influence.

The seminar will take place in the context of international Open Access week 2017.

The seminar is organised by LDE strategic alliance: University Leiden, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is sponsored by OpenAire

Gert Goris: Programme Manager Research Intelligence, Erasmus University Library
Just de Leeuwe: Publishing Advisor Research Support, TU Delft Library,
Michelle van den Berk: Center for Digital Scholarship, Leiden University Libraries

ChemRxiv: Preprints for Chemistry

ChemRxiv: Preprints for Chemistry

By Rutger de Jong,

On August 14, the American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chemie launched a beta version of their preprint server ChemRxiv. The project, already announced in 2016, was put out shortly after the announcement of a section for chemistry on Elsevier’s SSRN preprint server ChemRN a week earlier. 

With ChemRxiv chemists may dissemeninate their findings much faster, which becomes a necessity in times where publishing might take up to 2 years because of overworked peer reviewers and the so-called publication cascade. This means a PhD can show his promise before he is searching for a postdoc position. It also helps in furthering science, as the results may be discussed early on and others can build upon the work. Top journals such as Science even prefer the articles with preprint as they might have already gained some traction before publishing. And, last but not least, the work is already protected as a finding, so no other research group might steal the spotlight by scooping it.




The publication process itself is fairly simple. The article has to be submitted before it is accepted at a journal. Within 1 or 2 days after posting, the preprint will get its own doi after it has gone through a quick test for plagiarism, bogus and offensive content, probably carried out by PhD-students. It is explicitly not a peer review, just a test. Afterwards the preprint cannot be removed, but it may be updated with later versions.


Chemists are known to be a skeptic lot, this is probably why it has taken so long before a preprint server for chemistry was established. Currently the main preprint servers, Arxiv and BioRxiv, only accept articles in specific disicplines: physics, mathematics, computer sciences and life sciences. However, the three chemical societies expect the demand for their preprint server to be high. After the first announcement last year, a fake version of ChemRxiv immediately popped up and chemists were eager to add to it: within a week several articles had been uploaded. For the real beta version we see a similar story: within a month after launch, 45 articles have been posted, attracting over 3,000 downloaders and 22,000 viewers (as seen on September 14).

The oldest preprint server,, started out exactly 26 years earlier on August 14, 1991. It is a well established source for physics information, even though not every physics discipline attributes equally. Authors from theoretical fields use it more often than those from experimental fields. Its postings seem to be quite successful at getting published as well: a 2014 paper states roughly 64 per cent of the content was published in a Web of Science indexed journal.(Larivière et al., 2014) Other articles are probably still in the submission process.

Biorxiv, the biology and life sciences preprint server, took some time to gain popularity. In biology, just as in chemistry, there was a fear of letting out articles before peer review. However, a growing number of biologists now find their current work posted on Biorxiv to be a great topic starter at conferences and see it as addition to their Curriculum Vitae as nowadays the time to publish your first author paper might be longer than the time needed to graduate.(Vale, 2015)(Bhalla, 2016) The number of submissions has grown exponentially since Biorxiv launched.

Check your journals

Even though the societies are very positive about the future of their preprint server, one hurdle still remains: not all journals accept publications that have been dissemeninated as preprint. One of the highest impact examples is Angewandte Chemie. But not even all journals of one of the founders, the American Chemical Society, allow the preprint to be posted before publication. For example, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), The Journal of Natural Products, The Journal of Organic Chemistry and Macromolecules all state ‘new’ information already published elsewhere is not eligible to be published in the journal. To facilitate the process ACS has published a list with policies online. Policies from other publishers can be found here.

To be fair, a similar problem existed for the physics and biology preprint servers. Nowadays practically all publishers in physics allow preprints. For biology 1 year after the launch of BioRxiv journal policies started to change.(Kaiser, 2014)

The ACS itself expects the problem to die out slowly. Policies of individual journals are made by the editors and changes in the boards will probably be reflected in the policy. Though there may be some acceptions as they told last year while visiting the Netherlands for an Open Access meeting: journals with quick turnarounds, so called communications, do not benefit from preprints and would see their market destroyed if they would allow them. Perhaps, these journals might really be replaced by overlays on top of the preprint server as we see evolving in physics at the moment.


Bhalla, N. (2016). Has the time come for preprints in biology? Molecular Biology of the Cell, 27(8), 1185–7.

Kaiser, J. (2014). BioRxiv at 1 year: A promising start. Retrieved September 15, 2017, from

Larivière, V., Sugimoto, C. R., Macaluso, B., Milojević, S., Cronin, B., & Thelwall, M. (2014). arXiv E-prints and the journal of record: An analysis of roles and relationships. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(6), 1157–1169.

Vale, R. D. (2015). Accelerating scientific publication in biology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(44), 13439–46.



Why Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) should not terminate its Open Access Incentive Fund in 2018

2018 will sadly see the end of a very successful financing instrument: NWO’s Incentive Fund for Open Access publications started in 2010 and has enabled many scientific authors to venture outside of their comfort zone and opt for a more reader friendly type of publishing at a time when a culture change in traditional publishing was not yet foreseen.

The latest changes in Dutch academic publishing with great emphasis on deals between universities and traditional publishers, have brought many fantastic deals, which deservedly caught extensive attention.

Why then, would NWO policy makers have thought, should we continue the Incentive Fund? Well, because….

  1. Not all disciplines profit from the deals that have been made so far;
  2. Publishers, who stood out and moved to a full Open Access publishing model are now punished for their forwardness, as their authors will not be able to finance their publications and therefore move away. Think of Biomed Central and you realise these are not small fish;
  3. Not all publication types are covered by the agreements;
  4. The Open Access movement was initiated to bring about a change in the business model of academic publishing: this change will not be accomplished with deals with traditional publishers;
  5. The demand for funding is still increasing rather than decreasing: the fund serves an actual need;
  6. Put your money where your mouth is: if NWO requires Open Access publishing from it’s grantees, it should also provide the instruments needed.

More reading…. Utrecht University’s Jeroen Sondervan carefully wrote his considerations on his blogpost

How Open Access may boost a promising career

As part of its “Open up to open access” Charlotte de Rooncampaign to raise awareness about the deals with publishers mentioned in earlier posts, the VSNU interviewed two Leiden PhD candidates on their views on how to promote Open Access publishing among your researchers.

The Special open access campagne (15-05-2017) presents such a promising impression on the way our future colleagues view the changes taking place in the current publishing culture, that I would like to share it on this blog.

Young PhD candidates and open access

Gareth O’Neill and Charlotte de Roon are two young PhD candidates who recognise the importance of open access. The VSNU spoke with them in connection with the open access campaign. According to Charlotte, open access offers PhD candidates a perfect opportunity to raise their profiles and for researchers, it’s a way to let others know what you are working on. ‘Besides the possibility of promoting yourself and your work, open access publication makes your research easier to find – meaning it will be read by more people. More than that, it strikes me as only logical that publicly-funded research be made available to everyone.’ Like Charlotte, Gareth endorses the societal benefit of open access. He feels it is important to have free access to academic publications and is eager to contribute to that goal. After all, it’s a two-way street. He is urging other PhD candidates to choose open access: ‘get the facts and just go for it!’

Gareth has spent a lot of time talking to young researchers. From these conversations, he has learned that many researchers are still largely in the dark when it comes to open access publishing. He feels greater awareness of open access is needed, along with increased support for young researchers. Charlotte says the same thing. ‘Many PhD candidates simply aren’t aware of their options in the area of open access. Their familiarity with open access depends largely on the information they’re given by the university.’ For example, Gareth points out, many PhD candidates are unaware that there are other ways to publish open access besides in journals. Making your own results public in repositories is another way to contribute to the accessibility of research findings. Gareth is calling for increased provision of information about open access. This could be achieved by offering courses or online modules, for instance. ‘PhD candidates want to publish open access, sure, but the question is: how? And what does that mean? You could also promote awareness by ensuring the open access logo and the open access button are used more prominently, in order to draw more attention to open access.’

Both Gareth and Charlotte assert that the possibilities of open access deserve increased publicity. In fact, Charlotte would like to see open access being promoted in the supervisory process as well. The professors supervising PhD candidates could use that contact to point out the option of open access and its importance to society. Professors often co-author articles with their candidates, so they can play a major role in drawing attention to open access possibilities. Charlotte feels that graduate schools have a part to play here as well. As the point of contact for administrative aspects, support and degree programmes, they could alert PhD candidates to the possibilities of open access. Gareth concludes by saying that the guidelines for open access could stand to be more transparent, too. Universities must be clear in expressing what they expect from their own researchers. He adds that when universities’ expectations of PhD candidates increase, this should be taken into account in the candidates’ workload.

Gareth O’Neill is affiliated with the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) and is conducting his doctoral research on the expression of emotions and cognition in the Irish language. In addition to writing his thesis, Gareth serves as a board member of the PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands (PNN) and has just been elected chair of Eurodoc, the European federation of national organisations for PhD candidates and young researchers, for the 2017-2018 academic year. Gareth is also a member of the European Commission’s ‘skills under open science’ working group. As part of those efforts, he took part in a survey conducted among young researchers. The results of this survey will be published later this year.

Charlotte is writing her doctoral thesis on the role of political youth organisations in the Netherlands and is also one of the faces of the open access campaign.

Unpaywall helps you find your way through the Open Access landscape


Unpaywall is a neat browser extension that will help you find a free version of scientific articles that are otherwise placed behind a paywall. You can add it to Chrome or Firefox, where it searches for Open Access versions of articles for which you would normally need a subscription (or payment). A small icon on the right hand side of your browser indicates the availability of an Open Access file.unpaywall

As Open Access publications are increasing in number, so are the sources in which the can be found. It is hardly feasible to search every possible database for an Open Access version of a publication you want to read. Unpaywall offers a solution by displaying bundled information from among other sources: PubMed Central, DOAJ, Crossref, DataCite, Google Scholar, and many,  many open access repositories.

From a reader’s point of view: an excellent way for easy off campus reading.

From an author’s point of view: an extra encouragement for publishing Open Access as it increases the findability of your work.

Give it a try and download the extension from:

Tool offers an easy check on Open Access possibilities

In order to make Open Access publishing easier for researchers, Leiden University Libraries’ colleague Rutger de Jong has written a tool that shows the Open Access options of an article. All you need to do is simply fill out the DOI.

The tool firstly checks whether there is an Gold Open Access publisher’s version available; this is followed by a second check to see  if a Green Open Access author’s version is already online; thirdly, the tool consults the SHERPA /ROMEO database to determine the publisher’s policy on allowing the author to post a preprint or postprint in a repository.

The next step is to increase your reach and visibility by uploading it to the Leiden repository.

Please check the tool at: png

It is still work in progress: any feedback is welcomed at

2017’s Challenge: how to tempt Leiden’s researchers into OA publishing

Spinger, Wiley, Taylor&Francis, Elsevier, ACS all offer high quality Open Access opportunities to Leiden researchers without additional costs, without compromises to impact.why-open-access-1280x960

The start of 2017 has brought us 7400 high quality journals offering a very favourable deal for Open Access publishing to Dutch researchers on condition that they must state themselves that they want to make use of it!

Open Access publishing has long suffered a reputation problem: it was either at the cost of impact, or expensive, or a combination of both. The emergence of so called predatory journals and their persistent spamming does not really help to boost the image of what started as a well willing, idealistic movement.

How then, to get to message across a still rather reserved scientific community that in 2017 we can offer truly interesting Open Access deals with more than 7400 quality journals with very high to 100% discount rates, but that researchers do have to indicate themselves that they want to make use of this OA publishing agreement?

Nothing works as efficient as word of mouth from peers, but we have to start somewhere… to create a critical mass of participants we invite you to take look at the journal title list, share it, and when you publish with these journals, state that you want to make use of the Open Access deals: they have already been paid for.

The list of journal titles can be found at:

Questions and feedback are welcomed at:

Seminar: Publish for Impact


Stand out.

October 27th, 14.00-16.30.
Door opens at 13.30

Science Centre
Mijnbouwstraat 120
2628 RX Delft


  • Anna Treadway, Scientific Reports (Springer-Nature):
    The importance of being Open 
  • Ingeborg Meijer, CWTS:
    Importance of Impact, ‘the next step’ 
  • Caroline Edwards, Open Library of Humanities:
    Building a Grassroots Academic Publishing Movement 
  • Robert van der Vooren, VSNU:
    How prepaid deals contribute to the Dutch open access uptake 

Chair: Matthijs van Otegem, Erasmus University Library

The seminar is free of charge. Please register by filling out the form.

The seminar will bring under your attention the different aspects of publishing, visibility and impact – be it academic, societal, or economic. It will highlight the importance of being open and discuss complementary indicators and methods for measuring impact.

The seminar will take place in the context of international Open Access week 2016.

The seminar is organised by LDE strategic alliance: University Leiden, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is sponsored by OpenAire

Alenka Princic: Head of Research Support, TU Delft Library
Just de Leeuwe: Publishing Advisor Research Support, TU Delft Library,
Gert Goris: Head of Academic Services , Erasmus University Library
Michelle van den Berk: Center for Digital Scholarschip, Leiden University Libraries

Just de Leeuwe, TU Delft

Tools for Scholarly communication: how important is Open Access?

Which tools are actually being used by researchers?101 innovations

Recent years have seen an enormous increase in digital tools for scholarly communication: EndNote, Dropbox, Mendeley, Word, Google Scholar; you may well have heard of them, and it is quite likely that you use one or more of these services or products. However, the tools mentioned above are just a handful from a tremendous supply, as is shown by the 400+ Tools and innovations in scholarly communication list 

Our Utrecht University Library  colleagues Bianca Kramer en Jeroen Bosman are just about to complete their research project 101 innovations in scholarly communication,  which investigates recent changes in scholarly communication and research workflows. This should lead to a better understanding of which tools are used by researchers from different disciplines, positions, and countries for their scholarly work. They also aim to get a clear picture of the importance of Open Access and Open Science on daily work routines. A short list of questions is posed by means of an international survey.


You can contribute tot his research project by filling out an online survey , if you follow this link>> By doing so, you do not only take part in the research project 101 innovations in scholarly communication,  but you also  provide a great opportunity for Leiden University Libraries to obtain information on the research tools that our own Leiden researchers use. After the closure of the survey, the Library will receive a report containing anonymised data on the Leiden input.

You may also benefit

Participation in the survey is not only useful to the project and the library, but you may also obtain some interesting information yourself. If you choose so, you may receive an email with a graphic display in which your workflow is compared to your peer group, which could give you some interesting new ideas for your own routine.

More information

For more information on the research project 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication, you may contact Bianca Kramer ( or Jeroen Bosman (, Utrecht University Library.

For more information on the use of the anonymised data set by Leiden University Libraries, you may contact Michelle van den Berk, Subject Specialist Open Access and datamanagement (

Arabian Epigraphic Notes,

Author: Birte Kristiansen, Subject librarian Middle East and the Islamic world,

AENDecember 2015 saw the formal launch of the Journal Arabian Epigraphic Notes
( during the LUCIS-LeiCenSAA Conference “Arabian Archeology in the 21st Century” .

The journal is an initiative of the Leiden Center for the Study of Ancient Arabia and has been created in close cooperation with Leiden University Libraries. The need for ‘their own’ journal had been felt for several years in the quickly developing discipline of Arabian Epigraphy and several publishers showed interest to set up this journal with an impressive editorial board already in place. However, the LeiCenSAA had a very strong wish to publish Open Access, without Article Processing Charges for the author, and ensuring quick publication after peer-review, a combination that proved hard to find. That is why the Editor-in-chief, Ahmad al-Jallad, changed his approach and decided to set it up himself in cooperation with the library and Academia.

Leiden University Libraries is taking on the responsibility for the long-term storage of the articles through the institutional repository. Academia developed, especially for this project, a closed forum that enables all those who are invited to peer-review to simultaneously comment and discuss the paper that is on review. After a set amount of days (usually about twenty) the review closes and all the comments are anonymized and sent back to the author. As soon as the paper is ready it is published. So instead of sending out the paper to one or two peer-reviewers it is now sent out to a whole group of reviewers, who can each of them concentrate on their own expertise even if that is sometimes only a short passage. Considering the very broad multidisciplinary knowledge that is necessary to move this field forward on the crossroad of archaeology, Semitic languages, Arabic, Greek, linguistics and history, this approach really enhances the progress of this discipline.

At the end of each year the ‘ volume’, consisting of all the articles published during that year, closes and a new volume opens up for the following year. Though the role of the library in this project is modest, it has proved vital because long-term preservation and accessibility as well as persistent identifiers (in the form of handles) are very important for this initiative to succeed. Moreover the expertise present at the library concerning Open Access, findability, metadata and preservation helped shaping this innovative new way of publishing.