Monthly Archives: November 2017

Training opportunity: Making your research data open

Image by Jorgen Stamp (CC-BY) at

Making your data open, Friday 8th December 10-11.30, Research Meeting Room (Library 2nd floor)

There are still spaces available on next week’s training session Making your Data Open. In this session we will look at the hows, whats and whys of data sharing:

  • How can you share your data? We’ll take a look at the OU’s new data repository, ORDO and provide guidance on preparing data for sharing, including sensitive data
  • What data should you share? Do you really need to share everything? What do funders and publishers want you to share?
  • Why should you share your data? We’ll discuss the reasons why data sharing is such a hot topic at the moment and why it’s a good thing to be at the forefront of the data sharing movement.

If you’d like to come along, please sign up on My Learning Centre or email

Finding and evaluating external scholarship literature session

Yesterday afternoon, I ran a face-to-face training session entitled “Finding and evaluating external scholarship literature”.

It encouraged attendees to search for, evaluate and use external scholarship literature (i.e. that produced outside of The OU) in their scholarship projects.

We looked at the following:

Here are the slides and handouts from the session:

*Update* here is a video recording of the session.

ORO Annual Report 2016-17

The ORO Annual Report compiles some key information about ORO.  It provides both a snapshot of its performance and also provides some useful trend data.

PDF Version

Like all UK repositories the REF Open Access policy has increased the importance of the repository to the institution and the data shows a marked growth in collecting research outputs – a 12% increase.

But that doesn’t mean we are publishing 12% more – the deposit rates to ORO shouldn’t be seen as a proxy for publication rates.  The 12% increase reflects 2 things:

  1. We are getting more newly published materials added to ORO in a timely manner.
  2. We are getting more ‘already published’ materials added to ORO.  ORO provides the publications feed for the people profile system so it’s important to curate that profile and add previous research highlights to ORO – this is especially the case for new members of research staff.

We have also seen a growth in dissemination, with an increase in both downloads (10%) and site visits (9%).  We have to remember that providing a platform for Open Access content is the core function of ORO and a great fit with the OU mission.

Embarking on the next OU academic year the ORO service will continue to innovate.  We want to increase the coverage of ORO and try and capture all the research outputs produced by the OU research community.  To that end we plan to move to part-automated deposit using the Jisc Publications Router.  We want to harness the increasing ubiquity of ORCID IDs to increase the interoperability of ORO – this should help us (and you) to both populate ORO and other research systems (e.g. ResearchFish).  We also plan to do some usability work to ensure the deposit workflows in ORO are as simple as possible.

Thinking further, the ORO service, and institutional repositories in general, need to demonstrate the benefit the increase in Open Access we are seeing has made to both our research community, and to the readers who have accessed this Open Access content.  That’s not easy, but somehow we need to demonstrate the benefits (dare I say it…. the impact) of all of our efforts to increase the amount of Open Access outputs published by our researchers.