New Exceptions to Copyright Applicable to Research: Text and Data Mining

In June 2014 a number of exceptions to copyright came into force: ‘text and data mining’, ‘research and private study’, ‘education and teaching’, ‘archiving and preservation’ and ‘accessible formats for disabled people’.


Of particular relevance to the research community will be the ability to use automated text and data mining technologies, to assist with processing large amounts of data for non-commercial research purposes. All types of copyright work are covered by this exception. It will no longer be necessary to obtain permission from the copyright holder to copy the work for analysis, provided the researcher already has lawful access to the content, for example, by using subscription content. The requirement to acknowledge the use of copyright works in these circumstances would probably be impractical and it would be acceptable to refer to the databases where the works were lawfully obtained. Prior to this exception, most non-commercial text and data mining concentrated on using licensed material, or documents published using the open access route. This exception will give a huge boost to those that want to mine facts for the benefits of efficiency, developing new knowledge and the broader societal and economic benefits that it may potentially bring.

In her recent blog post Extracting more information from scientific literature, Jacqui Hodgkinson explores the pros and cons of using automated systems versus manual text mining of published research. Expect to see both commercial and open source text mining applications proliferate to unlock the potential of text mining, now that the main barrier to using it effectively has been removed.

Further information is available from:
Content Mine project:

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“Wild writing” or “Global Common Room”? 6 perspectives on academic blogging


Many academics have taken up blogging with enthusiasm as a way of sharing and promoting their research online or as a more reflective way of working. For others, the idea of blogging is an addition to a heavy workload and comes with anxiety about public scrutiny and plagiarism. There have been several interesting articles this year which focus on different reasons – and justifications – for blogging:

1. Mark Corrigan discusses the concept of a “thriving academic blogosphere” which opens up “a distinctive space between academic research and journalism” – read more on the LSE Impact blog.

2. Pat Thompson reports on a small study of academic bloggers which found that blogging (and commenting) functions as a “global common room”  – read more from the Guardian’s Higher Education Network.

3. The idea of blogging as a “vehicle for intellectual exploration” is discussed by Mark Corrigan and also echoed in a discussion of academic writing on the patter blog which quotes Gerald Raunig’s “Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity” on the restrictions of academic writing:

“Wild and transversal writing is tamed and fed into the creativity-destroying apparatuses of disciplining institutions”

4. Sasley and Sucharov discuss blogging as a place for “moral activism” within the context of social engagement and a way of expressing one’s non-scholarly identity – read more on the LSE Impact Blog.

5. Is blogging what policy makers want to read i.e. more easily digestible content than full reports or academic articles? This study of US policy-makers explores this potentially impact-boosting benefit of blogging.

6. This article from the Guardian on the current emphasis on demonstrating impact from research focusses on blogging and highlighted our very own Katharina Hall’s successful “Mrs Peabody” blog in connection with REF 2014.


(If you are interested in starting a blog there’s a recent “top 10 tips for academic blogging” article from the Guardian or this article by Mary Hunt has excellent advice on style and approach. The LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is also a great ongoing source of articles on all aspects of engagement and social media.)

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Keeping up to date with journal literature

In these busy times it is useful to have simple ways of keeping up to date with the literature coming out in your subject area. Some useful tools are:



Zetoc alert will send you listings of the journals your are interested in by email or RSS feed. It is also possible to set up an alert for keywords, although it is best to choose very specific terms if you don’t want to be deluged with email. A guide to Zetoc is available.


Select a list of journals to quickly check on the latest content. A couple of clicks will take you to the actual article if we have a subscription. You can find JournalTOCs at

Database Alerts

Some databases allow you to create alerts so that if you carry out a particularly useful search you can be alerted to new articles on that subject in future. For example,

Web of Science



When you have carried out a search you will see this create alert option at the left of the screen. Note that this only appears in the Web of Science Core Collection, not the default all databases search. 



These options appear near the top of the screen once you have carried out a search. You can choose to have an email alert or RSS feed.

On Proquest databases such as ASSIA, MLA and British Humanities Index you will see a set alert option as below:


On Ebsco databases such as Cinahl and Medline you need to select Search history to set up alerts.




If you have a tablet try the Browzine app which allows you to create your own listing of journals to read in an attractive format. It will also store favourite articles for you to come back to.

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RIOXX version 2 (beta) released

RIOXX is a project aimed at making it easier to track research outputs and attribute them accurately to funding streams. It is also a metadata standard for repositories designed to take into account the requirements of the next REF. The ISS Open Research Group will be monitoring the development of RIOXX to ensure that RIS/Cronfa can support the requirements of research funding bodies.

RIOXX: linking research outputs and funding streams

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British Library’s Newsroom

News Definition Displays Breaking News Or Journalism Stock Image

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

The Newsroom has been opened recently at the British Library in central London.    By going there researchers are able to search and view a vast number of news sources, including newspapers and television and radio broadcasts.    For further information about this, read the British Library’s blogpost An Introduction to the Newsroom.

Before you consider going to the British Library or any other library it is worth checking on what is available here at Swansea University, including JISC Media Hub and  the newspapers referred to in our Online Newspaper Archives blogpost.   Very often there are sufficient news sources readily available here.

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Scopus: new look for Author Profile pages

Elsevier have announced a new look for Author Profile pages in the Scopus database. The new design has an at-a-glance snapshot of an author’s productivity, and sorting and switching between items in the author’s publication list has been made simpler. Additionally, if an author’s ORCID ID is associated with a Scopus profile then a direct link to that ORCID ID will display on the author details page.

Elsevier have made a number of changes to the Scopus search interface recently. If you’re not yet familiar with Scopus and tend to rely on Web of Science or Google Scholar this could be a good time to try it out.

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Online networking & open access concerns

Image courtesy of Patrick Hoesly on Flickr, reused under Creative Commons licence

Image courtesy of Patrick Hoesly on Flickr, reused under Creative Commons licence

We ran a session for staff this week  “Online Networking for Academics” where we discussed the options for building an online presence and a network of contacts. Key sites that were discussed include LinkedIn, and ResearchGate. We have our guide which covers the main pros and cons of each but there have also been some useful recent articles focussed on and LinkedIn:

It is interesting to see how the numbers of Swansea University members continue to grow on (currently 1831) and ResearchGate (currently 1419). In our session this week there were concerns about copyright and uploading PDFs of publications. Whilst the advice on remains extremely minimalist and misleading, it is heartening that ResearchGate now provides a means to check copyright per journal title and directs you to the Sherpa Romeo database. We do have our guide to “Sharing PDFs” – the University’s own repository Cronfa is more likely to meet copyright restrictions of publishers who normally do not permit sharing on commercial sites (i.e. and ResearchGate). Your library subject teams are happy to help check compliance to make your publications open access where possible. Contact us at






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