Author: Geoff Hamm
Do you get emails asking you to upload files or funding information to records of your published work? Does the task sometimes seem complicated or daunting? Do you wonder whether it matters, or makes a difference? The Research Services Team is here for you!
Under the DOE’s Public Access policy all research results (“product”) funded by taxpayer money needs to be openly available. Berkeley Lab’s Performance Evaluation Measurement Plan (PEMP) requires the submission of 85% of our “Scientific and Technical Product” to the DOE’s public access gateway. The Lab generates 2,500-3,000 peer-reviewed papers, technical reports, conference presentations, and book chapters every year.
How does it work and what’s with the emails?
The emails serve as a reminder for scientists to upload copies of their work to the Lab’s pub management system. The system utilizes a 3rd-party software built by Symplectic called “Elements” (not to be confused with the Lab’s employee news platform, also named Elements) which acts as the central hub for the publication management process. Submitted publications are sent to eScholarship, the Lab/UC institutional repository, which then uploads complete records to the DOE’s Office of Science and Technical Information (OSTI), where they are counted towards our 85%.
There’s a catch: unless a publication is explicitly Open Access, or posted to a preprint server like arXiv, the published PDF is under copyright and can’t be freely shared. OSTI recommends using the accepted manuscript — the version that was peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication by the journal.
What about the backlog of publications from a decades-long career?
Researchers often wonder if they have to upload their entire publications history. Right now, the Lab is only concerned with publications from FY2022 (October 1, 2021–September 30, 2022). You’ll still get notifications about the older papers, but we’re not worried about them.
How are we doing?
Pretty well; we’ve hit our target for several years running, and we’re currently 86.4% compliant for FY21. A lot of people were involved in getting us to this point, so our success is a great testament to the Lab’s teamwork. Some fun facts:
- The divisions with the most publications (FY21) are Materials Sciences (349), the ALS (299), and Physics (216).
- The most used journal at LBNL is Physical Review D, which covers particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology, with 87 papers, followed by Physical Review Letters at 82.
- The most popular Open Access journal is Nature Communications, with 69 papers.
- The most “open” division is Physics, where the practice of hosting papers on arXiv makes DOE compliance a pretty straightforward affair.
Where does the Research Services Team come in?
We work with scientists, admins, and anyone across the Lab who might touch this process. We advise best practices, communicate OSTI expectations, troubleshoot and problem solve, and assist with the actual task. We can also answer some copyright questions, file unpublished technical reports with OSTI, and help scientists make their research data publicly accessible and shareable.
You can find more information, as well as step by step guidelines for pub management at publications.lbl.gov or by getting in touch with Geoff Hamm, Scientific Publications Coordinator via firstname.lastname@example.org.