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Sherpa Services (Sherpa Romeo, Sherpa Juliet and OpenDOAR)

United Kingdom


Launched: 2002
Record Updated: Apr 18, 2024
Open access policy information compilation

Sherpa Services is a set of online products that operate by aggregating and presenting standardised summaries of publisher, journal and funder open access policies from around the world. Every registered publisher, journal and funder held in Sherpa Services is carefully reviewed and analysed by our specialist team who provide a central focal point of up-to-date information on open access requirements of funders' policies and their requirements on open access, publication and data archiving and self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights available to authors on a journal-by-journal basis.

OpenDOAR is the quality-assured, global Directory of Open Access Repositories. You can search and browse through thousands of registered repositories based on a range of features, such as location, software or type of material held.


  • Sherpa Services - Helping authors and institutions to make informed and confident decisions in open access publication and compliance.
  • OpenDOAR - The world’s authoritative and quality-assured directory of open access repositories.
  • Key Achievements

    Sherpa services and OpenDOAR have over the years grown in terms of data in these directories. Currently the Sherpa collection holds data on 3,503 global publisher OA policies; including data on 28,000 journal OA policies; includes data on 178 major global funders OA policy requirements and OpenDOAR holds data on 5,868 global institutional repositories supporting global aggregation efforts of aggregating articles from global IRs. Access to this data is free and will always remain free to all, via a recently upgraded web UI and API. Our data is used to prime global initiatives aimed at helping authors and institutions make informed and confident decisions in open access publication, compliance and in increasing aggregation of OA material along with tracking the growth of global institutional repositories.

    Technical Attributes

    Maintenance Status

    Actively maintained

    Technical Documentation


    Open API


    Open Data Statement


    Content Licensing

    We allow most of our website and its contents to be reused under the terms of a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-SA).

    Some of our content may be labelled under CC BY-NC-ND.

    Hosting Options & Service Providers

    Hosting Strategy

    Not applicable

    Community Engagement

    Community Engagement


    Contribution Guidelines or Fora


    Organizational Commitment to Community Engagement

    Link to ways that the community can become involved in Jisc's overall remit of activities:

    Sherpa services itself has a User Group that anyone can sign up to:

    Engagement with Values Frameworks

    POSI Audits have been carried out internally - but the results of these are not public. Sherpa Services Product management will be looking at how we can move forward with the POSI principles as part of a new Sponsorship/Governance model that is being investigated. Sherpa Romeo was a pilot for SCOSS involvement. But we are looking at how we can make our Jisc Sherpa services financially sustainable in a post-SCOSS environment.

    User Contribution Pathways

    • Contribute funds
    • Contribute to education or training
    • Contribute to user research or user testing
    • Contribute to working groups or interest groups
    • Other

    Additional Information

    Organizational History

    Sherpa, founded in 2002, initially operated from the University of Nottingham in the Centre for Research Communications. Following several years of development and growth, the team and its suite of services were transitioned to Jisc in 2015. This move aligned with changes in the organisational structure, marking a strategic shift in the management of the Sherpa project. The team is presently integrated into the Research Management Team within Digital Resources at Jisc. Changes to the organisational structure over time came due to evolving sector goals, operational needs and were influenced by broader shifts in the landscape of research and academic support services. Our journey from the University of Nottingham to Jisc reflects a strategic realignment influenced by the changing landscape of digital resources and the need for a more expansive and centrally managed approach.

    Organizational Structure

    Business or Ownership Model

    Non-profit organization

    Full-time Staff



    Primary Funding Source


    Funding Needs

    The Sherpa product line is currently overseen and operated by Jisc on behalf of the global OA community. While Jisc has allocated resources for the implementation and maintenance of these products, they remain operationally under-resourced given the extensive data curation and collection management tasks they handle. Automating these operations poses a challenge due to the absence (and reluctance) of interoperable links with publisher systems.

    Although Sherpa services receive some global funding through the SCOSS initiative, for which we are grateful, this funding is voluntary and does not establish a sustainable, long-term support framework. We are seeking assistance in establishing a global membership-based funding model. Future funding will enable us to develop intuitive interfaces for our data, benefiting the global OA sector. This will enhance our data collection efforts, allowing us to expand both the quantity and types of data collected, such as lists of institutional rights retention policies, global transitional agreements, and providing data/statistics to support global horizon scans on policy changes resulting from open access initiatives.