Open Access Week interview by The Open University

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Interview answered by Nancy Pontika, Open Access Aggregation Officer at CORE based at the Open University in UK.

1.    Does your organization have an open access strategy? And how are you implementing it?

CORE is an Open University (OU) project and is jointly funded by the OU and Jisc. CORE is a global full text aggregator of Open Access content harvesting repositories, institutional and disciplinary, and Open Access and Hybrid Journals.

Today, the CORE team at the OU runs the CORE service, which is the world’s largest aggregator of open access research publications, from repositories and journals systems at a full text level.

Currently CORE harvests more than 3700 repositories, 6000 journals and has 80 million metadata records and almost 8.5 million full text. Our mission is to aggregate all Open Access research outputs and make them available to the public. We support the citizens’ right to have access to information and we have established a wide set of services for that purpose. All our services are free of cost to the end user and enable them to gain access to Open Access content both in a human and machine readable form and develop their own applications using our content.

2.    Are you facing any challenges to integrate an open access culture in your University? If yes, what kind of challenges? And how are you overcoming them?

Accessing Open Access content in a machine readable form is a challenge for CORE.

  • With regards to the repositories, we extract the vast majority of the harvested content via the Open Archives Initiative – Metadata Harvesting Protocol (OAI-PMH), which occasionally can be problematic since OAI-PMH supports very well metadata harvesting but not full text. In addition, a successful harvesting requires the use of metadat standards, which is not followed by all data providers.
  • We are also facing difficulties in our effort to harvest Hybrid Gold Open Access content; some of the commercial publishers do not provide a machine interface to their Open Access content, do not allow automated programs to harvest the Open Access content, and do not conform to standards.

To overcome the OAI-PMH challenges CORE has implemented its own infrastructure for harvesting full text. In addition, recently CORE has been harvesting via the ResourceSync protocol, which enables clients to download, synchronise and keep track of changes in the CORE collection.

3.    What are your open access strategy and objectives for the coming years?

In the forthcoming years CORE aims to continue working towards its mission. Our focus is to:

  • Increase the number of full text Open Access content hosted in CORE;
  • improve our services and offer them to everyone in the world for free;
  • increase our existing large volume of data to support text and data mining practices.

4.    Open in order to…

…bring Science to all.

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