Publisher/University collaboration expands access to research articles

A pilot project with the University of Florida and Elsevier increases visibility of articles by UF researchers in Elsevier journals

A pilot project of the University of Florida and Elsevier is exploring how publishers and universities can work together to make their platforms and repositories interoperable.

An immediate aim is to maximize visibility, impact and dissemination of articles by UF researchers who have published in Elsevier journals.

Through the university library repository, entitled users will be able to access the full published articles on ScienceDirect.

For articles by University of Florida authors published by Elsevier, the <a target="_blank" href=""> university's institutional repository (IR@UF)</a>  will enable access to the full published article online on ScienceDirect.

It’s part of a project of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida (UF) and Elsevier, the first phase of which has just been completed. Article links and metadata are automatically delivered to UF’s institutional repository (IR@UF) through ScienceDirect application programming interfaces (APIs), which are freely available to libraries.

Of UF authored articles, the largest portion is published in Elsevier journals, and these represent a large share of citations. For Elsevier, the project provides an opportunity to get a better understanding of information and content presentation requirements by institutional repositories. Combined, these factors made it a natural choice to collaborate.

Judith RussellJudith Russell, Dean of University Libraries at UF, and Dr. Alicia Wise, Director of Access & Policy at Elsevier, have been keen drivers of the pilot from the very start, emphasizing the value of the initiative for both organizations and the research ecosystem as a whole.

Alicia Wise, PhD“The project addresses several university needs, including showcasing UF’s body of works, providing a better user experience for researchers who use its repository and facilitating compliance with US policies on public access to federally funded research,” Russell said.

“It's a great example of libraries and publishers working together to expand access, to increase compliance with funder policies, and to reduce duplication of cost and effort," Dr. Wise added. "Our shared aim is to broaden this approach to include other libraries and other publishers."

How the IR@UF works after implementation of ScienceDirect APIs

  • Through an automated ingestion, ScienceDirect shares article metadata and links to the full text on ScienceDirect within the repository. This helps IR@UF users more easily identify and link to the best article version available to them.
  • IR@UF users can access the published article on ScienceDirect, which enables tracking and reporting of article usage and reach. Linking to the full article on ScienceDirect also means that users add to overall aggregated data on usage of the article, which is helpful for both the authors and institutions. These aggregated data would not be available if different versions of the article existed across multiple platforms.
  • The full article on ScienceDirect is available to all users of IR@UF that have access to ScienceDirect, not only those affiliated with UF. In instances where users are not entitled to access ScienceDirect, articles can be accessed through an interlibrary loan request, or purchased through various options that are specified.
  • The automated ingestion of the repository with links and metadata is available for both open access and subscription articles. Open access articles, which are available to everyone, are identified by an indicator within IR@UF.

Looking ahead

In the next phase, the University of Florida and Elsevier will work together to also embed accepted manuscripts within IR@UF. This means all IR@UF users will be able to read a full-text version of the article —the final published version of the article for entitled users and the post-embargo accepted manuscript for other users. Indexing will be based on the full text.

Looking ahead, this approach holds opportunity to scale to other libraries and publishers. This could potentially happen via organizations such as CHORUS - a nonprofit organization that facilitates a simple compliance process, optimized search and dashboard services, and multi-party archiving and preservation capabilities - and SHARE - an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries, Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.


Infographic: Enhancing the University of Florida's Institutional Repository with Elsevier's ScienceDirect API Services

Related resources

Elsevier Connect Contributor

Sacha BoucherieSacha Boucherie is Access & Policy Communications Manager at Elsevier, based in Amsterdam. She is responsible for helping to communicate Elsevier's progress in areas such as open access, universal/philanthropic access programs and access technologies. She holds a master's degree in social psychology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

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