“How to survive your PhD” Free Course starts this week!

A MOOC created by Australian National University has started this week on EdX. “How to Survive your PhD” focuses on the emotional experiences of doing a PhD and well worth checking out for both students and supervisors alike. Sign up here: https://www.edx.org/course/how-survive-phd-anux-rsit-01x

Read about how it came about on the Thesis Whisperer blog: http://thesiswhisperer.com/2015/07/29/we-made-a-mooc/

Join the community on Twitter with #survivephd15

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New Guide to Open Access Monograph Publishing

A great addition to our list of resources for “Open Access and the Humanities” post is the new Guide to OA Monograph Publishing which was published this week by the OAPEN-UK project. Part One of the guide covers business models for open access monographs and Part Two addresses “Common concerns about open access monograph publishing”.

The Guide is available as a PDF or HTML or you can order print copies.

Read the guide here: http://oapen-uk.jiscebooks.org/oaguide/

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Update on HEFCE’s REF Open Access Policy

Alcohol needed

Librarians reach for alcohol after changes to HEFCE’s OA Policy for the next REF

You may have heard a great collective sigh of despair last week (followed by the clink of gin bottles) as Research Librarians across the UK reacted to HEFCE’s “policy adjustments and qualifications” to the Open Access (OA) policy for the next REF. In most universities across Britain there has been a big effort to make researchers aware of these new and complex open access requirements. Many felt that getting the message out has not been helped by the message being altered – slightly – and the resulting publicity. However, HEFCE are aiming to ease the burden on universities: having reviewed progress across UK institutions in implementing their OA policy, they have now responded to the challenges identified with “flexibility”.

So what has changed for researchers/authors?

  • Timeframe for making outputs OA:
    • BEFORE: the original policy required all eligible outputs to be uploaded into RIS and made open access within 3 months of acceptance for publication (with some allowance for embargo periods). This was due to start on 1 April 2016.
    • NOW: between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2017, researchers can upload the output to RIS within 3 months of publication. So this essentially gives researchers a temporarily longer period to comply. How long will depend on the time between an article being accepted for publication and its actual publication which will vary greatly between journals and disciplines. As this is only a temporary arrangement (to be reviewed in Autumn 2016), we are still going to be advocating acting within 3 months of acceptance as this remains the core of the HEFCE policy.
  • Gold Open Access
    • BEFORE: even when publishing via the “Gold” (paid-for) open access route, researchers still had to upload the accepted version of a paper as a minimum within 3 months of acceptance (or the final published version if that was available).
    • NOW: this is still strongly encouraged but depositing gold open access papers is now an exception to the policy “where depositing the output on acceptance is not felt to deliver significant additional benefit”.
  • Compliance
    • BEFORE: zero tolerance of failure to adhere to the Open Access policy and those outputs would be ruled out of the REF unless they had claimed an exception.
    • NOW: “we will therefore be tolerant of occasional failures where institutions have made best endeavours towards achieving full compliance”. They are considering a period of grace to allow any missed outputs to comply “likely to be three months after the end of the REF publication period”.

The spirit of the original policy has not changed and the “Swansea University Open Access Policy” still adheres to the principle of deposit being required within 3 months of acceptance. We have updated our resources but the “In a Nutshell” section on our guidance document remains unchanged:

  • The date of acceptance for publication is the critical point for an author to act.
  • Details of your publication (as much as you know at that point) should be entered into RIS and published to Cronfa
  • The “author accepted manuscript” / “final peer-reviewed manuscript” / “post-print” should be uploaded to RIS and published to Cronfa, respecting any copyright conditions imposed by the publisher (e.g. embargo periods).
  • Ensure the full publication details are completed when these are known.
  • The policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN but credit will be given for “enabling open access” for all outputs.

As always, we can help at any point if you have questions or concerns: iss-research@swansea.ac.uk

Swansea University’s OA Guidance sheet (PDF) and guide to using RIS (PDF).

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“Research Impact & Public Engagement” : career advice and tips for researchers

Multicoloured explosion of impact
Jobs.ac.uk ran a Google Hangout today on “Research Impact & Public Engagement”. The full hour is well worth viewing! One interesting question posed to the panellists was how to demonstrate your own impact. Answers included:
  • At the start of any research, have a clear framework in terms of aims & objectives, audience & stakeholders, what kind of impact you are aiming for. This makes it much easier to evaluate and demonstrate.
  • Talk to the right people: particularly important for early career researchers – talk to colleagues who are doing it well and to the university’s REF support staff about how to demonstrate harder aspects of public impact. They can help to explain the options.
  • Things that are measurable (citations, altmetrics) do not always demonstrate impact but exploring them can give evidence – what are the conversations happening online about your research? Who is talking about/citing it? The metrics can be “signals” for impact but usually need exploring and quantifying (e.g. percentiles) to give a context.
  • Look outside academia for expertise in evaluating engagement e.g. the BBC, museums, science centres are all leaders in this.
The panellists also all praised the value of practising “open research” as much as possible – the more people that can read it, reuse or explore the data/software, the more opportunities there are for public engagement. It was also emphasized that openness can be a great asset on an academic CV.
The final “takeout” suggestions from the panellists were:
  • Charlotte Mathieson: start small, think about digital channels, develop public engagement experience from the start of your research career.
  • Steven Hill: do the best research possible, take whatever steps you can to disseminate it widely and think about how it may be useful outside academia.
  • Stacy Konkiel: use all tools at your disposal to understand your feedback loop (e.g. the Altmetric bookmarklet or subscribe to Impactstory). See where you are winning and where could be improved?
  • Ann Grand: engagement is about receiving as much as transmitting – it will have a value for a researcher too.
Suggested resources included:

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Resources for “Open Access, Humanities and the REF” Session (08-07-15)

black and white image of a row of statues

We had a session today with the College of Arts & Humanities looking at open access issues and the new REF policy. These are the resources we talked about and a few more for exploring the topic further.

Policy Compliance

Journal Articles

  • Sherpa Romeo database for checking publisher policies – the “post-print” is the version required by the REF. Contact us (iss-research@swansea.ac.uk) if you have difficulty working out the policy – it’s not always clear.
  • The British Academy 2014 report on “Open access journals in Humanities and Social Science” and other open access discussions can be found on their website.
  • The Open Library of Humanities is a promising new publication model due to launch in 2015.


Book Chapters

General Discussion on Open Access & the Humanities

Slides from the session today are here but we will be blogging in more detail on some of the topics over the coming months.

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Finding Impact Factors: Journal Citation Reports latest issue

Finding Impact Factors: Journal Citation Reports latest edition

Journal citation reports can be used to find out the impact factor for a journal. This is a useful way of finding quality journals where your article is more likely to be cited (although it only covers science and social sciences). Our brief guide will get you started and you can find some training videos on the Thomson web site.

What’s new?

The latest edition has just been released, covering journal analysis for2014. 272 new journals have been added. There are some new metrics and an open access filter allowing people to look specifically at  open access journals.

Once you have a list of the journals for your subject you can select the open access option to see which are the best performing open access journals for your area.

JCR open access

Want to know more?

Here are a few links to information to give you a flavour of the issues surrounding JCR and Impact Factors:

Need help

If you need help using Journal Citation Reports contact your subject librarian or iss-research@swansea.ac.uk

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Final open access briefings (this year)

Due to demand (the last one was fully booked!) we have put on two more “Get REF-Ready” briefings on HEFCE’s open access policy. Click on the dates/times below to book your place:

Tue 23 June, 3-4pm

Fri 26 June, 1-2pm

We have also been invited to present on Open Access to the College of Arts & Humanities on Wed 8th July 1pm – details have been circulated to college staff internally but this session will have a humanities focus and look slightly wider than the HEFCE policy. COAH staff can book a place here.

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