From Open Access Metadata to Open Access Content: Two Principles for Increased Visibility of Open Access Content

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Knowledge Media institute, The Open University
open access, aggregation systems, institutional repositories, open repositories
General conference

An essential goal of the open access (OA) movement is free availability of research outputs on the Internet. One of the recommended ways to achieve this is through open access repositories (BOAI, 2002). Given the growing number of repositories and the significant proportion of research outputs already available as OA (Laakso & Bjork, 2012), it might come as a surprise that OA content is not necessarily easily discoverable on the Internet (Morrisson, 2012; Konkiel, 2012), more precisely, it is available, but often difficult to find. If OA content in repositories cannot be discovered, there is little incentive to make it available on the Internet in the first place. Therefore, not trying hard enough to increase the visibility of OA content would be a lost opportunity for achieving the main OA goals, including also the reuse potential of OA content. In this paper, we build on our experience in finding and aggregating open access content (not just metadata) from repositories, discussing the main issues and summarizing the lessons learned into two principles that, if adopted, will dramatically increase the discoverability of OA content on the Internet and will improve the possibilities of OA content reuse.

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