Research Article

Open Badges for Promoting Open Practices in the Institutional Repository: A Pilot Project

  • Christie Hurrell orcid logo (University of Calgary)
  • Kathryn Ruddock (University of Calgary)
  • Paul Pival orcid logo (University of Calgary)


INTRODUCTION This paper describes a pilot project conducted at a mid-sized research university to integrate an Open Badge into the institutional repository (IR) alongside research articles. The Open Badge was intended to indicate that the research article in question complies with a national funders’ open access (OA) policy. METHODS This study employed a two-step process to investigate the value of badges: first, researchers were surveyed to ask their opinions about using badges in the IR; second, user testing was done with a small group of researchers to assess whether badges are easy to apply during the process of depositing an article to the IR. RESULTS A minority of respondents to the survey indicated that they saw value in an open badge. Participants in the testing component revealed several areas where the overall interface to the IR submission process could be improved. DISCUSSION It was clear that there are opportunities to promote open practices relating to national funders’ open access policy in our sample. However, any incentive represented by an open badge may be overshadowed if the infrastructure in which it is presented is not sufficiently streamlined. CONCLUSION Scholars are not willing to spend much, if any, additional time to indicate compliance with an open access policy. Adding an open badge was neither an incentive nor a disincentive for promoting open practices.

Keywords: open badges, institutional repository, funder mandates, open access, user experience

How to Cite:

Hurrell, C., Ruddock, K. & Pival, P., (2020) “Open Badges for Promoting Open Practices in the Institutional Repository: A Pilot Project”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 8(1), eP2325. doi:

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Published on
30 Jul 2020
Peer Reviewed