Here are the top downloads from ORO for April - I blame the lower overall numbers on the Easter break. I have included information on risers and fallers and year to date – let me know if you find this information useful as it does take a while to compile: ORO-downloads-11-04.
Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Every year, to help raise awareness of the benefits of Open Access in scholarship and research, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) organise Open Access Week. A global event, and now in its 4th year, Open Access Week is due to take place this month, starting Monday the 18th of October.
To mark the occasion, Library Services and Research School are running a competition for the best ORO success stories. Has depositing your work in ORO helped raise your research profile, or perhaps that of your research group? Do you have evidence that it has helped you gain extra citations? By opening up access to your research through ORO has it helped generate impact beyond academia?
Send in your stories (one or two paragraphs is fine) to email@example.com. I will summarise the best entries in a post on this blog, and a £20 Amazon voucher will be awarded to the overall winner. The deadline for entries is the end of Open Access Week: Sunday the 24th of October. Good luck!
David Clover and his team in the Faculty of Maths, Computing and Technology (MCT) have done an excellent job with using ORO data to feed the people pages of their academics. See, for example Dr Michel Wermelinger‘s page within the Computing Department‘s site. Scroll down the page and you will see a chronologically ordered list of Dr Wermelinger’s publications, which can also be rearranged by item type using the “View by” drop-down menu. This list is generated using ORO data, as is noticeable when hovering over one of the publications, and is updated in real time. That is, when an academic deposits something new in ORO, it is pushed through immediately to their profile page in the MCT webpages.
This, in my opinion, is a crucial angle for success with institutional repositories: seemless integration with other university systems and websites. The benefits are mutual: for the academic, there is one single place to update their publications record; and for the repository, long-term engagement from individuals is ensured because academics will not want their faculty profiles to look out of date.
We don’t really like to blow our own trumpets here in the ORO team, but just this once we’re going to! Sort of fresh from a hot and sticky trip to the 5th International Conference on Open Repositories in Madrid, we are very proud to announce ourselves as winners of the best poster prize! Anyone interested in looking at the poster, and its accompanying handout, can access it (of course!) in the repository: http://oro.open.ac.uk/22321/. Much credit should go to Chris Yates for putting a lot of effort into the design. Also, big thanks to Sheila Chudasama, who contributed a lot to the idea but didn’t attend the conference to scoop the glory, unlike me and Chris, who lapped it up! And finally, thanks also to Sam Dick, our Communications and Promotions Officer here in the Library, for her valuable comments on the design and layout, as well as organising the printing.
The ORO team are running a drop-in session next week on Thursday 11th March in the Digilab between 10:00-11.30.
Want to know how to deposit items or talk to us about a technical ORO query then come along to this session and a member of the team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about ORO.
No need to book, just turn up!
Last week, we reached what I believe to be a significant milestone with ORO: 25% of the research articles ORO contains are openly accessible to all. This compares to 15% just one and a half years ago, at the start of our current advocacy and development programme. During the same period, the number of articles ORO houses has risen from 7,112 to 11,898, which, taken together, I hope reflects a heightened interest and understanding among our academics here at the OU of the benefits of open access to research. In the remainder of this post, I’d just like to take a moment to remind us all of those benefits, and why thinking about open access to research is so important.
For whatever gain, the broadest possible audience for academic research has to be a priority, not only for the individual, or that individual’s institution, but also for society as a whole. Working on the assumption that, somewhere along the line, the research you are carrying out has some benefit to someone, or something, that someone or something needs access to your work.
So, let’s take the most common method of publication for academic research – the journal – and consider the audience you might be reaching by publishing in this way. You might argue that the vast majority of institutions will all subscribe to journals in which you publish and that therefore most people who will want to read and cite your work will be able to. However, the fact of the matter is, that there are so many journals in existence today, and they come at such a cost, that academic libraries simply cannot keep pace. Indeed, I was at an event recently where it was revealed that, based on the journals subscribed to by their two institutions, academics at Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham could, at best, only expect to access around 50% of each other’s research. In short, just because your library subscribes to a particular journal, it certainly does not mean that the next university down the road does. And then when you start thinking about access at poorer institutions, perhaps in the developing world, the access problem multipies even more.
Emerging from the problem of the cost of academic journals, of course there is an understandable tendency for the library community to advocate open access. However, alongside this, there is an equally understandable push from research funders as well, simply because they want the research they invest in to reach the widest possible audience, and thus maximise the chances of it having an impact of some kind. Indeed, in this country, the UK Research Councils all now have mandates requiring the research they fund to be made openly accessible as soon as possible after publication. This, to me, is central to the need for open access, and research funders are quite right to be thinking about and acting upon it. For people, society, and ultimately the world to benefit from research and scientific discovery, it is something that must be shared as openly as possible. In short, those involved in academic and scholarly research must, as part of that role, concern themselves with the effective proliferation of their findings. And the best way to do that, is through open access.
Finally, here’s a reminder of some FAQs on the ORO site for more information:
Hopefully, this is a reflection of our message about the importance of Open Access filtering through to our academic community here at the OU, as well as perhaps a few myths about copyright having been dispelled. The rise in the median weekly level of full-text deposits from the second quarter of 2008 coincides with the start of our present advocacy campaign, which is very encouraging to see.
We will be upgrading the software (EPrints) used by ORO on Monday the 18th of May. You may therefore experience disruption to the service for most of the morning that day – in particular if you are trying to deposit items (the system may fail to recognise you as a user), but also when browsing or searching the site. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but everything should be back to normal by the afternoon.
OU users of ORO (i.e. depositors) will notice some changes to the look and feel of their User Area. For example, you will now see one or more icons to the right of each item in your User Area. These are:
- A magnifying glass over a document (= ‘view item’).
- A red cross over a document (= ‘destroy item’).
- A pencil over a document (= ‘edit item’).
- A green tick over a document (= ‘deposit item’).
Furthermore, you can now customise your User Area. At the moment, the standard fields you see for each item are:
- Last modified date.
- Item type.
- Item status.
By clicking on the ‘Add Column’ list at the bottom of your User Area you can now manage which fields you see.
Sticking with the customisation theme, it is now also possible to customise the browse views of ORO. For instance, if you browse by OU Author/Editor, find your name and click on it, you can group your publications in date order, by article type, or by author. You can also ‘jump to’ a particular grouping further down the screen, and you can create an RSS feed from a browse view (it was previously only possible to create a total-site RSS feed, or from a set of search results).
For those of you that have sat through one of my presentations on ORO recently, you may have been expecting a PDF converter with this upgrade, enabling you to convert documents to PDF on-the-fly while depositing. Unfortunately, following some testing, we were not entirely happy with this facility and so we’ve switched it off. However, please be reminded that you can upload any file type to ORO (so, Word files, image files etc.) and we will convert them to PDF for you before making them live. So, in actual fact, I don’t think this facility will be too sorely missed.
One final feature to tell you about is a new field that can be populated called ‘Related URL’. Up until now, the only URL we’ve added to each record is a link through to the online published version. Following the upgrade it will now be possible to add in additional URLs relevant to the item you are depositing. For example, you could link back to your staff page, or perhaps a research group website. Furthermore, if you want a related URL added to all of your items on ORO, we should be able to do this as a ‘batch edit’ from behind the scenes – a new administrative feature of the upgraded software.
If you have any questions about the new features or the upgrade please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the ORO Team.
During our visits around the university departments it became clear that removing the ‘PDF-only’ restriction and allowing a number of different file formats to be uploaded to ORO (especially Word files) would be extremely useful and a time-saver for those who do not have access to PDF convertors. As a result we have recently improved the upload process so that researchers can now upload a wider range of file types.
The aim behind this recent move is to encourage our researchers to always upload the final accepted manuscript (whatever format it is in) and leave it to library staff to check the copyright of the full-text submitted, enter any embargo, and convert the paper to PDF.
There is a growing amount of evidence that making the full-text of a paper available on an open access repository like ORO can improve your chances of being cited. Therefore it is important that researchers continually add their full-text to ORO, especially since the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) will be based partly on bibliometrics. The message is simple – always send us your full-text and leave it to us to decide if it can be used.
We are very happy to add documents to existing records on ORO. Please direct these or any questions about the deposit process or copyright to the ORO Team.
There are lots more developments happening in the world of ORO – watch this space for more information!
Just in case anyone has subscribed to feeds from this blog and/or visited the site a few times to see what’s new and been disappointed to not find anything, I just thought I’d write a quick post to explain why we haven’t written much so far. Basically, we’re in the process of revamping the ORO front page, and, when it’s done, there will be a direct link to this blog from the main ORO homepage. Until then, we’re assuming that not many people will know about the blog; so, when ORO has its shiny new look we’ll begin posting more regularly. Thanks for your patience!