Friday 22 January 2016

Designing Open Access for academics at University of Portsmouth

Here Emily Bennett from Portsmouth writes about the development and modifications to their promotional Open Access poster based on academic feedback and the need for clear, attractive, easy to use research portals to encourage academic interest.

In response to feedback from academics early in 2015, when interviewing them as part of our Jisc Pathfinder project, we found a clear demand for a one page simple message for what they need to do. This resulted in a promotional poster designed (and re-designed!) in consultation with academics. We originally used a slightly adapted version of HEFCE’s poster. aimed at raising awareness. You may have seen it feature in Jisc’s newsletter.

 Version 1 based on Hefce poster
Version 1 based on Hefce poster

However, by October we had already re-designed this based on feedback to create a much simpler version, which focuses on the one key message.  
Open Access Poster and Flowchart
This is available on our website, and has also been printed and distributed to academics and put up on notice boards within faculties. 

In a similar way, we tried to make sure the appearance of our Research Portal, launched in August 2015, wouldn't put academics off.  This is the public front end to our Pure CRIS, and we worked with Elsevier to ensure a clear and attractive site. It’s far easier to ‘sell’ a website to academics that looks professional and tidy, compared to one that looks dated and cluttered. I know this sounds really obvious, but I get a sense it’s sometimes underestimated. It’s still early days, but feedback so far has been good and the Portal has given us a clear focal point for finding out about Portsmouth research.

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