Open@VT

Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

Category Archives: Open Access

How much Virginia Tech research is open access?

What percentage of Virginia Tech’s published research articles are open access in some form, and how do we compare with other universities?  The answers, using four sources, are “around 50%” and “not well,” respectively.

The sources used are CWTS Leiden Ranking, COKI (both openly available), SciVal/Scopus, and Dimensions (both proprietary).  All cover the years 2017-2020, except for COKI, which is 2020 only.  Virginia Tech’s percentage of open access articles was highest in CWTS (54.7%) and lowest in SciVal (44.1%).  Results from the four data sources were entered into a spreadsheet to show how Virginia Tech compares to its 25 SCHEV peers, as well as to other Virginia universities.  For SCHEV peers, the presence of an open access policy and an open access fund are also noted where information was available.

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New Open Textbook: Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students by Andrew Binks

Cover image of Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students by Andrew Binks
Cover: Kindred Grey

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Virginia Tech Publishing are pleased to announce publication of a new open textbook by Andrew Binks, titled Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students.

Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students (https://doi.org/10.21061/cardiovascularpathophysiology) is an undergraduate medical-level resource for foundational knowledge of common cardiovascular diseases, disorders and pathologies. This text is designed for a course pre-clinical undergraduate medical curriculum and it is aligned to USMLE(r) (United States Medical Licensing Examination) content guidelines. The text is meant to provide the essential information from these content areas in a concise format that would allow learner preparation to engage in an active classroom. Clinical correlates and additional application of content is intended to be provided in the classroom experience. The text assumes that the students will have an understanding of basic cardiovascular physiology that will be helpful to understand the content presented here. This resource should be assistive to the learner later in medical school and for exam preparation given the material is presented in a succinct manner, with a focus on high-yield concepts.

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New Open Textbook: Aerospace Structures by Eric Raymond Johnson

Cover of Aerospace Structures by Eric Raymond Johnson
Cover art: Tom Cleary via Unsplash
Cover: Kindred Grey

Virginia Tech’s Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Virginia Tech Publishing are pleased to announce publication of a new open textbook by Eric Raymond Johnson, Ph.D., titled, Aerospace Structures.

Aerospace Structures (https://doi.org/10.21061/AerospaceStructures) is a 600+ page text and reference book for junior, senior, and graduate-level aerospace engineering students.

The text begins with a discussion of the aerodynamic and inertia loads acting on aircraft in symmetric flight and presents a linear theory for the statics and dynamic response of thin-walled straight bars with closed and open cross-sections. Isotropic and fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials including temperature effects are modeled with Hooke’s law. Methods of analyses are by differential equations, Castigliano’s theorems, the direct stiffness method, the finite element method, and Lagrange’s equations. There are numerous examples for the response of axial bars, beams, coplanar trusses, coplanar frames, and coplanar curved bars. Failure initiation by the von Mises yield criterion, buckling, wing divergence, fracture, and by Puck’s criterion for FRP composites are presented in the examples.

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Announcing New Open Textbook: Neuroscience for Pre-Clinical Students

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Virginia Tech Publishing are pleased to announce the second open textbook publication in a series, Neuroscience for Pre-Clinical Students, by Renée LeClair, Ph.D.

book cover
Cover by Kindred Grey. Brain CC BY by Mahmure Alp from The Noun Project.

Neuroscience for Pre-Clinical Students (https://doi.org/10.21061/neuroscience) is a USMLE-aligned text  designed for a first-year undergraduate medical course, and covers neuroenergetics, neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and selected amino acid metabolism and degradation. It is meant to provide the essential biochemical information from these content areas in a concise format to enable students to engage in an active classroom. Hence, it does not cover neurophysiology and neuroanatomy; and clinical correlates and additional application of content are intended to be provided in the classroom experience. The text assumes that the students will have completed medical school prerequisites (including the MCAT) in which they will have been introduced to the most fundamental concepts of biology and chemistry that are essential to understand the content presented here. With its focus on high-yield concepts, this resource will assist the learner later in medical school and for exam preparation.

The 49-page text was created specifically for use by pre-clinical students at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and was based on faculty experience and peer review to guide development and hone important topics.

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VTechWorks Update, Spring 2021

VTechWorks homepage

VTechWorks provides global access to Virginia Tech scholarship, offering an easy way for members of the university community to provide open access to their work. The university’s institutional repository is managed by the University Libraries, and receives theses and dissertations from the Graduate School, as well as deposits from Elements (EFARs), the faculty reporting system.

Here are the latest VTechWorks statistics:

  • 84,000+ items, 34,600 (41%) of which are theses and dissertations
  • 2,300+ items deposited by faculty from Elements (EFARs)
  • 3,000+ file downloads per day over the last year (on average, bots excluded)
    • 4,000+ downloads per day average in February 2021
  • 566 items collectively have more than 5,300 Altmetric mentions
  • 51,500 items indexed in Google Scholar (7th highest among U.S. repositories); also indexed by Unpaywall, Microsoft Academic, all major search engines, BASE, and the VT Libraries catalog
  • 400+ items linked to from Wikipedia
  • 96% open access full text repository (4% are embargoed, withheld, or legacy citation/abstract-only items)
  • Top traffic sources are Google, Google Scholar, VT.edu search, and Bing
  • BASE can be used to sync items in VTechWorks to ORCiD profiles
  • Accessed globally, with the highest usage from the U.S., India, China, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Canada
  • Provides a permanent URL (handle) for citing
  • RSS feeds of new items available for departments, colleges, and research centers (see an example in the right sidebar, “New in VTechWorks”)
  • Estimated 99.9% uptime
Map of global usage for VTechWorks
VTechWorks usage by location, 2020

The easiest way for faculty to get their works into VTechWorks is to upload a file in Elements, because no registration is needed, and article metadata is often already present, which eliminates manual entry. Go to Menu > Publications and look for the upload arrow, which is the first in the row of icons underneath each entry (if you see the “double pages” icon, the item is already in VTechWorks).

upload arrow
Upload your file!
in repo
In VTechWorks

Deposit advice (such as which version you can legally deposit, and any publisher embargo) is automatically added to the deposit screen from Sherpa/Romeo, which aggregates journal policies for posting articles online. We are also happy to help anyone at VT identify which items they can legally post online – just email us at vtechworks@vt.edu. To learn more about open access, see our Open Access Guide. Students and staff should register and then email vtechworks@vt.edu and tell us which collection you would like to submit to. Faculty can also use this method if they prefer.

Recent, continuing, and upcoming VTechWorks projects include:

  • Added thumbnail icons and transcripts for audio-only items.
  • Adding abstracts and committee member names to scanned theses and dissertations, and OCRing the earliest ones (~3,000 so far).
  • Improving captions for videos, including through a new relationship with a captioning service.
  • With the Graduate School, exploring better accessibility for ETDs.
  • Updated the Virginia Tech Patents collection.
  • Updating the Powell River Project collection.
  • Migrating Computational Science Lab papers from an EPrints server.
  • A new collection for Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs.
  • Beginning to explore linked data possibilities.

We work every day to grow VTechWorks and provide effective global dissemination of scholarship by Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students. Contact us anytime with questions or comments at vtechworks@vt.edu.