Open Access decision tool

At Northumbria we launched web pages to support our policy on Open Access, which requires all staff to deposit the accepted manuscript of their journal articles in Northumbria Research Link (NRL), our repository, while also making funds available for the payment of article processing charges. The pages are hosted by the library, as both NRL and the institutional OA fund are managed and administered by its Scholarly Publications Team. The pages aim to provide practical support for our researchers, including giving information about our policy, how to meet funders’ requirements for OA and eligibility for accessing the fund.

A key part of these web pages is a decision making tool. This was created by the library’s Resource Discovery and Access team using the Libsurveys platform, enabling the researcher to answer questions about their research to find out what options are available to them and how to get further information, including links to SHERPA Services wherever relevant. This self-service approach means most basic enquiries are quickly answered at the point of need by the user, at any time.

In some cases where the tool cannot fully resolve an enquiry, it recommends that the user contacts the Scholarly Publications team. This is seen below, where the researcher indicates that their research received external funding but they do not know the policy of the funder toward OA. With most basic enquiries already covered by the decision making tool and the FAQs on the Open Access webpages, the team are able to dedicate more time to these more complex enquiries.

Open Access decision tool

Open Access decision tool

The first version of the tool is available now. We’d really appreciate any feedback about the tool, or our OA pages more broadly, either through comments on this post or by contacting us at


About Ellen Cole

Scholarly Publications Librarian at Northumbria University.
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2 Responses to Open Access decision tool

  1. Pingback: Northumbria Pathfinder: OA Decision-Making tool for researchers | Open Access Good Practice

  2. Pingback: Pathfinder Update 3 | Optimising resources to develop a strategic approach to Open Access

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