OA Button OA content discovery

OA content discovery: what’s next for the Jisc OA Button project

In October, we released our findings from the Jisc OA Button project, which aimed to assess the feasibility of a service in the discovery/ interlibrary loan (ILL) workflow utilising Open Access Button functionality to aid the discovery and promotion of open access content.

The project, based on the range of evidence gathered, identified three potential service options Jisc should explore:

  1. A focused inter-library loan service: Would improve the quality of the metadata of the item requested by the user through an ILL form, and then check for an open access version of a requested item, and where one can be identified, fulfil the user’s request for the item
  2. Integration of OA search into library systems: Would bring open access material into library discovery systems (and may also bring library discovery systems – now including OA material – into the user environment).
  3. Extend scope and integrate with other Jisc services: Would integrate functionality in other Jisc library-facing services.

As noted previously, the original focus of the project, service option 1, only showed small cost savings leading to a limited appetite for such a service amongst the institutions we engaged with. Therefore, we have set this aside for now. However, ‘Integration of OA search into library systems’, showed a stronger demand for broader integration of OA materials within the ‘discovery to delivery’ process and also, the vital role of discovery layer vendors in potentially fulfilling this requirement.

Separate to our work on the Jisc OA Button project, but opportunely timed, the CORE service has recently signed an agreement with ProQuest to integrate the CORE’s metadata and content so that their library discovery services, Ex Libris Primo and Ex Libris Summon, can discover CORE’s content within those systems. Notably, CORE is also intending to integrate with other library search products to ensure a wider search experience across such services in the near future.

Taking CORE’s comprehensive coverage of not only metadata records (currently 80m records) but also Open Access research outputs (currently 8.3m full text items), alongside the large market share of the Ex Libris Primo and Ex Libris Summon services, this development will significantly enhance the discoverability of OA content to a large proportion of the sector already subscribing to those systems.

Within the context of the project, this not only addresses option 2, but also allows more scope for future integration of OA discovery within Jisc’s wider portfolio of services (service option 3), given the existing strategic partnership between Jisc and the OU. It also addresses CORE’s wider aim to integrate their data with existing services to support more effective discovery of OA content using an integrated information retrieval approach.

Therefore, Jisc will be developing work with CORE at the centre of any OA discovery focussed solutions, initially by addressing the issue of search and discovery integration with library systems.

Open Access Button has been instrumental in supporting developments in this area and continues to be a vital resource for both researchers and libraries. Jisc remains completely supportive of Open Access Button’s work and would consider other areas for collaboration in the future. The Open Access Button will continue to work separately on products in the discovery/ interlibrary loan workflow, you can follow progress at

As the Jisc OA Button project now draws to a close, Jisc will continue to work to offer the sector new ways to support OA discovery, particularly in terms of how this fits within wider collections management considerations.


2 replies on “OA content discovery: what’s next for the Jisc OA Button project”

CORE is currently reported at 9m, rather than the 8.3m which you state. According to a recent CORE blog post these are not all “full text items” as you suggest, but a mix of full-text articles and other unspecified “research outputs”. You also imply that CORE has “comprehensive coverage” of “Open Access research outputs”. It doesn’t, mainly because of the severe and well-documented difficulties in full-text extraction from university repositories – “… only 27.6% of research outputs in repositories are linked to content that can be downloaded by automatic means and analysed (e.g. indexed). […] the median repository will only provide machine readable content for 13% of its deposited resources. [but] it is likely that these statistics are in fact rather optimistic …” — Knoth, Petr (2013), “From open access metadata to open access content”.

Many thanks for your comment. Given that the concern raised here relates to coverage, it would probably be best to defer to CORE’s most recent blog post here, which gives the most accurate and up-to-date picture of open access full text and metadata records. This shows that CORE has actually recently reached 10M full texts hosted directly on its platform and provides access to over 85M metadata records. We appreciate that you have read the 2013 Open Repositories article authored by CORE (Petr Knoth). As the issues mentioned in that article are very important, CORE staff have been working hard over the last 5 years to improve and minimize harvesting problems caused by those issues in multiple ways, such as by crawling repositories, introducing the Repository Dashboard which flags harvesting issues to repository managers, and adopting Signposting. The team is also currently working on enabling harvesting content from repositories via ResourceSync, which will provide even more effective support for content harvesting.

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