The challenge

Academics can share the fruits of their research in different ways, most commonly in the form of articles in academic journals and conference proceedings. To qualify for the Research Excellence Framework, researchers must make their academic outputs open access using either a gold or green publication route. Meaning, they must be available for members of the public to access, free of charge, in an online repository.

Jisc decided that a system was needed to help universities manage the lifecycle of academic outputs as they progress from the seed of an idea, into a published article in a respected journal, and finally to an archived item in a repository. The system would help universities manage the financial costs, people and organisations involved, and the compliance of the published articles with the mandates of the funding bodies.

Combined with the complexity of every university having its own unique combination of house regulations, computer systems, publishing agreements and working practices, all in all this resulted in a challenging and divergent set of problems to address.

What we delivered

We partnered with Sero and Owen Stephens Consulting to develop theĀ Monitor Local service, one of several Open Access projects commissioned by Jisc. The analysis and UX design process was highly consultative and iterative, involving stakeholders from institutions around the UK at every stage. Over 20 universities contributed to the development through frequent workshops and webinars and by piloting the beta system.

Administrators use Monitor Local to:

  • manually input an Academic Output or automatically lookup details of a published article
  • manage the tasks around an Academic Output using flexible workflows
  • manage liaison with key members of the Academic Output research team, authors, admin team, publisher company, funding body and other HEIs
  • capture and manage financial information, including Application Processing Costs charged by publishers, invoices, budgets and grants
  • auto-assess compliance of an Academic Output with funders’ open access policies. For example, HEFCE, REF and Horizon 2020
  • review the status of outputs within the institution and manage any outstanding tasks
  • analyse and report on the data for COAF and RCUK

Monitor Local integrates with other systems, both consuming and sharing data.

  • Monitor UK is a partner system to Monitor Local. It collects Open Access publication information and provides analyses and data to benchmark costs and to identify trends. Monitor Local pushes data to Monitor UK for inclusion in reports
  • Crossref is a database containing over 8 million academic published items, with the aim of making content easy to find, link, cite and assess. Monitor Local uses Crossref to look up information about published items
  • KB+ aims to help UK libraries manage their e-resources more efficiently. Monitor Local consumes Journal data from KB+
  • Sherpa Romeo summarises publishers’ conditions for depositing articles in repositories and information about publishers’ compliance with funders’ conditions on open access

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