Approaches to Deposit Case Study: Liverpool John Moores University


Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has 1070 staff, of which 120 are exclusively research roles, and 600 Postgraduate research students.

The University produces approximately 1500 papers annually and manages research using Symplectic Elements and an EPrints repository

Open Access governance

The University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and the Research, Scholarship and Knowledge Transfer Committee have strategic responsibility for Open Access.  Library Services advise and make recommendations on policy implementation to this committee.

Library Services manage the institutional repository in conjunction with the Research and Innovation team.

LJMU adopted an institutional Open Access policy in 2014 which is based on the HEFCE Open Access policy requirements.  Library Services inform research staff about the institutional policy but in practice it is mostly referenced in order to encourage authors to deposit papers that they believe aren’t affected by the HEFCE policy, ie, papers that authors perceive are unlikely to be returned in the next REF exercise.

Open Access support

Library Services has recently created a Research Support team which provides Open Access services:

Research Support team manager (0.6 FTE)
Open Access and Digital Scholarship librarian (strategic lead) (1.0 FTE)
Research Support librarian (repository) (10% of 0.6 FTE supporting repository)

Further support handling deposits comes from the Content and Digital Strategy team:

Resource Discovery Officer (40% of 1.0 FTE supporting repository)

Technical support for the repository is obtained from the EPrints support team.

The librarian with strategic responsibility is responsible for advocacy and training as well as validating deposits to the repository.  LJMU acknowledges that validation could be carried out by staff working at a lower grade but there is currently no other resource available.

Approach to deposit for HEFCE’s Open Access policy

LJMU set up the link between Symplectic and Eprints and introduced the workflow via a trial in 2014.  Authors have been required to engage with Symplectic for research reporting purposes for some time.  When considering an approach Library Services was keen to maintain a single point of deposit to ensure a simple process for authors.  Although the workflow is resource-intensive for library staff it meets the objective of simplicity for authors.

Authors are asked to complete a number of mandatory fields:

Relationship to article
Article type
Date of acceptance
Publication status
Article title
Journal title

As Symplectic is used to manage REF submission authors are encouraged to deposit all papers, even if published as Gold Open Access or deposited to arXiv.

Library Services is aware that one department plans to use administrative staff to carry out deposits on behalf of research staff but this is not typical across campus.


During the deposit pilot Library Services liaised with LJMU’s Unit of Assessment Coordinators group and attended research meetings in all faculties.  Advocacy efforts have continued following the pilot, either at the request of a school or when library staff identify a gap in engagement with Symplectic.


 Step 1

On acceptance author creates publication record or claims existing Scopus record and deposits manuscript in Symplectic.


On acceptance delegate creates publication record or claims existing Scopus record and deposits manuscript in Symplectic.


Authors import publication records from arXiv.

Symplectic creates publication record in EPrints review area

Step 2

Library staff carry out checks on EPrints record:

Is publication metadata accurate?  If not, enhance record.

Is acceptance date included?  If not, contact author.

Does journal comply with HEFCE/REF OA policy?  If not, inform the author, create publication record without full-text and record exception in Symplectic OA Monitor and REFCC page on EPrints.

Can submitted manuscript be deposited?  If not, return the item to the author and request the correct version.  Authors have to resubmit via Symplectic.

Has paper been published?  If no, set indefinite embargo period; if yes, set embargo period.

Make publication record open.

Library staff set up alerts to Web of Science and Scopus and create EPrints reports to track publication of accepted papers.

Following publication

Stage 3

Library staff update metadata.

Library staff set embargo periods.


Some authors continue to import publication records from Scopus and arXiv for deposits. Imported records do not include metadata mandated by Library Services, eg, acceptance date.


LJMU is using OA Monitor in Symplectic to check compliance and can produce reports by department or Unit of Assessment. Reports also indicate engagement with Symplectic, eg, acting on author prompts, and therefore with the HEFCE policy.  Library Services now provide regular updates to Unit of Assessment Coordinators and Associate Deans for Research in each faculty.

EPrints is used to check compliance against acceptance date and embargo periods but library staff find it more difficult to produce reports than Symplectic.


Library Services has had a positive response to advocacy activities and do not report much resistance from research staff. Deposits to the repository have increased each month since the trial and are made within three months of acceptance, and new authors are now depositing papers.

Reports indicating lack of engagement with Symplectic are being used to target further communication and advocacy. OA Monitor will be used to alert authors who haven’t deposited the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to the policy requirement and the timescale for compliant deposit.

Reports will be sent to Unit of Assessment Coordinators and Library Services will work with schools where there is concern about deposit levels.

Cost of approach to deposit

The time for a publication record to be created and a full-text attached is estimated to be 3 minutes.  On the assumption that academic staff carry out this task the cost per paper is estimated to be £1.65.

The time to manage a deposit for a problem-free paper is estimated to be 10 minutes.  Deposits are managed by librarians.  The cost per paper is estimated to be £4.40.

The total cost for problem-free papers is estimated to be £6.05.

The time taken to create a publication record is expected to be constant.  However, it is likely that problematic papers will take librarians double the time to manage the deposit at £8.80 per paper.

The total cost of a problematic paper is therefore estimated to be £10.45

To calculate the estimated annual total cost of LJMU’s deposit workflow it is assumed that 80% of papers will be problem-free and 20% of papers will be problematic.

(1200 problem-free papers @ £6.05) + (300 problematic papers @ £10.45) =



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