OpenAthens opens nominations for best publisher user experience award

Jisc’s support tool wants to recognise the work of online publishers and will ask librarians to judge the shortlist

OpenAthens has opened nominations for its inaugural best publisher user experience award.

The award will judge online publishers on how they invest resources into helping users to access their content.

OpenAthens says the awards shows its “ongoing commitment to the evolution of the information industry and providing simple access to knowledge for the benefit of all”.


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Successful entrants need to demonstrate how they’ve improved the user experience, utilised external collaboration and user feedback, and created return on investment (ROI).

Librarians will be asked to judge the initial round of voting with the help of a panel of information industry experts, including Rich West, Jisc’s senior digital content and UX manager, and Andrew Preistner, trainer and consultant from UXinLibraries.

The shortlist will be revealed in February 2020, with winners announced at the OpenAthens conference in March.

Finalists will present a 10-minute case study during an OpenAthens webinar to voters before the conference.

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With this award we hope to continue raising the awareness and importance of simplifying access to valuable digital resource.
– Mike Brooksbank, OpenAthens

The competition is part of OpenAthens’ response to the RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century initiative.

Publishers, librarians and consumers published the Recommended Practices for Improved Access to Institutionally-Provided Information Resources in June 2019 with the aim of developing a new authorising system that does not rely on IP addresses. The present-day system increasingly is hampering easy access to information.

Mike Brooksbank, OpenAthens chief commercial officer, said: “OpenAthens works hard to help drive innovation in the information industry and to make access to knowledge as easy as possible for end users. With this award we hope to continue raising the awareness and importance of simplifying access to valuable digital resources.

“We’re calling for online publishers to get in touch today and tell us why they think they deserve the accolade.”

Nominations close on September 30. For more information, visit OpenAthens.

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