OpenDOAR logo Directory of Open Access Repositories

About OpenDOAR

Service  | Introduction  |  Service Scope  |  Aims  |  Project Team  |   Management   |   Funding  |   Presentations

The OpenDOAR service provides a quality-assured listing of open access repositories around the world. OpenDOAR staff harvest and assign metadata to allow categorisation and analysis to assist the wider use and exploitation of repositories. Each of the repositories has been visited by OpenDOAR staff to ensure a high degree of quality and consistency in the information provided: OpenDOAR is maintained by SHERPA Services, based at the Centre for Research Communications at the University of Nottingham.

Introduction to the service

By 2003, a multiplicity of Open Access research archives had grown up around the world, mushrooming in response to calls by scholars, researchers and open access advocates to provide open access to research information. There were then a number of different lists of repositories and open access archives, but no single comprehensive or authoritative list which recorded the range of academic open access repositories.

Beyond these basic listings there was a need to move from cumulative lists to a more structured information service, cataloguing and describing repositories. Users need to know the scope and comprehensiveness of the information they find and be given features which facilitate the use of that information. For example, features to search, filter, analyse and query the descriptions of each repository.

Repositories need to be categorised with clear information on their policies regarding tagging peer-reviewed/non-peer-reviewed material, their subject coverage, the constituency they draw on for content, their collection and preservation policies, etc. Where this information does not exist, repositories should be encouraged to provide it as a means to further improve their visibility and the use of the content that they hold.

Therefore there was a need for a dependable listing of the academic e-print research repositories that were available world-wide, to underpin the outreach of the Open Access movement. OpenDOAR was been set up to provide this service and has grown consistently since then.

Service Scope

OpenDOAR is primarily a service to enhance and support the academic and research activities of the global community. OpenDOAR maintains a comprehensive and authoritative list of institutional and subject-based repositories. It also encompasses archives set up by funding agencies like the National Institutes for Health in the USA or the Wellcome Trust in the UK and Europe. For our definitions of repository types, please see the footnotes for the relevant OpenDOAR statistical chart.

Users of the service are able to analyse repositories by location, type, the material they hold and other measures. One key point about OpenDOAR is that this information is of use not only to users wishing to find original research papers but also for third-party service providers, like search engines or alert services, who need easy to use tools for developing tailored search services to suit specific user communities.

The Centre for Research Communications at the University of Nottingham currently runs a suite of SHERPA Services for the Open Access community. SHERPA Services compiles and maintains the RoMEO service, which gives summaries of the archiving rights that different publishers allow authors to retain. To complement this, SHERPA Services also runs the JULIET service, which summarises the archiving responsibilities and requirements that funding agencies give as a condition of funding grants. OpenDOAR is the third part of this repository service, listing available open access repositories.

Criteria for Inclusion & Exclusion

OpenDOAR has opted to collect and provide information solely on sites that wholly embrace the concept of open access to full text resources that are of use to academic researchers. Thus sites where any form of access control prevents immediate access are not included: likewise sites that consist of metadata records only are also declined.

Typically OpenDOAR lists publication repositories, as this is the basis for most repositories. However, OpenDOAR also lists other types, for example of images or data-sets, particularly where these have metadata or documentation sufficient to make the material re-usable.

Note that repositories listed in OpenDOAR are not necessarily OAI-PMH compliant. OAI-PMH is widely used for facilitating search of open access materials, but use of OAI-PMH is not synonymous with open access itself.

Common reasons for not listing a site in OpenDOAR include (but are not limited to):

For a break down of our decisions regarding the suggestions we receive, please see our pie chart.

Service Aims

OpenDOAR aims to:

Going through the OpenDOAR

There are several user-groups for OpenDOAR including researchers, browsers, service-providers, data-miners, administrators and funders. Each of these possess their own expectations, needs and perspectives. The information gathered is therefore analysed and represented in such a way as to satisfy the information requirements of all of these groups.

Given the ability to identify, sort and locate different repositories it is expected that new services and uses will develop. One example of this is the development of overlay journals; such emergent capabilities will be facilitated by the use of a comprehensive, structured and maintained list.

OpenDOAR survey and statistics has helped to examine and clarify the emerging structure of the world-wide repository network. The work on classification and on metadata allows innovative and focussed search services, wherever they are based, to more efficiently identify required resources. As regards the listing itself, users can be assured of its sustainability, maintenance and authority.

Opening further

OpenDOAR is in no way in competition with OAI registration, since the service intends to categorise repositories in ways that are not supported by normal OAI registration. Indeed the current registration protocol requires complete repository details to a level which some find problematic and for this, and other, reasons there are open access repositories which have not registered with OAI. OpenDOAR is actively searching for repositories to list and hopefully offers a straightforward registration process that will ensure that there will be significantly fewer omissions.

Several services use OpenDOAR as the basis for their search or harvest processes. Repositories registered or included within OpenDOAR are more visible and will naturally have their contents more easily found by researchers. While search services can be aware of repositories for metadata harvesting through a basic list or register, with rapidly expanding numbers of sites individual repositories and pieces of content have become harder to find amongst a larger number of search results.

With OpenDOAR allowing for repository listing by the content types it contains or the constituency it serves, a greater level of precision can be given to the searching process. In this way there is an increased chance for end-users to find a particular repository or for a search service to clearly flag an individual eprint or piece of research.

OpenDOAR in the past . . .

The initial OpenDOAR was developed and maintained by the University of Nottingham as part of a portfolio of work in Open Access and repositories under the SHERPA umbrella. OpenDOAR was started and initially developed by the University of Nottingham, UK and Lund University , Sweden, home of the DOAJ.

The funders of the OpenDOAR project (OSI, JISC, SPARC Europe and CURL) asked the SHERPA team at the University of Nottingham to complete the original development work and since then the service has been based at the University, most recently (2009) being included within work at the Centre for Research Communictions.

 

OpenDOAR to the future . . .

The initial OpenDOAR activities are currently funded by JISC through to May 2011. During this time the list is being developed, as well as investigation and planning for a future sustainability model for the service into the future.  

 

Project Team

Service Director

Stephen Pinfield, Nottingham
(stephen.pinfield@nottingham.ac.uk)

 

Service Manager

Bill Hubbard, Nottingham
(bill.hubbard@nottingham.ac.uk)

 

Development Officer

Jane Smith, Nottingham
(jane.h.smith@nottingham.ac.uk)

Technical Officer

Peter Millington, Nottingham
(peter.millington@nottingham.ac.uk)

For further information about OpenDOAR and the work of the service, then please contact Bill through the details above.

Service Management

Day to day management is under the control of the Service Manager, with oversight by the Service Director. The Centre for Research Communication Steering Group has oversight of project work: close liaison is maintained with project funders in the direction and scope of project work. OpenDOAR staff are in regular contact with users, repository managers, interest groups, funders and other interested parties around the world and are happy to take suggestions for developments and improvements to the service.

Funding

The importance and widespread support for the project can be seen in its original funders, led by the international Open Society Institute (OSI), which is a major player in advocacy for the spread of open access to the world's research findings. The UK funding body JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) also backed the initial 18 month project, as part of a larger programme of funding for repository development in UK institutions. There has been additional contributory funding from the Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL) and from SPARCEurope - an alliance of European research libraries, library organisations, and research institutions.

The Open Society Institute (OSI) is a private foundation that links a group of autonomous foundations in more than 50 countries. It acts to support initiatives to promote open societies through policy development and direct support in education, human rights, media and social reform. As an initiative from the OSI, a meeting was convened in Budapest which led to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) for scholarly communication. Further work from the OIS through the Open Access Project builds upon the principles outlined in the BOAI and aims to assist the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available online.

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) supports further and higher education in the UK by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in teaching, learning, research and administration. The JISC has funded a number of projects and development in the field of Open Access, most notably the JISC FAIR Programme, which supported the examination of issues relating to Open Access repositories in UK universities. The SHERPA project was funded from the FAIR Programme.

The Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL) is an organisation based in the UK and Ireland, bringing together the libraries of major research institutions. CURL's mission is to help institutions to share research resources for the benefit of local and international research. It has a vision of a hybrid distributed library of the future and works to facilitate both desktop and physical access to research material.

SPARCEurope is an alliance of European research libraries, library organisations, and research institutions. SPARCEurope is active in promoting change in scholarly communication through supporting new publishing models (in particular, open access models). SPARC Europe collaborates with the international SPARC organisation based in Washington, DC, but it develops Europe-focused initiatives.

Currently (2010), JISC is the sole external funder for OpenDOAR development work, with significant contributions from the University of Nottingham towards staffing and development.

The OpenDOAR team would like to acknowledge the funding for the project work from these bodies with warm thanks, as without this support it would have been impossible to proceed.

Project Documents and Presentations

In addition to general advocacy work and presentations produced by the SHERPA team, the following presentations have been made on OpenDOAR work

© 2006-2011, University of Nottingham, UK. Last updated: 15-Febs-2011