Open Access Quarterly Update – Issue 19: December 2020

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Welcome to the December 2020 Issue


This has been, by any standards, a trying year. With a vaccine actually being distributed as I write this, we can perhaps look forward to the new year with more confidence than we thought even a month ago. We all, as a sector and as a society, obviously still have significant challenges ahead, not least in choosing where to restore “normal” functions and where to consolidate new ways of working, or of meeting, or of living.  Looking back, in spite of the restrictions and difficulties, open research as a principle and a practice has grown this year and our services have been active and engaged across a whole raft of developments. The release of Romeo v2 has allowed us to test localised editing of Romeo with CARL in Canada; the upgrade to OpenDOAR v2 has enabled LocalDOAR, bringing regional control of records, as tested with colleagues in Japan. We have established a working relationship with COAR to help guide future OpenDOAR development and increase our international engagement. We have increased donations towards our costs from global Romeo users, with contributions very gratefully received from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and the US, and even more are in the pipeline. Other technical upgrades include Router, which now integrates with both Pure and Haplo, with institutions using these CRIS systems now coming onboard to receive automatic ingest of materials from an increasing range of publishers. The volume of our services has also increased: we have a 20% increase in OpenDOAR listings, which now stand at over 5,500; Romeo served over 110M API hits this year and CORE now searches more than 204,900,000 papers. This issue of the update gives details on the progress we have made in the past three months: next year will bring even more.

The whole team wishes you an optimistic Merry Christmas and a brighter New Year.

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

We continue to support institutions that use Pure to enable them to take up the Router service. Several institutions have been able to start benefiting from Router’s feeds straight into their live systems. Even more institutions are trying out feeds into test instances, and yet more are progressing through the process of coming on board. Behind the scenes, we’re developing new functionality to try to automate the process of testing sample files from new publishers so we can add more publisher feeds into Router, given the simplified requirements of Plan S. This should help us start delivering articles from even more publishers more quickly than before. Active discussions continue with publishers that have signed renewal agreements with Jisc Collections. We’re also pressing on with augmenting Router on the output side, including improving its feeds to RIOXX fields in recent versions of DSpace and working with further CRIS vendors.

Sherpa Services

In October’s Open Access week, we highlighted some of the editorial team’s activities demonstrating how we are responding to the call for greater equity and inclusion in open services. In particular, we took the opportunity to launch a new Romeo feature ‘Browse by Country’. You can find this new feature on our ‘Search’ page alongside the ‘Browse by Publisher’ button. We have also made improvements to the Sherpa API to enable the community to keep their objects up to date; you can learn more about this by checking out the advice given under the heading ‘Object IDs API’ on the Sherpa API page. OpenDOAR has increased its holdings once more, and it now stands at 5581 repository records.

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

Jisc Collections

In October we ran a well-attended open access community event: ‘Talking about transitional agreements at your institution’. This session focused on transitional agreements (TAs) and communicating these with different audiences. We invited speakers from a range of institutions to share their experiences of communicating TAs with senior leaders, researchers and colleagues. The materials generated by this event are available on the event page: Talking about transitional agreements at your institution. In addition, we prepared a separate blog post to provide further information to help institutions communicate about this complex and important topic. You can also find a set of guidelines for evaluating and communicating transitional agreements on the Jisc website.

Discovery, usage and impact

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


The IRUS COUNTER Release 5 (R5) service (v1) is due for release shortly, providing R5 conformant data to report, visualise and embed statistics about institutional repository usage.

Features of the initial release:

  • Open access to IRUS data supports ease of access and re-use
  • A new user interface improves the website appearance and accessibility
  • Flexible tools to specify the data required for delivery in a range of formats to support understanding and analysis
  • Reports to view data onscreen or for exporting data
  • A data visualisation for quick and easy access to view most used titles
  • A summary level widget to embed IRUS Release 5 statistics within local systems
  • An API to harvest data – canonical COUNTER reports and custom IRUS reports (including provisional daily statistics) – from IRUS for use within local systems

User requirements will inform an iterative process of product development, with new features such as further visualisations and reports being rolled out in 2021.  A webinar was held on 9 December to show a demo of the new service; joining instructions were provided via the IRUS-UK jiscmail list.

CORE aggregation

The CORE Recommender has been integrated into is one of the most (if not the most) used open access services worldwide. The integration of the CORE Recommender is a great honour and a very significant achievement. More details about the integration are available on the blog. Previous integrations have been achieved with ExLibris, the PubMed Central linkout service and Microsoft Academic. This month, CORE also reached – for the first time – 350 million monthly active users. This is also reflected in an improved Alexa Rank, which has now reached the 2K mark, i.e. CORE is among the top 2k services worldwide by user engagement. This puts CORE firmly among the most popular open science services worldwide.

The Jisc ORCID national consortium

ORCID have reached a major milestone of 10 million registered records. You can read more about the success of this persistent personal infrastructure in achieving this milestone since its launch in 2012.  ORCID has also appointed a new CEO, Chris Schillum, and we have discussed our consortium and future directions with him. Within our local UK context, UKRI have recently announced that they have implemented the ORCID reviewer recognition feature in their grants management system, Je-S.  This means that UKRI reviewers can receive visibility and recognition for their review contributions “without compromising the anonymity and confidentiality of the review process”.  This is the first example globally of ORCID functionality being added to a funder peer review process. It is a great demonstration of how ORCID adds value to the wider scholarly landscape, surfacing effort that is often invisible and uncredited.  Another way in which ORCID is increasing its value to the community is through the New Service Provider Certification Programme – launched to help service providers show that their systems are conforming to ORCID guidelines and good practice for workflows.  Haplo were one of the first four providers, Vidatum are on their way to becoming certified in 2021 and Symplectic Elements will also be certified with their just released next major version (6.0). The programme will help to provide a more consistent user experience for researchers when they encounter ORCID.


OpenAIRE and the European University Association (EUA) hosted the 12th OpenAIRE workshop (9-10 December) on ‘University approaches to Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science’. The potential of Citizen Science is high on the agenda in the discussion of the future of academic research. The European Commission’s Communication “A new ERA for Research and Innovation”, published in September 2020, states that “[…] the engagement of citizens, local communities and civil society will [help] achieve greater social impact and increased trust in science.” Citizens can contribute in diverse ways, ranging from data collection and data analysis to co-designing projects, and thereby bring academic research and its outcomes closer to society. This joint workshop was designed to discuss themes around institutional support for Citizen Science and offer an opportunity to transfer and share knowledge. Day 1 discussed ‘Citizen Science in an institutional context’ and Day 2 focused on ‘Citizen Science as enabler of Open Science’.

Repository and Preservation Services

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

Jisc research outputs repositories DPS – find out more about how this service is promoting an inclusive market place in our October blog. Our service allows Jisc members – who may find it hard to secure resources for procurement exercises – to streamline their procurement process and engage with a larger group of repository suppliers than they may have done managing it on their own. The service now has eight suppliers available for procurement. Jisc members can use the service to run mini competitions with suppliers, using the standard templates provided, and adding additional requirements of their own, if necessary. We can also administer the process on behalf of the member institution if required.

Maintaining good practice

New digital research community

This month we are launching this new community, facilitated by Jisc, bringing together research leaders, researchers and research support professionals. It will help enable discussion of concerns and the sharing of ideas across a full spectrum of activities related to research within institutions. To find out more about the community, come along to our webinar on 15th December – Shaping future research environments: digital challenges and opportunities – or see the community page.

New Jisc research blog

To help members follow our research related activities, we are launching a new research blog. From 2021, this will replace several research related Jisc blogs, including the scholarly communications and research data blogs (we will ensure content is still available). We hope the new blog will make it easier for you to keep up-to-date with our research related activities – you can also subscribe to email updates. This quarterly open access update will become the quarterly open research update and will move to its new home on the new research blog in the new year.

Open Research Europe

Open Research Europe – an open access publishing platform – will be launching in the new year, which will allow research outputs from projects funded by Horizon 2020 to be published without the authors having to pay an APC.

Jisc Survey on OA Books

Jisc’s open research team is carrying out a survey to gather the views and opinions of academics regarding the open access publishing of books (including book chapters and edited collections). The deadline for this is 23 December 2020. We’re keen to find out about:

  • Your publishing habits and motivations
  • How you regard open access book publishing considering the benefits and any concerns you foresee

The survey will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. If you would like to participate in the survey, please visit:


Key Dates for your Diary

Events you may have missed

Blog post round up

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

CORE update for July to September 2020

CORE – The 3C Citation Context Classification Shared Task : Overview

Talking about transitional agreements: an open access community event

Jisc Sherpa services, responding to the changing policy environment

OpenDOAR collaborate with National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Japan – LocalDOAR

There’s A PID For That, Part 5: Outputs

There’s A PID For That, Part 4: People

There’s A PID For That, Part 3: Organisations

There’s A PID For That, Part 2: Projects

There’s A PID For That, Part 1: Grants

There’s A PID For That! Next Steps in Establishing a National PID Strategy

New workflow for adding new data providers and gaining access to the CORE Repository Dashboard

Publications Router is integrated with Haplo

Promoting an inclusive market place with the Research Repositories Dynamic Purchasing System

How institutional repositories support the transition to open research – and reduce admin burden for librarians

Keeping up with deteriorating data

Open with purpose

The UK Wiley read and publish agreement – nine months on

Keeping up to date

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

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

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