All entries for Monday 21 November 2011

November 21, 2011

Thing 12: Open Access Repositories and WRAP

‘Green’ open access material is most often made available in databases referred to as ‘repositories’ or ‘research archives’. These databases can be an invaluable source of information. Researchers can use them to view papers they may not ordinarily have access to and evaluate if they need to go to the expense of acquiring the final published version. These databases come in three major forms:

  • Aggregator repositories,
  • Subject based repositories and
  • Institutional repositories.

Aggregator repositories bring together the records from a number of smaller repositories in a single user interface and subject repositories, as the name suggests, focus on a single subject area or discipline. We are going to look at the final type of repository: the institutional repository. These cover outputs from a range of subjects but that are produced by the researchers of a single institution.

WRAP logo

Warwick Research Archive Portal (WRAP) and the linked University of Warwick Publications service serve the University of Warwick.

WRAP is the research archive for the University and hosts a range of research outputs including journal articles, PhD theses, conference papers, working papers, book chapters, reports and more. The Publications service complements WRAP by holding bibliographical references for material we cannot make publicly available, either because we do not have permission, or the permitted version of the work. WRAP and the Publications service create a showcase of the material produced by Warwick researchers and are both designed especially to maximise the visibility and impact of the material listed in the service. Both services are harvested by a range of aggregator repositories and have their content indexed by Google and Google Scholar.

The reach of the service is large and international: we had more than 29,000 visitors in October 2011 and the 5700 papers were downloaded more than 26,000 times. Visitors and users of materials come from all around the world as can be seen by the latest WRAP statistics. WRAP can also provide researchers with a range of usage metrics to help illustrate the impact of a paper.

Use WRAP to find information:
To complete this thing please follow the step-by-step instructions to set up an RSS feed for the new items added to WRAP or the Publications service for your department.

Additionally to Thing 12 you may wish to investigate some of the aggregator or subject based repositories . Most of those below will allow you to set up similar feeds for new material or material on a specific subject or set of search terms and are all useful tools to find research.

Good examples of aggregator repository are:

  • BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) hosted by the Bielefeld University Library and contains information from over 2000 databases and is international in scope.
  • Intute Repository Search, mainly UK focused.


Not all subjects have dedicated repositories but there are few very well-known examples:

  • ArXiv for physics, maths, statistics, computer science and others.
  • Pub-Med Central and the related UK Pub-Med Central for biomedical and life sciences material.
  • RePEC (link: ) for research papers in economics.
  • SSRN (link: ) for social science material.


Further information:




Open Access: Changes in Publishing Practices

Yvonne Budden is the author for this week's theme. Yvonne is a librarian and is the E-repositories manager here at Warwick. Yvonne will be supporting registered participants on this 23 Things course through your blogs, and please also at an Open Access drop-in, Wednesday 23 November, 12-1 REx Seminar Room 3. Bring along any of your questions on open access, WRAP or copyright!

Over the past decade the way scholars publish their material has seen some radical changes. Scholars have become dissatisfied by the speed of publishing and the balance of power between researchers and publishers. One of the solutions that has been developed is open access. The below video explains some more:

Open Access 101 from The Right to Research Coalition on Vimeo.

Open access to information serves the interests of many different groups; Researchers gain from a wider audience than they might have had from traditional journal publication as their work is visible to every search tool on the web and records in repositories like the Warwick Research Archive Portal are actively harvested by large aggregator services. There is also some evidence that open access can improve the number of citations for each paper. Readers are no longer restricted to just what their library can afford. Funding bodies require public access to publicly funded research and the members of the public who no longer have to negotiate costly access to journals.

Open access is achieved in two broad fashions:

  • ‘Green’ open access is a system that works in concert with existing publishing models. Most commonly this allows the author to make available the ‘accepted’ version of their paper in a repository or on their own websites. The accepted version is also known as the post-print or final author’s version, the version after peer review but before publisher copy editing.
  • ‘Gold’ open access is a system of open access which is achieved through the traditional publishing process. This allows the final, published version to be made open access following the payment of a fee, usually known as the “article processing charge”. Some funders have created mechanisms and funds to assist authors in paying these fees where they have mandated open access to funded research.


Open access began as a movement to provide access to research results, in the form of traditional scholarly outputs, e.g. journal articles, books, etc. Open access, however can cover a wide range of material; from open educational resources (OERs; lecture notes and videos of lectures etc.); open research data; research blogs; grey literature; open science (experimental data and lab procedures) and many others. Open access allows researchers to reach a wider audience with their work and can lead to collaboration with colleagues in other institutions around the world and with industry.

Many of the earlier ‘things’ have emphasised the importance of your online presence when building your reputation as a researcher: open access to your research can be a vital part of this process. The things we will look at this week are intended as a short introduction to some of the ways in which you can interact with open access and some of the things you may need to consider when doing so.

Further information:

Forthcoming events on this theme:

  • Open Access drop-in, Wednesday 23 November, 12-1 REx Seminar Room 3. Bring along any of your questions on open access, WRAP or copyright!
  • Springer Authors' Workshop, 30 November 2011, 10-1 Research Exchange.

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