SHARE, CHORUS, and Open Access: Your Questions Answered

On Tuesday, October 21, Judy Ruttenberg from the SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) and Howard Ratner from the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS) discussed what their organizations are doing to promote open access and to facilitate the OA workflow inside and outside of the library in a one-hour, public webinar.

Click here to view the webinar in its entirety and feel free to click through the slides below.

Open_PadlockModerated by David Ross, Executive Publisher of Open Access here at SAGE, both Judy and Howard answered some important questions from those in the webinar audience. Because we were unable to address all of the questions in the 1-hour webinar, we asked Judy and Howard to answer them here on SAGE Connection. Here’s what they had to say:

1.    Perhaps you could run through an example.  A researcher is completing writing up a paper and is about to approach a publisher.  How do CHORUS and SHARE appear in the workflow?  Is the researcher or publisher feeding the necessary stuff to CHORUS?

HR: Here’s how it works: To initiate the identification piece of the CHORUS workflow, authors simply have to identify their relevant funding sources when submitting a paper for publication with a participating publisher. All it involves is identifying the funding source of the research that article is based on. This is already part of the usual publication process and requires minimal effort from researchers.  That action tags the article with CrossRef’s FundRef identifiers. This information is sent along with the article’s DOI and bibliographic information to CrossRef. This identification triggers free public access of the best available version (either the final, published version or the author’s accepted manuscript), either immediately on publication or after a designated embargo period on the publishers site.

The bibliographic metadata of CHORUS members is collected by CHORUS and presented to all at no cost through our search or dashboard services plus through open Application Programming Interfaces (API). These can be used by anyone to create new and customize available search and analytic tools. Applications to optimize search and enable funders to track and ensure compliance and analyze funding impact have already been developed by CHORUS and are available now.

JR: One of the benefits of SHARE’s notification service is that it asks nothing extra of the individual researcher.  The notifications of research release events are generated programmatically by the content store–the publisher, IR, data repository, etc.–and sent to SHARE for interpretation and redistribution to interested parties. Through SHARE, a researcher should be able to keep everyone informed by keeping anyone informed.

2.    Can Howard please clarify – will CHORUS display the final peer-reviewed manuscript unless the article is a paid OA article, in which case the final published version will be shared?

HR: CHORUS is a distributed access solution that points users to the publication site where publishers provide public access to the best available version – either the accepted author manuscript or Version of Record – from their website post embargo or sooner if paid by the usual article processing charge.  Publishers steward the articles on their publication sites. There are links on the publication site to supplemental material, retractions, related articles, etc.

3.    When Howard indicated that DOE is a partner with CHORUS, does that mean that if the manuscript is displayed there, DOE considers that an acceptable repository and the author need not post the manuscript in any other repository? I.e. Does the publisher’s site, linked to by CHORUS, sufficient for the DOE repository requirement.?

HR: We have reached out to DOE to clarify this point.

4.    The OSTP Memo also called for public access to research data. How do SHARE and CHORUS help authors meet this requirement?

JR: The development of solutions that preserve and unlock research data for creative reuse is a key tenet of the SHARE project. The promotion of this principle can be evidenced by the inclusion of research data as a “research release event” of which stakeholders (including funding agencies) should be notified. We have included data repositories such as DataONE, and administrative tools such as the DMPTool, in our planning and development from the prototype forward so that we can fully understand and capture the idiosyncrasies pertaining to research data. More broadly, SHARE’s future projects will endeavor to make the inventory of research data more discoverable and more accessible. Note that SHARE’s desire for openness in the data realm will be pursued with respect for human subject privacy, HIPAA, regulatory, and IP considerations.

HR: At this point, we are in a research and discovery phase regarding data.  The CHORUS framework can be used to link to and from content to research data using the DOI.  There are a lot of players in different parts of the data landscape and we are just beginning to understand how to normalize it and work together.  This week I am going to attend many workshops to gain a better understanding of the players and where CHORUS fits in.

5.    Are the efforts of CHORUS in developing a discovery component duplicative of SHARE’s efforts to develop a discovery engine?

HR: There are many different paths to discovery in the interest of promoting research impact and discovery.  People are going to find their own methods. I expect the public and researchers to get their results through social media, commercial search engines, institutional repositories, agency portals, and CHORUS etc.  And that’s fine.

CHORUS is not putting all of its effort in the search game. However, we understand that there is a need to create a search system to give examples of what you can do with our metadata. We would be delighted for others to take our metadata and create their own systems.  I also want to add that SHARE has a very broad scope, it contains a lot of data outside of publishing content that won’t necessarily be in CHORUS system.

JR: As Howard mentioned, there are a multitude of discovery paths for anyone interested in finding scholarly research–from search engines like Google to subject-specific databases like PubMed to professional productivity sites like Mendeley, to name but a few categories. SHARE aims to expose the information captured in our current and future development projects–including metadata, abstracts, research data, and full text–via an open API (subject to copyright and licensing restrictions). This approach will give the content in question its broadest possible exposure and ensure that it can be easily discovered, reused, and advanced.

6.    Howard mentioned that authors will identify the funding agency during the submission process. Is this done through a publisher’s submission workflow or do author’s need to manually do this through the CHORUS website?

HR: There are actually three ways funding agencies will be identified:  The first one occurs at the time of manuscript submission or acceptance when a contributing author is prompted with a screen that all modern publisher manuscript tracking systems now have. This prompt utilizes CrossRef’s FundRef taxonomy of funder names.

Second, some publishers are also choosing to mine information out of affiliation information and are providing more instructions in the journals’ guide to authors.

Finally, and this is my favorite, publishers are prompting authors via the manuscript tracking systems, mining the information out of the acknowledgements — using that as a check — and then asking the author to double check at the proofing stage.  This way is more expensive but renders more accurate information.

It’s an evolving process.  I want to clarify that the author does this interaction with the publisher not at CHORUS. CHORUS acts as a collector and guide to publishers.

7.     Re CHORUS, can you explain the article processing charge?

HR:  The article processing charge is a regular part of many publishers Open Access model. Click here for more information.

This is not a CHORUS function. CHORUS points the user to the best available version of an article on the publishers’ site.  Publisher and funder policies dictate when access is enabled. However, one of CHORUS’ value adds is that we make sure the article is accompanied by the reuse license terms for that publisher (see answer to question 16 below).

8.    You used NIH funding examples but how are CHORUS and SHARE relating to the NIH PA policy and PMC?

JR: SHARE is working to make it possible for NIH (or any other funding agency) to be both a consumer and a source for SHARE notifications. By consumer, we mean that NIH will be able to receive notifications from SHARE when scientists receiving NIH grants publish papers, post datasets, or otherwise engage in activities that would constitute “research release events”.  This will help NIH track grant compliance.  By source, SHARE is already processing articles posted to PubMed Central as “research release events.”  This will allow those who fund or track this work to be made aware of such deposits.

HR: CHORUS is in active discussions with many agencies but can only publicly share information with the agreement of that agency.

9.    I am new to the Open Access area and I want to be sure I understand the models for SHARE & CHORUS. Can both of these tools be used by academic libraries to access content, but not as an institutional repository for an individual library?

JR: Correct. SHARE will help repository managers keep abreast of research release events by their faculty, as well as notify external parties when materials are posted to the IR. That said, SHARE is an enabling piece of infrastructure rather than a repository itself.

HR:  CHORUS is not a repository for publishing content or for institutional data. It is a metadata repository and a pointer to content.

10.  Is either SHARE or CHORUS involved the development of a compliance monitor that institutions may use? (like the NIH Public Access Compliance Monitor)

HR: CHORUS has Dashboard service that’s live and continuing to be developed in an agile manner, changing as we get feedback based on agency needs. I can definitely see the need for an Institutional Dashboard and I have noted much interest from institutional research officers and librarians.  I see much room for exploration.

JR: SHARE is engaged in discussions with NIH and other government agencies to better understand how we can promote compliance monitoring in a way that reduces administrative burden and one-off development.

11.  Can you explain the obligations of an Academic Supporter in more detail (for CHORUS)?

HR: I have become increasingly aware of the tremendous burden placed on academic institutions to track and ensure compliance with funder requirements. What we would like to do is establish a dialogue with researchers, librarians, and those who run university research offices to better understand how CHORUS can minimize their investment of time and money.  We’re planning to convene an Academic Advisory Group (inviting CHORUS’ Academic Sponsors as well as others) with that goal in mind.  It’s early days for that but I suspect we’ll have more to share before mid-2015. One example I can envision is creating an Institutional Dashboard.  Keep in mind that Academic Supporters can join CHORUS at no cost.

12.  How do SHARE and CHORUS interact with PubMed Central?

HR: We are very collaborative and active in the community. I sit on a SHARE workflow working group and spent a day this week at one of their workshops.  We have agreed to work jointly on persistent identifiers, metrics and a notification system.  We have both made our good intentions public—most recently this week via social media, articles, and presentations. We continue to look for ways in which CHORUS and the NIH can work together.

JR: See answer to # 8 above.

13.  How do you see CHORUS and SHARE integrating with existing CRIS systems — Symplectic, etc.?

JR: CRIS systems are eager to consume SHARE notices to enhance their understanding of who is producing what within a given institution.  SHARE is pleased to have a senior Symplectic employee on our Technical Working Group.

HR: This is where the Academic Advisory Group can help guide CHORUS. As we better understand the needs of the academic community, we can make key partnerships and integrations. It is built into CHORUS’ DNA to maximize the best tools of the scholarly research ecosystem.

14.  How are ORCID identifiers involved in both processes?

HR: I am one of co-founders of ORCID, so I have a historical interest in making ORCID happen. As far as CHORUS is concerned, ORCID is a big player in greasing the wheels of the system. ORCID just makes things so much easier when you use it.

For example, I have noted that in addition to agencies having some problems with tracking where content is coming from grantees, they have problems tracking content that has been authored by staff (often referred to as intramural research).  It is actually hard to extract this from an article. It would be so much easier in a world where ORCID IDs were prevalent. We would see better compliance and recording.  Publishers have been engaging with ORCID for many years and manuscript tracking systems prompt for it, but publishers are now seeing the need for it.

JR: ORCIDs are also an important component of the SHARE notification service.  Adoption of this researcher identification scheme will facilitate the delivery of disambiguated author information within SHARE notifications.  We plan to champion ORCID within the research ecosystem as a means to advance not only our initiative, but also other projects that benefit from a clearer understanding of a content producer’s identity.

With specific reference to the SHARE notification service, we are quite likely to pass ORCID information in a notification’s metadata packet when it is available.

15.  What does it mean, from the publisher’s perspective that CHORUS “keeps content in context”? That is, how does it serve publishers’ interests?

HR: CHORUS’ distributed-access approach allows publishers to help authors to comply with funder mandates while driving traffic to the original journal publication sites. This boosts the article-level metrics and enhances publisher value to authors, users, librarians, and advertisers.

CHORUS points users to the best available version of articles on the publishers’ sites, where readers gain access either immediately upon publication or after an embargo period (in subscription-based journals, with the timing dictated by publisher and funder policies).

Once there, readers gain added value when they see an article in context on a publisher’s website, where they’ll find links to supporting data; related articles, editorials, highlights and news; corrections; and supplemental material. Many publishers invest in sophisticated tools that go well beyond what is provided by a simple article PDF, including highlighting other articles read or cited by people who have read or cited the article they are viewing.  Readers also learn of all related errors, corrections and omissions identified since publication via formal, clearly designated errata and retractions on the publisher’s website –they can be confident that the version of an article they view on the publisher’s site is up-to-date.

16.  How do CHORUS and SHARE facilitate data mining?

JR: The organizations behind SHARE – The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) strongly believe that research publications, research data, other research outputs, along with their associated metadata, should be publicly accessible and available for reuse, text mining, data mining, and machine reading. This accelerates further research and discovery.  SHARE aims to promote a set of campus best practices for discussing the benefits of licensing decisions and non-exclusive carve-outs that encourage mining and reuse as widely as possible.  This is a pillar of SHARE’s policy efforts.

HR: Publishers are busy creating license reuse policies and it’s a big effort at CHORUS to make these licenses transparent and available when you download publicly access file. CHORUS doesn’t dictate terms to publications but makes the information easy to find.  By enabling an IP address identification system or a token identification system, people will be able to do the things they want to do, in normalized manner, from the publishers’ site.  People will be able to harvest from a publisher’s site, follow reuse terms from the publisher, and access the data through the IP or token identification system.

17.  Can publishers participate in CHORUS if they are not prepared to host Accepted Manuscript on their own platforms (preferring to allow Green archiving elsewhere)?

HR: Interesting question. By signing a CHORUS Publisher Member agreement, a publisher is agreeing to meet the obligations outlined on the CHORUS website along the lines of identification, access, discovery, preservation and compliance. If a publisher were able to meet those requirements, we would be happy to have them as a member. There are many different needs of the scholarly environment and CHORUS can adapt as needed.

18.  How does CHORUS solve the problem of access to the articles are preserved if the publisher goes bankrupt or otherwise pulls the content? This is a huge problem that PubMed Central already solves.

HR: To be a Publisher Member of CHORUS you agree to archive your content with a recognized dark archive partner.  We have worked it out so that if a publisher reneges on access to an article, goes out of business, or any of the other usual dark archive trigger events, it triggers an event to light the article from the dark archive.

19.  How do institutions participate in the SHARE and CHORUS systems? Are they participation free or fee based?

HR:  Institutional participation in CHORUS is free.  We would love to hear from you.  Give us feedback through our website or email us at to become one of our Academic Supporters.

JR: Participation as a consumer and/or source for SHARE notifications is warmly encouraged.  Simply contact us at to express your interest.

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