Open research

Open Research Quarterly Update­­­­ – September 2021

Issue 3: Sept 2021

Welcome to the Sept 2021 Issue


Hello, and welcome to the September issue of the Open Research Quarterly Update (Digest).

Last month’s key sector news was the release of the new UKRI open access policy. We welcome this as a significant driver in the delivery of open access – however, we also recognise the policy is not without its challenges and we remain committed to helping our members implement the new policy. To support this, we are working hard on delivering enhancements to our infrastructure services to enable easy navigation of compliant options for OA publishing. We will provide mechanisms for reporting and monitoring OA uptake and outcomes and will continue negotiations with publishers, aiming to provide researchers and institutions with wide access to compliant and sustainable routes to OA publication.

To support policy proposals on monographs, book chapters, and edited collections we aim to work collaboratively with publishers to agree on OA monograph models, we will also continue our support for new university and library-led publishing ventures along with creating support for researchers in this area.

This release of the Digest gives updates on what we have been working on over the last quarter and includes highlights on Jisc’s Router service delivering articles to repositories in record numbers; activities of the UK ORCID consortium and the first meeting of the Research Identifier National Coordinating Council (RINCC) held in June; the new Sherpa Services user group and how you can get involved in steering the development and direction of Sherpa services; the release of the new CORE API; OpenDOAR’s release of the Plan S repository assessment tool; updates from IRUS and updates on the work Jisc collections is doing around negotiations of transitional agreements and more.

Azhar Hussain, Head of product – Policy and monitoring (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

We’re pressing on with conversations with a good range of publishers about providing content to Router, on terms compliant with Plan S, so that it can pass them on to institutions’ repositories, CRISs etc., for immediate exposure no later than the date of publication. Several of them are sending us files for testing with Router, and the results look promising. We’re therefore optimistic that these will progress sufficiently to enable us to make exciting additions to the live service soon. Now that institutions’ REF submissions are out of the way, many colleagues are turning their attention to workflows and systems and are moving forward to take up the Router service. Together with the new publishers that have joined, this means that Router is now matching and delivering articles to repositories in record numbers – two or three times as many as at the same time last year.

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:

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs)

The first meeting of the Research Identifier National Coordinating Council (RINCC) was held on 21 June. The initial membership includes representation from HE sector bodies, research funders, PID providers, publishing organisations, HE institutions, national academies, etc. The meeting was co-chaired by Liz Bal (Jisc) and Torsten Reimer (British Library) and the agenda included a review of membership and the Terms of Reference, and the delivery of the cost benefit analysis report, which was published on the same day. Up until late August, the report has been downloaded over 1000 times.

The Jisc ORCID national consortium

The UK ORCID Consortium has continued its series of community events, following the community launch event in May (the blog post and recording and slides from the launch event are now available). The second meeting, held on 17 June, was an interactive workshop on “Name changes and EDI in ORCID”. Participants in the workshop looked at how ORCID can help with various name change scenarios in research and especially with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) implications.

We are currently running a series of Birds of a Feather (BoF) workshops on CRIS and repository systems used by consortium members to connect to ORCID. These BoF sessions are being held in our UK ORCID Community Space in MS Teams, which is our new area to further support our community of members. The Teams community space for our consortium members continues to grow since its launch in May, creating a space for mutual support and benefit with all aspects of using ORCID in our higher education and research organisations, including advocacy to researchers and technical implementation. This complements the other services that are part of consortium membership, such as a dedicated team that can be reached through the Jisc helpdesk, and our member events.

As community lead, we were pleased to see what is pragmatically a mandate for ORCID iD, for all contributors to a scholarly output in the new UKRI Open Access Policy, which includes the following technical requirements for journals and publishing platforms (4g) and institutional and subject repositories (5d):

  • common unique PIDs for research management information (for example identifiers for funders and/or organisations) are strongly encouraged; ORCID, the researcher identifier, must be supported to identify all authors and contributors

To see that mandate, and further PID recommendations, applied to both repositories and publisher workflows will result in a great improvement to the information underpinning the scholarly ecosystem.

Finally, consortium membership is offered as a 3-year licence and current members should look out for communications in the next quarter with information on how to sign up for the next licence period 2022–2024. Any current or prospective members can find information on membership in the FAQ membership page of the consortium support website.

Research Data Alliance (RDA) – National PID Strategies

Following the National PID Strategies Birds of a Feather session at the RDA’s 17th Plenary, a request for a new working group has been submitted to the RDA. Details of the group and what it plans to achieve, if endorsed, can be fund on the working group page. The working group’s case statement was opened for community consultation until 9 September.

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

As part of our engagement with users, and in order to ensure our communications and updates reach the right people, the Sherpa product team have recently launched an online Sherpa Services user group – and would like to encourage anyone who is a Sherpa user to join. The purpose of the group is to provide an avenue for users to receive communications and updates directly from the Sherpa team, and enable members to provide feedback (via polls, surveys, interviews or general discussion) into the general development and direction of the services. We will also hold virtual meetings and webinars for the group, to provide updates on key improvements and areas of interest to the service.  The group is open to anyone who is a user of any of the Sherpa services, and you can become a member of the group by joining the Sherpa Users mailing list.

CORE aggregation

This year CORE celebrates 10 years since launch and this celebration is even more exciting as we are seeing unprecedented usage levels, with a peak of 50 million monthly active users just before the summer break.  In parallel, CORE has made available a new major API, version 3 release. APIv3 brings to our users more functionalities, better documentation and delivers a new resource entity, called “Work”, which represents and links together all the information that CORE holds about a particular canonical article, for instance that it is available from multiple repositories.  Read more about the API and data access here. Recently, CORE has also announced a new partnership with the Arabic Digital Reform Institute (ADRI). The partnership will provide ADRI with unlimited access to millions of open access articles to provide research platform and repository services to academics all over the world. ADRI is a social enterprise from New Zealand and Bahrain that aspires to revolutionise the current practices in creating knowledge in Arabic. In doing so, ADRI aims to address the social issue of limited availability of Arabic scientific content online.


In August 2021, OpenDOAR released its new Plan S repository assessment tool (beta) which allows repository staff to see how their repository fares against the six Plan S requirements for repositories.  Repository staff have their own account for their repository (or repositories) where they can take unlimited self-assessments and receive helpful guidance and good practice tips. We are delighted about the positive reception from the community so far. We are very keen to receive feedback as the tool is a beta, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch via (quoting ‘OpenDOAR’ in the subject line).

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

OA agreements

Agreements with small independent publishers remain a priority. We have launched new transitional agreements with the American Institute of Physics and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and agreed a Subscribe to Open model with Liverpool University Press. We’ve also renewed several pilot agreements with society publishers, including Portland Press and The Royal Society, and begun discussions on OA options with 10 more small publishers in readiness for the new UKRI policy starting in April 2022. We are also consulting on offers for transitional agreements with the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society.

OA Monographs

We have launched agreements with two COPIM projects (Central European University Press and Liverpool University Press) and with Arc Humanities Press for their Future Perfect Open Access Program New Voices Awards Scheme. Discussions are ongoing with several other smaller UK university presses.

The Open Access Switchboard

Jisc continues to work with the OA Switchboard and helping HEI who are Jisc members to get signed up to use the system. There will be more information soon on the Jisc service pages. Remember that any HEI who is a Jisc member can engage with the OASB for free until 2023. There was a webinar on the 8th of September that was part of a new campaign, “Matching Publication Costs with Publication Funds.”



Ex Libris have added IRUS tracker functionality for their Esploro platform and University of Surrey’s Research Portal has become the first repository in IRUS-UK using this platform. The Research Scotland Consortium also joined in June with their ‘Research Scotland’ Dspace repository. Cardiff Metropolitan University have added their Cardiff Met Figshare. University of Michigan have completed work to update the Samvera Ruby gem to support COUNTER Release 5.  It can be used by any repositories running Samvera.  See the IRUS site for more details.

This year we have been running two versions of IRUS services in parallel as we work on developing our new COUNTER Release 5 service. Initially, we have been focusing on optimising and enhancing the API, backend processes and technical infrastructure.  Over the next couple of months, we will be re-focusing our efforts on user research and testing to gather requirements for functionality of the report interface. If anyone is interested in being involved, please contact our helpdesk (IRUS).

International engagement


We planned for the Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication, and had multiple recorded panels so that registrants could learn more about what’s been happening regardless of their time zone, including a panel that featured Dr Alexandra Freeman speaking about Octopus, a radical new approach to scientific publishing, which recently received funding from UKRI and will be working closely with Jisc to develop the platform. Topics for this year’s OAI included Scholarly Publishing, Digital Research Data, The Future of Open Science, Changing Research Practice and Inclusivity.

Responding to sector needs

Jisc research blog

Follow our research-related activities on our research blog. You can also subscribe to email updates.

Jisc digital research community group

The community is running informal lunchtime discussions – these operate monthly on the second Wednesday of the month (from 12-1). You can find out more about this group on their community webpage.

New UKRI policy – and Jisc’s response

The UKRI announced its new open access policy at the beginning of August following on from extensive consultation with stakeholders. Jisc released a response to their announcement: New UKRI policy is a ‘significant driver’ towards open access research.

Open Research Advisory Board (ORAB)

Jisc held the inaugural meeting of the ORAB in September. The board is designed to allow sector needs to be fed back into Jisc’s strategic planning and to facilitate understanding of researchers’ and support organisations’ requirements in developing their own use of open research.

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:

25 Jun: CORE – Evaluating Automated Methods for Citation Classification

06 Jul: Research, once removed – a Jisc / CNI conference preview

07 Jul: CORE updates for January to June 2021

09 Jul: CORE: 10 years connecting Open Research

16 Jul: APIv3: Announcing a new API to access CORE data

23 Jul: Boost your skills in working with digital collections

03 Aug: New feature for repositories to self-assess against Plan S requirements

06 Aug: Funding agreed to develop platform that will change research culture

10 Aug: Supporting open access monographs without the costs of book processing charges

12 Aug: Welcome to LPC’s Strategic Affiliates Programme

09 Aug: Partnership Announcement: ADRI and CORE

Keeping up to date

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

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