Monday, 29 October 2012

How as a Research/PhD student do I make my own article open access?


As part of Open Access Week 2012 we had a drop-in session where staff and students could come and ask any questions they had about open access, publishing and/or LSHTM Research Online. One situation was presented from a PhD student who was planning a publication and wanted advice on how to make it open access. What should be simple actually reveals itself to be a careful balancing act. I've tried to list the different areas to consider when choosing a journal

1.     Choosing the journal: Many different journals to publish in and one of your first thoughts should be which journal would I like to publish in and which journal is suitable for my research. Once you have a few names then you need to find out how this journal fits with an Open Access policy

2.       Where to look:  A great place to look for specific Open Access journals is the Directory of Open Access Jounals (DOAJ) this is searchable and browsable by subject area so you should be able to find a range of journals. You then need to find out if they require a fee, this information will be at the end of each listing. 

3.       Fees: Since you are a research/PhD student you probably, or lets say definitely don’t have funds to pay an open access article processing charge (APC).  So What do you do? Some journals don’t make any charge but some do. If the journal you want to publish in has a fee you should check that whether or not they have a ‘waiver’ for students, if they don’t list one you should still contact them to find out if they would consider a ‘waiver’ or if the fee can be reduced.  Publishers such as PLoS state that they will not refuse to publish and article that they have accepted due to inability to pay their fee BioMed Central state that when you submit your paper you should request a ‘waiver’ and they will consider your situation

4.       Licenses: These are important for Open Access since it allows others to be able to use your publication in various ways. The ideal license is CC-BY which is a Creative Commons license that allows anyone to reuse or redistribute your publication in any manner they see fit as long as you are credited.  Both PLoS and BioMed Central use these licenses.

5.       Deposit into an open access institutional repository such as LSHTM Research Online:  This will also make your publication open access. For many publishers such as Elsevier you can publish with them but make an earlier version, the author accepted manuscript (after peer review but without publisher pagination, typesetting) available in an institutional repository. This would mean that you would not have to make any payment. You can check what publishers/journals allow by looking on SherpaRomeo

6.       Contact us at and we can provide more information and help on choosing a journal

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Open Access Week 2012: Opening Research and Data, Monday 22 October

Yesterday, to mark the start of Open Access Week, staff from LSHTM, Birkbeck, SOAS, LSE and City University London organised the above half-day event to bring together academics, funders, students and open access advocates to discuss the increasingly important role of open access within the scholarly community and how to engage with the opportunities and challenges it has generated.

The afternoon kicked off with Fred Friend, Honorary Director of Scholarly Communication at UCL, who gave delegates with an excellent summary of the history of the open access movement to date and his views of where we are now and how we can progress.  Following Fred, Stephen Curry (Professor of Structural Biology, Imperial College London), discussed a wide range of topics, including how he recently become engaged in the open access debate, the Internet and its impact on scholarly communication, the Finch Report and RCUK policy and his views on why we haven’t been able to reach the full potential of open access.

In the next session, Melissa Terras (Co-Director, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities) shared her experiences of the impact that using social media to promote her open access publications had on the number of downloads. I was particularly impressed by the statistic that the papers she made available in an open access repository and promoted via social media were downloaded 11 times more than those on the journal platform behind a paywall. Next up was Antonio Gasparrini a Lecturer in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at LSHTM who is working on a 3-years MRC-funded fellowship. He spoke from a very practical perspective about his experiences of under budgeting for Article Processing Charges (APCs) in grant applications, the role of impact factors, copyright transfer and costs in selecting which journal to publish in and whether APCs are really value for money.

The final two sessions of the day were given to representatives from two major research funders. David Carr of the Wellcome Trust outlined the Trust’s open access policy and the launch of a new open access journal eLIFE which is
supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust. He also spoke about the benefits and challenges to opening research data and the importance of funders and institutions working together to overcome the barriers. Ben Ryan (Senior Evaluation Manager, EPSRC) who was speaking on behalf of RCUK, gave the audience an introduction to the background of the development of the much debated RCUK policy and clarified some of the points that I was previously unclear about.

The day ended with a group discussion which covered topics such as confidentiality clauses in library subscription packages, publisher embargo periods for green open access papers in the wake of the RCUK policy and how other research outputs such as learned monographs can be made open access. As usual with such discussions more questions were raised than could be answered in such a short space of time but it was a great forum to start the debate which I hope will continue throughout Open Access Week and beyond…

Gems of the Collection

On Tuesday 30th October we will be running our Gems of the Collection event in association with the Sanitation Exhibition.

The event will be in the Manson Foyer from 12-2pm and will showcase some key sanitation material from within our archival collection. This includes various publications, reports and images from the papers of notable figures:

Andrew Balfour (1873-1931)
Photographs illustrating reports on medical and sanitary matters in Mauritius 1921
Report on the sanitation of Port Louis, 1921
Catalogue of his collection of lantern slides on Bermuda


Hygiene: a manual of personal and public health 

Arthur Newsholme (1857-1943)
The relation of vital statistics to sanitary reform
Moral aspects of social hygiene
The study of hygiene in elementary schools


Ronald Ross (1857-1932)
Photos of Ross and Panama
Sanitation rules for Europeans in the Tropics by Ross in the Sanitary Record
Handwritten draft of a proposed Imperial Institute of Tropical Medicine and Sanitation

J H Burton (1809-1881)
and Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890)
Papers of Sir Edwin Chadwick, which comprise of copies of letters from Chadwick to John Hill Burton on public health matters, 1840-1851

There will be many other items on display, including a selection of texts from our rare book collection. By providing a hands-on session we hope to provide an insight into the diversity of our collections whilst promoting the school’s rich history.

Please come along and visit us, if you have any further queries please contact us at:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

New Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives

A new Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives launched at the House of Lords on Monday 15th October.

The Campaign has grown out of concern for the neglect of archives and records across the voluntary sector. Unlike public records produced by government which will end up in the National Archives at Kew, there is little legal protection for charity archives. Yet it will not be possible to write the history of modern Britain without using the records of voluntary organisations.

The Campaign aims to convince charity leaders and trustees that archives have relevance for an organisation’s current work. WRVS Chief Executive David McCullough will make the business case for charities’ investing time and money in preserving their history. David McCullough said:

“The historical records contained in charity archives are just as vital today as they were when they were first produced. Preserving and sharing our archives means we are able to use past successes and failures to inform decisions made today. WRVS celebrates its 75th anniversary next year and we are incredibly proud of our archive which contains historical images and narrative reports detailing the contribution of millions of women during periods of enormous social change.”

Archives are also important as part of the charity sector's wider public benefit responsibility. Such archives contain what may be otherwise unrecorded histories of people and communities.

There can be little change without the support of the Trusts and Foundations which help fund the sector’s work. Three funding bodies that share a commitment to voluntary sector archives and history will present at the launch - The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, the Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Campaign hopes to encourage all charities, voluntary organisations, trusts and foundations to take responsibility for their archives by providing for their management, preservation, use and promotion.

The launch at the House of Lords was sponsored by Baroness Pitkeathley and funded by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Chaired by Professor Virginia Berridge, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's History Centre, the full list of speakers were as follows:

Ruth Bond, Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Judy Burg, University Archivist, Hull History Centre
Matthew Hilton, Professor of Social History, Uni. of Birmingham
Tristram Hunt MP
Diana Leat, Board Member, The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund
David McCullough, Chief Executive, WRVS
Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper of the National Archives
Carole Souter, Chief Executive, Heritage Lottery Fund
Anna Southall, Trustee, Barrow Cadbury Trust

The Campaign is led by a steering group of researchers, custodians, creators of records and others which meets quarterly at the British Library. Please visit for more information, case studies and bespoke guidance on archives for the voluntary sector.  

Monday, 15 October 2012

Open Access and LSHTM Research Online drop-in session

When: Tuesday 23 October, 12pm-2pm

Where: e-library, Ground Floor, South Courtyard, Keppel Street

To celebrate Open Access Week (22-28 October) the LSHTM Research Online team will be holding a drop-in session for any LSHTM staff and students who want to know more about open access publishing, the payment of open access fees, author rights and the School’s repository, LSHTM Research Online. There is no need to book just bring your questions and receive 1-to-1 help anytime between 12pm and 2pm on Tuesday 23 October. 

For more information please email


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sanitation Showcase

The Golden Poo
On Thursday 18th October in collaboration with External Relations we will be unveiling our Sanitation and Hygiene Exhibition. The launch event will bring together professionals in the sector, staff and students to introduce the exhibition and highlight the School's current sanitation and hygiene-related research.

As part of the exhibition there are a number of sanitation, toilet and hygiene items on display, including the Golden Poo! There are also a selection of postcards, a variety of squat plates and other toilet items that help to highlight some of the school’s past and current work within the sanitation field.
In addition, we have used some historical material from the archive to evidence that the issues of sanitation and public health have always been a prominent area of research within the school. This includes items from the Newsholme collection, two of our rare books which include an illustration of the Houses of Parliament sewage system and the Balfour Kirk manuscript which offers advice to those travelling abroad.

Rare book from the Newsholme collection, containing annotations and drawings by Sir Arthur Newsholme for his revised edition.

Tell us what you think of research data management

On behalf of the Library and Archives Service, we would like to invite you to complete the LSHTM research data management survey.

The survey is part of an initiative being set up within the School to establish a Research Data Management Support Service to help researchers with the creation, use, archiving, and sharing of their research data. We would value your thoughts on the areas that we should address within the Service

This survey is designed to:

  • Provide a greater understanding of data currently held by researchers
  • Identify the influences and barriers to managing research data
  • Identify current levels of research data management practice in faculties
  • Establish the type of advice and support that is required
We will use the information you provide to:
  • Inform requirements for follow-on work to be performed by the RDM Support Service
  • Identify requirements that need to bet met for research data management and sharing.
  • Identify the resources that should be provided facilitate good research data management practice within the School
  • Identify good practice within the School
The survey is open to anyone who is actively involved in funded or unfunded research at the School. It may be accessed at the following location:

The survey will be open until November 16th. Results will be analysed and presented in an anonymised form.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Open Access Week 2012: Opening Research and Data, Monday, 22 October 2012 from 13:00 to 16:30 (BST)

This event, held to celebrate Open Access Week 2012, features a variety of speakers talking about all aspects of the open access and open data agendas. 
Confirmed speakers are as follows:
  • Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology, Imperial College London "Open access after Finch and RCUK" 
  • Ben Ryan, ESPRC 'RCUK Policy on Open Access'
  • Fred Friend, Honorary Director Scholarly Communication, UCL (session name TBC)
  • Melissa Terras, Digital Humanities, UCL: "How to use social media to promote open access research"
  • David Carr, Wellcome Trust: "The Wellcome Trust and Open Access/Open Data: a funder's perspective"
  • Antonio Gasparrini, Lecturer in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, LSHTM: "Open access: a researcher's perspective"
The event is being held at: Room B01, Clore Building, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Lunch will be provided from 1pm, with a tea break mid-afternoon. The event will finish at 4.30pm. There will also be time at the end of the event for a general discussion and Q&A session. Due to popular demand places have been extended to 100 so book now via the Eventbrite page:

We encourage Twitter usage at the event, using the hashtag #ord12
The event has been jointly organised by representatives of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Birkbeck, University of London, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and City University London.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

113th Anniversary

On the 2nd October 1899 the London School of Tropical Medicine at Royal Albert Dock opened its doors to 11 students. An inaugural address was given by Patrick Manson which discussed issues around the lack of training in Tropical diseases and the need to increase knowledge and awareness.
London School of Tropical Medicine at Albert Dock, 1899

One of the main reasons for basing the school at Albert Dock was to ensure that students had a ready supply of patients. The school report for 1899-1900 provided a list of ‘the more important Tropical diseases admitted from October 1899, to October 1900’:
Acute Malaria . . . . .55
Chronic Malaria . . . 4
Dysentery . . . . . . . .44
Beri-Beri . . . . . . . . . 29
Liver Abscess . . . . . 8
Leprosy . . . . . . . . . . 2
Guinea Worm . . . . . 7
Filariasis . . . . . . . . . .3
Blackwater Fever . . 1
Plague . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Malta Fever . . . . . . .5
Hepatitis . . . . . . . . . 3

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . .165
The school offered facilities for study and research, including laboratories and insectaries that provided students with the opportunities to develop and share their knowledge. There was also an emphasis that students would not only learn how to identify and treat Tropical disease but would also gain the skills to investigate illnesses.

Laboratories, c.1900

Once finished studying at the school their education often continued abroad. In January 1903 the school published a list of student destinations from the Amazon to Zanzibar. The most popular destinations were India, the Gold Coast, China and Lagos.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Library channel on Vimeo

I've been beavering away over the summer creating some short videos covering a variety of information skills. They're beginning to go up on the Library's vimeo channel.

Fresh for the start of the new academic year, we have six videos for you to watch. These are:

We will be adding more videos on how to conduct a literature search over the coming weeks.

We are interested in your feedback - let us know what you think by leaving a comment below, on vimeo or by sending us a tweet.

Virtual library training in Moshi, Tanzania

Jane's desktop in London, displayed on the screen in Moshi.
On 12 & 13 September the Library ran its first virtual training session in Moshi, Tanzania. I delivered a session to the students on the East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine via Skype which was facilitated by Phil Gothard, the tutor in Moshi.

The students could see my computer desktop displayed on a screen and hear me talking through the slides and demonstrations. Phil could talk to me through the tutor's microphone and relayed questions from the students as they arose. I could hear Phil but didn't have a view of the students in the computer lab.

After the class Phil said: "We set the students the task of writing a referenced essay; its their opportunity to get under the skin of a topic of their choice relating to public health in the tropics. With 15 nationalities, and an age range spanning three decades, it wasn't surprising that some felt daunted by the task. The great thing about the Skype link with the School is that the students could log in to the library and ask an expert questions as they arose in real time. For many it was the first time they had logged on to the library website despite having passwords for a couple of weeks. Jane's presentation was excellent and other than some issues with bandwidth it almost felt like we were in Keppel Street. The feedback was very positive and we'll definitely experiment again next year."

Students in the computer lab in Moshi watching Jane's presentation
I thought it was a bit strange talking to myself in my office, but once I got used to it, I really enjoyed the class. We thought broadband capacity might be a problem, and on the second day the images were a little delayed, but not enough to derail the class. Having a good facilitator at the other end was key, as I couldn't see the students or their desktop - I was reliant on Phil letting me know what was happening and relaying questions from the students. For this reason, I'm not sure if this would work for some of the more advanced training we provide in London. However, I'm happy to explore the possibilities with any of our overseas staff.