LJMU Redmonds Building

The Open Access Monitor at Liverpool John Moores University: Q&A

Michael Case Study, Guest Blog

LJMU Redmonds buildingWe recently asked members of our user community about their experiences using the Open Access features within Elements. Diana Leighton (REF Manager) and Cath Dishman (Open Access & Digital Scholarship Librarian) from Liverpool John Moores University told us how their experience has been since implementing the Open Access Monitor. Here’s what they told us.


Why did you decide to purchase/license the OA Monitor?

Primarily so that we could have a better understanding of the University’s likely compliance with HEFCE’s OA policy for the post-2014 REF. I say ‘likely’ because we are still dependent on academic staff creating records of their accepted publications once they have confirmation of acceptance from the publisher – i.e. OA Monitor cannot pick this up.  But we also wanted to use it as a tool that would enable us to provide targeted support and advocacy to individuals and departments/Schools where there was little evidence of activity/deposit through to our repository.

I should say that at LJMU, we are still working on a ‘deposit on acceptance’ basis during 2016-17, despite the slight relaxation of the HEFCE policy requiring deposit within 3 months of publication.

Which individuals or groups are using the OA Monitor at your institution? (e.g. library, department admins, impact officers?)

Cath, our Open Access & Digital Scholarship Librarian, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of OA Monitor; this was the most appropriate approach because Library Services manage the University’s EPrints repository too. As REF Manager, I am most interested in the reporting functions of OA Monitor and have given these reports visibility at the University’s research committee to drive messages through to senior managers within faculties.

Have you noticed any difference in deposit or compliance rates since its implementation?

Yes we have. However, it’s not possible to distinguish the effectiveness of having OA Monitor from other advocacy activities such as workshops, drop-in sessions, presentations and one-two-one sessions with staff.

Are you confident it will help you LJMU remain compliant for the post-2014 REF?

It’s very helpful to be able to note exceptions on an ongoing basis and effectively assign these to a publication record. OA Monitor will certainly help us to comply with the HEFCE policy, i.e. once records of accepted papers are created in Elements by authors (see note above about ignoring relaxed HEFCE policy 2016-17!). Plus it’s easy to identify staff who are not actively engaging with Elements, i.e. not adding publication records of accepted papers over a period of time. We are not compliant but are working towards it!

Has it changed your approach or helped to save you time (or both)?

It hasn’t changed our approach as such, as we’ve decided to use OA Monitor from the beginning for measuring compliance, but we anticipate that this will have saved us time. Without using OA Monitor we would have had to do far more manual checking of compliance.

Finally, have you found any other uses for the OA Monitor beyond what it was originally purchased for?

Not yet!


More information on how we help with OA engagement is available on our Open Access information page. If you’d be willing to share any of your experiences with Symplectic, please get in touch.

We’re most thankful to Diana and Cath for their cooperation! You can follow them on Twitter via the links below.

Diana Leighton (@DrDiLeighton) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from Diana Leighton (@DrDiLeighton). I love my job @LJMU. It’s all about research and who it affects, who funds it and who does it

Cath Dishman (@Cath_Marlowe) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from Cath Dishman (@Cath_Marlowe). Open Access and Digital Scholarship Librarian. Interested in Open Access, e-learning and engaging users. Runner, cross-stitcher. Liverpool, UK