Open Access Technical Workshop – Lancaster’s Experience

Today, I and Louise Tripp from Lancaster University attended the Open Access workshop organised by Jisc funded E2EOA and LOCH Good Practice pathfinder projects. Lancaster University is a partner in the E2EOA project.

The day started with a short introduction by Valerie McCutcheon (University of Glasgow, E2EOA) followed immediately by systems demonstrations session led by Dominic Tate (University of Edinburgh, LOCH). The systems demonstrations were quick and to the point, and included a wide variety of vendor and institutional presentations. The systems demonstrated were Pure, Converis, Elements, EPrints, DSpace, Fedora/Hydra, and Jisc Monitor. Out of these, we presented on our Fedora/Hydra work under the E2EOA project and how that fits in with the wider RIOXX and RIOXX+ metadata. We also talked about RIOXX mapping in RDF within Fedora/Hydra and RIOXX RDF playground, work on which has been done by Adrian Albin-Clark (Lancaster University). After these short demonstrations, there was an open discussion about commonalities in demands and issues about these systems. Key commonalities included interoperability between systems, OAI-PMH interfaces and ability to generate OA compliance reports.

This session was followed by a lovely hot lunch which allowed lots of networking opportunities. I had a very useful conversation with George MacGregor from University of Strathclyde from the viewpoint of Linked Data and Semantic Web, and how we are using many controlled vocabularies in Hydra as well as integrating DBpedia within systems, including Primo. Similarly, another useful conversation happened with Balviar Notay of Jisc about the importance of Fedora/Hydra in the future and in terms of the newly developing UK partnership between several institutions on this. More details on this partnership to come later.

After lunch were the breakout sessions on three key themes. These were decided by the participants on the day and were on the topics of Pure (led by Manya Buchan of Elsevier), DSpace (led by Claire Knowles of University of Edinburgh) and Non-system Open Access issues (led by Dominic Tate of University of Edinburgh). As we are a Pure customer, both Louise and I participated in the Pure theme. We found the session to be very useful, informative and learnt a lot about reporting in Pure in a short space of time. The capability of sharing OA template reports was highly appreciated and Manya will be generating and publicising some of these to the Pure User Group shortly. Another thing that people appreciated was the capability of highlighting certain fields as we have done at Lancaster University (see Figure 1). This allows our academics to only input the absolute minimal information we expect from them visibly and clearly. We have now shared how we have done this with Manya with the intention that it will be shared further within the Pure User Group.

Highlighting key fields in Pure

There were several discussions on the theme of interoperability with Pure as well as OA reporting. Some issues and concerns were also raised by the customers as well as Elsevier, many of which were known bugs and are about to be fixed. However, there was a reassurance across the board that Pure can do a lot of things for us that many other systems are not able to do at this time. I should also take this opportunity to mention that I chair the UK Pure interoperability working group so if you have any concerns or comments, please let me know.

The breakout sessions concluded with a lovely cup of tea and lots of sugary treats to keep us going for another hour. The last part of the day was focussed on CASRAI UK (led by Valerie McCutcheon), Sherpa REF plugin (Balviar Notay) and Jisc Publications Router (led by Balviar Notay and Hannah DeGroff). Details of call to join CASRAI-UK chapter are available here. Lancaster University have already indicated an interest to be part of this chapter and we would encourage other institutions to also consider joining. A good news about Sherpa REF plugin is that they have acknowledged the issues and concerns of institutions in relation to acceptance vs publication messages and are keen to accommodate institutions needs. There was an open call for feedback which can be provided by clicking on the official Sherpa REF website. Jisc Publications Router looked a lot more mature than when I last looked at it about 8 months ago. The website is clear and modern, highlighting information on how institutions can get involved as well as how the technical developers can work with it. The key concern here was again from Pure side. Considering that Pure does not support OAI-PMH harvesting or SWORD2, would Pure customers be able to benefit from Publications Router? This is where Balviar and Hannah mentioned the API for Publications Router which is another way to work with the information. The outgoing notification API looks very good and I am sure Elsevier can pick this up and work with it without many problems.

This concluded a very useful day. We are now hoping to organise another half a day session with Manya on reporting for Open Access/RDM (more like a Reporting 101). If you are interested in attending, please let me know and I will let you know when we are advertising the event more widely.


  1. By Linda Kerr


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