OA digest

Open Access Quarterly Update – September 2020

Open Access Quarterly Update – Sept 2020

Issue 18:

September 2020

Welcome to the September 2020 Issue


We are delighted to announce that we have just signed a new deal with the Open University, to continue our joint funding of the highly successful CORE service, giving access to over 200 million papers and growing. As open access continues to be embedded into regular research practice, it is becoming ever more important to “close the loop” and encourage researchers to fully exploit open access discovery services to take full advantage of the rich harvest that is now available. Another example of this exploitation is the ability to put together focussed collections like the OpenAIRE COVID-19 Gateway, to which we have contributed.

The building and adoption of infrastructure is helping to embed the change. Publications Router is being used to make open access deposit an accepted and automatic part of the publication process and we can now extend this deposit to Pure CRIS systems. We are working with external partners to help create a new infrastructure for payment for OA publication and our new Research Systems Connect service is improving the infrastructure and data flow between institutional systems.

As we move forward globally, as cultures and societies, we are currently being forced to reassess many old habits and the challenge of building a new normality. The adoption of open access feels a natural part of these changes: decentralised, delocalised, decoupling processes, with realignment and reinvigoration of the way we work. So much else is happening and so much feels uncertain that these significant developments in open access almost feel reassuringly normal!

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

Soon after the last edition of this digest, we were able to announce the integration of Publications Router into Pure, the CRIS provided by Elsevier. This means that Router can serve a wider swathe of institutions. Over the coming months we’ll be supporting those that wish to benefit from the service. We continue to work with the vendors of other research information systems to the same end. Now that colleagues in Jisc Collections have signed up publishers to transformative agreements, we’re working with those that have committed to supply articles to Router, setting up the workflows to make that happen. As more publishers make that commitment, we’re pressing on to enable more and more content to come through into participating institutions’ open repositories and CRISs.

Sherpa Services

We have updated the Sherpa Fact algorithm and the data model in Sherpa Romeo, so that Fact now offers improved handling of open access journals where an APC has been paid. We have worked in co-operation with to extend our Romeo data model. Sherpa Romeo is now displaying if a journal is listed in the DOAJ and if it requires an APC. In addition to providing more information to our users, this change enables improved accuracy in Sherpa Fact compliance searches.

OpenDOAR records have soared up to 5,543 records and the repository registration requests and update requests remain at a healthy, consistent number. Just under 200 of these new records is thanks to a recent piece of work carried out with Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) – read all about it on our blog post ‘An OpenDOAR milestone: LocalDOAR’. In addition, OpenDOAR repository records now have the option to list a publicly visible generic email address to give helpful access to a repository’s contact details.

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

The team that brought you Jisc Monitor Local is exploring a way to participate in the pilot for the Open Access Switchboard, an initiative funded by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). OASPA explain that the OA Switchboard is:

“designed to enable publishers, academic institutions, and research funders to seamlessly communicate information about open access publications, without trying to serve as an intermediary for any payments that may be associated with these publications. In that sense, the OA Switchboard is simply another tool for passing metadata about scholarly publications between publishers and other stakeholders.”

Jisc Monitor’s reporting functionality could be an important component in the Switchboard’s overall workflow for institutions. Although the current potential engagement would only be with three UK institutions who are engaged with the pilot, this will be the first major collaboration for Jisc Monitor with an organisation outside the UK. Overall, it seems that different organisations are using the OA Switchboard very differently and people seem very positive about the system.

Jisc Collections

In response to the fundamental changes to universities’ financial positions and demands on their course and content delivery, Jisc is renegotiating its agreements with publishers in existing major agreements. For research journals there are two objectives: to reduce costs and deliver agreements that meet the sector’s revised requirements for transitional agreements. The call for immediate and meaningful cost reductions was supported by letters and statements from university senior leaders and sector bodies, including RLUK and SCONUL. We have received a number of revisions and reductions from publishers. As a result, we are consulting on OA proposals from Emerald, the American Chemical Society, Oxford University Press and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Jisc’s content renegotiations are now focussed on priority publishers that are yet to enter into a transitional agreement as this is where the greatest potential for savings lies. We’ve prepared resources to support institutions communicating about transitional agreements internally and these new webpages will be released shortly. Briefings, draft negotiation principles, and renewal scenarios for the 2021 Elsevier negotiation were sent to Library Directors and Jisc Collections leads in August.

Discovery, usage and impact

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

CORE aggregation

We are very pleased to announce that we have signed a new deal with the Open University for the continued joint funding of the CORE service. A new version of the CORE Repository Dashboard has been released which now includes a new tool to support REF2021 open access compliance assessment.  Access to the standard CORE Dashboard is freely available to every CORE data provider and includes a number of new features, developed for repository managers and research administrators, to help them improve the harvesting of their repository outputs and ensure their content is visible to the world. We have also launched the CORE Repository Edition. This service offers a suite of powerful tools and guaranteed support for repositories, libraries and their content managers in the following three areas: discoverability, functionality and support. During the period April-June, the number of CORE ( website users increased by 55% and reached over 20 million monthly active users. As of the end of June 2020, CORE was the 2,878 top website by user engagement globally, according to the independent Alexa Global Rank. This places CORE among the very top visited and used open access services worldwide.

The Jisc ORCID national consortium

August 2020 marked the five-year anniversary of the UK ORCID consortium. In five short years, the UK ORCID consortium has matured to become a community of practice that is part of a global society. In this blog post, the Jisc ORCID Support Team reflect on how delivering the ORCID consortium is about more than just implementing one PID – it is part of an ongoing national and international change programme that is transforming how research information is collected and shared. You can read all about our #bakeitorfakeit celebration. Our annual members meeting this year was pivoted to a number of webinars and about the setting up of the PID consortium.  Work on this initiative is now well underway, including the formation of a stakeholder group with representatives from across the UK higher education community and research information experts, as well as funders, publishers, and identifier providers including Crossref, DataCite, and ORCID.


Jisc remains a partner in both the project, OpenAIRE Advance, and the Legal Entity, OpenAIRE AMKE. One of the significant things that has progressed with the development of the OpenAIRE infrastructure has been the creation of the OpenAIRE COVID-19 Gateway, which is OpenAIRE’s:

“response to enable the scientific community to discover research from different sources around Europe and the world … the Gateway aims to aggregate COVID-19 records (publications-data-software-other research outcomes), link them together and provide a single access point for their discovery and navigation.”

The overall ethos with the Gateway is that, while we hope that the pandemic will be over as soon as possible, we also hope that the value of sharing vital and important research fairly will be seen as more important than ever.

Repository and Preservation Services

We now offer 5 services within the repository and preservation space:

Research outputs repositories dynamic purchasing system

This service allows Jisc members to purchase a research outputs repository from pre-qualified repository suppliers.  This service is OJEU compliant, and sets out the minimum pre-qualification and technical requirements that suppliers must comply with in order to have their product included.  We currently have 5 approved suppliers (the list is available on the service page) and are aware of other suppliers who are in the process of applying.  If you are talking to a repository supplier who is not yet on the DPS, please encourage them to apply.  Any enquiries can be sent to:

Research repository

Research repository is a new generation, multi-content repository for managing your institution’s digital research outputs (articles, datasets and theses). It is offered to you as a fully managed, SaaS, cloud-based service (ISO27001 certified) which meets all Plan S mandatory requirements and includes an inbuilt ‘FAIR checker’ to ensure your institution’s research obeys FAIR principles.  The other benefits of our repository include a user-friendly interface and a unique interoperability framework that joins up research systems, including automatic ingest from your institutional CRIS.

Research repository plus

This gives you all the benefits of Jisc’s Research repository (above), but also provides an integrated, automatic digital preservation workflow using Jisc’s Preservation service (below). This ensures that your research datasets can be retained and remain usable over extended periods of time, as mandated by many research funders. This service also allows your institution to meet other digital preservation needs, and the preservation service can be integrated with other systems, if required.


Jisc’s preservation service supports your institution with all its digital preservation requirements; any digital object can be preserved so the service is of benefit to all areas and use cases within an institution.  We’ve co-designed the service with UK universities and leading preservation systems suppliers (Artefactual and Preservica) to provide you with a fully managed, SaaS, cloud-based shared preservation platform (ISO27001 certified) at an affordable price. The service is interoperable with your existing systems and workflows, including repositories, your institutional CRIS and other data management and collection managements systems (where not supported we will work with the system supplier to help with the integration).

Research systems connect

This is a new service which simplifies research workflows by using adaptors to automate the transfer of data and metadata between your existing research systems.  It is based on an open ‘interoperability framework’ that uses an open, extensible data model and message APIs.  It is a fully managed, SaaS, cloud-based service (ISO27001 certified). Jisc manages and updates the integrations and workflows, helping you manage your research outputs and information more effectively, and saving you time and money.

Maintaining good practice

Community Event

06 October: Talking about transitional agreements at your institution: an open access community event.

Institutions in the UK are at different stages of engaging with TAs and communicating with their researchers, but all are likely to be in the process of reviewing their preparedness for the launch of Plan S and the new Wellcome Trust policy on 1st January 2021. Jisc has prepared resources relating to TAs which we hope will support institutions in creating guides and presentations. This open access community webinar will draw out the key messages and practices used by institutions when talking about TAs to various stakeholders and discuss how to navigate their complexity in clear communications. To register for this free event and for more information, please visit the Talking about transitional agreements at your institution event page.

Key Dates for your Diary

Blog post round up

Posts from the last 3 months that you may have missed:

Release of the new CORE Repository Dashboard

CORE update for April to June 2020

Celebrating the Five Year Anniversary of the UK ORCID Consortium

8th International Workshop on Mining Scientific Publications (WOSP), 2020

The UK National PID Consortium

Retirement of old Sherpa Romeo and Fact

An OpenDOAR milestone: LocalDOAR

New preservation service makes data more secure and future-proofs UK university digital collections

Universities will cancel deals with publishers if they don’t respond to current financial pressures – warn major sector bodies

Keeping up to date

Between our quarterly digests you can keep up to date with our activities. Follow us on:

  • scholarly communications blog (where you can sign up for email alerts when blogs are posted).
  • Twitter (@JiscOpenAccess, @SherpaServices, @OpenDOAR, @Jisc)

You can find out more about our open access services by:



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