Monday, 11 October 2010

eResearch and the REF

The lack of blog posting from Research Support in recent times, has had a lot to do with the decsion here at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, that our repository, eResearch is to be used to report for the REF. As we're preparing for our annual research publications audit, this has meant a lot of time being spent catching up with researcher's publications lists, and also going out and about to show our researchers how they can deposit their work in eResearch for themselves.

QMU Research Support is now busy getting ready for Open Access Week next week, but more of that later...

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Researchers and web 2.0

The Research Information Network has recently published If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0. The report studies the use of web 2.0 services in different fields, and also looks at the factors that encourage web 2.0 usage by researchers as well as arguments against.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

UKSG 2010, Librarians and Open Access

Prior to attending the second day of the UKSG conference, I had also been invited to join the Cambridge Journals Advisory Group and attended a meeting of this the day before UKSG began. At this meeting, the question was raised by Cambridge about its publishing subscription model, and ways that this could be adapted/improved to help libraries during the current challenging financial climate. It soon became apparent from the serials librarians present that the main issues weren't really with Cambridge subscription rates, but with other well-known journals publishers. However, the main 2 points that I came away with from this discussion were that:

1. the librarians present were waiting for the publishers to react to the economic crisis and reduce their prices/adapt their pricing models accordingly

2. open access publishing (and a switch to) was not mentioned once, either by those representing Cambridge Journals or the librarians present. Indeed, the Marketing Director of Cambridge Journals remarked in his annual update that he was surprised at an increase in authors requesting permission to make their pre-print articles available on-line, and couldn't fathom why anyone would wish to do this.

I attended UKSG on Tuesday 13th April, and the first 3 speakers (Dorothea Salo, Eelco Ferwerda and Jill Russell) were all keen advocates of open access, and from what I could gather, open access had been discussed during the previous day also. Jill's presentation included details of the pilot project that she has been involved with at the University of Birmingham where three colleges have been allocated funding to publish their research findings following a gold open access publishing model. At my own institution, following the gold route has already been disregarded - we simply do not have the funds to both pay for journals subscriptions and pay for researchers to publish with journals as well, and despite funder mandates to make research publicly available, I know that researchers here are not as yet keeping money aside to pay an open access publication fee. I imagine that this is the case for most other institutions, indeed Jill was quick to point out that her institution could not afford to pay these fees for the majority of researchers there, leaving some of those not taking part in the pilot somewhat disgruntled.

All of this has lead to me looking at open access from a different angle. In my own role, I am actively encouraging researchers at my institution to both publish their research following an open access model, and to deposit their work in our repository. I've been doing this for about a year and a half now, we have our open access mandate in place, and I thought that encouraging researchers to make their paper open access would eventually lead to the tipping point where open access journal publishing would overtake subscription based. It's a lot more complicated than that though, isn't it? As well as the researchers being convinced, there is also the much less talked about hurdle (and from what I've seen it's a big one) of librarians who are still happy to follow the subscription based journal publishing model. I don't mean this to be a criticism of library budget holders and serials librarians who are working very hard to negotiate with publishers to retain access to as many journal titles as they can with their ever-decreasing budgets. Academic libraries have students who are paying for their education, and expect to have access to journal articles, and academics who expect access to current research to do their jobs - the idea of just stopping paying subscriptions as an individual institution, or even as part of a consortium is unthinkable at present, when the backlash from students and academics at losing access to journals would be so great.

Discussion of open access does have to be opened up further to the whole academic and research library community, and not just remain mostly within the world of repository practitioners and developers. I also wonder about the effects of CILIP's reporting on open access to the wider library community, with another less-than-positive review in this month's Update entitled Open access could cost some universities dear, says Jisc report. (I'm not putting the link to this in here as CILIP members will know where to look, and for the rest of you CILIP Update is not open access - sorry.) Hopefully the more positive coverage that open access has received at UKSG10 will help to redress the balance of this.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Peer review

The Research Information Network has recently published Peer review: a guide for researchers , which aims to provide researchers with a better understanding of the peer review process and also looks at some of the contentious issues surrounding peer review.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Nature News now Open Access

Nature News has just announced that all of its content is to be made freely available. Previously content was free for the first four days after publication, but the decision for the change has been influenced by the rise of social media use and the wish for Nature News items to be disseminated and discussed as widely as possible. The Nature News archive is now also open access, but Nature and its associated journals remain subscription-only.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Open Access citation advantage?

Swan, A. (2010) The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date. Technical Report UNSPECIFIED, School of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton.

This paper summarises 31 reported studies which have investigated Open Access citation advantage. Of the studies 27 found that there was an advantage to be gained, while 4 did not. Of the studies, 6 are relevant to subjects studied here at Queen Margaret University, and all 6 of these studies did find that citations increased for papers published following an Open Access publishing model.

Click here to read the paper, which also contains links to the studies that it has compared where possible.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Growth of the Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL)

Queen Margaret University LRC is pleased to report that, following successful negotiations by representatives of SHEDL, three new publishers have joined the Digital Library this year. They are Oxford University Press, Edinburgh University Press and Berg Publishing and between them provide full text access back to 1996, where available, for 288 titles. The content from 6 publishers is now available under SHEDL agreements, the others being American Chemical Society, Springer and Cambridge University Press.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

1000th deposit in eResearch

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh is delighted to announce that we have reached the 1000th deposit in our repository, eResearch. The open access article was co-authored by Rebecca Horn, a researcher from QMU’s Institute for International Health and Development.

Horn, Rebecca and Charters, Simon and Vahidy, Saleem (2009) The victim-witness experience in the Special Court for Sierra Leone. International Review of Victimology, Vol. 15 . pp. 277-298. ISSN 0269-7580

As Rebecca is currently working in Sri Lanka, Barbara McPake (Director of the Institute of International Health and Development) accepted a bottle of champagne on her behalf.

RefAware trial at QMU

Queen Margaret University LRC has arranged a trial to RefAware for QMU staff and students.

RefAware - a web based current awareness service designed to provide researchers and other members of the academic community with immediate access to new research and publications in their field - all within hours of being posted online. Providing one source for a variety of research data, RefAware constantly scours the internet for the latest information and automatically delivers new information directly to the user. Covering over 8,000 peer-reviewed sources and other non-refereed sources of information, RefAware provides a comprehensive, up-to-the minute picture of today's global research.

Access information and links are on our Trial database page at Users are required to self-register to create an account before using this service.

RefWorks trial for QMU students and staff

At Queen Margaret University, we've arranged a trial to see what RefWorks has to offer. RefWorks is an online research management writing and collaboration tool - similar to Reference Manager - and is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Access information and links are on our Trial Databases page. Help is available from an online tutorial and quick start guide. Users are required to self-register to create an account first.

Please remember that this is a trial so the Shibboleth logon has not been activated. Let us know what you think - email or

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Useful website for UK health and social sciences researchers

RDInfo is run by the NHS National Institute for Health Research.

It offers 3 services:

RDDirect provides advice on carrying out research.

RDFunding prvides information on funding opportunities, including RSS feeds for different funding streams.

RDLearning gives current information on relevant courses, workshops and conferences.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Interesting reading for researchers

The Times Higher Education has recently published a supplement by the JISC, The Data Revolution, which looks at the issues surrounding managing, preserving and sharing data and the importance of these. The supplement then finishes with an article about Open Access publishing, and the different ways of achieving this.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

1000th eResearch deposit approaching!

eResearch is now just 16 papers away (at time of writing) from having 1000 items. We are very excited about this, and the QMU researcher who deposits the 1000th paper will win a bottle of champagne for their efforts.