Tag: open access

Cardiff University Press

Here’s a shout-out for Cardiff University Press, established in 2014 and a publisher of diamond (‘free in, free out’) open access books and journals. I’ve been involved with the Press since 2015, and in July 2021 joined colleagues online for a monograph commissioning panel meeting followed by a meeting of the full editorial board.

CardiffUP is remarkably interdisciplinary, and through the Press I get to work with colleagues from all three Colleges of the University. Though small in number, the monographs thus far published by the Press are nothing if not diverse: martial arts studies, living with cancer, human-computer interaction, media narratives of poverty and health care professional education. Further monographs are under review, and my impressions are that interest in the Press is on the up (check out this link to the most recent CardiffUP annual report). This reflects, I think, the extent to which funding bodies are increasingly concerned to make sure that the publications arising from the research they support appear in open access form.

The MENLOC study (again)

In July 2020, with colleagues I received peer review feedback on our draft MENLOC study final report, about which I’ve written before.

Final reports from studies funded by the National Institute for Health Research are sizeable affairs, typically running to 40,000 words or so and detailing the minutiae of what’s been done, and what’s been found. Once peer and editorial review has been satisfied draft reports progress to pre-publication, involving the careful copyediting of the text. Finally, once everything is typeset each report appears in a single issue of the open access journal bearing the name of the funding programme through which the research award was originally made. The screenshot I’ve included in this post is from the NIHR’s comprehensive information for authors, which takes grantholders through the process.

In the case of MENLOC the journal in which our final report will be published is Health Services and Delivery Research, and we’re expecting publication to be sometime in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, this current version of our plain English summary captures what we’ve done and what we’ve found:


We brought together evidence from research, policies, guidance and case studies in the area of end of life care for people with severe mental illness. End of life care refers to the help given to people with life-threatening conditions in their expected last 12 months. Severe mental illness refers to a range of issues for which care is usually provided by specialist mental health services.

An advisory group, including people with experience of mental health and end of life care, helped us throughout our project. We searched research databases, journals and online sources. We assessed research articles for their quality, and summarised their content. In one review we combined content from research with content from policy and guidance. In another review we combined the content of the case studies. We wrote synthesis statements summarising the research evidence, and assessed how confident decision-makers should be in these.

We included 104 documents overall. We synthesised research, policy and guidance under themes reflecting their content: the structure of mental health and end of life care services; professional practice; providing and receiving care; and living with severe mental illness. We synthesised case studies under themes relating to: delays in diagnosis; making decisions; treatment futility; supporting people; and the experience of care.

Our project has implications for care. Partnerships should be built between mental health and end of life care staff, and people should be supported to die where they choose. Care staff need education, support and supervision. A team approach is needed, including support for advocacy. Physical health care for people with severe mental illness needs improving so that life-threatening conditions can be recognised sooner.

Future research should involve people with severe mental illness at the end of life and their carers. Research is also needed evaluating new ways of providing and organising care.


MENLOC is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research programme (project number 17/100/15).

The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care


In addition to responding to these detailed reviewers’ and editors’ comments, as our MENLOC report continues on its way we’ll also be preparing papers for publication, and thinking about next steps in this programme of research. We’ve discovered that very little is known about how best to provide care at the end of life to people with severe mental health problems, making this a wide-open area for researchers and people concerned with service improvements.

COCAPP-A main findings paper

COCAPP-ACOCAPP-A, funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme, investigated care planning and coordination in inpatient mental health services. It was led by Alan Simpson, and I was mighty pleased to have been part of the research team. The full, 270 page, report appeared in 2017. Now, a derived paper reporting main findings has appeared in the journal BMC Psychiatry. Lead authored by Michael Coffey this article amounts to a more modest 18 pages, which means it stands a chance of actually being read by people able to make use of it.

As a gold open access article the paper is free to download to anyone with an internet connection. As a taster, here’s the abstract:

Background: Involving mental health service users in planning and reviewing their care can help personalised care focused on recovery, with the aim of developing goals specific to the individual and designed to maximise achievements and social integration. We aimed to ascertain the views of service users, carers and staff in acute inpatient wards on factors that facilitated or acted as barriers to collaborative, recovery-focused care.
Methods: A cross-national comparative mixed-methods study involving 19 mental health wards in six service provider sites in England and Wales. This included a survey using established standardised measures of service users (n = 301) and staff (n = 290) and embedded case studies involving interviews with staff, service users and carers (n = 76). Quantitative and qualitative data were analysed within and across sites using descriptive and inferential statistics, and framework method.
Results: For service users, when recovery-oriented focus was high, the quality of care was rated highly, as was the quality of therapeutic relationships. For staff, there was a moderate correlation between recovery orientation and quality of therapeutic relationships, with considerable variability. Staff members rated the quality of therapeutic relationships higher than service users did. Staff accounts of routine collaboration contrasted with a more mixed picture in service user accounts. Definitions and understandings of recovery varied, as did views of hospital care in promoting recovery. Managing risk was a central issue for staff, and service users were aware of measures taken to keep them safe, although their involvement in discussions was less apparent.
Conclusions: There is positive practice within acute inpatient wards, with evidence of commitment to safe, respectful, compassionate care. Recovery ideas were evident but there remained ambivalence on their relevance to inpatient care. Service users were aware of efforts taken to keep them safe, but despite measures described by staff, they did not feel routinely involved in care planning or risk management decisions. Research on increasing therapeutic contact time, shared decision making in risk assessment and using recovery focused tools could further promote personalised and recovery-focused care planning.

Plan4Recovery

Here’s a post introducing the main findings paper from the Plan4Recovery study, led by Michael Coffey and funded through a Health and Social Care Wales Social Care Research Award.

Plan4Recovery used qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the relationships between recovery, quality of life, social support and shared decision-making amongst people using social care services in Wales. The project team included mental health researchers with practitioner backgrounds, experience of using services, and of mixed methods studies. The paper, published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, is in gold open access form which makes it free to download.

For a shortcut, here’s the abstract:

Purpose

Mental health care is a complex system that includes social care organisations providing support for people with continuing needs. The relationship over time between decisional conflict, social support, quality of life and recovery outcomes across two time periods for people experiencing mental health problems in receipt of social care was investigated.

Methods

This is a mixed methods study comprised of a quantitative survey at two time points using measures of decisional conflict, social support, recovery and quality of life in a random sample (n = 122) using social care services in Wales, UK. In addition, 16 qualitative case studies were developed from data collected from individuals, a supportive other and a care worker (n = 41) to investigate trajectories of care. Survey responses were statistically analysed using SPSS and case study data were thematically analysed.

Results

Participants reported increasing decisional conflict and decreasing social support, recovery and quality of life over the two time points. Linear regression indicated that higher recovery scores predict better quality of life ratings and as ratings for social support decline this is associated with lower quality of life. Correlational analysis indicated that lower decisional conflict is associated with higher quality of life. Thematic analysis indicated that ‘connectedness and recovery’ is a product of ‘navigating the system of care’ and the experience of ‘choice and involvement’ achieved by individuals seeking help.

Conclusions

These results indicate that quality of life for people experiencing mental health difficulties is positively associated with social support and recovery and negatively associated with decisional delay.

#MHNR2018 scientific committee and more

img_0567-1Today I’ve been at this year’s meeting of the International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference scientific committee. This convened at the Royal College of Nursing headquarters in London. We had a good range of abstract submissions to deliberate over, and people can expect emails soon informing them of our decisions. We’re also pleased to have been able to identify our annual Mental Health Nurse Academics UK Lecturer for 2018. I dare not make an announcement on this front in this post, and shall wait for official communications to be made first.

Hopefully #MHNR2018, which takes place in Manchester in the middle of September, will be a lively and well-attended affair. There is, it has to be said, space for the conference committee to receive and deliberate over a larger number of conference abstracts than it did today. For #MHNR2019, my early request is: spread the word, and get writing. And for #MHNR2018, for people who missed the abstract submission date: do consider, if possible, participating as a delegate anyway.

Elsewhere, having been stuck in the PLOSONE editorial and peer review system for a spectacularly long period, this week’s good news on the mental health research front includes the acceptance for publication of a paper reporting the COCAPP metanarrative review of care planning and coordination. This has been lead authored by Aled Jones, and once it becomes available in the public domain I’ll post a link. Also accepted for publication this week is a paper lead authored by Jane Davies, derived from her PhD which I supported as a supervisor with Danny Kelly. Jane’s study was an investigation into choice and control in young people with cancer, and this article accepted by the European Journal of Oncology Nursingreports some of Jane’s main findings.

Talking of publications, later this week I head into a meeting of the Cardiff University Press editorial board. Up to now I haven’t written much on this site about the Press, which has been around since 2014 and supports journal publishing in diamond open access form. The Press is in the process of extending into monograph publishing, too, having struck an agreement with Ubiquity. For people looking to move their existing journal titles, or to found new ones, the Press is a good place to go and information on opportunities of this type can be found here.

Critical junctures goes green

CJIn a series of earlier posts on this site (here and here), and in a piece for the LSE’s Impact Blog here, I wrote about Nicola Evans‘ and my article, ‘Critical junctures in health and social care: service user experiences, work and system connections’. This is published in the journal Social Theory & Health, and the behind-the-paywall link to the full text can be found here. Now that 18 months has passed since the article first appeared online, Palgrave’s copyright rules allow a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit, green open access version of the full text to be made publicly available. So, for a free copy of the paper downloadable from Cardiff University’s ORCA repository the link to follow is this:

Hannigan B. and Evans N. (2013) Critical junctures in health and social care: service user experiences, work and system connections. Social Theory & Health 11 (4) 428-444

The paper draws on data from Nicola’s PhD, ‘Exploring the contribution of safe uncertainty in facilitating change‘, and from my post-doctoral study of crisis resolution and home treatment services, ‘Mental health services in transition‘. For a reminder of what the paper is about, here’s the abstract in full:

This article makes an original contribution through the revitalisation, refinement and exemplification of the idea of the ‘critical juncture’. In the health and illness context, a critical juncture is a temporally bounded sequence of events and interactions which alters, significantly and in a lasting way, both the experience of the person most directly affected and the caring work which is done. It is a punctuating moment initiating or embedded within a longer trajectory and is characterised by uncertainty. As contingencies come to the fore, individual actions have a higher-than-usual chance of affecting future, enduring, arrangements. These ideas we illustrate with detailed qualitative data relating to one individual’s journey through an interconnected system of mental health care. We then draw on observations made in a second study, concerned with the improvement of mental health services, to show how micro-level critical junctures can be purposefully used to introduce instability at the meso-level in the pursuit of larger organisational change. In addition to demonstrating why scholars and practitioners should pay closer attention to understanding and responding to critical junctures we are, therefore, also able to demonstrate how their emergence and impact can be examined vertically, as well as horizontally.

Academics and social media

Time this evening to give a quick plug to Deborah Lupton’s Survey on academics’ use of social media. I spotted the online questionnaire when it first appeared, and was pleased to take part. Now, some months later, Deborah has published her results. Here’s the abstract from the main report, reproduced in its entirety:

This report outlines findings from an international online survey of 711 academics about their use of social media as part of their work conducted in January 2014. The survey sought to identify the tools that the respondents used, those they found most useful and the benefits and the drawbacks of using social media as a university faculty member or postgraduate student. The results offer insights into the sophisticated and strategic ways in which some academics are using social media and the many benefits they have experienced for their academic work. These benefits included connecting and establishing networks not only with other academics but also people or groups outside universities, promoting openness and sharing of information, publicising and development of research and giving and receiving support. While the majority of the respondents were very positive about using social media, they also expressed a range of concerns. These included issues of privacy and the blurring of boundaries between personal and professional use, the risk of jeopardising their career through injudicious use of social media, lack of credibility, the quality of the content they posted, time pressures, social media use becoming an obligation, becoming a target of attack, too much self-promotion by others, possible plagiarism of their ideas and the commercialisation of content and copyright issues. The report ends by contextualising the findings within the broader social and political environment and outlining areas for future research.

The report makes for an interesting read. For those looking for a condensed-but-longer-than-an-abstract version, follow this link for Prof Lupton’s accompanying piece for The Conversation website.

Opening access

At June 2014’s meeting of the School of Healthcare Sciences’ Research and Innovation Committee there is an agenda item on the UK higher education funding councils’ new policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework. This document contains important information for UK academics with aspirations for future REF return. Here’s a snip from the opening pages, addressing the new requirements for journal articles:

[…] to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection. […] The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement it now.

Elsewhere the policy states that publishers’ embargo periods before final versions of papers are deposited can be respected, but with limits. For articles included in submissions to REF Main Panel A (and that includes Nursing), the maximum time period before REF-eligible papers must be made freely available in either green or gold open access format will be 12 months.

There are circumstances in which future REF panels can make exceptions to these rules, but (by the looks of things) not many. In any case, plenty of publishers and individual journals already use copyright transfer agreements which allow authors to comply. It is precisely because of these agreements that I have been able to freely deposit full-text, post-peer review, green open access versions of many of my publications in Cardiff University’s Orca repository and to include links to them on this blog.

But not all journals are currently using copyright transfer agreements which adhere to these new rules. Here’s an example. Nicola Evans’ and my recent paper on critical junctures appears in Social Theory & Health, which is published by Palgrave Macmillan. The journal’s current copyright transfer arrangement (which we signed) allows authors to deposit a post-peer review version of their accepted articles to a repository, but only after an embargo period of 18 months. As things stand, this fails to meet the post-2016 requirement for articles eligible for return to Main Panel A in the next REF. As Palgrave will surely want REF-aspirant nurses (and others) to continue submitting papers to its journals this embargo period will have to be reduced by at least six months.

And then there are the journals published by Wiley Blackwell, including the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. I’ve published lots in this over the years, most recently on work and roles. The relevant copyright transfer agreement can be viewed here, in which I see that authors retain the right to:

[…] self-archive the peer-reviewed (but not final) version of the Contribution on the Contributor’s personal website, in the Contributor’s company/institutional repository or archive, and in certain not for profit subject-based repositories such as PubMed Central as listed at the following website: http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html, subject to an embargo period of 12 months for scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals and 24 months for social science and humanities (SSH) journals following publication of the final Contribution.

So peer reviewed, but not ‘final’, versions of accepted papers can be deposited? But it’s the ‘final’ versions which the funding councils specify must be made available. But might ‘final’ mean different things to different people? If Wiley uses ‘final’ to refer to the formatted, pdf, versions of papers identical in every way to the versions appearing in its journals, then authors depositing their word-for-word, post-peer review, author-accepted green open access versions will be compliant. But if ‘final’ for Wiley refers to the accepted, word-for-word (but not necessarily value-added) versions of papers then the inability of authors to make green open access deposits becomes a problem from 2016. So perhaps this all needs some clarification.

Using digital tools to promote research and scholarship

This week I received an invitation from a colleague at Cardiff Metropolitan University to spend an hour or so sharing my experiences of integrating my use of the ORCA institutional repository with this blog and my Twitter account in the service of promoting research and scholarship. This has given me the impetus to create this set of slides, embedded here:

One year retrospective

The appearance of a new icon in my WordPress dashboard reminds me that this site has now been registered for a year. My first post was uploaded on 24 November 2012. The title of this piece, revealing a shocking lack of inspiration on my part, was Some opening thoughts (1). In this I wrote about policy and service challenges in health and social care.

In my first full 12 months of blogging I published 127 posts. I categorised each with one or more of the words appearing beneath the site’s title, and now reproduce here. The size of each word reflects the number of times the category has been used. ‘Research’ is my most-applied category, closely followed by ‘Mental health’. So no surprises there.

Looking at my viewer statistics I see that the Enduring posts page has been popular. This is pleasing, as I deliberately set this up as a way of keeping together my more substantial, often research-related, pieces. Individual posts attracting most views have included those relating to this year’s NPNR conference, nursing and the approved mental health professional (AMHP) role, and the research excellence framework.

The WordPress software I am using also allows me to track clicks, which are the links to other sites I have embedded in posts and pages that readers choose to follow. I see that, over the year, the onwards site which has been visited the most is the Cardiff University digital repository (ORCA). Again, this is pleasing, as this tells me that some people have been sufficiently interested to visit the place from where green open access versions of papers I have provided links to can be obtained. Most popular amongst downloaded articles has been Michael Coffey‘s and my paper on the mental health system’s wicked problems, which was also the first document I made available in this way. Next up are Michael’s and my paper on AMHPs and Davina Allen‘s and my paper on complex caring trajectories in community mental health.