Long time no blog! The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, I recently moved jobs within Brunel from the Scholarly Communication Office in the Library to the Research Support and Development Office, where I now support researchers from the humanities and social sciences with grant applications and I am also involved in a range of researcher development activities. The second reason for my silence relates to work that myself and my colleague David Walters have been doing on what we believe to be a pretty exciting research paper. This paper has now been published in the open access journal Publications and is entitled ‘Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services.’

I have included a link to the publication and the abstract below, but essentially our study explores if institutional open access infrastructures fully capture the OA activities of researchers or whether open science systems such as Unpaywall, CORE and Sherpa REF may help to provide a richer picture of OA behaviours. The paper is particularly relevant to the UK as it addresses the challenges faced by support staff and researchers when monitoring OA compliance as mandated by Research England and UK Research and Innovation, however we think it will be of general interest to anyone involved in the development of open science infrastructures at their institution.

Title: Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services
Authors: David Walters and Christopher Daley
Link: https://doi.org/10.3390/publications6020023

The UK open access (OA) policy landscape simultaneously preferences Gold publishing models (Finch Report, RCUK, COAF) and Green OA through repository usage (HEFCE), creating the possibility of confusion and duplication of effort for academics and support staff. Alongside these policy developments, there has been an increase in open science services that aim to provide global data on OA. These services often exist separately to locally managed institutional systems for recording OA engagement and policy compliance. The aim of this study is to enhance Brunel University London’s local publication data using software which retrieves and processes information from the global open science services of Sherpa REF, CORE, and Unpaywall. The study draws on two classification schemes; a ‘best location’ hierarchy, which enables us to measure publishing trends and whether open access dissemination has taken place, and a relational ‘all locations’ dataset to examine whether individual publications appear across multiple OA dissemination models. Sherpa REF data is also used to indicate possible OA locations from serial policies. Our results find that there is an average of 4.767 permissible open access options available to the authors in our sample each time they publish and that Gold OA publications are replicated, on average, in 3 separate locations. A total of 40% of OA works in the sample are available in both Gold and Green locations. The study considers whether this tendency for duplication is a result of localised manual workflows which are necessarily focused on institutional compliance to meet the Research Excellence Framework 2021 requirements, and suggests that greater interoperability between OA systems and services would facilitate a more efficient transformation to open scholarship.