In June 2013, Jisc invited in a closed tender selected teams to bid for the UK National Open Access aggregator. The wide set of requirements included high coverage of UK institutional repositories, the ability to harvest and process data from different repository systems and the availability of a single harmonized API to data stored across UK repositories. The key factors for judging the proposed bids were availability and maturity of existing solutions, satisfying the technical criteria of the tender and the timescale and cost required to meet additional tender criteria.
The CORE team, based at KMi, elaborated the proposal based on the existing CORE solutions. The key components had been already implemented and were available from the CORE system. Most of the required services had been in principle included in the currently running DiggiCORE project. Their adoption to meet the tender specification were relatively straightforward. The KMi bid for the UK Open Access Aggregator has been submitted before the 2nd July deadline.
In July, Jisc announced that the KMi solution won the tender and CORE will be the UK national Open Access aggregator. KMi has been then asked to prepare and negotiate a concrete project plan with Jisc that on top of the tender asks CORE to network with a number of key stakeholders, in particular, Google Scholar and OpenAIRE. In December 12th, Jisc issued the Grant Letter for UK Aggregation, though the project has started already in October. UK Aggregation is part of the Jisc Repositories Shared Services project.
As the UK Open Access aggregator of institutional repositories, CORE provides new opportunities for services built on top of the aggregated content. Apart from supporting text-mining, developers and discoverability of content, CORE also offers opportunities for analysis and monitoring. For example, HEFCE announced that research papers must be immediately after their publication available trough an institutional repository in order to be eligible for post-2014 REF submission. If there is an agreed embargo period for open access availability, the rule takes it into account. CORE as the UK Open Access aggregator can provide all necessary information needed to confirm the compliance of publications with REF rules. The CORE team has developed a pilot application that allows the user to monitor the REF compliance. Petr Knoth and Zdenek Zdrahal were invited to the Workshop on repositories held in the HEFCE office in London on November 22th, which was chaired by Dr Steven Hill, Head of Policy at HEFCE. Petr & Zdenek presented the CORE Compliance Analytics application to the other participants of the workshop. The application can support a range of stakeholders, including researchers, repository managers and HEFCE, in monitoring compliance with respect to the HEFCE Open Access post-2014 REF policy.
At present, CORE content consists of 18M+ records with 1.8+ full text, machine readable documents from 612 institutional repositories worldwide. This includes all compliant UK institutional repositories. CORE services are used by OU’s ORO and a number of other institutions, including the European Library and UNESCO. In November 2013, CORE content was accessed by 150k+ unique visitors.