Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

In celebration of British Science Week: the research of IMRI at the University of Bolton

March 14, 2018

We’re a little closer to home today as British Science Week continues by bringing you some home-grown research, that of the University of Bolton’s very own Institute for Materials Research and Innovation (IMRI). The work of IMRI is hugely important – projects have included the development of slash-proof material and specialist material for use in the prevention of bedsores – and the good news is that a large amount of IMRI’s published research is freely accessible on UBIR, the University of Bolton Institutional Repository. Have a look at the collection here: truly groundbreaking.

Advertisements

Shrove Tuesday in Worktown

February 13, 2018

Everyone had their pancakes yet?

Last week one of our academics pointed me in the direction of some wonderful material that can be accessed from Mass Observation Online. The academic in question, Robert Snape, leads the university’s Centre for Worktown Studies, which undertakes and supports research relating to the “Worktown” photographs which were used as documentary evidence for the Mass Observation project (read my blog post from December 2017 to find out more).

Here’s what was noted about Shrove Tuesday in Westhoughton, 1933:

Heard five boys aged 12 singing on the way to school, 8.45 a.m.

“Pancake Tuesday is a very happy day

If you don’t give us holiday we’ll all run away

Eating toffee, chewing nuts

Shoving pancakes down our guts”

 

The observer continued that the boys discussed church attendance on Shrove Tuesday, and noted that “there were no dances in Westhoughton on Shrove Tuesday”. Two recipes were included in the observation, and a recommended flavour was lemon and sugar. In a further observation, a pancake eating game was described whereby if a pancake was not eaten by the time more had been made, there was a fine to pay!

Mass Observation Online can be accessed from the A to Z List of Databases. Pancakes can be served at any time…!

Resource focus: Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works

January 15, 2018

blue monay

So today is apparently Blue Monday*, the most depressing day of the year. To mark the occasion, I toyed with the idea of a light-hearted post. However, instead, I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at one of our psychology resources, which provides an insight into how professionals deal with depression: Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works.

It has taken many years to build this collection of over 2,000 transcripts of therapy sessions and over 44,000 pages of client narratives. Materials in the collection, as they have been gathered from a wide range of therapists and academics, seek to demonstrate the range of techniques and practices, have been presented in a searchable database. The gathering of material have been closely overseen by an editorial board, and confidentiality is treated very seriously indeed. It’s a fascinating resource for anyone studying psychology and counselling. This resource is accessible via the A to Z list of databases.

*Yes, I researched the origins of this. The phrase “Blue Monday” was coined by the travel company Sky Travel, who claimed to have worked out based on an algorithm/formula that this is the most depressing day of the year. It’s considered “pseudoscience” (i.e. not actual science…!) but it’s cold, it feels like it’s dark all the time and it’s a long way to until the summer, so okay, I think that probably does qualify us to feel down, don’t you?!

Open Access Week 2017 is here!

October 23, 2017

Today marks the start of Open Access Week. Now in its tenth year, Open Access Week is an annual event whereby academic and research communities can come together to learn more about and promote open access. A reading list for Open Access Week will be available later today.

Making research more accessible is the goal of open access, and the University of Cambridge, to celebrate Open Access week, made available the doctoral thesis of none other than Professor Stephen Hawking. Entitled Properties of Expanding Universes, this important work is now freely available via the University of Cambridge’s institutional repository here. Professor Hawking has granted the university his permission: what better endorsement for open access.

Here at the University of Bolton, UBIR holds 131 open access theses and this number is growing. Theses account for 12 per cent of the total number items in UBIR accounting for just over 13 per cent of all downloads over time.

Get self-archiving!

February 17, 2017

As well as resolving (or attempting to resolve…) resource access problems this week, I’ve also been busy creating a guide to depositing research to UBIR which may be useful to anyone who has published research, and in particular who may be considering submitting to the next REF.

The guide provides support on how to actually deposit to UBIR – which is a simple process – as well as help on ensuring that any items deposited are copyright cleared. The benefit of self-archiving is that you can ensure that your research is uploaded when you want it to be, and as authors, you are often best placed to make decisions about subject classifications and indeed the school to which you are affiliated. Why not have a go and see what you think?

We have no plans to compel all authors to upload their own work and will continue to upload on your behalf. However, some of you may prefer to self-archive, and our guide is just one of things we have been working on to make this process as easy as possible.

If you would like any further help or information on any aspect of engaging in open access, don’t hesitate to contact the UBIR Team.

New! Guide for Research Support

October 7, 2016

Undertaking any research, regardless of the level of that research, can be daunting. To help you on your way, we have created a Guide for Research Support which tackles many aspects of research, from using databases, accessing library services, referencing and managing research to sharing research, networking and measuring impact. The guide is available here.

research-support-guide

We hope you find this of use, and remember, library staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Do you plan to submit research for REF 2020? Read on!

March 7, 2016

If you plan to submit research for REF 2020, there is one crucial thing you need to be aware of:

To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication.

HEFCE Policy on Open Access

This applies to conference proceedings and journal articles and is applicable to any research that is accepted for publication after 1st April 2016.

The HEFCE Policy on Open Access outlines this requirement and provides extensive guidance. If you are planning on submitting research to REF 2020 you must comply with this guidance.

In order to fulfil this requirement, your work can be deposited in UBIR. Simply send any electronic version of the paper in question with full bibliographic details to ubir@bolton.ac.uk and we will do the rest. If your work has been published in an open access journal you will still need to ensure it is available in UBIR.

Reaching a milestone: the Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme

January 7, 2016

Last summer, I talked about the University of Bolton’s involvement in the UK Scopus User Enhancement Group, and how it is very important to contribute in any way we can to the ongoing development of such an important academic resource.

It’s also an opportunity to find out what’s on the horizon, and one of the developments that was discussed at that meeting was the Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme and the roadmap for its progress. While accessing Scopus myself this afternoon, I spotted a progress report on this project which I thought I’d share. The Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme will, over the course of around 12 months, aims to add capture million of citations to pre-1996 articles back to 1970 and beyond. By the end of last year, over 5 million had already been added, and it’s hoped that this figure will almost double in 2016.

It seems incredible to think that citation information of anything published prior to 1996 isn’t available: after all, isn’t everything available at the touch of a button? You’d be forgiven for thinking that, but the world of information provision has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. This blog author was in the middle of her A-Levels then: almost every essay I handed in was handwritten; we didn’t use the internet at all in the course of our studies; there were no electronic resources available us. Moreover, we either had chalkboards in our classrooms or overhead projectors with acetate slides!  (one of these, for the uninitiated)

The concept of an electronic journal being the norm – or should I say, the expectation as I believe is absolutely justifiable – really didn’t come into play until relatively recently. It is still the case that content to electronic material before 1997 shouldn’t be regarded as expected, so projects like the Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme are an important way to ensure that intellectual output is ‘retrospectively’ converted to an electronic format.

A look back at 2015 (and welcome back to UBIR!)

January 4, 2016

The problems we were having with UBIR this morning have been resolved thanks to the swift actions of our Networks team and the service is working as normal.

Every year, I like to look back on the previous year, so now that we appear to be without resource problems, it’s time to do just that for 2015. However, before I do, over Christmas I was watching one of these ‘review of the year’ type programmes. I happened to catch the closing credits, and one of the sources mentioned was WGSN – Worth Global Style Network – which is a resource that we have access to here at the University of Bolton. Among other areas, WGSN looks at current and predicted trends, and is proof that our resources are essential for understanding a topic. Access WGSN via the library webpages or via Discover@Bolton.

Anyway, I digress. Back to 2015.

Last year was an exciting year for me as Electronic Resources Librarian as a number of very important changes were made to make your experience of accessing and discovering electronic resources better. We’ll come to these changes later.

In January, we had a fair few resource problems (staggeringly, my first post of 2015 concerned UBIR outage!) which were a cause of frustration. I think that was possibly one of the worst months I’ve known for that. However, we also looked at the British Library’s Save our Sounds project which is looking to negate the very real issue that in just 15 years, many recorded sounds could be inaccessible as equipment required to preserve and play them becomes obsolete. February was an exciting month: Discover@Bolton search boxes appeared on the library website. Although at that stage Discover@Bolton was only accessible on-campus, this was the first time that a service to search multiple databases at once was made readily available to the University of Bolton community. March saw a solar eclipse, and we looked at how we could use our electronic databases to find out more about this phenomenon.

April was a quiet month, so we reviewed Save our Sounds and pointed readers in the direction of JISC’s Summer of Innovation. May saw a General Election and as well as a new government, we also acquired two new resources: WGSN Lifestyle and Interiors and the online edition of the British Medical Journal. As the academic year drew to a close, June seemed to be a busy month for resource problems, including one of the most bizarre remote access I’ve ever come across in 10 years of working with electronic resources.

July was another quiet month, not least because of major refurbishment works that were taking place in the Library over the summer. As we all looked forward to a break, I considered the merits of speaking to publishes about resource usage and development, and how it is important to engage with them. July was also when I presented Discover@Bolton to staff at the University’s TIRI Conference, and how it could be used to enhance learning. My presentation is available here. As the summer drew on, in August we looked at OAPEN-UK, a project set to investigate issues surrounding the publication of textbooks in electronic format.

All this time, I was working on two important developments that  came to fruition in September. The first of these was a major change – in the background – to how we log into resources. This change was particularly important for remote access and we really hope things are simpler now. The other change, and the one I’m most excited about, was the off-campus launch of Discover@Bolton. That was pretty much the only news that month, but it was certainly big news! In October, we acquired yet another new resource: Acland Anatomy. We also looked at open access as part of Open Access Week and we had the first of our Subject Librarian guest posts: Reading Lists online by Mary Barden. November saw an exploration of Royal College of Nursing Journals by our Subject Librarian for Health Dawn Grundy, extra content was added to Discover@Bolton and we remembered George Boole, whose development of logic led to the use of AND, OR and NOT that we have come to use in our own library searches.

As the year drew to a close, December brought another Subject Librarian guest post, this time on services for researchers by Anne Keddie. We looked at the top 100 articles of 2015 according to Altmetric, and we had a bit of fun looking at the 12 Apps of Christmas.

So that was 2015. I wonder what 2016 will bring…

 

Exploring the Top 100 articles of 2015

December 15, 2015

Something fascinating to share this morning. Those of you who have had research published might well be aware of something called altmetrics, which are items of information about research articles that go beyond citation factors, H Indexes and other metrics we normally use to assess research impact.

Altmetrics look at the wider picture: how research is disseminated using the channels we have become accustomed to using to access and share information in every aspect of our lives. Altmetrics look at tweets, Facebook likes, how often the research is shared, is mentioned in the media (for example, the BBC website). Considering altmetrics is to consider blog posts and even Wikipedia references. There are a number of software packages that do this, one of which is Altmetric.

By using the information gathered by Altmetric, the provider has compiled a Top 100 of articles according to the altmetrics of that article. The top article is from the journal Nature and is entitled “A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance”. This article has had 97 news stories recorded, 61 blog posts, 161 Facebook posts and an amazing 2,428 tweets. What’s really interesting about looking at this sort of information is that number 6 on this list, “Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans: more than 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons afloat at sea”, was published in an open access journal, and therefore is freely available. Although overall it has been ranked lower than the article from Nature, this particular article had seen 162 news stories and 252 Facebook posts. I can see why this article might have attracted attention: the title of it this provocative, shocking even. To me, it demonstrates the value of open access publishing: something that is clearly relevant to the world in which we live is accessible to all who want it.

The full Top 100 from Altmetric is available here.

I wonder if the impact of open access publishing will be seen to be even wider in 2016 as we head towards REF 2020. It will certainly be interesting to look at this sort of information next year!