General news Open research

Open Research Quarterly Update – Issue 2: June 2021

Welcome to the June 2021 Issue


Hello, and welcome to the June issue of the Open Research Quarterly Update (Digest). Here in the Open Research Services team at Jisc our mission is to help members embrace the benefits of open research by removing barriers, embedding open practices and developing open infrastructure. Much of our focus across Jisc involves working with the sector to negotiate agreements and develop services which underpin open research. This quarter’s update includes numerous examples of this in action.

Publications Router continues to expand its publishers’ contributions, while the Sherpa team have developed a new dataset which will provide details of Transitional Agreements to our users. In addition, Jisc Collections have been working with SCONUL to provide the Unsub dashboard. This month sees the first meeting of the Research Identifier National Coordinating Council (RINCC) on 21st June, which will coincide with the publication of a Cost Benefit Analysis Report, funded by the UK Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for Open Access project.

My team, which focuses on providing the underpinning infrastructure of open research, aims to support an environment that permits digital research information and outputs to move seamlessly throughout the research management digital ecosystem. How universities and funders are approaching this issue was explored in a recent Jisc webinar, Towards an integrated research management digital ecosystem. The recording and most of the slides of this webinar are now available on the event’s web page.

Lastly, we had a strong Jisc presence at Open Repositories last week. The presentations and slides are now available from the conference Webpage, YouTube channel and Zenodo community.

Tamsin Burland, Head of product, Open research services

Underpinning infrastructure

Supporting an environment that permits digital research information and outputs to move seamlessly throughout the research management digital ecosystem

Publications Router

Since the last digest update, publishers’ contributions to Router have moved forward. Wiley and the Royal Society have both started supplying full text articles, linked to recent transformative deals negotiated on our sector’s behalf by Jisc Collections. The feed from Sage has also been expanded, so that it now covers not just their wholly-OA journals, but now also OA articles from their hybrid journals. We are actively testing sample files from more publishers with a view to bringing them on board. We have also released new functionality to give institutions some control over the extent to which Router sends them duplicate updates about the same articles from Router’s different (secondary) sources, depending on whether they provide additional metadata fields not provided before. We’ve asked for feedback from users at institutions on whether they would value further, more granular options in Router.

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 five services for our members:

Research systems connect

We recently ran a webinar to discuss the issues that the sector faces in trying to establish an integrated research management digital ecosystem. Speakers included people from UKRI and from a number of UK universities. The recording and slides are available on the webinar’s event page. Jisc has recently launched Research systems connect – a service designed to help institutions join up their digital research management workflows.

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs)

The cost benefit analysis report, funded by the UK Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for Open Access project, has been delivered and circulated to key members of the community under embargo until 21 June 2021. The first meeting of the Research Identifier National Coordinating Council (RINCC) will be held on 21 June. The initial membership is being finalised but includes representation from HE sector bodies, research funders, PID providers, publishing organisations, HE institutions, national academies, etc. The first meeting will be co-chaired by Liz Bal (Jisc) and Torsten Reimer (British Library). The cost benefit analysis report will be delivered to the RINCC and published on the 21 June. A blog post will be published on the same day.

The Jisc ORCID national consortium

The UK ORCID Consortium held its community launch event on 6 May 2021. This was the first in a series of events for 2021 to support consortium members. It included updates from the consortium, ORCID and the PIDs for Open Access project with a discussion on the main theme – “lessons from the REF”. The second meeting will be on 17 June and is an interactive workshop on “name changes and EDI in ORCID”. The UK ORCID Community Space in MS Teams is being tested before launching to all members of the consortium.

Research Notebooks

Open research services has been supporting the Research Notebooks community through a number of meetings between institutions (University of Glasgow, Gurdon Institute Cambridge, TU Delft, UiT Arctic University of Norway, and the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine Berlin), that are testing or using these tools, often referred to as eLab Notebooks. We have been looking to engage with, and support, a wider community. As part of this community support, Jisc organised the first Research Notebooks workshop on 17 May 2021. This short workshop introduced the group, highlighted a couple of case studies, and included an interactive session to get input from attendees on what they wanted from future workshops. Due to the success of this event further workshops are planned for the community.

Policy and monitoring

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

Sherpa Services

Over the last few months, the Sherpa team have been busy working on the creation of a new dataset within our database, which will enable us to provide details of Transitional Agreements to our users – this will be used in tools and APIs going forward to help our users access and manage this complex information.  Further information about this will be shared soon, as well as more datasets that we will be adding in the coming months.

We are also continuing to work with partners and colleagues both at an international level and in the UK to enhance the quality and coverage of data in Sherpa Romeo, and we are pleased to have completed work recently with Cambridge University Press which involved them reviewing, editing and creating policy records for their journals which we have now imported into our live system.

As we are now in conference season, though a mostly ‘virtual’ one this year, the Sherpa team were pleased to take part in the Open Repositories 2021 conference – the team presented a poster outlining our roadmap for Sherpa Romeo over the next 12-18 months, as well as a short session on our current international activity and collaborations.

CORE aggregation

One of the services that CORE offers is the CORE Recommender.  It is a plugin for repositories, journals and web interfaces that provides suggestions on relevant articles to the article a user is looking for. The source of recommended data is the base of CORE, which consists of over 25 million full texts. Currently the recommender has been integrated within 493 repositories including  We interviewed George Macgregor, Scholarly publications and research data manager at the University of Strathclyde, responsible for the Strathprints institutional repository,  and you can read about his experience of using CORE Recommender via the Jisc Research blog. The CORE database has recently been successfully integrated into the Flowcite Knowledge Library.  The Flowcite Knowledge Library is one of Flowcite’s core product features and is available to users for free. Flowcite’s AI-driven search engine, complete with advanced filtering, provides users with bespoke and relevant results based on their recent searches.


This summer OpenDOAR will be releasing a new self-assessment feature for repository staff that allows them to see easily how their repository fares against the six Plan S requirements for repositories.  Repository staff will each have their own account for their repository (or repositories) where they can take unlimited self-assessments. The new beta feature offers clear explanations for each of the six requirements and guidance on how to fulfil them, as well as good practice tips.

Cost management

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

Jisc Collections

Unsub: We have worked with SCONUL to negotiate a national agreement to the Unsub dashboard which supports institutions to make informed decisions about big deal subscriptions relative to cost. Managed by Jisc, the agreement will provide data to reduce the administrative burden on SCONUL members and increase data accuracy and efficiency, while working with members to define user-requirements. It will also support new functionality to enable the two-way sharing of journal titles selection scenarios to support data sharing and decision-making between Institutions and Jisc in support of the national negotiation with Elsevier. Preliminary webinars planned for June will introduce the Unsub dashboard, discuss the national deal and the value of a collective approach, outline development plans for a unique consortium level feature, and seek input on this new development. The next Unsub webinar is on 15th June.

OA agreements: We are continuing to develop agreements with society and OA publishers. Our renewed agreement with the Open Library of Humanities includes a variety of supporter options which will enable the publisher to develop their portfolio by flipping subscription titles to OA, and we’ve recently released our first agreement with the Radiological Society of North America.

Jisc APC: To help institutions complete the Jisc APC data return, we’ve continued working with publishers to collate article-level metadata for all outputs under transitional agreements between April 2020 – March 2021. We cleaned and enhanced these datasets before re-formatting them into institutional reports and making them available to our members at the end of May. These can also be used to facilitate the completion of the UKRI report.

OA Monographs: We are working with the COPIM project and publishers to define the data requirements to monitor and evaluate our new OA Monograph agreements, including the Central University Press’s Opening the Future model.

The Open Access Switchboard

The OA Switchboard is an independent intermediary, connecting parties and systems, streamlining communication and the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information, and ensuring a financial settlement can be done – it’s about a shared infrastructure designed around standards integration. Earlier this year, Jisc negotiated an agreement with the Switchboard allowing all higher education institutions who are Jisc members the chance to engage for free. Many have already taken advantage of becoming a part of the pilot, which is already helping to scope its aims and mission. Contact Yvonne Campfens, Executive Director of the OASB, to sign up!

International engagement


Jisc remains the UK National Open Access Desk for the OpenAIRE Legal Entity, known as the A.M.K.E. The OpenAIRE Research Graph is gradually becoming a key asset of OpenAIRE. They have invested a lot of effort in its development and improvement. There is a huge ongoing technical effort for making it robust and usable for discovery and monitoring. They have compiled a set of key points that will guide both the uninitiated and experts alike. UK institutions and organisations can sign up to become members of OpenAIRE; if interested, please get in touch at:

EOSC UK – webinar resources & mailing list

At the end of March we ran a webinar on the European Open Science Cloud as part of our Tech2Tech series. Over 120 attendees watched the presentations, asked (and answered!) questions and took part in discussions on what EOSC offers the UK research community. The presentations and recording of the webinar are now available. If you’d like to keep up to date with EOSC activities in the UK, please join our new mailing list which was launched at the webinar.

Responding to sector needs

Jisc research blog

To help members follow our research-related activities, we now have 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.

Jisc digital research community group

The community has started running informal lunchtime discussions – these are to operate monthly on the second Wednesday of the month (from 12-1). The first one was held in June to talk about the digital research community itself and moving forward. You can find out more about this group on their community webpage.

Key dates for your diary

Events you may have missed

Materials available for past events

Research Data Alliance (RDA) – 17th Plenary meeting

The Digital Curation Centre in collaboration with Jisc and UKRI co-hosted the RDA’S 17th Plenary meeting on 20-23 April 2021. Liam Earney gave the welcome message from Jisc. There was a registration fee for this event and there were 829 attendees from 35 countries. Jisc staff from Digital Resources presented in the sessions and provided support across the whole event.

Jisc at Open Repositories 2021 June 07-10

Jisc was well represented at the Open Repositories 2021 conference in June:

  • Poster presentations from the Sherpa Services and Preservation teams
  • 09 Jun: 24 x 7 Presentations from OpenDOAR, Sherpa Services, Research systems connect and Publications Router
  • 09 Jun: Developer Track Session from ORCID
  • 09 Jun: Panel on IRUS In Bloom: Expanded Openness for Institutional Repository Usage Statistics
  • 10 Jun: Presentations on Plan S and Repository PIDs / Plan S and Open Access via repositories
  • 10 Jun: 24 x 7 sessions on Interoperability as a service / Would auto-translation of metadata enhance discovery and impact of research data? / A National PID Landscape and Beyond

Blog post round-up

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

New patch enables Publications Router to supply RIOXX metadata to latest versions of DSpace

Experience of using CORE Recommender – an interview

Investing in the Open Access Book infrastructure: a call for action

Digital Preservation—Why is difficult to get started?

European Open Science Cloud webinar resources available

New Jisc APC Return: Reporting publications to aid transition to Open Access

Flowcite Expands its Knowledge Library with 210 Million Research Papers from CORE

Activities at the Knowledge Exchange – Partners to improve services in Open Research

Announcing the New University Press Toolkit

Wiley supplies full-text open access articles to Publications Router

CORE updates and a reminder of some highlights

Opening doors to international collaboration and research

Major OA Diamond Journals Study completed: Report emphasizes diversity and sustainable pathways for diamond Open Access

Keeping up to date

Between our quarterly updates you can keep up to date with our activities.

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