UCT’s Open Access Policy has been revised, with amendments approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and the University Research Committee. The amendments occur in Section 5.3: Students Theses and Dissertations.
All research findings should be in the public domain; that is, all of UCT’s theses and dissertations should be available in the OpenUCT repository. There are, however, exceptions to this default position. Dissertations or research reports that earn less than sixty credits, or research reports submitted for professional master’s degrees, are not uploaded to OpenUCT. There is also the option to delay public access to theses and dissertations in OpenUCT. However, in these cases, the metadata and abstracts of the theses and dissertations will be available through open access immediately after the conferment of the degree.
UCT Libraries has a new service to offer the UCT community: open access monograph publishing. Open access allows the unrestricted access to and unrestricted reuse of scholarship. UCT first showcased its locally-produced scholarship when it launched its institutional repository, OpenUCT, in July 2014, after Council adopted its Open Access Policy in March of that year. Amendments to the Policy were approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and the University Research Committee in February 2016, with supporting guidelines. Already, OpenUCT makes available over 16,000 items of the institution’s scholarship. UCT has fast become a major contributor to the international knowledge economy by having this local knowledge freely available to everyone.
OpenCon 2015, a conference on open access, open education and open data for students and early career research professionals, was held in Brussels on 14-16 November. Jill Claassen attended an “unconference” (a session where participants suggest topics to be discussed) chaired by Dr Mike Taylor, entitled, “Crowdsourcing an alternative to Beall's List”. This session occurred after a presentation by Cenyu Shen, a doctoral student from Hanken School of Economics, Finland, who shared her research findings on ‘predatory’ publishers. This research, which she co-authored with Bo-Christer Björk, is published in an article: ‘Predatory’ open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics.