Singapore Celebrates Open Access Week 2017


Did you know …
1. There more than 10K open access journals and over 2.6 million OA articles indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals
2. There are more than 4 million OA theses indexed in Open Access Theses and Dissertations
3. The total of OA publications in Institutional Repositories of A*STAR, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, and Singapore Management University exceed 120K

Embark on your Open Access journey by taking part in activities happening here in Singapore,

  • Raising your research visibility with open research data: presentations and panel discussion on 24 Oct, 9.30am to 11.30am, organised by Nanyang Technological University and National Institute of Education libraries. Click here for registration and details.
  • Open Access books and journals in the humanities and social sciences: a talk organised by National University of Singapore Libraries, Oct 24, 2pm to 4pm. This talk will cover the developments of open access in the Humanities and Social Sciences, for both journals as well as books. It will cover the trends in OA, the funding climate as well as the opportunities for dissemination of research output. As seats are limited, please register early.


Check out other Open Access Week events taking place around the world here.

Lawsuit against ResearchGate over alleged copyright infringements

ResearchGate, a popular networking and publications sharing site, has been accused of making millions of copyrighted papers freely available.

While Elsevier, the American Chemical Society (ACS), Brill, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer are preparing to send takedown notices to ResearchGate, they have admitted that this approach “is not a viable long-term solution”. Hence, Elsevier and ACS have decided to take legal action against ResearchGate.

More information can be found on Dalmeet Singh Chawla’s news article on

Characteristics of dodgy journals: what to look out for?

How to avoid the risk of submitting your research article to a journal of questionable repute? How to differentiate predatory journals from bona fide ones?

Shamseer et al. (2017) analysed numerous predatory journals, open access journals and subscription-based journals and have identified 13 evidence-based characteristics of questionable journals. Some of them include spelling and grammatical errors on journal websites, promises of rapid publication, manuscripts are submitted via email, boast of a bogus impact factor, contact email address is non-professional, etc.

In addition, we recommend that researchers use the “think, check, submit” checklist to help them select where to publish their works. It is a straightforward three-step process which is supported by organisations such as INASP, STM, OASPA and publishers such as Springer Nature and BioMed Central.

If you have questions regarding the legitimacy or reputation of a journal or publisher, please contact

Shamseer, L., Moher, D., Maduekwe, O., Turner, L., Barbour, V., Burch, R., Clark, J., Galipeau, J., Roberts, J., Shea, B. J. (2017). Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Medicine. DOI 10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9

Raising your Research Visibility with Open Research Data: Presentations & Panel Discussion

As part of the International Open Access Week, the Office of Information, Knowledge & Library Services (OIKLS) is organizing the following panel discussion on 24 Oct 2017.

Register now at  to reserve a seat and a bento lunch box!

Raising your Research Visibility with Open Research Data: Presentations & Panel Discussion
Date: 24 October 2017 (Tuesday)
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am
Venue: Tan Chin Tuan Lecture Theatre (NS4-02-36), Nanyang Technological University
About the event: Six panellists have been invited to talk about their views and data sharing experiences. This will provide an opportunity for researchers and interested parties to learn more about how to prepare and share* research data which can increase their research visibility and understand other benefits.

*According to the NTU Research Data Policy, NTU expects final research data to be made available for sharing where possible.

DR-NTU (Data) is here!

We are happy to announce that DR-NTU (Data), NTU’s institutional open access data repository is now ready for all NTU researchers to deposit their research data!

Who can use DR-NTU (Data)?

DR-NTU (Data) is currently accepting research data from NTU researchers only.

What kind of research data should NTU researchers deposit in DR-NTU (Data)?

NTU researchers should deposit their final research datasets of their projects in DR-NTU (Data). Final research datasets consists of final versions of the data files that are produced after all analysis and manipulations.

What types of file format are accepted by DR-NTU (Data)?

DR-NTU (Data) can accept any file format.

Is there any file size limit?

Up to 3.5 GB for each single file upload via LAN connection to NTU network (subject to network conditions). There is currently no limit per dataset or per dataverse. Contact research data librarians to upload files bigger than 3.5 GB.

Do NTU researchers have to pay to use DR-NTU (Data)?

No, it is absolutely free for all NTU researchers!

How to upload datasets to DR-NTU (Data)?

Method 1: Do-It-Yourself

You can upload your research datasets directly to DR-NTU after creating an account using your NTU login. For more information, you can refer to the user guides for step-by-step instructions.

Method 2: Mediated deposit

We understand that first-time users may have many queries on the data deposit process. Fear not, we do provide a mediated deposit service. All you have to do is to contact the friendly research data librarians at NTU Libraries for help!

Why should NTU researchers use DR-NTU (Data)?

There are a couple of reasons why NTU researchers should consider using DR-NTU (Data):

  • Compliance to funders’ and/or institution’s research data policy requirements

Many research funders and institutions worldwide are implementing data sharing requirements in their funding or institutional policies (e.g. Wellcome Trust, National Science Foundation (US), National Institutes of Health).

In NTU, research data are expected to be retained for at least 10 years. Furthermore, Principal Investigators (PIs) are required to deposit their final research data to the NTU Data Repository or external open access repository no later than the first online publication of the article (NTU Research Data Policy).

  • No cost involved

Since DR-NTU (Data) is free, researchers can save their research funds from paying subscription fees to commercial research data repositories.

  • Better guarantee of perpetuity

Other commercial or non-profit data repositories may shut down when lack of funding and they are not obligated ensure the long term preservation of deposited data.

  • Reap the benefits of data sharing

Research has shown that data sharing has led to higher research visibility and citation rates (Gleditsch, Metelits & Strand, 2003; Piwowar, Day & Fridsma, 2007; Ioannidis et al., 2009; Pienta, Alter & Lyle, 2010; Henneken & Accomazzi, 2011; Sears, 2011; Dorch, 2012; Piwowar & Vision, 2017).

In addition, persistent identifiers (i.e. DOIs) and data citation will be generated for each dataset deposited successfully. The DOIs and data citations can encourage and help in data reuse and keeping track of data usage.

Any other interesting features of DR-NTU (Data)?

Sub-dataverses can be created by or for schools, research centres, project groups or individual researchers. What’s more, these sub-dataverses can be customized (themes, permissions, dataset templates, etc.) according to the needs of the group.

What’s next?

Apart from the regular DMP workshops, we would be lining up some workshops to highlight the features and let participants have a hand-on experience of using DR-NTU (Data). Please keep a lookout for the publicity emails and calls for registration!

Nevertheless, if you can’t wait to learn more about DR-NTU (Data), you can arrange for a consultation session with the research data librarians too!


Related Links:
DR-NTU (Data) Policies
Research Data Management Guide

Research Data Management Workshops for Librarians by Digital Curation Centre (UK)

NTU Libraries recognizes the important role its librarians will play as the University places greater emphasis on open access research data sharing. Data sharing is meaningful only when data is discoverable and reusable. The Digital Curation Centre (UK) was invited to conduct two workshops for librarians on 8th and 9th March 2017 to prepare them in potential new roles in research data management and sharing advocacy and advisory related services. The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) is an internationally-recognised centre of expertise in digital curation with a focus on building capability and skills for research data management.

On the first day, the trainers, Kevin Ashley and Jonathan Rans shared with participants methods for engaging with researchers on the benefits of open data sharing and enable them to dispel common fears. Librarians had a chance to examine different approaches and discuss what might be adapted for the NTU context. The day ended with practical advice on supporting researchers to select, license and publish their data.

Day 1 “Supporting open research at Nanyang Technological University” workshop slides and material:  Introduction, Data selection licensing, Engaging researchers with servicesFinding repository, How are researchers supported exercise on Data sharing barriers.

On the second day, participants learned how to identify requirements for RDM support and were introduced to tools which facilitated gap analysis. One example was the use of the RISE (the Research Infrastructure Self Evaluation Framework) framework. Such self-assessment and planning tools will be useful as the University prepares to augment its technical and service infrastructure to support good research data management practices.

Participants of the workshops wrapped up the 2-day workshop with comments like “Inspiring, makes me want to foray into RDM in the library” , “I am now more confident and have a deeper understanding of data management”.

Day 2 “Supporting open research for librarians (advanced)” workshop slides and material: Introduction,  Designing services model, Disciplinary data issues, Supporting data management planning.


Research Data Sharing talk by Digital Curation Centre (UK)

Over 80 persons including NTU faculty, research staff, PhD students, administrative staff as well as a few from external research institutions took time from their busy work on 10 Mar 2017 to hear from by Mr Kevin Ashley, Director of the Digital Curation Centre (UK) about “Open Access Research Data Sharing: Why does it matter? How does it benefit you?”.

The talk highlighted interesting data reuse stories, data curation, importance of data management, public and research community benefits, practices around the world and costs involved, resource allocation for open access data sharing. The speaker also shared about the positive impact of working openly and publishing data.

The audience was busy with their mobile devices while Mr Ashley was speaking. They were typing their questions on an online platform in response to what they hear from him. Kevin took time to respond to each and every of the 16 questions at appropriate junctures during the talk.

Library provided lunch to everyone who came. Most of the participants shared with us after the talk that they have gained a better understanding of open access research data sharing.

Click HERE to access the slides presented during the talk.

Click here to have a look at the 16 questions:

1. Do you feel that researchers, especially those in early stage of their career are resistant to share data because there is a lack of formal recognition?

2. In your experience, have you encountered universities with competitive instead of collaborative culture and how do you foster collaboration in such context?

3. Data Sharing is more prevalent in some fields than others. What are some key reasons /ways this can be emulated in other fields.

4. Data destruction – We can't possibly know what data can be useful many decades later like in the case of the shipping logs?

5. What are the boundaries of open access data sharing?

6. What are the barriers to open access research data sharing? How to overcome them?

7. Data sharing is good but DMP is too much bureaucratic work. Why is this necessary?

8. What's the best way to convince researcher who has reservation in data sharing? Esp those in highly competitive discipline.

9. This is more a question for the library: is there a secure server in NTU for the collection of data and back up of data while we are conducting research?

10. In your experience, have you encountered universities with competitive instead of collaborative culture, and how do you foster collaboration in such context?

11. In some research, we deal with human subjects (& their consent). What can NTU IRB do for those who are considering sharing beyond the scope of current project?

12. Is there a guide that has a master list of digital archives available for all disciplines? So that researchers can go to the guide to and find data for reuse.

13. Data management (digital curation/sharing) is normally driven at national level (eg UK, US & Australia). What is the likelihood for one to occur here?

14. How does open access address PDPA policy (Especially on the part that personal data is not to be moved out of Singapore)?

15. What research data do I need to share?

16.What is open access?


Get open-access full-text papers the legal way: Use Unpaywall

Using Unpaywall, anyone can now find freely available full-text of journal articles.

How does it work?
Step 1. Add the Unpaywall extension to your Chrome or Firefox browser
Step 2. When you view a research article (from publisher’s website), look out for the coloured tab on the right of the webpage.
a. Green tab: There is a free, legal full-text. Click on the green tab to read.
b. Gray tab: Unable to find a free legal full-text.

To get started, add Unpaywall extension and try to find full-text of this article:
Hennigar, R. A., Mann, R. B. and Tjoa, E. (2017). Superfluid Black Holes. Physical Review Letters, 118, 021301

Full-text from publisher costs US$25 but Unpaywall finds a free copy uploaded by the authors to arXiv.

Unpaywall was developed by Impactstory, an open-source website that helps researchers share the online impact of their research.

Open Access Research Data Sharing: Why does it matter? How does it benefit you?

The Office of Information, Knowledge and Library Services (OIKLS) will be organising the following talk on 10 March. If you are interested, please feel free to register at:

Open Access Research Data Sharing: Why does it matter? How does it benefit you?
Date: 10 March 2017 (Friday)
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Venue: LT6 (NS2-02-05), Nanyang Technological University
About the talk: The NTU Research Data Policy was launched in April 2016 and it encourages open access research data sharing. More and more funding agencies and journals are starting to have similar expectations. Why does this matter to you as a researcher?

Mr Kevin Ashley, Director of Digital Curation Centre (UK), will be speaking on data sharing trends and practices across disciplines in different countries and institutions at this seminar. Hear from him about the positive impact of working openly and publishing data, including boosts to citation rates for associated journal articles. Also learn how re-searchers allocate resources for open access data sharing. You will have the opportunity to ask him why it matters to you and how you can realise the benefits of open research.


Overwhelming response at university-wide discussion forum on open access research data sharing 27 Oct 16

In support of the 9th International Open Access Week 2016, NTU Libraries facilitated a discussion forum titled “Open Access Research Data Sharing Requirements: Are you ready?” on 27 Oct 2016.

It was a very lively session where more than 100 people gathered to ask questions and learn about the rationale, challenges and how to prepare for data sharing, NTU’s requirements, data sharing platforms, etc. The audience, made up of NTU faculty, research staff, PhD students, administrative staff as well as a handful from external research institutions, was actively asking questions and giving comments on an online platform ( during the forum. Ms Goh Su Nee from NTU Libraries facilitated the discussion that had received 29 questions online as well as more than 50 responses to 2 open-ended poll questions.

Questions asked by participants on open access data sharing:

Click here to see the questions
  1. Will there be a national drive in data sharing? Like those in US, UK and Australia
  2. When researchers leave NTU, can data still be used by researchers? Can others still cite these researchers?
  3. What about data that has already been collected?
  4. How long is considered as long term?
  5. What formats are not considered research data?
  6. Why should researchers open themselves to scrutiny by making data publicly available?
  7. The first video actually referring to research data repository, regardless on whether the data has been used for publication or not. Will NTU has such system?
  8. Under content analysis, my data could be newspaper articles which are the copyright of publishers. In such a case what do I have to share?
  9. Does the data need to be "peer reviewed"?
  10. What is considered as a 'recognized open access data repository'?
  11. Wouldn't funding agency has the final say on whether research data can be shared or reused?
  12. When is workshop on cc-by thing? We need to understand these?
  13. Research product say a device or a sample like thin films, crystals etc also form the part of data set. Do we need to share them? If yes where is repository?
  14. Why did you choose the CC-BY-NC license and not a less restrictive one such as CC-BY? shouldn't we encourage maximum reuse of data to advance discovery?
  15. Since sharing is the main intention behind OA data, shouldn't all the data sets submitted to OA repositories be in machine-readable formats?
  16. What resources would I need for data sharing?
  17. How does the upcoming NTU research data repository look like?
  18. Who owns my data? Myself, the publisher, the grant dispenser or my institution?
  19. What is the purpose to share data?
  20. What is CC-BY-NC?
  21. What would make data sharing effective?
  22. I have sensitive data. So, I can be exempted from sharing right?
  23. Where and how to share data?
  24. Do I need to share all my data?
  25. Is there a specific timeline for NTU to implement changes to data sharing policy and infrastructure?
  26. Could we have advice on not just broad principles of data sharing, but on challenges of data sharing at NTU? E.g. there may be real cultural challenges.
  27. What are the benefits of sharing my data?
  28. What are NTU requirements?
  29. What is open access data sharing? Where and how to share?


Poll Question 1: What challenges would you foresee in open access research data sharing?

Click here to see comments by participants
  1. How is it recognized for tenure ad promotion? Same level as a paper on a journal?
  2. The cyberattack that may cause threats to our research depositories in the future
  3. Conflict with patents and collaboration contracts that involves monetization of the research output
  4. Lack of understanding or training in data classifications and uploading.
  5. Data might only be accessible using proprietary software
  6. You have helpdesk to guide us?
  7. Misuse of data which I shared
  8. Storage
  9. Data being plagiarized
  10. Ethical issues
  11. Misinterpretation of data
  12. Need time to put in, need to sort data more clearly for other people to read.
  13. Extra time and effort
  14. Need to contact the data owner for clarification of how the data was collected (methods, accuracy)
  15. Uploading big datasets
  16. Not sure why is final data
  17. Security
  18. Don't know how to anonymize sensitive data
  19. Data theft and non-citation of data creator
  20. Data size as some data can be 1TB or close to it
  21. Depositors may not provide detailed enough metadata
  22. Lazy to upload data
  23. Safety
  24. It'll be so costly
  25. Hacking
  26. Lack of citations attribution
  27. Time
  28. Filling the metadata form


Poll Question 2: What would make data sharing easier?

Click here to see the comments by participants
  1. Training by professionals to all researchers including fyp students .
  2. Universal data format
  3. Good trainer and training program
  4. Less things to input. Can input eg journals that were published. Don't have to type many things
  5. Researchers should be more proactive in doing all the preparatory work needed to share their data
  6. Demonstration of sharing story from peers within university or other institutes
  7. Systematic indexes and classifications
  8. Understanding need rationale logic and how to do it.
  9. Recognition of being an open data PI.
  10. Incentives/recognition for sharing data openly
  11. Administrative support for meta tagging and uploading
  12. Provide a template where we can just fill-in the necessary details and upload our data to be available online
  13. Knowledge Services dept to help us
  14. Easy to use platform
  15. Helpdesk to render quick help….
  16. A clearer explanation on the meta-data input form or less required fields on it.
  17. More staff to help
  18. Budget to hire data managers
  19. Make it optional
  20. Pay bonus :^)
  21. Support from the library!
  22. Give time
  23. User friendly interface
  24. Simple data storage mechanism
  25. Availability of resources.
  26. Clear guidelines for sharing
  27. Clear instructions
  28. Right culture and mindset


A PDF version of the Powerpoint slides presented at the event can be found HERE.