The purpose of ORA is to store and disseminate digital copies of Oxford research publications, such as journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, working papers and theses. Most of the manuscripts can eventually be released through ORA, thus making freely available many articles which would otherwise remain behind paywalls.
Recent usage patterns of some items indicate the varied routes by which visitors discover ORA items and the wide geographic spread they come from, showing that an institutional repository is a great way for people to find and access your publications. This means there are other benefits of depositing for ‘Act on Acceptance’ – it’s not just about compliance with HEFCE policy.
1. ORA acts as good publicity for the publisher version.
Users are clicking on the links to the publisher website from the ORA record.
2. ORA items are easy to find via common tools and act as good publicity for authors.
Users find ORA items through general search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. ORA items can be more highly ranked than the publisher version.
3. Social media and Wikipedia are helping to promote Oxford research.
Many visitors find ORA items via links on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and via Wikipedia, as well as via search engines and library catalogues.*
4. Usage of ORA is global.
Visitors are international. The top 10 most common visitor locations are: USA and UK, plus China, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the Netherlands.
Example 1: a topical article.
Users are clicking on the links to publisher versions of record: 88% of the outlinks from this paper were to Kluwer online, the journal publisher (article available to those with a subscription).
The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) was made available in ORA in August 2016, enabling readers without subscription to the journal to view a version of the full text; this has also been heavily used (1855 views and 368 downloads as of 24/4/17).
Example searches used in search engines that led users to this article: Ora law articles, Professional articles on Brexit, Brexit academic papers, Gee.g.
Around 46% of inlinks to the ORA record were via Google Scholar and Facebook.
Example 2: a thesis in the news.
A recent article in Time magazine regarding U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch linked to his 2004 Oxford University dissertation for his Doctorate in Philosophy. A digitised copy of the thesis was made available in ORA in February 2017 (1518 views and 337 downloads as of 24/4/17).
About 34% of inlinks to the ORA record came from Wikipedia, Twitter and Facebook, and 23% from Time.
Why deposit in your institutional repository?
It’s all about openness and interoperability, and long-term preservation and access. See the Oxford University Research Archive’s guide to Benefits of deposit in ORA.
A social networking site is not an open access repository, explains the University of California. ‘The primary aim of institutional repositories is to make the scholarly outputs of the university as widely available as possible and to ensure long-term preservation of these outputs.’
*The top 25 referrer websites to ORA from April 2016 to February 2017 include:
SOLO (Bodleian Library catalogue), Ethos (British Library thesis service), Baidu (Chinese search engine), Google Scholar (.com, .uk, .de, .in, .au, .ca), Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, OATD.org (Open Access Theses and Dissertations).