Category Archives: ORO

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!

 

What is a post-print and where do I get it? Guidance on what can be added to repositories and where to find it

The people behind the Open Access discovery tool Open Access button have recently published 2 useful guides.

The first Pre-prints, post-prints, and publisher’s PDF explained offers some guidance  on how to identify:

  • Pre-prints (or Submitted Versions)
  • Post-prints (or Accepted Author Manuscripts)
  • Published Versions (or Versions of Record)

The second Direct2AAM: How tos helping authors find AAMs intends to help authors retrieve Author Accepted Manuscripts from publisher manuscript systems.

The guides are useful whether you are using an institutional repository like ORO, a subject repository or an academic social networking site like ResearchGate or Academia.edu.  Super useful to both authors and repository administrators… thank you OA Button people!!!

#ThesisThursday at The Open University

So Dan Weinbren quotes Steven Rose the OU’s first professor of biology in his history of the OU. (1)   It’s not just true of research in general but also postgraduate research: The Open University is a destination for PhD students.  And that’s a nice entry point to this post – which is our contribution to #ThesisThursday – a wider campaign highlighting Open Access to postgraduate theses via the network of UK Higher Education repositories.

Postgraduate Research and The Open University

Provision for postgraduate student research was written into the Open University Charter (1969) and the first PhD thesis was awarded by the University as early as 1972 (2). Over 3,500 theses have been awarded for studies directly undertaken at the OU and over 2,000 awarded for theses studied at an Affiliated Research Centre (3).

The breadth of postgraduate research conducted at the Open University is astonishing – of course this isn’t unique – but it’s worth stating:  The Open University does multi-disciplinary teaching and research.  A record of all theses can currently be found in the library catalogue, you can search them from the thesis search.

However, these records were created for the print theses, and those theses continue to sit on the shelves in the library here at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes.  Readership is limited by the fact they are print artifacts.

Increasing access to Open University postgraduate research

The Open University institutional repository (ORO) is home for a significant subset of that total number of theses.  Currently we have over 1,200 theses awarded by the OU in ORO – PhD, EdD, MPhil and MRes.  Our aim is to have a record of all Open University awarded theses recorded in ORO and, wherever possible, provide access to the full text online. We are doing this in 3 ways:

  • All newly awarded theses are added to ORO at point of award.
  • Where a legacy thesis has been digitised by The British Library via its EThOS scheme – we are also adding it to ORO.
  • Where a legacy thesis has yet to be digitised we are undertaking a systematic scheme of digitisation – expect to see results early in 2019.

Making the full text available online means a reader doesn’t have to visit the building to read the the print thesis, all they need is an internet connection.

Measuring the impact

Which is all very well – but is it worth it?  What kind of readership do PhD level theses get.  Well, the numbers are clear.  There are thousands of downloads of theses from ORO every month – we’re closing in on half a million downloads in total!

And these downloads are global, access is not restricted to those readers that can get to Milton Keynes!  Downloads of theses in 2017 came from 188 countries and territories.

In case you are wondering, the most popular thesis in ORO has been downloaded over 15,000 times (Bailey, Keith Alan (1995). The metamorphosis of Battersea, 1800-1914 : a building history.) (4)

 …and back to the OU

Sometimes in your day to day work at OU HQ in MK, you are reminded of the remarkable ethos of the institution.  As I was checking a legacy thesis earlier in the week, I couldn’t help but read the acknowledgement, here’s how it started…

A remarkable understated testament, not only to the determination of one particular OU student, but also to the opportunities the OU provides: #thesisthursday OU style.

References

(1) Weinbren, Dan. (2014) The Open University: A History, p.110.

(2) ibid., p.110.

(3) “The Open University’s Affiliated Research Centre (ARC) programme enables leading research institutes, who do not have their own degree awarding powers, to provide doctoral training with our support.”   http://www.open.ac.uk/research/degrees/affiliate-centres

(4) All data from: http://oro.open.ac.uk/cgi/stats/report/

Student Dissertations in ORO

We are very pleased to have recently added some third level student dissertations to ORO.  They are for the History module “A329 – The making of Welsh history” and are listed in ORO on their own Student Dissertations page.

Adding student projects to ORO:

  • Is a great way to showcase the research done by OU students.  Providing access to them as exemplars for current and prospective students, supports student recruitment, attainment and retention.
  • Supports the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences objective of actively engaging with OU students as partners and co-researchers.

Example record in ORO

Module Team Chair Richard Marsden said:

A329 offers undergraduate History students a rare opportunity to conduct an independent research project on a topic of their own choosing. Some of the work they have produced is extremely impressive and constitutes a real contribution to our understanding of Welsh history. It is great to be able to make those contributions publicly available to members of the public and other scholars on ORO, especially as doing so is very much in keeping with the OU’s public mission and support for the open sharing of knowledge’.

We are in discussion with other modules to add more student dissertations to ORO.  Contact us if you are interested in using ORO in this way.

Open Access and ORO – not just about mandates!

The biggest challenge facing  Institutional Repositories like ORO is not meeting the REF Open Access policy, although that is important!  Rather it is demonstrating their long term value to the research community they serve.  Take the case of the discussion paper authored by Dr Lesley Baillie:

Baillie, Lesley (2017). An exploration of the 6Cs as a set of values for nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 26(10) pp. 558–563.

  • This paper has been downloaded over 7,000 times by users from over 90 countries and territories since deposit in June 2017.
  • Making the paper Open Access in ORO has increased downloads by 409%.(1)
  • The version in ORO is not behind a paywall – this increases the readership to professionals and practitioners not affiliated to a university
  • When institutional repositories are indexed by Google and Google Scholar they are great platforms to make papers discoverable and accessible on a global scale.

Lesley comments “Certainly I think the open access is undoubtedly enabling healthcare professionals, including nurses, to easily access literature that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.”

Deposit in an institutional repository like ORO can be massively beneficial in the dissemination of research papers of the community it serves.

ORO Case Study PDF

(1) Based on publisher downloads of 1,458 and ORO downloads of 7,427 – data accessed 2018/05/04