OA digest Uncategorized

March 2020 open access update now available


Welcome to the March 2020 issue

Download the March Jisc OA update as a PDF

In formulating a response to COVID-19, immediate and unrestricted access to high-quality information is obviously key. But there are also information needs in our current state beyond the coronavirus. For students and academics across all disciplines, working from home will bring its challenges: access to some materials may be one. The situation has brought into sharp focus the work in our sector for open access to research materials. The argument has always been that research serves people better when it is freely available: a global crisis emphasises the cost of restricting access to information which may help us all, or information that will keep our economies and our cultures running at all.

It is almost inevitable that when things “get back to normal”, it will actually be a changed world – a new normal, with more homeworking, more need for openness and more understanding of the need for information sharing. One of the lessons which will be hammered home is the need for trustable, high quality research to be made as quickly, widely, and freely available as possible: the HE sector will be called on to do its part and Jisc will continue to do whatever it can to support this. Stay safe.

Bill Hubbard, Head of scholarly communications support

Policy compliance

Helping you to meet and demonstrate compliance with the range of different funders’ and publishers’ requirements

Publications Router

As Jisc Collections’ negotiations proceed at pace towards signing up publishers to transformative agreements, Publications Router is also gearing up to play its part in this accelerated transition to open access. We aim to add these publishers to Router quickly, focusing on the expanded range of OA content that will result from the deals. At the same time, Router is increasing the number of institutions’ systems with which it can work. Jointly with Symplectic, we have announced that Router is now compatible with their Elements research information management system. If your institution uses Elements (together with either DSpace or EPrints), and we haven’t yet been in touch, do please contact us via, mentioning Publications Router. We continue to work with the vendors of other systems as they also develop integration solutions.

Sherpa services

The Jisc open access team are happy to announce the release of test versions of two of our established policy compliance services, Sherpa Romeo and Sherpa Fact. We have reviewed and upgraded both services to improve the user experience, helping you manage open access policies and demonstrate compliance with different funder and publisher requirements. For further information read our blog.

Cost management

Support with improving your processes and systems, providing shared services and negotiations agreements, in order to manage the costs of OA and subscriptions

Monitor services

User Acceptance Testing for the latest release of the service continued in March, and we are anticipating some good feedback from our users that will help with improvements of the overall functionality. We are also doing some work on the backend of the system, with significant updates of the implemented software. A survey had been opened, which will help us look for future improvements when some of the backlog has been cleared after the upcoming release.

Jisc Collections

In February, Jisc announced the first US-based university press to have signed a Jisc transitional open access agreement for UK higher education. The Jisc agreement provides participating UK institutions with unlimited, immediate open access (OA) publishing in Rockefeller University Press journals. The agreement covers 100% of article publication charges for authors at participating UK institutions. In March, Jisc, UK institutions and Wiley agreed a new Read and Publish agreement. The agreement will provide UK universities full and permanent access to ~1,635 Wiley journals for the period 2020 to 2023 and OA publishing in all Wiley journals (hybrid and fully OA titles).  It is the most extensive UK transitional agreement to date: Liam Earney, executive director for digital resources, says “This new agreement is a step-change in the transition to open access to UK research.” We continue to pursue OA agreements with subscription publishers. In addition, we are establishing a licensing framework to simplify arrangements with native OA publishers for institutions. We are in the process of consulting with institutions on the requirements for this framework.

Discovery, usage, and impact

Supporting you to improve the visibility of your repository and demonstrate the reach and impact of your research


Previously focused on usage of institutional repositories, COUNTER-conformant download metrics for research data held in research repositories are now available in IRUS-UK. This integration has increased the number of active repositories to 175. IRUS-UK developments underway will ensure that the service conforms to Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice which enables recording of information about metadata views in addition to downloads of full text items. Participating repositories are required to update the Tracker Protocol that sends data to IRUS so that usage statistics will be conformant with the latest COUNTER release. The enhanced service, now expected in 2020 Q2, will provide open access to data via its web portal, an API and a widget.

CORE aggregation

In February, CORE announced a new development – Open Access (OA) Helper – an application developed for iOS mobile devices by Claus Wolf in collaboration with CORE. With this application, you can access scientific articles in your device without hitting a paywall. CORE have also raised their repository data quality by consolidating information from external datasets. All article metadata from Crossref are now linked and integrated in the CORE data. In addition, CORE have processed and linked data from not only Crossref, but also MAG, Unpaywall, ORCID and PubMed.

The Jisc ORCID national consortium

The UK ORCID consortium prepares to celebrate two milestones in 2020: our membership is set to reach 100 and we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the consortium launch.  We recently launched a trial of participant-led regional events to offer smaller, more local meetings for peers to discuss all aspects of implementing ORCID at their organisations. A successful first event was hosted by the University of Salford on 6 February 2020 and you can read about some of the outcomes in this blog post. Due to developments around coronavirus, our annual event for all member organisations, which was planned for 6 May 2020 in Birmingham, and the next regional event which was going to be hosted by UCL in London on 30 March 2020, have both been suspended. Please watch out for news for the content of these meetings to be re-organised and delivered remotely.  We do know that webinars are an excellent way for our members to connect – in fact we have just hosted a very well attended webinar jointly with Symplectic about their CRIS (Symplectic Elements) integration with the ORCID API and the new features available in the most recent versions.  A recording will be made available shortly.


The current project, OpenAIRE Advance, concludes on 31 December 2020. However, work will continue to support UK institutions, who have received Horizon 2020 funding, with their Open Access requirements. The Legal Entity (LE), OpenAIRE AMKE, came into existence in October 2018, so the services and efforts, such as the Open Research Graph, and the dashboards, will continue to be available. Jisc is committed to remaining the National Open Access Desk (NOAD) for the duration of the Advance project and into the life of the LE.

Open research hub

The Jisc Open Research Hub is a modular service providing repository and digital preservation functionality for HEIs to manage, share, store and preserve their digital research outputs.  In response to Plan S, and following a steer from the sector to bring forward article and thesis functionality, we are finalising our initial work on OA article and thesis ingest workflows for the Jisc repository.  We are also advancing with our work around digital preservation consortia, to provide a cost effective approach to digital preservation.  Finally, we have recently launched a Repository Dynamic Purchasing System, which will be available from May 2020 for HEIs to use when considering the purchase of a repository. Please do contact Jisc if you would like to learn more about any aspect of the service.

Training for the European Open Science Cloud

We attended a recent workshop which brought together trainers in projects related to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) to work on the future of training activities in EOSC. A report and recommendations will be available in the coming months. An EOSC wide Training and Skills Working Group has been set up which will be run throughout 2020 in two main areas: developing a skills development framework to support organisational culture change and developing the EOSC training infrastructure. UK-based members of this group are Angus Whyte (Digital Curation Centre) and Helen Clare (Jisc).

Maintaining OA good practice

Community events

Practice-based research and repositories: an open access community event – to be replanned.

ORCID members day

Being replanned for remote delivery.

Blog post round up

Links to blog posts from the last 3 months which you may have missed

Keeping up to date

In between our quarterly digest you can keep up to date with our activities on this scholarly communications blog or follow us at @JiscOpenAccess on Twitter.

You can now sign up for email alerts for the scholarly communications blog – details at the top right of this page. 

Key dates

January 2020

April 2020
18-21 April – 24th ElPUB Conference
22 April – Saving the cancelled conference: Supporting conferences, events, and online learning with your institutional repository (Elsevier Digital Commons)
22 April – LIBER Webinar: The Anatomy of a Transformative Agreement
22-24 April – Networkshop48: Using digital infrastructure to respond to new challenges

May 2020
18-20 May – VIRTUAL: EOSC-hub week 2020

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