City Open Access

Icon

News about City University's open access repository, philosophical musings about Open Access

Open access journal hosting in City Research Online: Learning at City Journal

We’ve recently been working with colleagues in City’s Learning Development Centre (LDC) and at EPrints Services to use our EPrints repository to host the LDC’s Learning at City Journal. The idea was to create a space within EPrints where electronic articles can be stored and served, with the layout, formatting, contextual information and branding you would expect from other e-journals you see on the web. The model for this was the University of Huddersfield’s Teaching in Lifelong Learning journal, which also uses a space within their larger EPrints repository.

Previously City Research Online (CRO) has archived individual Learning at City Journal articles and grouped these together, but this grouping doesn’t have all the nice e-journal added value material. EPrints Services have created a new area in EPrints for us, which will be the journal’s home page. As you will see when you click through, it’s fairly bare-bones, with little contextual information or branding, but it does group together articles nicely. When you click through to articles, EPrints also generates a “Journal Details” box (see for example this article), allowing easy navigation around the contents of the journal.

Next steps are to develop and add the contextual information for the journal, and add some much needed branding. We also need to check that all material from each hard copy issue is being included- for example editorial messages, tables of contents etc. We also need to be able to assign Digital Object Identifiers to every article using CrossRef, so that the standard, persistent identifiers for scholarly articles appear for each record.

Once this work is done, we will be able to publicise the work around the University and more widely (in the latter case an important thing will be to register the journal with the Directory of Open Access Journals). It’s worth noting that there will be no Article Processing Charges for academics and other colleagues to submit articles to the journal, unlike commercial publishers offering open access options! Hopefully this publicity will stoke interest with colleagues- and you never know, other parts of the University might want to develop an open access e-journal with us!

Advertisements

Filed under: City Research Online, Open Access, , , , ,

Repository records now in City’s new Library Search

Over the last few months I’ve been involved in implementing Summon here at City, which we have called Library Search. One of the things we wanted to make sure we included in Library Search’s content set were repository records, and they have now been uploaded to the service’s index. You can view all repository records in Library Search, and the first hit for this search is an example of a City Research Online full text research paper coming up in a real search.

It will be very interesting to see if our download statistics improve as a result of this, and I expect that they will- presumably City users of the service will be interested in City academics’ research! You can read more about the development of this service over at our Summon at City University London blog.

Filed under: City Research Online, , , ,

Quick update

Just a quick post to say that we’re still here and still working on making City a more open access-friendly place! In lieu of any major pieces of news about the service, here are a couple of other places I’ve been writing. First is over at LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog, where I wrote with a couple of colleagues in defence of institutional repositories. Second, I’ve set up a new blog with my colleague Lucy to discuss another project that’s taking up a fair bit of time at the moment, implementing Serials Solutions’ Summon resource discovery software. One of the many advantages of Summon is that it will make City Research Online content more visible to one of our key user groups, the staff and students at City. I intend to write about repositories and web-scale resource discovery at some point, so keep an eye out if you’re interested in that.

Filed under: City Research Online, Systems, , , ,

Adding Almetrics badges to City Research Online

First post of 2013! I’ve been lax in posting to this blog, apologies loyal readers!

A nice new piece of functionality with City Research Online’s repository- we have added Altmetrics badges to records. See for example this recent paper which has already picked up some Twitter attention.These badges display the amount of social media attention a particular article has attracted. They provide what is hopefully an interesting extra piece of functionality along with the Addthis buttons, which allow users to post about articles to social media. As so often the magic of DOIs is used, with the Altmetrics plug-in matching articles from the DOI displayed on a record against tracked activity via its API.

It will be interesting to see trends as they emerge on records we make available via the repository, and to see if any of our users a) notices the change and b) comments on the new metric as disaplyed, either positively or negatively.

Filed under: City Research Online, , , , ,

Making City Research Online OpenAire compliant

We’ve just made City Research Online (CRO) OpenAire compliant. This means that all EU FP7 funded research added to CRO will be made available via OpenAire’s Discovery Portal, and that this research will be fully compliant with the EU’s open access mandate for FP7 funded research.

To make CRO OpenAire compliant was relatively straightforward, since the ever-helpful guys at Eprints Services did the hard work of installing the OpenAire Compliance Plug-In. It was then a matter of using OpenAire’s validation tool to ensure things were working properly, then registering CRO with OpenAire (see CRO’s entry in this list of compliant repositories). All we need to do now is work out which of our full text papers have received FP7 funding!

I’m happy that we’ve managed to do this piece of work. There is currently something of a push to get UK repositories OpenAire compliant (there has been lots of activity on the various repository email lists), since very few in the UK are at the moment. It allows us in the CRO team to offer another service to our users: if you have FP7-funded research, give the outputs to us and we will do the legwork in making it comply with the EU’s open access mandate. There is also the imminent (possible but strongly rumoured) prospect of the EU mandating Green open access for all the research it funds- and if that happens we’ll be ahead of the game in offering this service to our users.

Filed under: City Research Online, Open Access, Systems, , , , , , ,

Using City Research Online to serve papers to RePEc

One of the promises of the creation of a network of institutional repositories was that this would truly be a network, in the sense that there would be facility for appropriate transfer of material between services (I wrote about this for UKCoRR’s blog a while ago if you want more context). For example, an academic should be able to post a paper in the home repository, and also see this transferred automatically to e.g. the ArXiv.

We saw an opportunity to do this here at City when we began archiving our Department of Economics Discussion Papers Series. It soon emerged that the main point of discovery for economists looking for papers was the Repository of Papers in Economics (RePEc). The person in charge of the series had set up a page on the Economics website that pushed the papers in the series to RePEc, but this required an awful lot of maintenance, in particular ensuring that data could be transferred to RePEc in an appropriate format as RDF files.

So, we offered to take care of ensuring the series was automatically transferred from City Research Online (CRO) to RePEc. This involved some work with Eprints services and the people at RePEc to set up an area at CRO which indexed the papers as RDF files using the eprints2redif script. This is then used to push these files to City’s Department of Economics page at RePEc. The CRO RDF file-set updates overnight, meaning that additions, deletions and changes to the files therein will quickly be reflected on our RePEc page.

This will hopefully be a convenient and useful service for our economists- add your discussion paper to CRO, and it will automatically appear in RePEc! For us it’s a real win as well- we can take the administrative and technical burden off the economists’ hands, and also demonstrate that we are able to offer this kind of service to other departments. Also, it means that we should see a significant improvement in our download statistics, since the papers’ records in RePEc actually point back to full text papers in CRO when people hit the download button (see the URL to download this paper, for example). So it really is a win-win situation!

I would encourage other repository managers to have a think about this. I found the Department of Economics to be very receptive when we approached them, particularly when it became clear that we take on work they were spending time upon. There is some technical work that has to be done, but nothing that should flummox an experienced Eprints administrator. The next thing I’m going to think about is whether we can arrange something similar for our Centre for Mathematical Science, who are keen users of CRO and the aforementioned ArXiv.

Filed under: City Research Online, Systems, , , , , ,

1,000th paper added to City Research Online!

Last Weds 5th September we made live our 1,000th full text, openly accessible paper. The article in question was part of the Department of Economics Discussion Papers series, entitled: García-Alonso, M. D. C. & Garcia-Marinoso, B. (2007). “The strategic interaction between firms and formulary committees: effects on the prices of new drugs” . We’re now up to a total of 1,030 full text papers in the repository.

Given that City Research Online was only formally launched in October 2011, and that we aimed to make 500 papers live in its first year of operation, we’re pretty pleased with our progress thus far. It is of course testament to the support our team has received and of the willingness of City authors to contribute to the service. Thanks to all our users and depositors, here’s to our next 1,000 openly accessible papers!

Filed under: City Research Online, Open Access, , ,

Browse City authors in City Research Online!

Thanks to the efforts of the ever-helpful guys at Eprints Services, we now have a live author browse functionality for City Research Online (CRO). As you might have guessed, it allows you to have a look at City authors who have contributed full text material to CRO. As part of this work, the Services people also managed to get links working from individual authors as listed in citations, allowing users to click through from the record level to a full listing of any City author’s work- see for example the author listings linked to from this record.

Name authority, to allow useful browsing of “home” authors, is something I (with others) have grappled with in the past. This time round, we decided to go for a quick solution. A City author is defined by being someone with a City email address in the field used to record authorship of any given item. The email address is used as a key, and multiple items with the same email address are grouped together by virtue of being related to that key. The form of name that displays is based on the email address, which is not ideal as it means we end up with some authors as “Smith, J” and others as “Jones, David”, but I think it will do. There is now some cleaning up we need to do- for example making sure that all City authors have a valid email address associated with records they have authored.

We also took the opportunity to tweak the look of the repository, changing the colour of URLs to a more prominent shade of blue, and causing them to be underlined when hovered over. This will, I hope, make the author browse links as well as other internal links more obvious and therefore more used.

Filed under: City Research Online, , , ,

City Research Online & electronic theses

We’ve been slowly working towards making City’s PhD theses available in City Research Online, and we’re now at the stage where we’re going to be adding a lot more full text versions of these important pieces of research. Working out these issues, and talking to PhD students about the uses made of their work, is also an opportunity to persuade early-career researchers of the benefits of open access, hopefully hooking them for the remainder of their career!

We already have some theses available (four at the time of writing) in the open access repository, thanks to PhD students getting in touch with us and passing on electronic versions. There are a few problems specifically associated with managing theses: you have to be particularly careful about how they are handled, since they represent three of more years of research, and are often intended to be published further down the line; potentially tricky issues with copyright (author permissions, 3rd party copyright) and sensitive data (commercial or personal); and the various places e-theses can both be sourced from and also end up- for example, there are already over 200 City theses held by the BL’s EThOS service, not to mention DART Europe.

I think we’ve worked through these issues to our satisfaction (or at least I’ve produced some papers on them!), and we’re now at a stage where we can recruit more content. There are two sources of e-theses we’re going to examine first. They are:

  1. A nice back-run of c. 50 we have here in the Library (on CD-ROMs!), with permissions forms all signed off. We’re going to add these, then email students to tell them we have done so.
  2. All examined theses going forward. We need to a bit more liaison to make sure that the Schools and Departments are clear with what we will do with newly received e-theses (this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone!), and it will mean that we receive c. 250 newly examined theses per year.

Once we’re comfortable with the work-flows for managing these two sets of theses (and have exhausted the former set), we can have a look at other sources, including theses currently in EThOS but not held locally. I’m also in the process of setting up EThOS automatically harvesting our content, meaning that theses deposited in City Research Online will automatically be added to EThOS- a two for one offer!

This work has taken a while to come to fruition, but it’s really pleasing to think that over time we’ll become a comprehensive source of Doctoral research produced here at City.

Filed under: City Research Online, , , , , ,

City Research Online search functionality

We’ve just launched search functionality for publications data held in City Research Online. We’ve created a dedicated search page on the Research area of City’s website, as well as a supporting page with information about the service in general. This is the first time we’ve surfaced data from Symplectic (our Current Research Information System) to the web, and it took us a while to sort it out as well as some dedicated web development time, but we’re pleased with the results.

The search has been created by using Symplectic’s Application Programming Interface (API). The API pushes out “approved” (i.e. items validated by their author(s)) publications (in the form of citations plus abstracts) to a cache. The cache is then indexed and ranked by Funnelback, City’s corporate website’s indexing tool. The indexed data is then exposed to a keyword search via the form at the page linked to above.

There are a few features of the search, and the results it creates, worth flagging:

  • We have top-ranked search results where there are full text open access papers associated with those results. See, for example, a search for Jason Dykes’ publications– you’ll note that the first 40 or so hits allow you to click through to an openly accessible paper. This was done on the rationale that people are more likely to be interested in results with papers associated (and it doesn’t hurt or download statistics!)
  • As mentioned above, the search’s index includes abstracts, where present in the publication’s metadata. This means that search terms can sometimes appear a little fuzzy, particularly when you get towards the bottom of a list of hits- see for example this page, which is the fourth page of four when searching for the term “concrete”. We’re not too worried about this, given the propensity of searchers to only look at the first couple of pages of hits for any given search.
  • The advanced search is not particularly advanced. Our web developer is going to include a date range for results, but generally we weren’t looking to re-create a City version of e.g. Scopus, so we felt that relatively few advanced search options would be adequate.
  • We still need to do a bit of re-jigging of the formatting of the main search page, for example to include some text fields after the search form, to make the layout look a bit nicer. We’ve also included the service’s Twitter stream and an RSS feed of new items on this page, to give an idea of full text content being made live.

As ever, any feedback on any aspect of this new functionality much appreciated- you can email the team at publications@city.ac.uk.

Filed under: City Research Online, Systems, , , ,

About & contact details

My Tweets