Use OATP for research on OA

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Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP) » Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » Use OATP for research on OA

If you're researching some aspect of OA, OATP can help you. Our taggers have almost certainly tagged works relevant to your research. We've tagged nearly everything about OA since our launch in 2009, and the tag records are stored in TagTeam for boolean searching. In turn, you can help OATP. If you tag relevant works not already tagged, you'll make OATP more comprehensive, and help researchers who use OATP after you.

Search OATP for relevant work

  • OATP has a powerful search engine, and stores every item ever tagged for OATP.
  • You can find the OATP search engine here, or in the OATP hub at the bottom of the left sidebar.
  • You can run OATP searches even if you don't have a TagTeam account or are not logged in.
  • The search engine covers all OATP tag records back to the launch of the project in 2009. We're also tagging items retroactively, and the search engine indexes them as well. (Tagging more items retroactively is another way you can help; more below.)
  • To learn the ropes of the powerful TagTeam search engine, see the TagTeam FAQ or the section on searching in the TagTeam manual. Preview: You can search tags, keywords, or both in the same search. You can run phrase searches, wildcard searches, or boolean searches. You can bookmark any search, create a new feed from the results of any search, or add the results of any search to a remix feed combining many different OATP feeds.

Tag the works you find

  • As you find works relevant to your research, or relevant to OA more broadly, tag them. It just takes a few seconds.
    • For this, you'll need to become an OATP tagger.
    • If you're working with a research team, get your team-members to tag for the project too.
    • We can hope that many of the works relevant to your research have already been tagged. In those cases, make sure they were well-tagged, and add any missing tags.
    • This tagging will help you and your team find the tagged works again. It will help others who subscribe to the relevant tag feeds, and those who search OATP.
  • When certain tags are important to you and your research project, make them retroactively comprehensive.
    • For example, if you're researching OA in Brazil, you'll probably aim to find all the relevant web sites, articles, announcements, blog posts, and so on about OA in Brazil, old and new. If you tag them as you encounter them, then you can make the tag oa.brazil retroactively comprehensive.
    • This is even easier for a team of people working on a common research project. If the team members tag all the relevant items they find, old or new, they can quickly make those tags retroactively comprehensive.
    • If you think a tag has become retroactively comprehensive, please tell us and we'll we'll say so on our page of project tags. Since OATP launched in 2009, a growing number of our tags have become retroactively comprehensive.

OATP is crowd-sourced; join the crowd! OATP depends on the many-eyeballs principle; lend us your eyeballs! If you notice and tag things that other users haven't noticed or tagged, you'll make OATP more useful. If OATP is already comprehensive, it's thanks to users like you. If OATP is still missing things, we can only add them with the help of users like you.

Share links to relevant tag libraries

  • Remember that every OATP tag publishes a feed or creates a tag library (that is, a list of items tagged with that tag), and that every tag library has a unique URL. Hence, when OA taggers have been good about tagging work on a given subtopic, these tag libraries will be very comprehensive. Sharing the URL is a fast way to share a comprehensive, growing collection of items on that OA-related subtopic.
  • For example, if you're in an online discussion, and someone asks how to find work on OA books, you can the link to the oa.books tag library. The link points to a web page listing all the items ever tagged with oa.books for OATP.
  • You can share the URLs in emails, social media, slides, articles, books, and other publications. You can also cite them in the finished version of your research project itself.
  • If you share these URLs before your work is done, then other taggers could help enlarge those tag libraries in time to help your project.
  • Because the tag library is updated in real time, while the URL remains unchanged, your readers will have one-click access to a dynamically updated collection of relevant resources. You'll be sharing both past and future resources on that topic.
  • To link to a given tag library, just append the tag to this root URL, For example, to link to the tag library for oa.books, link to this URL
  • If you want to share a more complex collection (not just items about OA books, but OA books in biology), you can do that too. OATP provides unique URLs for each individual tag library, remix feed, and search. For some of these unique URLs, see the section of our FAQ on deep linking to useful types of OATP libraries.
  • Note that you needn't have a TagTeam account, and needn't be an OATP tagger, to link to relevant OATP tag libraries, remix feeds, or searches.
  • To get your imagination going, here are links to some sample OATP tag libraries.

Find or create the best tags for your OA-related subtopics

  • First see the OATP list of project-approved tags. All or many of your OA-related subtopics might already have project tags.
  • Second, if some aspect of your topic doesn't yet have an OATP tag, make up a good one.
    • OATP supports user-defined tags.
    • Tell us about your tag and its intended use. We might adopt it as an official project tag.
    • Or consult with us and we can help you come up with a good one to complement existing OATP tags, or we can help you figure out whether OATP already has a tag for a certain meaning.
    • See the FAQ on how to tell whether a given tag is already in use.
    • Feel free to create idiosyncratic tags for your research project. For example, if you're named Zozo and you're writing a dissertation on some aspect of OA, feel free to introduce a tag like zozo-diss, or oa.zozo-diss. Or for that matter, zozo-diss-subtopic1, zozo-diss-subtopic2, and so on. Not all OATP tags need be useful or even intelligible to other users.

Publicize your work

  • When your own OA-related research is ready to share, then put it online and tag it for OATP. That will publicize it to the whole OA community. It will also make it discoverable to future researchers who run OATP searches.
  • If you weren't already an OATP tagger during your research, you'll need to become an OATP tagger at this step in order to tag your finished work.
  • Of course making your finished work OA is better than putting it behind a paywall. However, tagging your finished work is possible even if the online version of the work is paywalled. When you tag a paywalled work, you will still make it more discoverable, especially to members of the OA community.
  • Don't merely tag your finished articles and books. Tag your preprints, theses, dissertations, slide decks, blog posts, wiki pages, and datasets. When any of your research outputs pertain to OA (when they're online with unique URLs), then tagging them for OATP will make them more visible and discoverable to your peers working on OA.

Create a recommendation feed

Also see (and share!) our tweet thread summarizing the key parts of this section, October 19, 2018.

  • If you're an expert on any aspect of OA, then you know that a large and rapidly growing number of OA developments fall within your area of expertise. We can hope that they're all being tagged for OATP, perhaps with your help. But if you'd like to go beyond ordinary tagging, and highlight the items you regard as the most important, you can create a special feed for your recommendations.
    • Basically, you'd simply apply a special tag to the items you think are most important or most worth recommending. For example, if your username is Zozo, then you might pick zozo-rec as your recommendation tag.
    • Since every tag publishes a feed, zozo-rec will publish a feed. (The URL will be But remember that any user can use any tag. Hence, others might use zozo-rec, in good faith or bad. At best, this would dilute your recommendations with theirs. At worst, some of their additions might embarrass you.
    • To avoid that problem, just share the URL for the feed of items you personally tag with zozo-rec. In this case, that would be
    • You could recommend items broadly, on any aspect of OA. Or you could specialize, and focus on OA in your field, OA in your country or region, or some aspect of OA such as OA and copyright, funder OA policies, university OA policies, OA incentives, OA business models, OA for books, OA for early career researchers, and so on.
    • You could recommend items that you discover on your own or items already discovered and tagged by others.
      • To take advantage of the "OA tracking" done by other project taggers, then subscribe to the OATP primary feed (all the new items our taggers are tagging), or the OATP full feed (all the items, new and old, that our taggers are tagging). When you come across an item you'd like to recommend, just add your own recommendation tag, and the item will enter your recommendation feed.
    • This works for real-time tagging (when you find new works you'd like to recommend) and retroactive tagging (when you find older works you'd like to recommend).
    • It works whether the recommender is an individual or a group.
      • Here are four ways to make it work for a group: (1) The group designates one member to tag the works the group recommends. (2) Many or all members of the group tag recommended works, and create a remix feed combining their separate recommendation feeds. (3) The group shares a single TagTeam account and login. (4) If the group recommendation tag is group-rec, and members of the group have usernames User1, User2, and User3, then create a boolean search of "group-rec AND (User1 OR User2 OR User3)" and share the unique URL for that boolean search.
      • Any entity could share its expertise or perspective by creating a recommendation feed in its own name: an OA project, OA working group, OA publisher, library, university, scholarly society, foundation, or non-profit organization.
    • This is a good way to help readers cope with information overload. If the Primary OATP feed is too voluminous, and one or more good taggers are recommending what they consider to be the best of the new OA developments, then readers who respect the judgment of those taggers could subscribe to one or more of those recommendation feeds. Readers could do this instead of subscribing to the full Primary OA feed, or in addition to it.
    • At least two kinds of readers might want to read your recommendation feed: (1) those who want to see the items you recommend, because they know you and trust your judgment, and (2) those who think the primary feed is too large and want to see a well-curated subset. A recommendation feed will share your expertise, spread your influence, or help readers cope with information overload.
    • Recommendation feeds have built-in credit or attribution. If it's your recommendation feed, readers will know it's yours.
      • Ordinary OATP tagging is like Wikipedia editing: To most Wikipedia readers your contributions are unattributed. But those who peek behind the scenes can find the usernames associated with every Wikipedia contribution and every item tagged for OATP. Recommendation feeds are not ordinary in this sense. Their attributions are up front and don't require any peeking behind the scenes.
    • Every OATP feed has a unique URL, including recommendation feeds. Once you create your recommendation feed, share the URL widely — for example, on your profile pages, on your blog, on social media, in your email sig. Recruit readers to follow your feed, and amplify your impact.
      • By default TagTeam makes every feed available in HTML, RSS, Atom, and JSONP. If those aren't enough for you, then use online tools to convert the RSS feed to an email feed, Twitter feed, Google+ feed, and so on.


  • Cite and link to OATP tag libraries as scholarly resources. For example, if you write an article on OA in South Africa, cite all the sources you use and want readers to know about. At the end, cite and link to the OATP tag library on OA in South Africa. Your citation could mention that that the OATP tag library will include real-time updates even after your article is published. It could also mention that the OATP library is crowd-sourced, and that readers can make it more comprehensive by tagging for OATP.
    • In the same way, link to OATP tag libraries on certain aspects OA from Wikipedia articles, blog posts, email discussions, and social-media messages on the same aspects of OA.