Category Archives: ORO

Open Research Online (ORO) Update 2020-21

Deposits in 2020-21

There were 3,103 deposits to ORO in the 2020-21 academic year.  Importantly, that’s not the same as published research outputs of OU research staff and students in the academic year, which would be around 1,200.  The reason the number is greater is because ORO includes:

  • PhD theses
  • Student projects
  • Publications deposited in 2020-21 but published earlier (or later!)
  • Items published by current OU staff who were not affiliated to the OU at point of publication

The deposit rates across faculties both reflect the different sizes of the faculties and different practices in scholarly communications across the faculties.  Simply put, AHSS disciplines have fewer, longer form single authored research outputs, whilst in STEM disciplines there will tend to be more short form multi-authored papers.

Deposits – 10 year trend data

When you look at the trends, the significant story is the peak in 2019 when the library digitised 1,600 PhD level theses and added them to ORO.

Consistent deposit of items across the years has been supported by our adoption of mediated deposit via Jisc Router and publisher alerts – we no longer rely solely on authors to add their papers to ORO.

Downloads

ORO continues to receive a significant number of downloads of Open Access content.  According to IRStats2 (the native ePrints counter) of downloads ORO received over 2 million downloads of Open Access content last year.  But remember many of these will be downloads from web bots, let’s not confuse a download with a human actually reading a paper!   Another count from IRUS, that provides more rigorous filtering of bots, provides a more conservative estimate of 880,612 downloads over the same period.

Downloads – 10 year trend data

Not surprisingly, trend data shows an increase in downloads (however you choose to filter them) over time.  Inevitably as the repository grows in size, counts of downloads will grow year on year.  These are the impressive results of having a repository indexed by Google and Google Scholar.

Open Access

ORO strives to be a valuable University asset in providing Open Access to the research outputs of OU research staff and students.  Last year 52% of items added to ORO were immediately Open Access, these will either be:

Gold Open Access – where the published version is freely available from the publisher and added to ORO,

Green Open Access – a non-final version (often the accepted version), will be available in a repository like ORO.

When looking at Faculty breakdown it’s apparent how Open Access remains contingent on the dominant modes of scholarly communication within academic disciplines.  Books and book chapters remain harder to make Open Access than journal articles.

Open Access – 10 year trend data

Nevertheless, ORO trend data show a growing increase in Open Access over time.

The dip in the last 2 years is due to publisher embargoes on Green Open access papers added to ORO.  Often, commercial publishers will prescribe embargoes of up to 12 months for STEM and upwards of 24 months for AHSS disciplines.  This embargoed content is not counted here as Open Access as it’s not freely available, however once the embargoes end they will count as Open Access (at least for the purposes of these ORO data!)

This upward Open Access trend in ORO deposits has been bolstered by the Open Access mandate on OU PhD theses and the digitisation of legacy theses.

University and Faculty Infographics

All these data (and more!) are available in PDF renditions.

University 2020-21 Update

FBL 2020-21 Update

FASS 2020-21 Update

STEM 2020-21 Update

WELS 2020-21 Update

IET 2020-21 Update

Open Research Online and Web of Science publication alerts

To maximise the number of OU authored publications recorded in our Open Research Online (ORO) repository, we have set up a weekly alert service from Web of Science, Scopus, and Science Direct. This provides us with a listing of new publication records from their sites that we can check to see if the item is already in ORO or not. I check the weekly Web of Science alerts. As part of our #VisualisingResearchSupport series, here is a brief overview of how I manage these alerts and the findings so far.

Firstly, I check if the publication record is genuinely affiliated with The Open University. Alerts are not perfect. In fact, some records will include authors who are affiliated with other open universities around the world, for example, the Open University of the Netherlands! This is the first and possibly the most important check of all.

 

Once affiliation is confirmed, a search in ORO will determine if the publication is already in ORO or not. If it is, brilliant! At that point, the ORO record will be checked, making sure all metadata is accurate and full text is made available wherever possible. If the publication is missing, further checks are needed to make sure it can be added. Some types of publications, such as obituaries, are not usually included in ORO. If the item is a journal article, book chapter, edited book, conference/workshop item, or a book review, we can go ahead and add it to the repository.

What the data shows

Since 3rd June 2021, 11 alerts have been processed, covering a total of 291 records. Out of this, 40 new publication records were added to ORO; 15 book reviews, 5 book chapters, 19 journal articles, and 1 conference proceeding. 28 items didn’t make it into ORO. 10 were not applicable forms of publication i.e., obituaries or similar, and 18 publications featured authors that were not affiliated with the OU.

The good news is that the majority of publications, 223 in total, were already in ORO! 65 records were accurate and needed no further intervention, and 158 needed editing in some way.

The alerts exercise seems to show that a great deal of publications do make it to ORO, whether they are added directly by the author, by the ORO team, or via services like the Jisc Publications Router. It also shows there is room for improvement to ensure that record metadata is as accurate as possible. Although it can be time consuming, I think continuing the alerts exercise is worthwhile. It gives the team the opportunity to review what we do and make changes to our ways of working where necessary, and most importantly ensures that our OU author publications lists are up to date!

Research Support Win!

Hi I’m Maxine. I’ve been a member of the Research Support Team since 2017 and part of my role has been to support and liaise with our PGR student community. In 2019 we trialled getting the submissions made to the annual Graduate School Poster Competition uploaded to ORO, with a winning collection of posters added to ORDO.

This was a great success, with students feeding back that having their posters in these public repositories has allowed them to share their research more readily with colleagues, friends, and family. Winning entries uploaded to ORDO also receive a DOI (a permanent, citable web link), allowing students to get better recognition for these outputs.

The winning collections of posters on ORDO from 2019 and 2020 have been viewed over 1400 times, which is not only great for the students in terms of exposure, but great for the OU too, as it helps to highlight the amazing work our PGR community is engaged with and the breadth of research being undertaken. Topics have varied from developing robots with common sense to researching 50 million-year-old fish teeth to determine ocean currents.

Although the results were great and we felt it was important to continue sharing these posters more widely, the amount of additional work this generated was too high to justify. Not only did we need to contact students to seek permission to upload their entries to an open access repository, and ask them to choose from a number of available licenses to share their work under, we also had to check students hadn’t included any third party copyright materials in their work. This inevitably generated a lot of chasing emails and a high volume of copyright and licensing queries. Even within our team, the nuances of copyright law and the different Creative Commons licenses can be tricky to navigate!

This year I’ve managed to work with the Graduate School to streamline the process. We are now asking students at the point of submission whether they’re happy to add their poster to the repository, as well as offering advice on copyright within the entry guidance, and we have restricted the license options to minimise the volume of queries generated. This means it should be far quicker to upload the content so that we can continue to showcase the excellent work of our PGR community!

The winners for this year’s Poster Competition are due to be announced at a celebratory event on 23 June 2021, led by the new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Enterprise and Scholarship, Professor Kevin Shakesheff. So, look out for the 2021 entries landing on ORDO and ORO soon!

Minting Digital Object Identifiers at The Open University

Digital Object Identifier logo

Digital Object Identifier logo

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are the de facto standard in identifying research publications and data on the web.  They work by providing a unique identifier to an object (a research paper or dataset) which does not change even if the url that locates that object changes (e.g. if a journal article changes publishers).  DOIs should provide a persistent access point to your paper or data.

DOIs are often minted by academic journals or other academic platforms where research publications and data are published. The Open University already mints DOIs for research data uploaded to its research data repository: Open Research Data Online and now DOIs can be minted from its publications repository: Open Research Online.

Open Research Online (ORO)

DOIs can be issued for any publication where the OU is a publisher (or co-publisher) and a (co-)author is a member of OU staff.  We are not issuing DOIs where The Open University is not primarily (or in part) responsible for the publication (e.g. we are not issuing separate DOIs for an accepted version of a paper where a DOI already exists for the published version on the journal website.)

Theses

DOIs have been minted to all OU awarded theses in ORO and will be minted for all newly awarded OU theses.  DOIs exist for theses either with full text or bibliographic information only.  Theses will be minted with DOIs automatically.

Other OU Published materials

Other OU published materials can have DOIs minted on request. We expect research reports published by The Open University to be the other prime use case for DOIs, but we will consider issuing DOIs for any OU published outputs on a case by case basis. Publications can already exist in ORO or be new additions – but they have to be in ORO!

Items already in ORO

To request a DOI for an item already in ORO:

  1. Click Report Issue / Request Change in an ORO record and in the workflow add a note requesting a DOI in the “Notes to Library Staff”, or
  2. Contact the Library Research Support mailbox with details

New items

To request a DOI for new items add a note in the “Notes to Library Staff” at point of deposit to indicate a DOI is required. ORO staff will issue a DOI which will be made public when the record is made live in ORO.

Open Research Data Online (ORDO)

One of the major benefits of storing your research data on ORDO is that you receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for every output published, giving you a permanent, citeable link. This ensures you get the recognition for all your research materials, whether they support a publication or not, and means your data can be more readily shared and discovered by others.

DOIs are automatically created for every output published on ORDO (with the exception of permanently embargoed items), and there is the option to create a metadata record and link to datasets deposited or published elsewhere that have not been assigned a DOI.

Not ready to share your data just yet? You can even reserve a DOI, meaning you can add the link to article data access statements ahead of publication. For more information and support on using ORDO, visit the Library Research Support webpages.

Research Groups in ORO

Publications in ORO can be tagged with a Research Group – this enables the publications of any research group to be searched for, grouped, and listed on a single webpage in ORO.

Image of Big Scientific Data and Text Analysis Research Group pubications listed in ORO

Adding a Research Group to a new record

Once a Research Group has been added to ORO it will appear in a drop down list in the deposit workflow in ORO. 

Image showing picklist of research groups in ORO deposit workflow

If you deposit a publication and know it should be associated with Research Group select that Research Group when creating the record in ORO. 

Adding a Research Group to an existing record

If a publication is already ‘live’ in ORO a Research Group can be added by the depositor or an OU co-author by clicking the Submit Changes (Authors/Depositor only) link on the top right of a publication record.  This will allow you to edit the live record and a Research Group can be added. 

Image showing Submit Changes option in a live ORO record

Changes to multiple records (e.g. when a Research Group is first created in ORO or the publications of an author) can be arranged by contacting library-research-support@open.ac.uk 

Can I automatically add a Research Group to all publications (new and old) by an author?

No, the way Research Groups are designed in ORO has changed so this cannot occur.  Previously Research Groups were associated with an author so all publications by an author were automatically tagged with the associated Research Group.  This did not work (especially for inter-disciplinary Research Groups) as the publications record of a single author frequently did not sit neatly within the subject domain of a single Research Group.  

The functionality was re-designed so Research Groups must be actively selected for each publication. Whilst this means Research Groups cannot be added automatically to any publication, it does allow any Research Group to be added to any publication regardless of author. 

Can I add more than one Research Group to a publication?

Yes, a publication can be associated to more than one Research Group. To do this select the required Research Groups by holding the Ctrl button whilst clicking on multiple Research Groups (PC User). 

Using publications tagged with a Research Group to feed another web page

Publications tagged with a Research Group in ORO can dynamically feed another web page e.g. a page on the Research Group website.  

One option is to use the “Embed as feed” link from the right-hand menu and follow the instructions. 

Image showing RSS icon on ORO Research Group listing

Note: These use RSS feeds and are therefore restricted to displaying outputs in reverse order of addition to ORO. 

How does ORO define a Research Group?

It doesn’t – Research Groups are self-defining.  A Research Group can be created in ORO on request, no threshold of what a Research Group constitutes needs to be met before it can be created in ORO. Similarly, ORO does not attempt to hold a definitive list of Research Groups at the OU. 

Open Research Online (ORO) – A Well-Connected Repository?

ORO Connected Repository showing how ORO connects to internal and external systems to provide improved services.

ORO Connected Repository (JPEG file)

ORO (or any institutional repository) can sometime feel like a cottage industry – a lot of work going on at a local level for small gains. However, institutional repositories are increasingly embedded in the wider scholarly communications framework. So, not only are they performing vital services and integrations in their immediate locality, they are also connecting with external services to make an impact at national and international scale.

The local – ORO is connected to other institutional systems to support university services:

  • REF – ORO provides a key role to collect publications data and provide a route to Open Access required by the REF Policy.
  • Research Publications Showcase – publications data from ORO feeds individual people profile pages, faculty or departmental webpages, postgraduate prospectuses as well as performing its primary role as a platform for Open Access research publications.
  • eThesis – all PhD level theses are submitted electronically to ORO reducing the burden of printing and increasing the dissemination of our research by PGRs.
  • Student Projects – exemplar research projects at third level and Masters level in FASS are showcased in ORO for prospective students.

The national and international – ORO supports the scholarly communication infrastructure

  • Web Indexing – ORO is indexed by Google and Google Scholar which supports the dissemination of OU research publications on a global scale
  • ORCID – ORCID IDs are stored in ORO and connected to the central ORCID hub.
  • eThesis – ORO is also indexed by EThOS providing the British Library with current metadata of our theses and full text of PhD level theses.
  • IRUS – ORO is connected to the UK infrastructure of Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS) to provide COUNTER compliant metrics.
  • Open Access Infrastructure – Open Access publications in ORO are indexed by Open Access Discovery Services (e.g. CORE; unpaywall; Open Access Button).

And under the bonnet – ORO is connected to external services to improve how it works

  • Jisc Publications Router – to auto-populate metadata and full text from publishers and aggregators
  • CORE Recommender – to identify useful papers for the reader & CORE Discovery – to find full text if it is not held in ORO
  • Dimensions and Altmetric – to provide citation and altmetric information for publications archived in ORO
  • CrossREF – to aid data entry and RIOXX2 – to aid data interchange

So far in 2019 our well-connected ORO has seen 692,447 downloads of open access publications (as counted by IRUS) and 649,624 users (as counted by Google Analytics).

Upcoming training from the Research Support team

We’ll be delivering some training over the next few months on a range of topics, including: using ORO, how to claim your research publications, managing and sharing research data, and academic profiles

Something there for everyone, we hope!

All will be recorded, so if you can’t make it along in person or online at the time, you can catch up later at your leisure (using the ‘View previous recordings’ link at the top of  our Adobe Connect page.

  • Writing successful data management plans. Tuesday 22nd Jan, 14:00-14:30 (Online) Sign up at My Learning Centre
  • Working with research data. Wednesday 30th Jan, 11:30-12:00 (Online) Sign up at My Learning Centre
  • Data sharing: how, what and why? Monday 11th Feb, 14:00-14:30 (Online) Sign up at My Learning Centre
  • Data sharing: legal and ethical issues. Tuesday 19th Feb, 11:30-12:00 (Online) Sign up at My Learning Centre
  • Open Research Online (ORO) – An introductory session. Monday 11th Feb, 15:00-16:00 (face-2-face and online) Sign up at My Learning Centre
  • Open Research Online (ORO) – An advanced session. Wednesday 27th Feb, 11:00-12:00 (face-2-face and online) Sign up at My Learning Centre
  • Academic social networking/author profile systems. Wednesday 13th March, 10.30-11.30 (face-2-face and online) Sign up at Graduate School Network
  • Claiming your research publications: ORCIDs at the OU. Wednesday 20th March, 10:30-12:00 (face-2-face and online) Sign up at My Learning Centre

If you have any question, please get in touch at  library-research-support@open.ac.uk

Copyright and your thesis: new guidance for conquering copyright confusion

We are pleased to announce the release of a new guidance document entitled ‘copyright and your thesis’ (OU log-in required), designed to help postgraduate research students understand their copyright responsibilities during thesis production.

Copyright law can be confusing, but for anyone wanting to use third-party material in their thesis, it’s really important to get to grips with.

The Open University has been making postgraduate research theses publicly available online since 2010, via the Open University’s repository Open Research Online (ORO) as well as via the British Library EThOS service.

Along with a whole host of benefits, this online publication has created a new set of copyright responsibilities, making it particularly important for students to understand their obligations when it comes to using other people’s work in their thesis.

This practical guide helps users understand why, when, and how to obtain copyright permission, and what do if permission is not given.

We’ve done all the hard work for you and even included some handy templates for seeking permission from the copyright holder, so it couldn’t be simpler!