Abstract: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) need to ensure that the education provided meets the student’s and employer’s requirements, for today and the future. However, in addition to the challenges of teaching and learning, internationalisation, globalisation and world university rankings are rearing their heads thus increasing the demands made on many HEIs. Objective: One of the ways in which HEIs can make their mark is through world university rankings. This may be achieved by exposing more information on new and innovative research knowledge to the broader community in the global market via research publications that attract citations on open access platforms, hence influencing the university’s ranking. For this purpose and intent, a ‘simple’ and ‘easy-to-use’ online web tool was developed at a HEI. The aim was to have research publications submitted via the Online Research Output Submission System (OROSS) tool, screened and deposited in the institution’s open access database. Method: Training was provided to the relevant participants and a survey was conducted to ascertain the participants’ perceptions about the utilisation of the OROSS tool and the training provided. Conclusion: This article reflects on the pilot phase of a longitudinal study. Results of an evaluation conducted by the researcher of the OROSS application from a user perspective (process) are highlighted. In general, users rated OROSS favourably in terms of it being a useful, simple and easy-to-use web-based tool. The findings of this study may assist University of Johannesburg’s executive management in deciding the fate of the OROSS tool for future use.