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    Summon: Open Access Filter

    What can we do to make Open Access content more visible in Summon?

    Search results can be filtered to display only Open Access content (see below screenshot).  The Summon Advanced Search screen also provides a checkbox to limit results to Open Access content.  


    Lastly, administrators can choose to display an Open Access icon for each item in the results set that is identified as Open Access.  Icon displays in lower left of Summon record:

    Summon - OA Indicator Icons.png

    By default the above options are OFF.  Turn ON the Open Access Indicator setting in the admin console (see Open Access Indicator section of Settings page) to activate the above features.

    The new Open Access filter for Summon is a work in progress (or “beta”) as we will be continuously working with our customer community and publisher/provider partners to define and identify what is appropriate Open Access content to flag in CDI.  In addition, there may be issues related to linking, proxying of content and/or match-and-merge rules which may impact user expectations and that will be addressed based on customer feedback after investigation. Please note that investigation may take time and we appreciate your patience.  

    We welcome customer input and feedback on the topic of Open Access:

    • If you know a database or source indexed in Summon has Open Access content but isn't on the list of sources that have been flagged as Open Access, let us know (using the Ex Libris Support Portal, accessible from the More Sites drop-down menu above); when submitting the case, select

      • Product: Central Discovery Index

      • Category: Client Content / Content Issue

      • Subject: Corrections

    • If you know journals or databases on the list of Open Access sources are not free or openly available, again, let us know through the Ex Libris Support Portal mentioned above.

    • If you know of an Open Access databases or sources that are not being indexed in Summon, please suggest them via the Content Idea Exchange.

    • If you would like to participate in a general discussion around Open Access topics with fellow customers, please consider participating in our Basecamp discussion group  by sending an email here.

    • Our Tier 2 metadata librarians and analysts will review requests for Open Access flagging that are submitted through the Support Portal. We will flag at the package level or investigate the source metadata for conditional logic that will programmatically flag Open Access content.

    • Please note that it may take time to identify the source metadata that will allow us to programmatically add an Open Access flag and then add it to a release. Additionally, we may need to reach out to the provider if there are questions about properly identifying Open Access tags, which will add to the time it takes to provide a resolution. 

    • At this time we are not able to support flagging individual records that cannot be flagged by applying conditional logic programmatically across the entire package/collection.

    The remainder of this article covers the following additional information:

    • Open Access Content Sources Flagged in CDI

    • How Open Access Content is Defined in CDI

    • Linking to Open Access Content from the Summon Results Page

    Open Access Content Sources Flagged in CDI

    Content in CDI is considered Open Access if it meets the following general criteria:

    • An item has been published as open access by the author (such as to comply with funding requirements).

    • An item is freely available and openly accessible without requiring authentication by the user

    • An item is identified by the provider/publisher as Open Access and has an indication in the metadata we index that signifies it is Open Access content

    • An item resides in a known Open Access repository or database or journal collection that we track in our Knowledgebase as being Open Access

    The Open Access flag in CDI is managed at the record level and does not determine whether an active link goes to an open access collection or a subscription database. This allows documents that have been published as open access by the author (such as to comply with funding requirements) to be flagged as open access regardless of whether the document is also available from subscription platforms or aggregator databases.

    Depending on the content provider data feed, a merged record in CDI can consist of participants in which some of them, but not all, are marked as open access. If at least one participant in the merged record is marked as open access, the merged record itself will also be marked as open access in case it meets one of the criteria listed above, regardless of whether the Open Access version is or is not in your library’s collection. 

    We recognize that there are different flavors and models of Open Access that boil down to where the article is published, who shoulders the cost of publishing, reuse rights, embargo periods, and so forth. We do not distinguish or differentiate between any of these models.  Instead, we identify Open Access content based on the broad criteria described above and methodologies described below.

    We have identified more than 200 Million items in CDI as Open Access content across dozens of content types including journal articles, books, thesis, technical reports, patents, images, archival documents and more.  In most cases, links for Open Access items in Summon will lead to the full text of an article, thesis, book (in the form of a PDF or HTML), to an image, patent or technical report, or to just descriptive metadata (such as a Table of Contents or an abstract) in the case of some open access repositories.

    For more information, see Which databases tracked by ProQuest are free e-resources.

    How Open Access Content is Defined in CDI

    Examples of how Open Access is identified:

    • Open Access content falls into two general categories:

      • (a) Open Access repositories and open websites

      • (b) Open Access content within commercial or "hybrid" packages.

    In CDI, content can be identified as Open Access at the entire package level, or, individual journal or article level within a package.

    Hybrid packages are collections containing a mix of some Open Access content and some content that is not openly available.

    Rarely is there a consistent way to identify open access content across different providers and content types.  As such metadata for all packages from participating providers must be carefully analyzed to determine the best methods for identifying whether content can be labeled as Open Access or not.  In many cases, we must apply conditional rules and logic to the metadata at indexing time to be able to correctly identify and separate content that is Open Access from content that is not.  Some specific examples of how this works are below:

    Open Access repositories (or Open Websites):

    Generally, a package is given a source type “Open Access Repository” or “Open Website” if through the initial Content Analysis and Sample review stage the platform and feed are determined to represent an Open Access collection/platform.

    Example #1:

    The Directory of Open Access Books from Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) provides access to Open Access books.

    Through reviewing the platform and metadata from OAPEN it is clear that all the content on this platform meets the criteria for being flagged as Open Access. In addition, we can determine that all new content to this package, by definition will also be Open Access. So we can therefore flag the records as Open Access at the package level. Note that there may or may not be a metadata flag at an individual item level to indicate whether the content is Open Access or not, but this doesn’t matter as the content is considered Open Access from our point of view by virtue of its inclusion on the OAPEN platform.

    Example #2: is an aggregator of French doctoral theses. aggregate theses data as a one stop shop for all French doctoral theses. The full text is hosted typically at the university where the theses was submitted, however many records are citation only. For example, the platform contains records for theses being sponsored or that haven’t yet been submitted. Some of the theses are embargoed, while some are only available to users at the hosting institution – either digitally or hard copy in the library.

    Because of these variations in availability, we therefore have conditionally tagged the content for which a full text link has been supplied as Open Access.  However, for content for which there is only a citation, we do not tag it as Open Access.

    Commercial or Hybrid Packages:

    Commercial packages by definition will vary as to how much Open Access content they include.

    Where possible we have identified Open Access content (either at the article or journal level) by reviewing the metadata to determine whether the provider has included an OA flag or not. But, even in cases where there is not a convenient Open Access flag in the metadata we can still identify commercial content as Open Access.

    Analysis of commercial content is done in several ways:

    • We first check whether the provider has listed OA collections in our Knowledgebase.  If so we look at the metadata in the index associated with these journals in the provider’s package to determine the inclusion of an OA marker.

    • In addition, we review the provider’s platform for information about the provider’s OA policy to discover OA content that we should specifically look at the metadata for in the index to determine the inclusion of an OA marker.

    • If neither of the above approaches reveals an OA flag in the metadata, and the provider has a known list of OA journals, either through KB collections or listings on their platform we can use this information to hard code the OA flag for all articles from those journals.

    Example #1:

    The IEEE Xplore database from IEEE is a subscription based resource that includes some Open Access content.  IEEE hosts Open Access content at an article level and provides a clear indicator within the metadata that flags content as Open Access. Upon indexing we look for this metadata flag and conditionally flag the appropriate Open Access records within the Summon schema. 

    Example #2:

    Mary Ann Liebert Online content is indexed in Summon. Many records in this package include an Open Access license tag in the metadata which we use to conditionally tag content as Open Access in the Summon schema.  However, not all of the Open Access content available from this provider is conveniently tagged as such in the metadata.  To address this, we do a further analysis of the provider’s content offering.  Via our Knowledgebase (or the provider’s website) we see that Mary Ann Liebert has several journals marketed as Open Access.  Using the information about these specific journals we then identify all of the articles for these journals as Open Access in the Summon schema regardless of whether the original metadata supplied by the provider includes an Open Access metadata tag or not.  This provides a more expansive approach to identifying Open Access than just relying on the information that comes directly from the provider metadata.

    Linking to Open Access Content from the Summon Results Page

    Open Access content discovered in Summon, particularly for journal articles or books, may link to a paid (non-Open Access) version of the article or book.  This is a result of the match-and-merge rules for content in Summon as well as our Indexed Enhanced Direct Linking rules.  If an item that is flagged as Open Access is found in more than one resource that you “subscribe” to in Client Center, links may go to either resource for fulfillment regardless as to whether that resource contains an Open Access version or not.

    Despite being marked as Open Access in Summon, some articles or books found in non-Open Access resources will still prompt users for authentication.  For example, an Open Access article found in Science Direct (a non-open access database) will likely still require a user to enter their authentication credentials to get to the full text.  This is because of how the Science Direct resource is proxied at the package/database level, not at an individual article level.

    Many book/ebook collections that are marked as Open Access may only link to citation records or abstracts/table of contents as opposed to the full text.

    TIP: If you use a proxy URL, you should select the Omit Proxy from this Database check box when you subscribe to any resources that are Open Access repositories. This will allow users to click directly through to the content without being prompted for authentication credentials.  It's not necessary to apply the settings as described in the Library Proxy section of the Database Details Page (for more information: Client Center users go here; Intota users go here).

    If you would like to participate in a general discussion around Open Access topics with fellow customers, including around topics such as linking to content or what content should be included in discovery, please consider participating in our basecamp discussion group  by sending an email here.

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