Pathfinder Projects

Find links to all OA Good Practice Pathfinder blogs here



Given the wide scope and broad impact of research funders’ OA policies, as well as the differing workflows and approaches of HEIs across the sector, examples are needed of effective practice that are collaboratively developed but reflect institutional difference within a ‘real-world’ environment.


In essence, the Pathfinder projects will aim to develop shareable models of good practice with regard to implementation of research funders’ OA requirements. In doing so, the projects will enable their own and associated HEIs to find out what works best in implementing OA, in a variety of institutions across the sector, and will share this knowledge openly thereby aiding other HEIs in the wider sector.

How will they achieve this?

The Pathfinder projects will produce case studies and guidance that will enable universities to:

  • Comply with funders’ and institutional mandates, thereby reducing risk to the HEI and researcher.
  • Monitor and manage institutional publication activity  so that accurate reporting of research activity can be facilitated (particularly with relation to the REF), thereby saving staff time.
  • Monitor and manage publication charges to enable fair and accurate payment to vendors, publishers and intermediaries thereby potentially reducing institutional direct costs.
  • Gather information around block grant publication fund distribution (if applicable)  from across the institution so that informed decisions about fair allocation across disciplines and research units can be made.
  • Identify, facilitate and manage interoperability across the relevant IT repositories and services (and necessary IT tools and standards).
  • Improve awareness and clarity of research funders’ OA policy and the ramifications for all those involved in the creating or consuming research.

When will the projects take place?

The Pathfinder projects are now commissioned and details of current projects are listed below. The projects  will run until June 2016.

Coventry University:

Associates: University of Northampton; DeMontfort University

Elevator Pitch: ‘Enabling HEIs with limited financial and human resources considering aspects of impact with regard to Open Access implementation.’

Northumbria University:

Associate:  Sunderland University

Elevator Pitch: ‘Will enable HEIs with limited external funding to develop evidence-based, creative responses to the challenges and opportunities of Open Access.’

Oxford Brookes University:

Associates: Nottingham Trent University; University of Portsmouth

Elevator Pitch: ‘Understanding researcher behaviours through sense-making for better OA engagement’


Associates: Newcastle University; University of Nottingham

Elevator Pitch: ‘Pathways to increase OA looking at advocacy, publication management and data investigation’

University of Bath:

Associates: University of Bristol; University of Exeter; University of Cardiff

Elevator Pitch: ‘Will examine options for reducing admin costs for OA implementation’

University of Hull:

Associates: University of Huddersfield; University of Lincoln

Elevator Pitch: ‘HHuLOA will focus on good practice to identify and implement a range of OA initiatives across three non RLUK research intensive partners’

University of Edinburgh:

Associates: Heriot Watt University, University of St Andrews

Elevator Pitch: ‘Will produce re-usable resources for OA practitioners’

University of Glasgow:

Associates: University of Southampton; Lancaster University; University of Kent

Elevator Pitch: ‘Will improve OA metadata management via EPrints whilst considering transferability of outputs to other platforms’

University of Manchester:

Associates: Edge Hill University; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Liverpool; University of Salford

Elevator Pitch: ‘Builds a North West Community of Practice for OA: producing toolkits, running workshops and hosting a landmark conference

How can I find out more about the projects? 

We setting up a regular series of workshops/ events and online interactions – from webinars, to guest blogs- by which, HEI managers (e.g. librarians, research managers, repository managers) are able to share and  improve understanding and good practice in the implementation of UK funders’ OA requirements across different professions and institutions. We are calling this the ‘OA Implementation Community’.

This community will enable research and information managers to learn from the Pathfinder projects and each other,  thereby making  the most of the knowledge and experience from across the wider community, and providing a forum by which discussion, debate and knowledge- exchange can be shared across the sector.

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Jisc Open Access Good Practice Blog by Sarah Fahmy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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