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CORE (COnnecting REpositories)
Type of projectOpen Access, Repositories, Harvesting
LocationOpen University
CountryUnited Kingdom
Key peoplePetr Knoth Edit this at Wikidata

CORE (COnnecting REpositories) is a service provided by the Knowledge Media Institute [Wikidata] based at The Open University, United Kingdom. The goal of the project is to aggregate all open access content distributed across different systems, such as repositories and open access journals, enrich this content using text mining and data mining, and provide free access to it through a set of services.[1] The CORE project also aims to promote open access to scholarly outputs. CORE works closely with digital libraries and institutional repositories.[2]

CORE says it is the world's largest aggregator of open access research papers.[3] Based on the open access fundamental principles, as they were described in the Budapest Open Access Initiative, its open access content not only must be openly available to download and read, but it must also allow its reuse, both by humans and machines. As a result, there was a need to exploit the content reuse, which could be made possible with the implementation of a technical infrastructure. Thus the CORE project started with the goal of connecting metadata and full-text outputs offering, via the content aggregation, value-added services, and opening new opportunities in the research process.

Service description

Currently there are existing commercial academic search systems, such as Google Scholar, which provide search and access level services, but do not support programmable machine access to the content, for example with the use of an API or data dumps. This limits the further reuse of the open access content, for example, with regards to text and data mining. There are three access levels to content:[4]

The programmable machine access is the main feature that distinguishes CORE from Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search.


The first version of CORE was created in 2011 by Petr Knoth with the aim to make it easier to access and text mine very large amounts of research publications.[5] The value of the aggregation was first demonstrated by developing a content recommendation system for research papers, following the ideas of literature-based discovery introduced by Don R. Swanson. Since its start, CORE has received financial support from a range of funders including Jisc and the European Commission. CORE aggregates from across the world; in 2017 it was calculated that it reached documents from 102 countries in 52 languages.[6] It has the status of the UK's national aggregator of open access content, aggregating metadata and full-text outputs from both UK publishers' databases as well as institutional and subject repositories.[7][8] The service operates as a one step search tool for UK's open access research outputs, facilitating discoverability, use and reuse. The importance of the service has been widely recognised by Jisc, which suggested that CORE should preserve the required resources to sustain its operation and explore an international sustainability model.[9] CORE is now one of the Repository Shared Services projects, along with Sherpa Services,[10] IRUS-UK,[11] Jisc Publications Router[12] and OpenDOAR.

Programmable access to CORE data

CORE data can be accessed through an API or downloaded as a pre-processed and semantically enriched data dump.[13]

Searching CORE

CORE provides searchable access to a collection of over 125 million open access harvested research outputs. All outputs can be accessed and downloaded free of cost and have limited re-use restrictions. One can search the CORE content using a faceted search. CORE also provides a cross-repository content recommendation system based on full-texts. The collection of the harvested outputs is available either by looking at the latest additions[14] or by browsing[15] the collection at the date of harvesting. The CORE search engine was selected by an author on Jisc in 2013 as one of the top 10 search engines[16] for open access research, facilitating access to academic papers.[17][18]

Analytical use of CORE data

The availability of data aggregated and enriched by CORE provides opportunities for the development of new analytical services for research literature. These can be used, for example, to monitor growth and trends in research, validate compliance with open access mandates and to develop new automatic metrics for evaluating research excellence.

According to the Registry of Open Access Repositories, the number of funders increased from 22 units in 2007 to 34 in 2010 and then to 67 in 2015, while the number of institutional full-text and open access mandates picked up from 137 units in 2007 to 430 in 2015.[19]


CORE offers eight applications:

See also


  1. ^ "OU's full text search system makes huge leaps in widening access to academic papers". 24 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Enhancing the visibility of Maltese research".
  3. ^ Notay, Balviar; Knoth, Petr; Pontika, Nancy (1 June 2018). "CORE becomes the world's largest aggregator". Jisc scholarly communications blog.
  4. ^ Knoth, Petr (December 2012), "CORE: Three Access Levels to Underpin Open Access", D-Lib Magazine, 1 (11/12)
  5. ^ "OUs full text search system makes huge leaps in widening access to academic papers". 24 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. ^ "CORE franchit le cap des 5 millions de documents en texte intégral indexés et en libre accès".
  7. ^ "CORE melds UK repositories". Times of Higher Education. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  8. ^ "UK's first open access full-text search engine to aid research". The Research Centre. 3 October 2011. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  9. ^ Jacobs, Neil; Ferguson, Nicky (2014), Bringing the UK's open access research together: Barriers on the Berlin road to open access (PDF), Jisc
  10. ^ "SHERPA Services". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  11. ^ "IRUS UK". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Jisc Publications Router". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  13. ^ "CORE Services". Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  14. ^ "CORE Latest Additions". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  15. ^ "CORE Browsing". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Ten Search Engines for researchers that go beyond Google". Jisc Inform. Summer 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  17. ^ "OU widens access to academic papers". Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  18. ^ Else, Holly (14 August 2014). "'Dismal' start for Access to Research initiative". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  19. ^ Pontika, Nancy; Knoth, Petr; Cancellieri, Matteo; Pearce, Samuel (2016). "Developing Infrastructure to Support Closer Collaboration of Aggregators with Open Repositories". LIBER Quarterly. 25 (4): 172–188. doi:10.18352/lq.10138. ISSN 1435-5205. OCLC 1005985574.
  20. ^ "CORE API". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  21. ^ "CORE Dataset". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  22. ^ "CORE Recommender". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  23. ^ "CORE Repository Dashboard". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  24. ^ "CORE Analytics Dashboard". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  25. ^ "CORE Search". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  26. ^ "CORE Publisher Connector". Retrieved 6 March 2018.