Maximising the distribution and exposure of research articles has long been a challenge for many universities and other research institutions. Jisc's Publications Router can help make open access articles more findable.
Institutions want to make sure everyone can see what their researchers have found out, and that they will be able to continue to do so in the future. This helps society and communities, whether local to each institution or more widely, to find, access and understand the results of publicly funded research.
The continued rise of open access, the practice of making research openly available upon publication as opposed to keeping it behind publishers’ paywalls, is likely to speed up discovery of research and reach more people.
In 2020 Jisc negotiated transitional agreements with publishers that have the potential to make around 43% of the UK’s output openly available, rising to some 59% in 2021.
But the sheer volume of research output means there’s now a need for clever systems that can help institutions capture their researchers’ articles without a lot of human effort. Global research output, as measured by peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers even just for science and engineering, grew from 1.8 million to 2.6 million articles between 2008 and 2018, according to the US National Science Board.
To help universities keep track of their latest research, Jisc launched its Publications Router service in 2016. Publications Router is an alerting service that automatically sends notifications of new research articles to institutions' systems such as their open repositories or their Current Research Information Systems (CRISs).
Major publishers are now working with Jisc to enable Router to pass on articles they publish. Wiley, for example, now actively deposits open access content from both their hybrid and wholly open access journals across a range of disciplines from science and medicine to arts and humanities, plus law, business, social sciences and many others.
By automating this process, the Router reduces administrative effort at institutions, alerts them to more of their outputs than they might otherwise be aware of, and helps maximise each article's distribution and exposure. Importantly, it also helps institutions comply cost-effectively with the open access policies of research funding bodies, notably the policy on open access and the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
Jisc’s Publication’s Router can’t single-handedly open up the UK’s research, but it surely helps researchers, and their librarian colleagues share new research that might, one day, help change our world for the better.