Case Study Open Access in EPrints

Our case study has just been published:

McCutcheon, V and Eadie, M, Managing open access with EPrints software: a case study, Insights, 2016, 29(1), 45–52; DOI:



Open Access Technical Workshop 4th April

Our next workshop is now advertised:

Can’t make it?  Don’t worry we will share a summary of the day.



Update from Glasgow

Well our open access mailbox is getting very very busy now – great – lots of work – but a nice feeling that we are hopefully we are reducing the admin burden for authors.

We had a lovely visit from colleagues at the University of Osaka earlier in the week as they are interested in hearing how UK Universities are supporting open access.  They have also visited Edinburgh so will have two nicely contrasting but complimentary case studies to consider.

Library of Glasgow U.

We are checking our Wellcome Trust papers as some were listed as not being compliant.  We have been able to find sensible responses for most cases and look forward to resolving any outstanding issues.

We continue to do more talks and presentations e.g. a session this week at the annual Research Conference.

More Sharing of Best Practice….and Donuts

We had a great meeting with colleagues at St Andrews this week.  We spoke about open access processes and research data management in some detail.   And we ate the most delicious cakes…


We have some differences in policy but broadly similar processes.

We agreed to follow up with an even more detailed look at financial processes to see if we could identify further efficiencies and to compare presentations and standard messages.

There was broad agreement that the CASRAI UK process might faciliate better communications between stakeholders as often issues arise due to misunderstanding of terminology.

We both tend to record other University awards in additional information and look forward to better ways to store and re-use this information.

Thank you for the lovely donuts.


Sharing Best Practice

We have spent the afternoon here with Dominic Tate from our sister Pathfinder Project LOCHS

Apart from our geographical proximity our projects share elements of technical solutions for Open Access.

Today we compared processes.  The structure and work division are very different.  The principles and systems are very similar.

Neither site currently mandate forwarding of author’s acceptance email for storage as evidence of date of acceptance.  Both often receive these.  Edinburgh sometimes save the email as a closed document in the repository.  Glasgow retain emails in the email system.

We discussed better evidence that the correct version rather than just ‘a’ version was uploaded to the repository.

We were both concerned with reaching all authors and ensuring they knew about requirements for the next Research Excellence Framework Exercise.  We agreed – use all and any channels, get University leaders to advertise this.

We had both developed similar compliance checks and reports for Colleges and are looking forward to comparing notes again in a few months to see what else we can share and what the early data is telling us.





Project Update January 2016

What have we done recently?

  • We have extracted article processing data direct from our system (EPrints) and submitted this to the Jisc APC analysis.
  • CASRAI UK initial webinar has taken place and plans are being made for initial working groups – which I hope will include further work on open access definitions.

  • The Research Excellence Framework Open Access plug-in for EPrints has been tested and delivery of the full version is anticipated before the end of January.
  • We continue to explore options to improve our service.  We are trying to process all fully open access costs expediently but there are a number of issues associated with this and we will liaise with other Pathfinder projects on this topic.
  • We are continuing to improve our open access reports to schools and colleges.  The current version gives a chart of % full text articles and conference proceedings and lists those articles with no full text on the repository. We plan to add REF exemption information once that is available and dates of when the full text was accepted, as well looking at REF eligible staff who might be at risk of non-compliance.  As usual revised code will be shared with the EPrints community – but do let us know if you want some information or code now.

open access chartWhat’s next?

  • We plan to publish formal case studies about EPrints  and Fedora and Open Access by March 2016.  Case study to date is document in this blog – see earlier posts.
  • We will be looking at sharing best practice on recording funders in EPrints and sharing some code for this.
  • Installation of the REF Open Access module and live use.
  • We are speaking to peer sites notably the LOCH Pathfinder sites to compare processes and share best practice.
  • We are signed up to participate in Jisc Monitor – systems and reports for managing open access – testing.  We already know our data export fits the specification and can be imported successfully – more testing to follow.

Compliant Deposit

The new REF module for EPrints does not seem to include a method to record date of compliant deposit.

Luckily we already added this to our open access tab.

We did not want to just use the date of upload – just because a file has been uploaded does not indicate compliant deposit.  We wanted to have a firm date when the correct version was uploaded.  We can then check this date against acceptance date and pursue any missing documents expediently.



Open Access and the Research Excellence Framework Workshop Report

The report for the Open Access and the Research Excellence Framework workshop, held at the University of Southampton, is now available:

All supporting materials can be found on the workshop’s padlet.

The workshop focused on technical developments, with opportunities for discussion, practical demonstrations and presentations from stakeholders with different perspectives of Open Access.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or contact the project team.

REF OA – EPrints Functionality

I’ve been doing some initial testing of the open access plug-in for compliance with Research Excellence Framework Open Access requirements.

ref oa test


I think it will do the trick with a few tweaks, some questions to be answered, and some reporting set up from it.   Here are my informal notes:


More testing being done but looking good.

Jisc Open Access Tools

Today’s Jisc meeting spoke about piloting tools for managing open access costs.  The pilot will run till July 2016.

A system for aggregation of article processing charge (APC) information will be offered with options:

  • Organisations that already store APC information in existing systems such as commercial or bespoke information systems (typically research, finance, and publication repositories) will be able to upload data to the system to utilise the business intelligence.
  • Other organisations will be offered a service to record and manage their data case by case in the  system.

The aggregated information across many organisations could be used to consider:

  • Can this assist in agreeing deals with publishers?
  • Are there patterns emerging?
  • What does our journey look like in comparison with peers?


  • Jisc tool might integrate with SHERPA – maybe possible to use alt to manual check on SHERPA
  • What combination of tools might be right for us?  Currently using EPrints for storage and compliance checking.  Longer term is there a business case to use Jisc tool – or is it better to stay with our current set up and amend that if required. Maybe a dynamic update from our system would work giving us benefits of Jisc tools without compromising established services.  Rapidly changing environment so keeping an open mind about long term solutions.
  • Like us Jisc team note difficulties in uniquely matching financial records with publications – sometimes there is no unique identifier available early on or carried into finance systems.
  • Might help us check that APC already paid by third party.
  • Careful discussion is required around dataflow e.g. if Router inputs to our system AND to the Jisc system how do we synchronise and minimise duplication of effort and confusion?
  • Considerable duplication of what is in our systems. Interested to explore implications.
  • How the RCUK plugin (from RIOXX), REF plugin, this new system, and other tools fit together.
  • Probably don’t want to overengineer reports at this stage
  • Is the funder report showing pure open access via purchase of open access option in traditional journal based on the categorisation supplied by research organisations?  If so might be indicative only at this stage.
  • It would be interesting to compare a years data on EPrints 1/8/15-31/07/16 with the Jisc system – on my list to send another sample to my Jisc chums.
  • If you are an EPrints site interested in solving OA metadata requirements please contact us and work together – EPrints site/Jisc discussion is open and on-going around this please join us  –