We are celebrating!

Swansea University has had a tremendous REF! Read all about it !

For the full results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 visit http://www.ref.ac.uk/.

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by | December 18, 2014 · 12:09 pm

Impact Challenge – 30 Days of ideas

Explosion in blue

The Impact Story blog has been running a great series of posts around the theme of “Impact Challenge”:


The series has been running through November – the first post stated their aims to “supercharge your research impact”:

  • upgrade your professional visibility by conquering social media,

  • boost your readership and citations by getting your work online,

  • stay atop your field’s latest developments with automated alerting,

  • lock in the key connections with colleagues that’ll boost your career, and

  • dazzle evaluators with comprehensive tracking and reporting on your own impacts.

Each post has information and ideas, followed by some homework suggestions. Now the series is over, you can look through and pick which ones may benefit you most.

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Twitter tools for researchers


We recently ran a session on Twitter for Swansea University’s Postgraduate Research programme. Part of this was looking at extra tools that can help improve the experience of using Twitter and help to use it more effectively.

Developing tools to enhance Twitter is big business – the free tools come and go (anyone remember Twapperkeeper?) so be aware they can vanish or stop working, perhaps with little notice. They can also be very persistent in suggesting you upgrade to a paid-for premium account for extra features. We used Storify to put a hand-picked list together, based on personal recommendation. Most have enjoyed some longevity and reputation:


This covers the following areas:

  • Apps for viewing Twitter – for a more sophisticated Twitter experience than Twitter.com / the Twitter app
  • Twitter stats – monitor your progress on Twitter (including a look at options for altmetrics)
  • Scheduling tweets
  • Analysing your followers and using Lists
  • Archiving tweets
  • Multimedia on Twitter
  • Legal issues – a collection of articles

Let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions to add!

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Early European Books Online and Historical Texts

Collections 1 – 4 of Early European Books Online, to which we recently gained access at http://eeb.chadwyck.co.uk, are a superb resource for many researchers.    They contain scanned images of over 20,000 books printed before 1700 from several major European libraries (the National Central Library of Florence, the National Library of the Netherlands, the Royal Library in Copenhagen, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and the Wellcome Library in London which is strong in the history of science).   Every page in each book has been scanned to a high quality from the original volumes rather than from microfilm.  The specialist search options are impressive.   Each individual book in Collections 1 – 4 has a record in iFind Discover the library catalogue, with a direct link to each book.

Most of the books in Early European Books Online are in European languages other than English.  It thus complements Early English Books Online (EEBO) which includes 125,000 books published in English up to 1700 and is available to us within the Historical Texts website.   Historical Texts contains EEBO, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and 65,000 19th century books digitised from the British Library’s collections.  Historical Texts, launched this year, replaced JISC Historic Books whose interface had been widely criticised.   There are links to Historical Texts in iFind Research and iFind Research.

Both Early European Books Online and Historical Texts can suggest many possibilities for research.   Further developments are planned in both sites.


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Trial access to SAGE Research methods until end of November

We currently have trial access to Sage Research Methods: http://srmo.sagepub.com/  and Sage Research Methods Cases  http://srmo.sagepub.com/cases (on-campus access).
This trial will be of interest to researchers and post graduate students in the following disciplines:
Health and Nursing;
Business, Economics and Marketing;
Politics, History, Media and Communication;
Criminology, Social work, Social Policy, Education, Sociology and anthropology;
SRM is a research methods tool created to help researchers  with their research projects. 
It contains:
720 research methods books, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and handbooks;
Methods map – a visual search tool supported by a unique, complex taxonomy of research methods terms, methodologies, and people in the field;
Journal articles;

Please send feedback on  to Michele.Davies@swansea.ac.uk or C.Boucher@swansea.ac.uk, stating how useful you found the content and whether you have a preference for Sage Research Methods or Sage Research Methods Cases.

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Whar are the most cited research papers of all time?

Nature News has compiled a list of the 100 most highly cited papers, using data from Science Citation Index. Of the 58 million items analysed, only 14,499 have more than 1,o0o citations – the 1985 discovery of the hole in the ozone layer has 1,871 citations. It takes over 12,119 citations to make the top 100. Watson & Crick’s paper on the structure of DNA misses the cut (5,207 citations) although the first observation of carbon nanotubes is ranked 36th in the list (22,899 citations). Only three papers have more than 100,000 citations.

The winners?

  1. 1951 Protein measurement with the folin phenol reagent: 305,148 citations
  2. 1970 Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4: 213,005 citations
  3. 1976 A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding: 155,530 citations

The most highly cited paper describes an assay to determine the amount of protein in a solution; papers on experimental methods and software dominate the list.

http://www.nature.com/news/the-top-100-papers-1.16224#/interactive has more information, including full citations for the papers mentioned, a spreadsheet with the whole list, and interactive graphics.

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Digital Public Library of America and Europeana


Oranguatans sipping tea (an image in Europeana)    CC BY from the Wellcome Library

The online Digital Public Library of America, set up last year, can be of value in many fields of research. It enables us to search and view millions of items within America’s research libraries, archives, and museums, including books and manuscripts, photographs, sounds, and moving images.

Europeana, the European Digital Library, is comparable with the Digital Public Library of America.  It enables us to search and view digitised materials of libraries, archives and museums from most European countries, including all 28 members of the European Union.  Over 2,500 institutions have contributed records.   Parts of Europeana, including Europeana 1914-1918, invite viewers to add their own family’s memories to resources from libraries and archives.

Both of these digital libraries are growing fast and have ambitious plans.    Europeana’s plans are outlined in its Europeana Strategy 2015-2020.

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