Many universities have adopted open access policies, giving their employees an incentive to make their scholarly articles freely available online.

To enforce this policy, universities should ideally keep track of the research output of their employees, and remind them to upload their papers if they are not freely available yet.

This is a rather time-consuming task: I wonder whether there are tools to facilitate or automate this process.

Such tools could perform some of the following tasks:

  • Track the published papers and match their authors with the employees list (probably using some bibliometric platform like crossref.org)
  • Locate freely available versions of these papers
  • Run a repository where the papers can be uploaded (there are plenty of tools available for this task)
  • Manage waiver requests from researchers who want to opt out of the policy
  • Provide statistics about the publication practices within the institution
  • 2
    One year after this question, we have launched the dissem.in project! This does most of what I was looking for. Comments are welcome!
    – pintoch
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 15:11

3 Answers 3


I hope you checked with the library of your institution, since these are the people who are typically involved in that sort of things.

There are softwares to create institution repository of articles (often pre-prints) to allow free access and comply with most government funding regulation. There are probably many options, but one of these softwares is called infoscience and is used by institutions like the CERN in Geneva.

This system allows researchers to have an up-to-date, automatically populated publication list with links to the downloadable documents, enables keyword search, run stats, etc. It is useful as well if you are writing an annual report of your group/department, etc.

  • Thank you for your reply! I haven't checked what my librarians do yet, but of course I plan to do so. Infoscience is very interesting. The OAI-PMH protocol seems to be close to what I am looking for, if it is widespread enough.
    – pintoch
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 16:46

Building on Cape Code answer, what you seek for is an institutional repository. There are many, but it depends by the single institution. You should ask yours.

Software used are often DSpace and Eprints (but there are others): these systems let users upload pre-prints and other documents; release them with Creative Commons licenses, use DOIs (sometime provided by the very same institutional repository); provide digital preservation, provide statistics, etc.

The open access movement has a strong component in librarians, who in the last decades built protocols and best practices.

Every institution is different and offers different services.


I'd go for a simpler approach. Just ask the researchers to fill in a simple online form whenever they publish an article. Make it extremely simple: just the DOI (or alternative citation if not available) and a checkbox if it is open access with a link to it. Don't make it take more than a minute to submit.

As a compensation, you can, for example, provide Natbib files free to download and a nice list of OA articles, so other researchers can find easy to cite and find your articles.

It is not much work if everybody does their part, and you just need to make it easy enough and worth to do it.

  • The software I mentioned in my answer has an online user interface, much in the form of an 'online form'. How are pre-prints stored with your approach?
    – Cape Code
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:18
  • @Jigg I would just store links. Automatisms are good, as long as the involved parties adhere to standards.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:27
  • Links to what? Each researcher's personal webpage (many of whom don't have any, let alone an up-to-date one)?
    – Cape Code
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:40
  • @Jigg when you register it into the DB, you would provide a link to the article (or just the DOI if it is in a OA journal). As I said, it is quite low-tech, but so much easier to manntain.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:48
  • 1
    If the open access policy does not designate a preferred institutional repository, the authors are free to choose the repository they prefer (mathematicians will go to the arXiv, biologists to PubMed, and so on). In this case it is interesting to do what Davidmh proposes.
    – pintoch
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 7:45

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