Open access dashboard
Exploring the potential to develop a dashboard, which consolidates and visualises open access data
Ended 31 Jul 2017100%
We ran a project to test the feasibility of an open access dashboard that would visualise data collected by our OA services, and other relevant sources, in a useful and informative way.
Why we did this
We've learned that library administrators want to consolidate the growing amount of information concerning their open access (OA) outputs.
Our current portfolio of OA services provide information about open access publications throughout their lifecycle. Their uptake and use demonstrates a demand from institutions for data about their research output; however, users currently see them as separate sources of information. An open access dashboard would bring together information from these and other relevant sources to offer a coherent picture to librarians and other institutional stakeholders.
We also recognise a national need for integrated information and clarity on the overall progress in the take-up of open access.
How we undertook the project
In order to investigate this further, the project followed a three-phase approach to scope the creation of an OA dashboard: We analysed five alternative dashboard options, created a prototype for one of these, and considered the business case for further development.
Depending on the outcome of this exploratory work, we would decide whether there was value in developing the service any further.
We reached the conclusion that a full business case cannot be built at this time, as the strength of the available evidence is, on average, low, and does not enable a strong case for further investment to be made.
A key factor is that, although there is a gap in terms of analysing data on OA, open data sources are not mature enough to power a dashboard and may undermine the validity of its outputs.
Whilst it is recommended that the development of a dashboard of this nature is put on hold and re-evaluated in the future, we recognise the importance of centralised systems that enable libraries in being able to monitor their OA activity, encourage the discovery of OA content and support decision-making relating to their library holdings more generally. Therefore, the sector should be assured that work will continue in earnest to investigate new, innovative ways of working in this area.
In addition, we will continue to seek to improve the quality and availability of data sources to enable further efforts, by:
- Developing a comprehensive, open-source record of UK HEIs’ publication output
- Ensuring that the terms and conditions for existing Jisc services permit re-use of relevant data in future services
- Promoting greater uptake of institutional identifiers within key data sources
- Continuing its support for ORCID
- Improving internal consistency of Jisc data sources
- Considering re-use of data models in development (eg, the one used for the research data shared service)
You can read more about our findings on the scholarly communications blog.
Based on the report’s conclusions, we are not planning to take forward development work around an OA dashboard in the near future.
However, as noted above, it will continue to work to offer the sector new ways in which OA can be effectively monitored and support new paths for OA content discovery, particularly if this affects decisions with regard to wider library holdings.
Additionally, we will continue to work on the other relevant aspects of the recommendations and, potentially, revisit the idea again in the future once some of the technical constraints have been mitigated.
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Meet the project team
Scholarly communications services manager, Jisc
Deputy head of scholarly communications support and director of the centre for research communications, Jisc
Maurits van der Graaf
Pleiade Management and Consultancy
This project ran until summer 2017