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Taking the pain out of open access compliance is a win for the library

By Hollie Hayward, Elsevier | Oct 25, 2017

CHORUS infographic - small image

Researchers are increasingly required to meet funding body requirements around open access.  This can include publishing their articles open access (gold OA) or making a version of their subscription article openly available (green OA).   


Librarians play a central role in facilitating open access publishing (see recent Library Connect survey). At a basic level, this can include answering their researchers’ questions about open access, but deeper involvement may involve administering funding for gold OA and/or managing the institutional repository (IR). IR managers face several challenges in supporting open access uptake and driving policy compliance:


  • Getting an accurate picture of how researchers are publishing
  • Ensuring compliance with copyright and licensing requirements
  • Meeting funder requirements around manuscript deposit


All of these areas incur costs in terms of time, management and infrastructure. We are here to help!



Working together to make green OA easier


The good news is that all Elsevier journals provide green open access options, and any author publishing with Elsevier can self-archive their accepted manuscript on their IR for immediate private sharing within their institution and public sharing after an embargo period. You can easily check the embargo periods for all our journals here. We also provide a free API program for IRs, and support to funders and institutions participating in CHORUS, which provides public access to scholarly content from certain funders, and supports institutions and funders with monitoring and tracking compliance.



Elsevier’s free API program


Elsevier has developed APIs that IR managers can leverage to showcase their institutional output, increase public access and enhance the user experience. Here’s how they work:


1. Use the ScienceDirect Search API to identify all articles published by your researchers and pull good, clean metadata on these. Scopus subscribers can use the Scopus API to do the same.

2. Use the ScienceDirect Hosting Permissions API to pull embargo end dates for manuscripts, making the process of offering content and copyright compliance even easier.

3. Use the ScienceDirect Entitlements API to ensure researchers are always made aware of their access options, including when they have access to a final published article.  

4. Use the ScienceDirect Article Retrieval API to link out to the ScienceDirect platform, show a locally hosted manuscript to users, or stream articles within the repository environment. This helps solve multiple pain points: chasing authors to deposit, showing entitled users the best available version of an article, and reporting important metrics such as usage.



Case study: University of Florida


The University of Florida uses the Elsevier APIs to search for and download author-affiliated metadata and abstracts to its IR, and link to full text. Institutional dashboards, alerting and reporting mechanisms were also developed. The pilot helped to create mechanisms to track and report on compliance, and minimize duplication of effort and burden on researchers.


The screenshot below shows how users can search for articles and then clearly see whether they have access to the final published article. Where the article is open access, this is clearly displayed and the Entitlements API enables authors to automatically see where they have access to subscription articles. If Check access displays, the user will be taken to the ScienceDirect guest page, where they will be asked to log in or shown other access options. 


University of Florida IR case study image - ScienceDirect APIs



Case study: Qatar University


Qatar University uses the Scopus and ScienceDirect APIs to provide metadata and abstracts. Additional links are provided to embed the best available version of Elsevier articles within the repository — either the final published article for entitled users or articles published gold OA, or the accepted manuscript after the embargo period for everyone else. 


The screenshot below shows that users can see whether they are able to access the publisher version of the article. The example below is Open Access, which means all users can access that version of the article.  Others options displayed include the full text PDF available to subscribers, a first page preview which displays the first page of articles for non-subscribers, or an embedded accepted manuscript which displays the accepted manuscript post-embargo for non-subscribers. Below the publisher version of the article there is also a link to the locally hosted manuscript.


Qatar University - QSpace IR and ScienceDirect APIs image



How can I find out more about IR services?


You can find out more about Elsevier’s IR services on our website, where you can also register to implement ScienceDirect API services or learn more about the services.



What is CHORUS?


CHORUS is a cost-effective and permanent public access solution, efficiently reusing existing infrastructure, such as Crossref, publisher platforms and archiving solutions, including Portico and CLOCKSS. 




  • Avoids duplication of effort
  • Increases compliance
  • Maximizes the benefit from existing proven infrastructure
  • Offers transparent reporting and tracking for funders and institutions
  • Helps track faculty research output
  • Relieves administrative burden


It is currently operational in the US with pilots being run in Australia and Japan.



How does CHORUS work?


An author submits their article to the journal of their choice identifying their source of funding. If the article is accepted, after peer review it receives a unique ID and funding body ID. The publisher sends this information to Crossref as part of the metadata of the article and the article is published on the publisher platform. The publisher ensures access to the best available article: the final version for an open access article or readers affiliated with a subscribing library, and the full text of the accepted manuscript after an embargo period for others. An article within the CHORUS ecosystem can be:


  • Indexed and found by any search engine
  • Found via the CHORUS portal or funder’s repository
  • Text mined via Crossref’s Text Mining service
  • Permanently preserved via CLOCKSS, PORTICO and other third-party dark archives
  • Monitored and tracked in real time for compliance via CHORUS dashboards


CHORUS and Elsevier



Case study: CHORUS six-month pilot project with Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)


In addition to being operational in the US and working with funders such as the NSF, DOD and the Smithsonian, CHORUS has been piloting its services in Japan and Australia. Working with JST and Chiba University, the pilot project in Japan set up tracking of public access to articles reporting on JST-funded research. This tracking has directly helped JST to monitor public access compliance, with information displayed in JST-specific dashboards. The project also sought to improve metadata for Japan’s institutional repositories — specifically at Chiba University — for articles tagged as JST-funded research and authored by university and research institute staff, faculty and students. Due to the success of the pilot, the JST signed a Japan Dashboard agreement with CHORUS in September 2017.


Read more about how Elsevier is working with CHORUS: