Searching open access scholarly publishing
COnnecting REpositories (CORE) is a project designed to make access to scholarly material archived in open access repositories. It has developed a search engine specifically for this purpose. The rationale is outlined on the CORE website as follows:
Open Access scientific content is today distributed across more than 1,700 quality checked Open Access repositories, out of which about 168 are based in the UK. Despite some efforts, commercial academic search engines, such as Google Scholar or Vascoda, do not differentiate between Open Access and subscription-based content. Therefore the user information needs are only satisfied if the links resulting from scientific searches lead to the full-text versions of articles, access to which is covered by a subscription paid by the researcher’s library or institute.
Such developments are significant. The more such tools are developed and used, the more material will be retrieved and hence the more attractive publishing via repositories will become. In the process, grey literature, which forms a part of repository holdings, will continue its long march towards greater visibility.
Perhaps the major benefit will accrue to authors of future publications: researchers who use tools such as CORE’s will gain a competitive advantage by accessing material overlooked by others.
I’ve tested the search engine by using it to explore a field with which I’m familiar, namely creative writing. I was impressed by the results. In particular:
- the tool helped me to discover material that I did not know existed;
- as expected, it searches a wide range of resources, for example journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings;
- the meta-text that accompanies each search result is concise and helpful (typically indicating the genre and whether it has been peer-reviewed);
- each search result is accompanied by a list of ‘similar articles’.
In short, CORE has provided a straightforward, helpful, tool.
To go to the search engine itself, please click here.