Assessing the openness of your research article

How open is it?

The second task of the Open Science: an introduction course is asking to assess the openness of one resource on the web.
I’ve decided to use the last published article I was involved in:

Ferrarin, C., Ghezzo, M., Umgiesser, G., Tagliapietra, D., Camatti, E., Zaggia, L., and Sarretta, A.: Assessing hydrological effects of human interventions on coastal systems: numerical applications to the Venice Lagoon, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1733-1748, doi:10.5194/hess-17-1733-2013, 2013.

available here.

The article was published in the Open Access journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
PLOS, SPARC and OASPA developed a guide to evaluate how open a scholarly research article is, using the Open Access Spectrum, a matrix based on 6 criteria with 5 level of opennes.

Looking for this information in the HESS web page, I tried to assign a five star value for each of the 6 criteria (taking as a great example this article from Peter Desmet).

Reader Rights

Internet access free of charge to all published articles. (source)


Reuse rights

The article and any associated published material is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (source)



Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s) (source)


Author Posting Rights

I was not completely sure about this…

In the General term page it is only written that the article has not to be

under consideration for peer-reviewed publication elsewhere

In addition to that, in the Data policy page

Copernicus Publications recommends depositing data that correspond to journal articles in reliable data repositories, assigning digital object identifiers, and properly citing a data set as a proper citation. Please find your appropriate data repository in the Registry for Research Data Repositories or in Databib.

To clarify this point, and also the following ones, I’ve sent an e-mail to and Dr. Xenia van Edig (Business Development) quickly provided me with more explicit information:

The copyright of the articles published by Copernicus Publications is always retained by the authors. Of course all versions of the articles may be posted to any repository or website. However, we would always recommend to post the final revised paper.

With this answer I would go for another


Automatic Posting

I couldn’t find any explicit mention about this but, again, here is the answer

Yes, we forward the content/metadata to several data bases and indexing services upon publication. With regard to HESS, we deliver  to  Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science), Scopus, ADS, Chemical Abstracts, Current Contents, GeoRef, Google Scholar and J-Gate. HESS is ncluded in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) as well as in the Bodleian Library (UK), Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (D) and Library of Congress (USA) and long term e-archived in Portico and CLOCKSS. This list can be extended upon request by the journal editors. Furthermore, if authors are affiliated to certain institutions we have institutional agreements with their articles are automatically forwarded to the respective institutional repositories. However, we currently do not deliver content automatically to PubMed because of the thematic scope of this repository (medicine, biology…).


Machine Readability

Same doubts as previous criteria. Here’s the answer from

The metadata of all articles is available in XML format. Furthermore, we will provide full text XML in near future. In addition we are working with the OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiatives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting).

In this case I guess it should be 1/5, but just waiting the full XML soon!

Here a question: when the full text XML is available, should it be considered a “community standard API or protocol”, as requested by the Open Access Spectrum to have 5 stars?


Final considerations

So in the end we have 26/30 stars, that’s quite a good result! Thanks for this!

I’d like to highlight here a final point that’s another one in favour of the HESS Journal and policy.

In the Publication Policy page it is written

Publication of top quality revised papers emerging from an innovative two-stage publication process with Public Peer-Review & Interactive Public Discussion involving HESSD.

Interactive Public Discussion: immediate non-peer-reviewed publication of Referee Comments (anonymous or attributed), Author Comments (on behalf of all authors), and Short Comments by any registered member of the scientific community (attributed) alongside the discussion paper; for details see Interactive Public Discussion.
Permanent archiving and accessibility of discussion papers together with the interactive comments (commented papers).
Individual citability of every discussion paper and interactive comment.
In my opinion this is great, and it improves a lot the potentiality of the open discussion/revision!

Un pensiero su “Assessing the openness of your research article

  1. Pingback: Open source : revue de web de la semaine du 19-25 août 2013. | Contrepoints


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