JLab Implements Process to Improve Public Access to Research Results

JLab Implements Process to Improve Public Access to Research Results

In October 2014, the Department of Energy began implementing its Public Access Plan across the DOE complex. This requirement stems from a Feb. 22, 2013 memorandum titled, "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research," in which John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), directed federal agencies to develop and implement plans for increasing public access to the full-text versions of final, peer-reviewed publications and digital research data resulting from agency funded research.

Public Access, or Open-Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions to readers, according to Kim Edwards, Jefferson Lab’s publications manager and a certified records manager in the Information Resources section.

The first step in this new requirement is getting the required Jefferson Lab approval for any manuscript that is intended for external distribution, Edwards explains, whether the author intends to publish the result in a peer-reviewed journal, a conference proceedings or simply posting it on arXiv.org. If the paper was written by a lab employee about his or her work conducted at the lab, or written by a user about work conducted at the lab, it must be submitted to the Jefferson Lab publications system prior to being made publicly accessible.

The Jefferson Lab Open-Access procedure is as follows:

1.  The author submits the completed manuscript into the Jefferson Lab Submission and Approval System for approval and an official Jefferson Lab publication number. (Go to https://misportal.jlab.org/ul/publications/, log in and follow the instructions.)

2.  The author submits the manuscript to the journal or conference proceedings, if the author intends to publish. In addition (or alternatively), the author may submit the manuscript into eprint arXiv (or a similar publicly accessible repository).

3. In the cases of a journal/conference proceedings, the author contacts the Jefferson Lab Legal Counsel, Rhonda Scales, to execute the publisher's requested Copyright Transfer Agreement.

4.  After the peer review process and final manuscript is complete, the author provides the manuscript to the journal/conference proceedings (along with the fully executed Copyright Transfer Agreement.)  In addition, to satisfy the DOE public access requirements, the author provides a "clean" version (without journal markings) of the final manuscript to the publications manager at kindrew@jlab.org, and if allowed by the publisher, uploads this version to the eprint arXiv (or similar).  NOTE:  The "clean" version that is provided to the publications manager will then be provided to OSTI, who will release the manuscript to the public after a grace period.

5.  When the journal article is published, the Jefferson Lab publications manager uploads the DOI (digital object identifier link: http://dx.doi.org/10.xxx.xxx/xxxxx), metadata found in the JLab system, and the final eprint arXiv (or similar) version of the document to the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) for inclusion into the Department of Energy's Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (PAGES) at http://www.osti.gov/pages/.

Depending on the requirements of a specific journal, this procedure may vary slightly, but the author must submit the manuscript into the Jefferson Lab Submission and Approval System as a first step in every case, Edwards points out. Publications, she adds, are not visible offsite from the Jefferson Lab system until they are either 1) published or 2) available in the eprint arXiv or similar repository.

For results with more than one author, the “corresponding” author of any research conducted at Jefferson Lab or carried out using lab data is responsible for submitting the manuscript into the lab system in order to receive the official lab publication number and begin the OA process. The corresponding author may be a lab staff member or a representative of the staff member. Collaboration papers, reviewed by their scientific collaboration, likewise must be submitted by a lab author or representative of the author.

Open Access does not affect the peer review process.

There are two methods an author may use to meet the open access requirement. DOE policy guidance encourages use of Green OA with an author’s final accepted version (post peer-reviewed where applicable) and links to the publisher’s version of record. DOE prefers the green method because it is a no-cost method for distribution.

  • Green: Author self-archives the finished document in a repository (like e-print arXiv)
  • Gold: Author pays fee to publisher

Researchers benefit with Open Access because it allows for increased visibility and usage of their published work. Research titled “The Open Access Citation Advantage: Studies and Results to Date” published in 2010 showed a 170-580 percent increase in the citations of OA physics and astronomy research. OA also makes research results accessible across fields, which will encourage using scientific knowledge to its full potential, and helps eliminate duplication of effort in posting results, Edwards adds. It promotes researchers’ work and boosts their profile, while retaining authors’ rights.

Additional Open Access information and resource links are available at:


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