Open Access and Discovery Tools: How do Primo Libraries Manage Green Open Access Collections?

The Open Access (OA) movement gains more and more momentum with an increasing number of institutions and funders adopting OA mandates for publicly funded research. Consequently, an increasing amount of research output becomes freely available, either from institutional, multi-institutional or thematic repositories or from traditional or newly established journals.

Currently, there are more than 2,700 Open Access repositories (Green Open Access) of all kinds listed on OpenDOAR. Scholarly OA repositories contain lots of treasures including rare or otherwise unpublished materials and articles that scholars self-archive, often as part of their institution’s mandate. But it can be hard to discover this material unless users know exactly where to look.

Since the very beginning, libraries have played a major role in supporting the OA movement. Next to all services they can provide to support the deposit of research output in the repositories, they can make Open Access materials widely discoverable by their patrons through general search engines (Google, Bing…), specialized search engines (like Google Scholar) and library discovery tools, thus expanding their collection to include materials that they would not necessarily pay for.

In this paper, we intend to focus on two aspects regarding Open Access and Primo discovery tool.

In early 2013, Ex Libris Group started to add institutional repositories to Primo Central Index (PCI), their mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources (journal articles, e-books, reviews, dissertations, legal documents, reports…). After two years, it may be interesting to take stock of the current situation of PCI regarding Open Access repositories. This paper will analyze their progressive integration into PCI, the numbers of references, the resource types, the countries of origin…

On basis of a survey to carry out among the Primo community, the paper will also focus on how libraries using Primo discovery tool integrate Green Open Access contents in their catalog. Two major ways are possible for them. Firstly, they can directly harvest, index and manage any repository ‒their own or any from another institution‒ in their Primo and display those free contents next to the more traditional library collections. Secondly, if they are Primo Central Index subscribers, they can quickly and easily activate any, if not all, of the Open Access repositories contained PCI, making thus the contents of those directly discoverable to their end users.

This paper shows what way is preferred by libraries, if they harvest or not their own repository (even if it is included in PCI) and suggests efforts that Ex Libris could take to improve the visibility and discoverability of OA materials included in the “Institutional Repositories” section of PCI.