Open Access Week – Open Research Online

Thursday saw the last of our events for Open Access Week. The subject was using the Institutional Repository ORO.


Shailey Minocha (MCT), Richard Blundel (FBL), Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (IET) and Simon Kelley (Science) each spoke on their usage of ORO raising good questions along the way.

I captured some key points from the talks:

  • Downloads – The Good: usage statistics allow users to identify which research is getting the most notice. (Separately I’ve been told how ORO downloads appear to be translating to increased google scholar citations – i need to investigate this).
  • Downloads – The Challenge: can we find out who is downloading Open Access items and where are they based?  Is our reach geographically skewed and/or anglo-centric?  How might we reach a new audience and how might we track/measure this usage? The usage pages are not easy to use or navigate.
  • Translations – The Challenge: having translations as an extra file rather than their own item proper may prevent dissemination as they are not discoverable.
  • Ex-OU staff – The Challenge: shouldn’t staff that have left the OU be flagged as not current in the repository?
  • Linking and keywords – The Good: adding links and keywords to ORO records enriches the records and aids discoverability.
  • Linking and keywords – The Challenge: the ORO service should create a podcast on tips for creating a good ORO record.
  • Coverage – The Good: use ORO as a platform for a range of research outputs, non-journal items and non-textual items.  Put all the research outputs out there and see where the interest lies!
  • Stability – The Good: ORO is central and persistent – a great place to archive your back catalogue.
  • Full text – The Challenge: why wouldn’t people put full text on ORO? Are there valid concerns about the appropriateness of making Accepted Manuscripts openly downloadable.  Will copyright allow me to put full text on ORO and/or Academic Social Networking Sites?
  • Discipline specific issues – The Challenge: disciplines do scholarly communication differently, ORO doesn’t fit well where there is already a repository (i.e. arXiv) with extremely fast speed of dissemination.
  • Monitoring – The Good: using ORO to monitor faculty outputs.
  • Awards/Prizes – The Challenge: should we incentivise usage & how?

… and my favourite theme was  The Confused Academic” – what profile do you curate? – ResearchGate,, LinkedIn, ORCID, ORO.  Why can’t they interoperate? Why is one version of an article on one platform whilst another is on ORO (which may or may not be embargoed). The Challenge (i think): provide clear guidance & support on the best way to curate academic profiles.

We’ll be looking through these questions as we develop the service.  Thanks to all the presenters and the audience who provided some great questions (and answers!)

Richard’s slides: RB – ORO presentation 22 Oct 2015

Chris’s slides: ORO Gateway to green

Agnes’s slides: AKH_Global reach

Shailey’s slides: Shailey-ORO-Presentation-for-22October2015-Submitted-FINAL

About Chris

Chris looks after Open Research Online (ORO) on a day to day basis. He has worked in this role since 2011 and can advise on using ORO to maximise dissemination of research outputs and Open Access publishing generally.
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