You’re an Academic Librarian or Research Officer and support researchers making their research freely available online via open access. A major part of this process is enabling researchers to deposit open access versions of their work in your institutional repository or research publications system. So how do you encourage your researchers to deposit full-text papers? Do you focus on advocating the societal benefits of increased access to research during presentations and training? Perhaps you share repository download statistics to demonstrate usage? Or implement tools to encourage high open access deposit rates? Do funder open access policies also feature high on your agenda?
Let’s talk about funder open access mandates for a moment. Internationally, there’s a big focus on open access compliance across Higher Education institutions: with the UK HEFCE Open Access Policy kicking off in 2016, a number of funding agencies internationally are also adopting similar policies. Many funding agencies allow an embargo period before a research output is available via open access. For example, the recently announced Canadian Open Access policy requires outputs to be made available via open access in an institutional repository within 12 months of publication or published in a journal that offers free access within 12 months. Such policies create an additional driver for institutions to enable researchers to deposit their work within given timeframes.
Researchers, however, are faced with an increasing number of mandates, so it’s important to encourage OA deposit in a way that gives something back to researchers.
Here are our ideas about how you can use Altmetric tools to encourage researchers to make their work freely available online by depositing in your institutional repository, and what’s in it for them:
Install the free Altmetric Badges in your institutional repository
We offer free embeddable Altmetric Badges for institutional repositories. This helps researchers track attention to specific papers – so if a paper has been deposited in your repository, researchers can monitor attention to that output via the repository record. This might be displayed alongside other metrics, such as repository downloads or citation counts. See this example of an embedded Altmetric badge in a University of Glasgow Enlighten record.
Let us know your repository domains so we can make sure we’re tracking your IR content – just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Altmetric for Institutions: Syncing with your Publications System
You can also sync your publications system or institutional repository with Altmetric for Institutions. When we populate Altmetric for Institutions, we often use your publications system as a data source. This is an extra incentive for researchers to deposit the metadata and full-text of their papers: by simply depositing metadata, it will appear in Altmetric for Institutions, and researchers can then track the attention to all of their papers in one place. Badges can also be embedded in Research Information Management or Current Research Information Systems (CRIS), see our example on the left of Altmetric badges in Symplectic Elements, helping raise awareness of altmetrics in existing workflows.
Register for a free Librarian Altmetric Explorer account
If you’re an Academic Librarian, you can also register for a free Altmetric Explorer account. Although these free accounts don’t have all of the functionality of our full instutitional platform, you could analyse the data for all the papers to which we’ve ever tracked attention or compare the altmetrics of a small set of your own open access papers with those behind paywalls. Do you see any trends? Are there any open access success stories to share across the institution?
Open access altmetrics advantage?
Here at Altmetric, we think our tools can help institutions encourage open access compliance and we’re particularly interested in the correlation between open access papers and altmetrics attention. In Euan’s recent blog post, we found that open access papers from a set of Nature Communications articles generated significantly more tweets and Mendeley readers when compared with articles behind paywalls. We also know that open access journals perform well when looking at average attention per article, e.g. papers from PLOS ONE, the BioMed Central series and Scientific Reports. 37% of papers in the Altmetric 2014 Top 100 list were available via open access. So there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that open access papers attract more attention across the sources we track but we’d love to see more research in this area.
We want to hear how you have used Altmetric to encourage researchers to share their work via open access. Have you embedded the badges in your repository? How do you share altmetrics best practice with your researchers? Get in touch!