Monthly Archives: September 2017

August ORO downloads – where is Open University research used?

This is the third and final post looking at the top downloads from ORO over the summer months.  Each post has used the lens of download counts to look at a different benefit ORO offers the University – this post looks at the various places OU research is used.

Creating reports on downloads of Open University research papers deposited in ORO gives me the opportunity to see where OU research papers are being linked from and referenced, aside from being cited in the scholarly literature.  So looking purely at the top 50 downloads from August, and that’s a relatively arbitrary starting point, where do you find OU research?


At least 4 research papers in the August top 50 downloads are referenced in Wikipedia:

Doherty, Neil F. and Ellis-Chadwick, Fiona (2010). Internet retailing: the past, the present and the future. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 38(11/12) pp. 943–965.

7th in the top 50 is referenced in the page on Retail Leakage

Karakas, Fahri (2010). Spirituality and performance in organizations: a literature review. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(1) pp. 89–106.

14th in the top 50 is referenced in the page on Meditation

Boulstridge, Emma and Carrigan, Marylyn (2000). Do consumers really care about corporate responsibility? Highlighting the attitude-behaviour gap. Journal of Communication Management, 4(4) pp. 355–368.

25th in the top 50 is referenced in the page on Value-action gap

Herring, Horace and Roy, Robin (2007). Technological innovation, energy efficient design and the rebound effect. Technovation, 27(4) pp. 194–203.

28th in the top 50 is referenced in the page on the Rebound effect in conservation.

These references go back to the published version of the paper rather than the open access version in ORO.

Open University Teaching

I’ve blogged before how repository Open Access content make good bedfellows for online teaching (especially Open education).  In the August list we see one paper Wiles, Fran (2013). ‘Not easily put into a box’: constructing professional identity. Social Work Education, 32(7) pp. 854–86  (joint 21st in the top 50 downloads) is being linked to from the OU module K315 Critical Social Work Practice:

Non OU Teaching

In the August list we also see several papers that are being referenced in non-OU teaching materials, both in the UK and globally.  Unfortunately I can’t get beyond the institutional authentication to see how they are referenced, but the papers are showing referrals from each of the institutional domains.

Faulkner, Dorothy and Coates, Elizabeth A. (2013). Early childhood policy and practice in England: twenty years of change.International Journal of Early Years Education, 21(2/3) pp. 244–263.

is 19th in the top 50 downloads and is being used by Bolton University in an online module.

Winters, Ben (2010). The non-diegetic fallacy: film, music, and narrative space. Music & Letters, 91(2) pp. 224–244.

is joint 21st in the top 50 downloads and is being used by Southampton Solent in an online unit on Film Music.

Keeley, Vaughan; Crooks, Sue; Locke, Jane; Veigas, Debbie; Riches, Katie and Hilliam, Rachel (2010). A quality of life measure for limb lymphoedema (LYMQOL). Journal of Lymphoedema, 5(1) pp. 26–37.

is 42nd in the top 50 downloads and is being used in an online course by The University of Victoria in Canada.

Roy, Robin (1993). Case studies of creativity in innovative product development. Design Studies, 14(4) pp. 423–443.

is 15th in the top 50 downloads and is referenced in the University of British Columbia Engineering Physics Project Lab.

Policy Documents

4 papers in the August top 50 most downloaded appear in policy documents.

Dorst, Kees and Cross, Nigel (2001). Creativity in the design process: co-evolution of problem–solution. Design Studies, 22(5) pp. 425–437.

is 18th in the top 50 and is referenced in: Research, development and innovation: the case of social housing in Mt Druitt, NSW.

Slade, Sharon and Prinsloo, Paul (2013). Learning analytics: ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(10) pp. 1509–1528.

is 23rd in the top 50 and is referenced in: Visions for Australian tertiary educationLearning and teaching technology options – EU Law and Publications and Research evidence on the use of learning analytics – EU Law and Publications.

Ferguson, Rebecca (2012). Learning analytics: drivers, developments and challenges. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 4(5/6) pp. 304–317.

is 8th in the top 50 and is also referenced in Research evidence on the use of learning analytics – EU Law and Publications.

Cross, Nigel (2001). Designerly ways of knowing: design discipline versus design science. Design Issues, 17(3) pp. 49–55.

is 5th in the top 50 and is referenced in Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2011 Symposium.

Social Media

I often write how Open Access research is picked up in the social media.  In the August top 50 we also see evidence of papers referenced in the social media:

Sharples, Mike (2013). Mobile learning: research, practice and challenges. Distance Education in China, 3(5) pp. 5–11. 

is 31st in the top 50 and is referenced in Eric Stoller’s blogpost on How Mobile Technologies are Changing Higher Education

Kirkwood, Adrian and Price, Linda (2014). Technology-enhanced learning and teaching in higher education: what is ‘enhanced’ and how do we know? A critical literature review. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(1) pp. 6–36.

is 10th in the top 50 and has had 33 tweets from 30 users in Twitter and is also subject to this post on reddit

Collective action

Buckingham, David; Willett, Rebekah; Bragg, Sara and Russell, Rachel (2010). Sexualised goods aimed at children: a report to the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee, Edinburgh, UK.

is joint 31st in the top 50 downloads and is listed in the resources for Collective Shout “a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls.”

…and finally

Lim, Sungwoo and Anand, Mahesh (2015). In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) derived extra-terrestrial construction processes using sintering-based additive manufacturing techniques – focusing on a lunar surface environment. In: European Lunar Symposium (ELS) 2015, 13-14 May 2015, Frascati, Italy.

is 13th in the top 50 and is referenced in the Monero Moon Prize, where a “prize of 10,000 Monero (XMR) will be awarded to the first team or individual who operates a 3D printer on the Moon” – apparently that’s around USD $1.3 Million!

Full August list:

ORO Usage Data

Ever wondered what your most downloaded paper in ORO is? Ever wondered how many papers your School has in ORO? Ever wondered how many Open Access papers are in ORO?

ORO has the functionality to help you answer these questions.  You can look at the usage data by person, individual paper, school, faculty and university.

The data are available from the ORO Statistics page.  We’ve created a guide to help you get usage data out of ORO.

You can collect data about downloads of particular papers and if you want to dig a bit deeper you can see where those downloads are coming from and how people are finding your papers by looking at referrals to ORO records.

The guide includes a health warning – a download count should not be assumed to be a person downloading the paper, or indeed a person reading it!

PDF: ORO Usage Data Guide

July ORO downloads – how do people get to ORO?

This is second of three posts looking at the benefits and functions of the institutional repository through the lens of the top monthly downloads.  This post looks at the different ways people get to the Open Access papers in ORO.

In June and July the top 50 downloads in ORO had another new entry:

Burel, Grégoire; Saif, Hassan; Fernandez, Miriam and Alani, Harith (2017). On Semantics and Deep Learning for Event Detection in Crisis Situations. In: Workshop on Semantic Deep Learning (SemDeep), at ESWC 2017, 29 May 2017, Portoroz, Slovenia.

In which the authors “introduce Dual-CNN, a semantically-enhanced deep learning model to target the problem of event detection in crisis situations from social media data.”

The paper was added to ORO on the 14th June and was 13th on the top downloads list in June with 211 downloads, and 24th with 146 downloads in July.

Referrals from social media seems to have had significant impact on the downloads this paper received, most notably from Twitter.  On June 25th the Accel.AI (Artificial Intelligence network) twitter account tweeted a direct link to the paper:

This was retweeted by Massimiliano Versace

and then he retweeted himself retweeting @AccelerateAI

The following day it was tweeted by Vineet Vashishta (a “Top 10 influencer on #MachineLearning & #DataScience) – this amassed the most retweets and likes.

The tweets (and their retweets) seem to have had a direct impact on the downloads of the paper, especially the latter, which appears to have resulted in over 100 downloads of the paper.

This seems to tie in with a previous analysis of ORO downloads and the beneficial impact of the patronage of a Twitter Heavyweight.  The lead author Grégoire Burel, Research Associate in KMi in STEM added:

“It seems to be a ‘completely out of the blue’ case. We have a follow up paper (‘Semantic Wide and Deep Learning for Detecting Crisis-Information Categories on Social Media’) that will be presented soon at ISWC17 (21-25 October) so it would be interesting to see if it gets picked up again after we publish it to ORO”

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on it!

Search and Referrals

Whilst the majority of traffic coming to ORO is from a direct search in Google there is an increasing trend for referrals in ORO, both from social media and other referring websites like Google Scholar.  In 2014 15% of traffic came from referrals, this year (to date) it’s up to 25%.

This shift in traffic from direct search to referrals is interesting.  A Forbes article back in May, The Trend To Facebook Referrals Is A Risk To Google Search, called it context search:

“People often want answers to their questions within the context of their community. So “searches” are changing. People are going back to what they did before Google existed – they are asking for information from their friends. But online. And primarily using Facebook.”

I find that quite compelling and so far this year:

  • Referrals from social media have a lower bounce rate (71%) than search (78%)
  • Referrals from social media have a higher average session duration (1:45 minutes) than search (1 minute).
  • Referrals from social media have more pages per session (2.13) than search (1.61).

However, results from general referrals (e.g. from clicking a link on a website) compare as well or better than referrals from social media:

  • 66% bounce rate
  • 1:45 minutes a session
  • 2.16 pages per session

So maybe it’s not so much about someone you (kind of) know on social media giving you a tip, as actually knowing you’ve found what you were looking for.

Top downloads list for July:

June ORO downloads – The Pennyland Project

This is the first in three posts reviewing top downloads from ORO over the summer months.  For each month the counts offer an opportunity to reflect on a particular function or benefit the repository provides. 

June downloads have an interesting entry at number 30 with 114 downloads.

Chapman, J.; Lowe, R. and Everett, R. (1985). The Pennyland Project. Energy Research Group, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

It’s the report on “the performance of 177 low-energy houses at Pennyland, Milton Keynes, monitored by the Open University Energy Research Group (ERG), for the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC)”.

Pennyland houses, early 1980s by Bob Everett (Public Domain)

The report is over 30 years old and is referenced in Wikipedia, as is a sister report: Everett, R.; Horton, A. and Doggart, J. (1985). Linford Low Energy Houses. Energy Research Group, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

Downloads to both of these reports are generally consistent at around 20-30 a month – showing a steady level of usage.  I initially thought the downloads spike in June had been caused by the celebrations around the 50th birthday of Milton Keynes.  However, it seems the ORO record had been referenced by a page on the BBC Future website published on the 14th June.

The article details how infrared imaging can reduce carbon footprints and looks in particular at the story of Brian Harper who worked with The Pennyland Project.

Which is all lovely, but what’s my point?  Well, how much other stuff is there out there that we should be preserving and making available in ORO?  Not just for the sake of it, or just because we can, but so it can still be used and referenced in both scholarly communications and general public discourse.  Is there a danger that in focusing on the latest Open Access Policy, we lose sight of a key function of institutional repositories: preserving and providing access to research materials created by the University that sit outside standard journal and book publishing channels.

Full June downloads:

June Downloads

ORO ORCID connector

We have completed the first stage of our ORO – ORCID connector.  It is now possible to link your ORO profile to your new (or existing ORCID account).  This link has three key benefits:

  • It allows all your publications listed in ORO to be automatically added to ORCID
  • It verifies that your ORCID account is actually yours (ORO serves as an institutional verifier of your identity)
  • Your ORCID id will feed through to the HESA information in your personal details on staff self service [OU staff only]

But there are a couple of things to be aware of:

  • This connection will only identify duplicate publications if they have Digital Object Identifiers
  • New records added to ORO are not automatically added to ORCID at this stage

Both of these functions will be addressed when we pick up the ORO – ORCID development work with the release of a Jisc funded plug-in for ePrints (the Open Source software ORO operates).  We are hoping the plug-in will address other outstanding functionality (e.g. pulling items from ORCID to ORO and displaying ORCIDs in the front end of ORO).

In the meantime if you’d like to take advantage of our current integration please follow the steps below:

  • Go to and click the button labelled “Create or Connect your ORCID ID”.
  • On the bottom of the next page, click the “Connect to ORCID” button.
  • If you need to create an ORCID account:
    • On the next page complete the form with email address and a new password, accept the conditions, complete the captcha and click the “Authorize” button at the bottom
  • If you already have an ORCID account:
    • On the next page login to your ORCID account using your existing ORCID username and password and click the “Authorize” button at the bottom.