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Open access at Leicester

Open access at Leicester

International OA week 

The wrap up of the International Open Access Week 2017 is a perfect occasion to give you an update on Open Access (OA) related activities at University of Leicester accompanied with fun statistics (as fun as statistics can be!).

During the Open Access week the University Open Access and Research Data Team ran a series of pop-up stalls at various locations across the main campus as well as in hospital sites (RKCSB & Glenfield), offering advice on raising the discoverability of research profiles. Also as part of the celebrations we have launched a completely redesigned OA website. Visit to explore the essential guidance how to make your research outputs OA.

Fig.1. Main page of new, redesigned Open Access website (
The outreach campaign was in addition to routine talks and tailored training sessions that the team provides for departments across the University every year. Throughout the year 2017 we have delivered 16 of such sessions for researchers and 3 workshops in collaboration with RED, designed for our administrative staff.

Leicester Research Archive (LRA) in numbers

LRA is the University of Leicester institutional repository, showcasing all the research outputs to the members of public. LRA is growing both in case of readership (downloads per year – fig.2B) and in terms of number of items available (deposited items per year - fig.2A). One can browse the repository itself ( or thanks to google indexing just use the google scholar to find the required items. Every new item, made available in LRA is indexed by google within 10minutes which boosts its discoverability. 

Fig.2. LRA statistics – number of deposits per year (A) is over four times higher than in 2012. The number of successful downloads (B) per year shows that our readership doubled over the last two years. 

Top trumps

The most read/downloaded items in LRA are PhD thesis, and while speaking of it we have to mention that thanks to digitisation project funded by Alumni all theses dating back to 1920’s were scanned and made available via LRA. 

Top three downloaded theses: 
1) 8722 downloads: Social and psychological factors in learning English as a foreign language in Lebanon. (1991) Yazigy, Rula Jamil,
2) 6761 downloads: Mass media and society: The six normative theories and the role of social, political and economic forces in shaping media institution and content: Saudi Arabia - a case study. (1987) Al-Ahmed, Mohammed S.,
3) 4271 downloads: Physical and Chemical Investigations of Starch Based Bio-Plastics. (2015) Abolibda Tariq Ziyad Y.,

Top three downloaded articles: 
1) 3220 downloads: Mobile technologies and learning (2004) Naismith, Laura; Lonsdale, Peter; Vavoula, Giasemi N.; Sharples, Mike,
2) 2688 downloads: Recklessness: Being Reckless and Acting Recklessly, (2010) Cunningham, Sally, 
3) 2607 downloads: The acoustic resonance of rectangular and cylindrical cavities, (2007) Rona, Aldo, 

Download figures represent period between 01/10/2016 – 31/10/2017 only (source: 

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