Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Elsevier Publishing Campus

May 21, 2015

I’ve been made aware of a new resource from Elsevier this week called Elsevier Publishing Campus. Elsevier Publishing Campus is an online platform that offers free lectures, interactive training and professional advice for those wishing to get their research published. Each section of the platform – known as a Campus – deals with a different aspect, such as career planning, way to improve research, discussions on the latest trends in publishing and scholarly communication in general and how to network as a researcher. Elsevier Publishing Campus is free to use; simply register for an account. Access Elsevier Publishing Campus here.


ICE Publishing Awards 2014: winning articles available in perpetuity

May 12, 2015

Each year, the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) recognises the best research published in their journals at a ceremony in London. The awards recognise excellence in research from both academia and industry; the research is deemed important enough to be of significant benefit to the entire civil engineering, and indeed science, community.

The ICE has made the winning research open access, and these papers will always be available. Read the award-winning research here.

SUNCAT: bringing together journal holdings information from across the UK

April 14, 2015

I’m in the middle of a project at the moment that has meant I have had to access each and every one of our electronic resources, something I don’t get to do all that often, and something I’ve found rather enjoyable: it’s always good to be reminded of what we are able to access.

One of the resources I’ve been accessing this morning is SUNCAT, the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. SUNCAT’s been around for a long time (in electronic resources terms!) and over the years has grown to include the journal holdings information of 100 of the most important research libraries in the UK, national deposit libraries including the British Library and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, most of the larger academic libraries, a number of important specialist libraries and the journal listed by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). It also includes the journals holdings of the University of Bolton.

SUNCAT is a searchable database of the holdings of this growing number of libraries. Search for key words across all locations, or narrow the searches to locations. The results will show you where the journals are held, and will also tell in you the format in which they are available. Note that just like here at Bolton, many of these journal will be restricted to members of the home university, but the finding out where things are located is invaluable. Access SUNCAT here.

Are we still striving to Save our Sounds?

April 2, 2015

Back in January, I wrote about a new British Library initiative aiming to save recorded sounds: it has been estimated that by 2030 (only 15 years away, even though it sounds like it’s much further into the future!) many of the UK’s recorded sounds will be inaccessible, due to both the degradation of the material, and the fact that the equipment needed to listen to such sounds is likely to become obsolete. Following a call from the British Library, details of over 800,000 items have been collated, all of which will contribute to the British Library’s UK Sound Directory. To find out more about this fascinating – and, indeed, vital – project, take a look at the Save our Sounds project website.

Taylor and Francis mathematics articles of the day for the whole of March

March 26, 2015

Taylor and Francis have launched as series of mathematics articles of the day for the whole of the month of March. These are all freely available here, and will be available for the rest of the year.

New website for JORUM

March 23, 2015

JORUM, the repository for Online Educational Resources (OER) has recently launched a new website, which is available now. To find out more about the new website, take a look at the JORUM blog, and have a look at the new JORUM website for yourself!

Zetoc 2014 user survey results

February 24, 2015

Are you a Zetoc user? If so, you may be interested in the results of a user survey that was carried out last year. The results are available here, and it’s interesting to see the range of subjects most useful to users, and how often people use the service.

If you don’t know about Zetoc, it’s well worth exploring this invaluable service. Zetoc has a number of functions, among them enabling access to the tables of contents of some 29,000 journals held by the British Library, and the 52 million citations within them. You can search these millions of citations, as well as setting up alerts detailing new tables of contents published against personally-specified criteria. Zetoc is accessible both on- and off-campus; just login with your usual Bolton network ID and password. More information about the services provided by Zetoc are available here.

Finding and accessing data in the UK Data Service: webinar, March 10th

February 23, 2015

If you are interested in knowing more about accessing social science data and related resources from the UK Data Service, you may be interested to know about a free webinar that is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 10th March at 3 p.m. The information from the UK Data Service is as follows:


Webinar: Finding and accessing data in the UK Data Service

10 March 2015

Online at 3 pm

This webinar is intended for anyone who wants to know more about finding data from the UK Data Service. Participants will be given a practical overview, focusing on the Service’s search-and-browse portal – Discover – which allows users to find datasets, variables, qualitative extracts, support guides, case studies, ESRC outputs, and more. Hints and tips on how to get the best out of Discover will be provided, as well as an overview of the portal’s growing content.

The webinar will consist of a 30 minute presentation followed by 20 minutes for questions.

Booking is free; please sign up here:


EThOS Share My Thesis competition

January 29, 2015

If you are a PhD author or current doctoral student, then take a look at the following message from the British Library:

“The British Library is currently running a Twitter based competition for all PhD authors and current doctoral students, inviting them to say why their doctoral research is/was important, using the hashtag #ShareMyThesis.

 Twitter competition:

Competition web page:


The competition aims to raise awareness of the importance of doctoral research and increase visibility of the PhD thesis as a valuable source of research information. It is generously supported by Research Councils UK and Vitae, and there are some great prizes.


The range and quality of doctoral research being tweeted in 140 characters is truly amazing. Entries are flooding in already, and you can see them all here


The competition closes on 9 February, when eight entries will be shortlisted and invited to expand their tweet into a blog post.”


Happy sharing!


Spotlight on… Open access

January 12, 2015

I feel as if 2015 has got off to a somewhat negative start as regards this blog as I seem to have had to flag up numerous incidences of resource access problems. This does not a happy Electronic Resources Librarian make. So I thought I would maybe provide you all with something more interesting with less “this isn’t working now” which seems to have 2015’s theme so far.

Readers of this blog will know that I have two ‘hats’ here at Bolton, so just for a moment, I will do a swap and have a think about open access, which is very much the key to the University of Bolton Institutional Repository (UBIR). If you’ve walked through the Library, you might spot that the “Spotlight on…” poster concerns open access, detailing the two ways in which authors can engage in open access and the main benefits of open access. There is another, crucial, element to open access that I’ll come to later.

The first question, of course, is “What is open access”. Briefly, the main principle of open access, is that research is free at the point of access. In other words, the only barrier to that research should be technical barriers of accessing the Internet itself. It means that research should not be ‘hidden’ behind access controlled subscriptions, and anyone, anywhere, should be able to access that research. There are two main ways to engage in open access: deposit research in an open access repository such as UBIR, or publish research in open access publications, such as those listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. The former is known as the green route to open access; the latter as the gold route. Here at Bolton, open access is being achieved mainly by the green route.

Both forms of engagement in open access have advantages and disadvantages. The green route relies on having access to a repository, and we are very fortunate at the University of Bolton that this is the case: UBIR accepts all intellectual output of the University of Bolton, from journal articles to book chapters to conference proceedings and post presentations. The gold route, although considered by many to be the future of the open access movement, is more complex, and brings with it concepts that can seem quite alien to anyone who is comfortable with the traditional modes of scholarly communication. The gold route requires authors to submit their work as open access publications, and can often involve the payment of what is known as an APC (Author Pays Charge, or Article Processing Charge). Where that payment comes from can be a cause for concern, and the whole concept of open access publications has led to a lot of debate within academic communities. A number of very specific concerns have been raised, such as concerns over the quality of the publication and the possibility of ‘fake’ publications taking APCs either not publishing the research or publishing it alongside research that is incorrect or ethically questionable. Some are concerned that open access effectively closes the door on traditional modes of scholarly communication, and quality of published research may be affected. All valid concerns, but ones that it is usually possible to allay.

I mentioned earlier that there one very crucial element to open access which means that this method of making research available is not going to go away. You may or may not be aware that HEFCE have made it policy that any research accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 must be made open access if it is to be considered for the next REF exercise. The policy is available in full here and states:

“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. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.

The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number. It will not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data. The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement it now.”

If you are in the position of considering submitting to the next REF, now is the time to be thinking about open access, and I’m happy to answer any queries you may have. Just drop the UBIR team a line.

If you want to learn more about open access, including open access at the University of Bolton, take a look at this presentation as well as this poster from the 2014 Research and Innovation Conference, held here at Bolton. Remember, if you want to deposit your work in UBIR, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the UBIR team.