Case Study – Elements Open Access Monitor at Liverpool John Moores University

Diana Leighton (REF Manager) and Cath Dishman (Open Access & Digital Scholarship Librarian) from Liverpool John Moores University tell us of their experiences implementing the Open Access Monitor.

LJMU Building

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!