Scholarly Communication and Research Impact

Expertise in navigating the complex landscape of scholarly publishing, illustrating the impact of research, and strategies for making research more impactful.

NIH Public Access Policy  

Library staff continued to help researchers comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, which focuses on openly sharing final, peer-reviewed journal manuscripts in the NIH PubMed Central digital archive. 

To date, Becker Library has submitted 500 articles to NIHMS on behalf of NIH-funded authors, and Washington University in St. Louis has a roughly 95% compliance rate with the NIH Public Access Policy from 2008 to the present (more than 35,000 articles). In addition to the NIH Public Access Policy, Becker Library supported over 50 other public access policies from other government agencies and funding organizations. 

In early FY23, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued new guidance to federal agencies to update their public access policies to eliminate any embargo periods slowing the public release of research findings. While new public access policies are not planned to take effect until December 2025, Becker Library staff have been actively monitoring agency and publisher responses and will continue to communicate and collaborate with institutional partners on these topics going forward to help School of Medicine investigators prepare for these upcoming public access policy changes.  

Transformative agreements to improve open access 

As of the end of FY23, WashU has negotiated new agreements with Cambridge University Press, The Microbiology Society and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, all of which allow for a full waiver of article processing charges (APCs) for WashU corresponding authors electing to publish in open access journals. Similarly, WashU has a Subscribe to Open (S2O) agreement with Annual Reviews to allow for a full waiver of APCs for WashU corresponding authors. To help evaluate additional agreements, Becker Library and University Libraries formed a transformative agreement task force in FY23 to assess publisher proposals and evaluate signed agreements for measures of success going forward.

Author analytics and evaluation reporting 

The library staff provided guidance related to author analytics and generated evaluation reports for individuals, groups, departments, offices, institutes, centers and others. There were more than 10,000 views for the Quantifying the Impact of My Publications subject guide during FY23. 

Guidance topics included:

How to demonstrate expertise using publication data

Journal impact factor scores and benchmarking metrics

Institution and author name variations

Strategies for establishing online profiles

Completing tenure packets

Enhancing the impact of research efforts

Staff prepared evaluation reports containing:

Visual networks, graphs and tables, including choropleth geographic maps of top authors in a field

Co-author network maps and word clouds displaying trends or areas of expertise

reports confirming acknowledgment of grant support

These services were requested by investigators at the medical school for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Grant applications and renewals
  • Progress reports
  • Departmental reports
  • Departmental websites
  • Recruiting
  • Promotion and tenure

Open October  

In collaboration with University Libraries, Becker Library hosted a month-long series of presentations in October 2022 highlighting trends in open science, open data and open access publishing to raise awareness among our campus community about the changes in research and scientific communication. This programming was loosely tied to International Open Access Week in October each year.

One highlight of Open October 2022 was a presentation by John Chodacki, Director of the University of California Curation Center, focused on data citations and the evolving landscape of data sharing and reuse. Another highlight of the programming was a presentation from Maryam Zaringhalam, PhD, Data Science and Open Science Officer at the National Library of Medicine, on opening science with storytelling. This presentation was an exciting crossover event with Becker Library’s Center for Health and Science Communication. Other highlights rounding out Open October 2022 included a session on ORCID and a presentation on the state of open-access publishing at the School of Medicine.