R & D project

Managing open access publication workflows and compliance

A flexible workflow solution to support universities and funders in monitoring open access publications.

Two unseen researchers discuss data using a dashboard on a laptop.


Expected outcome:

New service

What is it?

Our new product, monitor open, will be a workflow and business intelligence solution that enables higher education institutions to:

  • Track and report on their research outputs across the publication lifecycle
  • Manage open access publishing costs and budgets
  • Monitor funder open access policy criteria

The product will provide a scalable solution that centralises workflows and transparently brings together data from trusted sources into an easy-to-use interface enabling members to monitor the core facets of open research (costs, publisher agreements, budgets and funder policy) with ease.

The offering

To consolidate major workflow components and streamline open access management, the product will include:

  • A research output database for each institution harbouring a rich metadata schema for research outputs (including monographs, edited collections and book chapters)
  • Data integration with providers such as OA Switchboard, DOAJ and Open Alex
  • Functionality to bulk upload research outputs to save time
  • A reporting suite with set templates
  • Ability to track budget/block grant expenditure
  • Ability to track and link open access agreements to research outputs
  • An analytics dashboard to surface key research output data
  • Author facing view to enable authors to notify library teams of submissions and publishing funds requests


We aim to deliver a product that will enable members to:

  • Carry out comprehensive reporting for internal or external reports​
  • Gather valuable business intelligence through tracking research outputs across the publication lifecycle
  • Keep track of publishing payments and budgets across the financial year
  • Save time and resource by supporting admin-heavy activities​
  • Assess trends in publishing habits in their institution
  • Benefit from third-party initiatives and products through one gateway
  • Check OA agreement usage to determine value for money

Why is it needed?

The last five years alone have witnessed a surge in efforts for increased advocacy for open research and new mechanisms to accommodate it (reporting, transitional agreements, new publishing models). New open access funder policies with broader inclusion criteria now extending to book-related outputs, along with sector-wide initiatives mean new considerations and processes must be carefully navigated by institutions and researchers. This requires resource and infrastructure to measure and monitor success as well as tracking publishing costs and budgets.

Higher education institutions have had, and are continuing, to adapt their workflows with new ways of reporting, new data to collect, new agreements to evaluate and monitor, new ways of engaging with academics and so on. Infrastructure to aid these new ways of working and help lift the burden of resource-intensive activities is key.

Where we are

We carried out a series of exploration and discovery activities with member higher education institutions across the UK to explore the workflow challenges around monitoring (open access) publications and managing the funds. We saw how institutions have to work across multiple platforms often relying on spreadsheets and dedicating a great deal of time to gathering and curating publication data from various sources.

Following our exploratory work, we devised a solution to reduce the administrative burden, bring data together and centralise workflows. Development then started in 2022.

Get involved

Our open access reporting and monitoring working group plays a vital and active role in informing the product design and requirements. Find out more about the group and sign up to join

For more information about the project, contact Dr Jennifer Sanchez-Davies (j.sanchez-davies@jisc.ac.uk).

Meet the project team

  • Liz Bal headshot

    Liz Bal

    Director of product – research management
  • Jennifer Sanchez-Davies headshot

    Jennifer Sanchez-Davies

    Product manager, open research services, Jisc
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    Azhar Hussain

    Head of product, open research services, Jisc