Open research

Open Research Quarterly Update – Issue 1: March 2021

Download Digest – March 2021

Welcome to

the March 2021 Issue


Hello, and welcome to our first issue of the Open Research Quarterly Update (Digest) for this year. Over the past few months at Jisc, we’ve been working as hard as ever to improve our services, continually evolving to meet the needs of our members and the wider research community.

Open research represents a key theme of our research and innovation sector strategy for 2021-2023, and will continue to be a high priority for the UK research base, for funders and for Jisc. In recognition of our renewed commitment to open research, we’ve moved from an Open Access Digest to an Open Research Digest.

But what do we mean by open research? Our vision for open research is for the process, management and outputs of research to be as open as possible, as early as possible, and accessible to everyone. Our mission, as a digital technology member organisation, is to help our members embrace the benefits of open research by removing barriers, embedding open practices and developing open infrastructure.

We hope that this latest issue shows you how Jisc is as committed as ever to progressing open research. We produce this publication every quarter so that our member institutions can see the wide range of work we do and the role we play in serving the research community. And it’s always evolving, so do tell us what you think. Please send any feedback to

As our members are starting to see the light at the end of tunnel with REF submissions, we are looking forward to engaging with you further in our plans for progressing open research in the UK.

Liz Bal, Director of open research services

Supporting open research practices

To support the long-term management of all digital research outputs, from articles, datasets and theses to metadata-only records, we now offer 5 new services for our members:

Jisc member story: Find out from Kellie Snow, the research data manager at Cardiff University, how implementing Jisc’s new research repository and preservation services will help them to “promote and support open research practices”:

“the research repository will help us provide more of our researchers with enhanced support to store and manage their data”

“the repository solution can preserve any digital object and store any kind of file type and this could be helpful for aspects of the university archives and special collections”

Kellie also talked about this at Preservica’s webinar on 11 March 2021 – “Harnessing the power of open APIs to rapidly build your institutions digital ecosystem”, alongside Jan Whalen, the digital preservation and systems manager at the University of Manchester library, and Jisc/Preservica digital preservation experts.

Policy compliance

Helping you to meet and demonstrate compliance with the range of different funders’ and publishers’ requirements

Publications Router

Discussions continue with a variety of publishers whose live feeds we hope to add to Router soon. We’ve been testing sample files from them with encouraging results. The stronger, more straightforward requirements of Plan S and a closer link to renewal negotiations via Jisc Collections have enabled us to simplify this process. New functionality is now live and is being used in earnest to test and give feedback automatically on files from new publishers. As we learn from experience, we continue to review how best to prioritise our approaches to publishers to enable us to optimise the growth of Router’s coverage. Once REF submissions are complete, we’ll resume our conversations with colleagues whose institutions have compatible systems and who want to benefit from Router. Many have told us that this will be a good time to take advantage of the service. This new take-up and the growth in content coverage will yield even greater savings and efficiency across our sector.

Sherpa Services

We are continuing our work to improve and enhance our users’ experience of the Sherpa services, and in particular taking part in pilot projects with international colleagues to collaborate on the addition and curation of data relating to international journals and policies. Our work with CARL (the Canadian Association of Research Libraries) is still ongoing, and we are also collaborating with colleagues in France as part of the Mir@bel network and their project to enhance the visibility of French publisher policies. Other work we are focusing on closer to home involves looking at how we can improve the data submission process to ensure that our data is as accurate and up to date as possible, and how we can more closely engage with our user community to make sure we are meeting their needs – look out for further information about this soon.

Cost management

Support with improving your processes and systems, providing shared services and negotiating agreements, in order to manage the costs of OA and subscriptions

Jisc Collections

Following the release of transitional agreements (TAs) with BMJ, OUP and the imminent launch of the T&F Read and Publish agreement, our open access (OA) agreements now cover almost 60% of UK research. We’ve added new resources to our webpages to highlight agreements supporting compliance with Wellcome’s OA policy and to help OA teams manage TAs in a way that promotes consistency and maximises value by the consortium. We welcome feedback on the guidance to inform further developments in workflows and models in our review meetings or renegotiations with publishers. On 2 March the first official meeting with Elsevier took place. Updates and additional briefing will be shared with Library Directors and nominated contacts by 12 March. We’ve scheduled a webinar with Library Directors on two dates: Thursday 25 March 14.00-15.30 and Friday 26 March 12.00-11.30.

The Open Access Switchboard

In January 2021, it was announced that UKRI, the Wellcome Trust and Jisc had all signed up to be launching customers to the Open Access Switchboard, an independent intermediary, connecting parties and systems, streamlining communication and the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information. Recently, Jisc signed an agreement with the Switchboard that ensures HEIs who are Jisc members can engage with the Switchboard and have the fee waived – you can learn more through the link above. To join up, please contact the Executive Director of the OASB, Yvonne Campfens:

Discovery, usage and impact

Supporting you to improve the visibility and demonstrate the reach and impact of your research

CORE aggregation

The CORE Recommender has been integrated into – please read the most recent article about this development here. CORE and PubMed now collaborate for further full text dissemination. Hundreds of thousands of relevant articles hosted in CORE are now linked from PubMed, taking more available content directly to the researchers via the PubMed linkout service.  Since January 2020, CORE has seen a constant increase of downloads, reaching 30 million in February 2021 (based on IRUS data).  We plan this year to run a number of researcher-focused events to start to highlight how the content of CORE is being used and to stimulate dialogue in the research community.  More information will be made available about this nearer the time.


The IRUS COUNTER Release 5 (R5) service (v1) was launched in December 2020 and is available at: The service provides R5 conformant data, enabling reporting, visualising and embedding statistics about institutional repository usage.


  • Open access to IRUS data
  • COUNTER R5 conformant statistics
  • Reports that are available for viewing on screen as well as for data export
  • A data visualisation offering quick and easy access to view most used titles
  • A summary level widget and an API enable embedding of IRUS Release 5 statistics within local websites or systems
  • Support guides describe how to access usage statistics, understand and interpret COUNTER Release 5 data, and report and benchmark usage

Upcoming developments involve expanding reports and introducing a search facility.


We are delighted to announce that OpenDOAR’s steering committee is now fully established. The committee’s key role is to define the strategic direction for the OpenDOAR service. The first Committee meeting was held on 22 February where we discussed common goals and priorities for the service.  The ideas and motivations that were discussed put the repository community’s needs at the fore – 2021 is going to be an exciting and positive year for OpenDOAR. Meanwhile, OpenDOAR’s holdings continue to grow – so far in 2021, we have processed 40 new repository registrations bringing the total number of records to 5631.

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) and The Jisc ORCID national consortium

The UK Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for Open Access project has funded a cost benefit analysis to evaluate the case for more comprehensive support for the adoption and integration of PIDs. The final report will be delivered on 14 May. Work has also started on 1) building a community development strategy that will establish and operationalise the Research Identifier National Coordination Committee and 2) community validation of PID optimised workflows. This supports the work to establish a multi-PID consortium. An update on the project was presented at PIDapalooza. This work will feature in a Birds of a Feather session at RDA VP17 on National PID Strategies.

All members of the UK ORCID Consortium have been notified that the membership fees for 2022-24 will stay the same as 2020.

International engagement


10 March 2021 marked the public launch of the new project, OpenAIRE Nexus, which builds on the previous and current work to develop interoperable EOSC (the European Open Science Cloud) services. Working in tandem with four projects that touch upon different layers of EOSC (DICE – Data Infrastructure Capacity for EOSC, EGI-ACE – EGI Advanced computing for EOSC, RELLIANCE – REsearch Lifestyle mAnagemeNt for Earth Science Communities and CopErnicus users in EOSC, C-SCALE – Copernicus – eoSC Analytics Engine), it aims to make its services part of a wider ecosystem and part of integrated researcher workflows. Jisc is the National Open Access Desk (NOAD) for the UK.

The Knowledge Exchange

Jisc is a part of the Knowledge Exchange, which brings together six organisations that are representative of research activity in their countries. Our aim is to examine common problems in supporting research and developing infrastructure and services to enable the use of digital technologies, to share solutions, to seek perspectives on emerging issues that will have a concrete influence on their activities, and to foster exchanges between members of their different national higher education research communities. There are currently two new areas of work that we are directly involved in: Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) and helping small publishers transition to open science, both of which have corollaries with internal Jisc work.

The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS)

Romeo as one of the pilot services – SCOSS is a network of organisations across the globe that is committed to helping secure the sustainability of open infrastructure services. Jisc’s Sherpa Romeo service was part of the original pilot funding cycle for the SCOSS initiative – and we have gained support for Romeo from several international institutions and consortia. Romeo’s funding call is still open for community contributions. On 26 February 2021, Arja Tuuliniemi, from the FinELib consortium, presented at the Liber Webinar: How Can Libraries Help Keep Open Science Infrastructure Free and Independent? Her presentation detailed why the consortium has chosen to support Romeo through the SCOSS scheme. We caught up with her after the presentation to obtain her thoughts on FinELib’s support of Romeo:

“FinELib members regard open infrastructures like Sherpa Romeo as an important element in carrying out open science. Sherpa Romeo helps libraries and authors by gathering information into one place in a concise manner. This saves individual researchers’ and institutions’ time in locating the OA policy of journals.”

Round two services – the second funding round for SCOSS is open for community support. Jisc and SCOSS will be holding a webinar on 20 April to present on the services that were selected for this round (Public Knowledge Project (PKP), OpenCitations and Directory of open access books (DOAB)/OAPEN) and why they matter to our UK HEIs. More details to follow shortly.

Responding to sector needs

Jisc research and innovation sector strategy 2021-2023

Our research and innovation sector strategy 2021-2023 sets out the key priorities we identified through our engagement with the sector. Our role in extending the deployment and reach of technologies, data and digital approaches is central to supporting the UK research and innovation sector to remain resilient, sustainable, inclusive and collaborative, and to continue to develop excellent research. Here we set out our strategic approach to supporting the sector over the next two years. We see this strategy as a starting point and the basis on which we will continue to support research and innovation.

New Jisc research blog

To help members follow our research related activities, we have launched a new research blog. This replaces several research-related Jisc blogs, including the scholarly communications and research data blogs (although the content is still available). We hope the new blog will make it easier for you to keep up to date with all our research-related activities – you can also subscribe to email updates.

New digital research community

A new research community, facilitated by Jisc, brings together research leaders, researchers and research support professionals. It will help to enable discussion of concerns and the sharing of ideas across a full spectrum of activities related to research within institutions. Our research blog provides more information about the community and its next steps.

Upcoming events

Research Data Alliance (RDA) – 17th Plenary meeting

The Digital Curation Centre in collaboration with Jisc and UKRI will be hosting RDA’S 17th Plenary meeting on 20-23 April 2021. Registration is now open. The final programme will be published on 23 March. Plenary 17 will focus on the themes of global challenges, global mechanisms for data reuse, sustainable solutions with benefits for all, and global cooperation to realise these ends. It will highlight several research use cases around global collaboration to address grand challenges and ensure the societal impact of data reuse.

Webinar on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) – 26 March, 13:00-14:30 GMT

Would you like to find out more about the European Open Science Cloud, what it offers the research community and how the UK can best engage? This introductory webinar includes speakers from the EOSC Association, EOSC projects, research communities and UK universities. Further information and booking.

Key dates for your diary

Events you may have missed

Blog post round-up

Posts from the last 3 months that you may have missed:

Jisc appoints new director of research and innovation strategy

CORE and PubMed collaborate for further full text dissemination

Next steps for the Jisc digital research community

Supporting Wellcome’s OA policy and managing Read and Publish agreements: new resources available

New Jisc agreement with the OA Switchboard

FAIR enough?

Keeping up to date

Between our quarterly updates you can keep up to date with our activities. Follow us on:

You can find out more about our open research services by:


Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *