ORA information for library staff

Use this page to to promote ORA within academic departments, faculties or research institutes. You will also learn about repositories and Open Access. Please contact Sarah Barkla for more information.

Use ORA for your own publications so you are familiar with how to use it. ORA links are being used in Bodleian Libraries' annual reports. You'll also be able to see your own usage statistics.

Benefits for academics

Choose the benefits that suit the person you're talking to. What is vital for one, is of no interest to another. You may have to work through the list before you find the one that rings the bells.

  • Maximises visibility of their research
    ORA is heavily crawled by Google and as many items as possible are freely available - open access.
  • Digital preservation of research publications
  • Any types of research publications
    Not just articles - book chapters, books, working papers, reports, questionnaires, conference papers, posters and so on.
  • Persistent links so when the author leaves the University, the link stays live
    Not like a personal website.
  • Easy compliance with funding bodies' access to publications policies
    See Juliet for summary details.
  • Keep all your publications in one location
  • Easy to update your website or provide a live link from your website
  • Include supplementary materials such as additional diagrams or text, original questionnaire.
    There is no limit on word count or page or image limit
  • Provide advance publicity for item not yet published
    Particularly useful for books and book sections
  • Out of print books - often very popular with users and often no difficulty with copyright.
  • Good for book chapters which often get 'buried' behind the book title and editor
    Experience has shown that publishers are often happy to permit the full text of the chapter to be open access in ORA - it acts as an additional publicity channel for the book (like Amazon and Google peep inside the book)

Barriers to deposit (responding to concerns)

The sorts of reasons for not using ORA vary. The most common together with suggested responses are:

  • It takes too long
    It only takes a few minutes; You need only complete the mandatory boxes; Send the file to ORA@bodleian.ox.ac.uk as an email attachment; The more you do the quicker it becomes
  • Copyright is too complicated (all manner or aspects - I don't want to check, I don't know how to check, I'm not willing to ask my publisher to change the CTA (copyright transfer agreement).
    Library or ORA staff will help you become familiar with policies of regularly used journals; Romeo is helpful and easy to use
  • I don't want to make anything but the publisher's PDF available
    Romeo lists publishers that will permit use of PDFs (www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/PDFandIR.html); Readers often use ORA to find research and then use the 'published version' link to access the publisher's copy which they then cite
  • I already use a repository (eg subject repository like SSRN, ArXiV, UKPMC etc)
    Authors should deposit where they choose. We hope to be able to obtain metadata at the very least from external repositories for inclusion in ORA. As well as using another repository, you can easily also drop a copy in ORA by sending a copy by email to ORA at ora@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
  • Peer review is paramount
    Open Access does NOT mean the death of peer review. It remains in place in the same way as for non-OA.
  • All my work is available on my personal website
    It may be infringing copyright and it is very likely that the links will die if/when the person leaves. Content is certainly not preserved for the long-term.

Open Access (OA)

Ideas to encourage adoption

  • Usage statistics - report back to authors on their most popular items, most downloaded authors, total downloads by faculty etc.
  • Find a champion - someone who is keen on use of ORA and who would help promote it to colleages. You may be lucky enough to find someone who believes they have noticed more comments (or even citations) since their work has been in ORA.
  • Events - Provide a stand at an event; Lunchtime presentation or seminar; Coffee time informal presentation; Event as part of open access week (18 - 24 Oct 2010 see www.openaccessweek.org)
  • Provide examples of work available in other institutions' repositories and by relevant eminent academics.
  • Targetted leaflets (eg. for your subject area or for a certain group of people).
  • Promote on your website or blog - you might like to create a screencast or PPT presentation focused on your subject area. Add news of milestones - eg 100th item was deposited.
  • Encourage researchers - eg send out monthly top 10 downloads.
  • To begin with, concentrate on those who are already open to the idea
  • Would you be able to help researchers check copyright?
  • Educate administrative staff. They are often the people required to provide reports on who has published what in the department. They may also be those who add items to ORA on behalf of the author
  • Is there already a departmental publications list or similar? Would ORA make it easier to compile a list (eg CSV export or RSS feed)? Could links to full text items be added to the list? How about finding out if we can do a bulk upload of the list directly into ORA (email Sarah Barkla)?
  • Work with the department/faculty (see below).

Working with the Department/Faculty

  1. Include training on ORA and open access and other aspects of scholarly communications within existing library training/information or in your regular newsletters and other media.
  2. Raise issues at departmental meetings such as library or research committee eg reporting on usage statistics, news about key journal copyright permissions, raising awareness of copyright.
  3. Use personal contact with key people to discuss the pros (and cons) of using ORA.
  4. Make sure key people are aware of ORA services and features that will assist the department (eg embedded search (see Classics Faculty website), RSS feeds, ability to update websites automatically, export in CSV format)
  5. Don't forget to publicise ORA and other open access sources as a means to find and access research and for its use in teaching.
  6. Some departments might only include items held in ORA in the annual report - is this a possibility for your department?

Survey the landscape

  • How many of your academics already have items in ORA?
  • Identify key publications and find out if they permit deposit in ORA
  • What types of publications might your academics want to deposit? Articles, conference papers, book chapters etc
  • What would be the main reasons for your academics to deposit in ORA?
  • Would your academics use ORA items for teaching?
  • Would administrative staff or those leading the department want to use ORA for reporting or knowing what has been produced by people in their faculty?
  • Are any admin staff able to deposit items in ORA on behalf of a researcher?

An important role for library staff

  • The scholarly communications world is rapidly changing. Repositories form a major part of this emerging landscape. All those involved need to be aware of changes and take advantage of opportunities to improve research dissemination.
  • Use of repositories and other forms of research dissemination form a key part of research support
  • Academics are often unaware of new developments such as this. Library staff can play a vital role in making them aware of these new developments.
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