OA support

An update from OpenDOAR: policy support and repositories galore

Over the last six months, the OpenDOAR team have been working hard behind the scenes on two exciting projects.  The first was to enhance the functionality and create a fresh look on our repository open access policy support page. The second project was a large-scale record import from CORE which resulted in 900 new repositories being added to OpenDOAR.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Policy support: a new look

Repositories play a foundational role in the open access community. From journal articles, conferences proceedings and books, to reports, datasets, patents and artwork, they can provide a space for scholars to share research and resources with the world. Not to mention that repositories also feature in funders’ and publishers’ open access policies. In other words, for the community repositories are seen as:

  • A place to contribute to the growing body of open research
  • A platform to share and showcase research
  • A step to ensure open access policy compliance

Researchers, for example, rely on repositories to not only enable them to fulfil the above in the first instance, but also to help them continue to fulfil it over time. Not forgetting that depositing research into a repository is far from a one-size-fits-all deal; there are embargoes and licences to consider and, in some cases, contractual agreements to uphold.

Establishing a clear open access policy can help repositories shoulder this level of responsibility more comfortably by giving repository staff and the users reassurance and a clear understanding of both parties’ expectations. However, composing policy is not always straightforward and can be an intimidating task. What should we include? How should it be worded? How do we make sure we have covered essential areas? What sources can I use for guidance? are all likely questions to be asked.

Recently, the OpenDOAR team carefully reviewed our offering for repository policy support (formerly the ‘Policy Tool’) and have refreshed the content and revised the functionality to provide a more accessible resource that is quicker and easier to use.

You can visit the new Policy Support page via this link:

We cover the key areas that concern open access ranging from depositing an output to usage of its content, data and metadata, as well as how it will be preserved. With this in mind, we have provided two policy statements: the minimum recommended option for open access compliance, and the optimum recommended option for open access compliance. The former encourages open access yet holds restrictions, such as allowing re-use of metadata for not-for-profit purposes, but prohibits commercial re-use. The latter, however, encourages unrestricted open access, such as allowing free commercial re-use which offers the listed material extra exposure. Each statement covers the following key areas:

  • Metadata Policy stating the access rights and permissions for information describing items in the repository, and the minimum metadata requirements.
  • Data Policy stating the access rights and (re-)use permissions for full-text and other full data items.
  • Content Policy stating the types and versions of documents and datasets held.
  • Submission Policy concerning eligible depositors, quality control and copyright statements.
  • Preservation Policy concerning the long-term retention, migration, and withdrawal protocols.

The statements are available in HTML and plain text for you to easily copy and paste into documentation or directly add to your repository website. You can also edit the statements beforehand to tailor them to your repository.

Our aim is to provide support and materials to foster good practice and encourage a standardised approach. We hope that the community finds these resources to be useful, and we would welcome any feedback on the redesign (our contact details listed at the end of the post).

CORE repository record import

Last Autumn, we carried out a large-scale record auditing project thanks to CORE’s API which provided us with a fantastic opportunity to identify new repositories for OpenDOAR. This allowed us to considerably increase OpenDOAR’s global coverage.

Typically, the OpenDOAR team processes repository submissions on a case-by-case basis where repository staff get in touch via our online form to register their repository. The editorial team review the submission to ensure that it fulfils the eligibility criteria and, if applicable, it is registered in the directory. However, with this project we were going to be working with large quantities of repositories which meant that we had to adopt a different approach whilst ensuring we were still able to maintain the same high-quality record review processes as normal. To support the OpenDOAR editorial team we recruited and trained project staff to help with the auditing work. The project took shape as follows:

Stage 1. Our Analyst Developer retrieved repository data via CORE’s API. Since CORE harvests data from thousands of repositories, it is an invaluable, trusted data source for us to use.

Stage 2. Once the data had been obtained, it was cleansed to de-duplicate any records before being transferred to OpenDOAR.

Stage 3. The processed records were imported into OpenDOAR as record ‘stubs’ providing us with over 2,200 potential repository records to review. The stubs comprised only the repository name, repository URL, OAI-PMH and the organisation name. The editorial review process was then able to commence.

Stage 4. The editorial team reviewed each record by visiting the repository website to assess its eligibility for inclusion in OpenDOAR. If eligible, the repository website and organisation websites were examined to gather further metadata to populate the OpenDOAR record. Once this process had been completed, the record was made publicly visible.

The whole project lasted for 3 months and we are proud to say that it resulted in 900 new repository records being registered in OpenDOAR, which is a fantastic result for both OpenDOAR and the wider community.

Lastly, we want to thank the project team for their enthusiasm and scrupulous record auditing which brought this project to fruition. We also want to extend our thanks to CORE for making their data available through their API. We think the project is a brilliant example of the positive results that can be achieved through good teamwork and collaboration, and we hope that this can continue in the future.

Get in touch!

Follow us: @OpenDOAR
Contact us:
Visit us:

We would love to hear what you think of OpenDOAR, so please feel free to complete this short survey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *