January 19, 2022

Article: “Open Access and Discovery Tools: How Do Primo Libraries Manage Green Open Access Collections?”

The following article (preprint) will be published in Exploring Discovery: The Front Door to a Library’s Licensed and Digitized Content, Ken Varnum, Editor (ALA Editions; In Press).

Open Access and Discovery Tools: How Do Primo Libraries Manage Green Open Access Collections?


François Renaville
University of Liège (Belgium)


via arXiv (September 2015)


Scholarly Open Access repositories contain lots of treasures including rare or otherwise unpublished materials and articles that scholars self-archive, often as part of their institution’s mandate. But it can be hard to discover this material unless users know exactly where to look. Since the very beginning, libraries have played a major role in supporting the OA movement. Next to all services they can provide to support the deposit of research output in the repositories, they can make Open Access materials widely discoverable by their patrons through general search engines (Google, Bing…), specialized search engines (like Google Scholar) and library discovery tools, thus expanding their collection to include materials that they would not necessarily pay for.

In this paper, we intend to focus on two aspects regarding Open Access and Primo discovery tool. In early 2013, Ex Libris Group started to add institutional repositories to Primo Central Index (PCI), their mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources.

After 2 years, it may be interesting to take stock of the current situation of PCI regarding Open Access institutional repositories. On basis of a survey to carry out among the Primo community, the paper also shows how libraries using Primo discovery tool integrate Green Open Access contents in their catalog. Two major ways are possible for them: Firstly, they can directly harvest, index and manage any repository in their Primo and display those free contents next to the more traditional library collections; Secondly, if they are PCI subscribers, they can quickly and easily activate any, if not all, of the Open Access repositories contained PCI, making thus the contents of those directly discoverable to their end users.

Direct to Full Text Article
24 pages; PDF.

Note: This paper is also available via ORBI, the University of Liège institutional repository.

See Also: “SFX Miscellaneous Free Ejournals Target: Usage Survey Among the SFX Community” (August 19, 2015)
Co-authored by François Renaville.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.