YERUN 2018 | Exploring researcher engagement with open access through international collaboration

​The Scholarly Communication Office represented by David Walters and Chris Daley spoke to YERUN (Young European Research Universities) members this week about local open access policies and their relationship with international research collaboration.

You can find the video online at the link below and all the presentations are due to be shared on the YERUN website shortly. There were lots of other interesting talks about developing research organisations’ links with business, open science and other exciting topics.


David Walters and Christopher Daley from Brunel University London explore the complexities of the current UK open access (OA) policy landscape and examine the concurrent emergence of open science services which aim to provide global OA data. Using the results of their recent study, they will consider whether the global data on open access activity reveals tensions between natural research collaboration and policy drivers implemented at an institutional level.

Research into open access levels at Brunel

Colleagues in the Scholarly Communication Office have just had a research paper published entitled: “Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services.” We have included the abstract and link to the article below, but essentially our study explores if open access infrastructures fully capture the OA activities of Brunel researchers or whether open science systems such as Unpaywall, CORE and Sherpa REF may help to provide a richer picture of their OA behaviours.

The results shows a strong culture of OA engagement. We must take a moment to congratulate all our researchers in progressing the open access agenda so successfully at Brunel University.


Title: Enhancing Institutional Publication Data Using Emergent Open Science Services
Authors: David Walters and Christopher Daley


By publication year, we see the proportion of OA growing. Just 7.7% of works in 2016 had a Green option not taken by authors

The UK open access (OA) policy landscape simultaneously preferences Gold publishing models (Finch Report, RCUK, COAF) and Green OA through repository usage (HEFCE), creating the possibility of confusion and duplication of effort for academics and support staff. Alongside these policy developments, there has been an increase in open science services that aim to provide global data on OA. These services often exist separately to locally managed institutional systems for recording OA engagement and policy compliance. The aim of this study is to enhance Brunel University London’s local publication data using software which retrieves and processes information from the global open science services of Sherpa REF, CORE, and Unpaywall. The study draws on two classification schemes; a ‘best location’ hierarchy, which enables us to measure publishing trends and whether open access dissemination has taken place, and a relational ‘all locations’ dataset to examine whether individual publications appear across multiple OA dissemination models. Sherpa REF data is also used to indicate possible OA locations from serial policies. Our results find that there is an average of 4.767 permissible open access options available to the authors in our sample each time they publish and that Gold OA publications are replicated, on average, in 3 separate locations. A total of 40% of OA works in the sample are available in both Gold and Green locations. The study considers whether this tendency for duplication is a result of localised manual workflows which are necessarily focused on institutional compliance to meet the Research Excellence Framework 2021 requirements, and suggests that greater interoperability between OA systems and services would facilitate a more efficient transformation to open scholarship.

Jisc Monitor within a UK open access service environment: Our adoption at Brunel University London

On Tuesday 24th October, I participated in a Jisc webinar and had the opportunity to showcase Brunel’s workflow and use of Monitor Local. We use this system to manage our APC workflows and for some compliance reporting. I discuss how we modelled our local accounting and audit requirements into the system, whilst meeting the reporting requirements for funders and Jisc.

Brunel’s finance model within the Jisc Monitor system

This system aggregates data captured by other Monitor local users and participants in the Jisc TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) project into a dashboard system “Monitor UK”, which should be released in the next few weeks.

Monitor UK will allow Brunel to benchmark our expenditure and levels of open access against other institutions.

It’s hoped this national aggregation of data concerning open access will help UK policy makers and Jisc’s negotiations with publishers in the transition to open scholarship.

The recording is available at the link here and is replicated on YouTube for convenience.

Apologies if my voice was a bit loud. I didn’t have a compatible headset and so was shouting at the microphone on my laptop to ensure I could be heard 🙂

Please get in touch if you have any further questions or would like to know more about our work in this area.