Sage Research Methods Training

3rd March 2-3.30pm, Training Rm 3, Library, Singleton Park Campus.

Rebecca Evans from SAGE will be visiting Swansea to demonstrate how Sage Research Methods can help you and your students with research projects and skills development. You’ll have the chance to explore resources like encyclopaedias, books, videos and real-life case studies on topics such as research ethics, planning research, data collection and analysis.

Please book using the link here


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Open Access briefings this term


Are you new to Swansea or confused about the open access options available to you? These briefings will cover the HEFCE open access policy for the REF, sources of funding for article processing charges and the help available to you on campus.

Mon 20th Feb 12-1   SURF Room, Fulton House  Book here

Tue 13th March 12-1 SURF Room, Fulton House Book here

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Check out our full text on Cronfa

Have you noticed that the home page for our institutional repository, Cronfa, now showcases our full text outputs? You can now see:

  • Most recent full text additions
  • Lists of our most downloaded items this week, this month and all time

We’ve seen a big increase in full text on Cronfa since the university and REF Open Access policies came into effect plus we now have staff working behind the scenes to check copyright and chase authors if required!


We now have over 2000 full text items on Cronfa and over 600 more embargoed for future publication once the publisher copyright policy permits. View the full text items here – scroll down to filter by College or Department on the left.

If your paper is open access on Cronfa, use the URL to promote it on social media or email:


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What can I do now Beall’s list has gone?

Those of you who use Beall’s list of predatory journals may have noticed that it has vanished. So far there is no official word on the reason for this or whether the information will be listed elsewhere. In the mean time, here are some ways you can make sure you are using a reputable journal:

  • If a journal you don’t know claims to have an impact factor check it in Journal Citation Reports – you can find this by going to Web of Science and clicking the link at the very top of the screen.


  • Alternatively, you can just look a journal up in Web of Science and click the title to see impact factor and other information.


  • Another tool you can use as a clue to quality is SUNCAT. This is a union catalogue of UK university library serial collections. You can look up a journal and see which universities, if any, subscribe to it.


  • Checking on the editorial board is another way of checking on a journal. A quick google search should be enough to tell you if they are reputable academics. One suspicious journal I have looked at had as it’s editors people like B.Jones, California – untraceable!
  • Major indexing systems such as Scopus, Web of Science, Inspec, MLA bibliography and other subject databases all use some form of quality control so journals listed in these should be fine.  The Directory of Open Access Journals also uses some checking criteria to try to exclude predatory journals.


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Does Arxiv satisfy the REF Open Access policy?


Short answer: no. The accepted version of a paper needs to be uploaded to RIS as well.

The HEFCE REF Open Access policy includes “subject based repositories” as a suitable home for open access papers. The associated FAQ state that HEFCE do not stipulate which repositories meet their requirements. One of the best known subject repositories is Arxiv, hosted at Cornell University Library: “Open access to 1,225,076 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics” (at time of writing). These subject areas have a longstanding tradition of open science: scholars publish pre-prints on Arxiv for review which then later may get published in scholarly journals.

Traditionally Arxiv is a “pre-print” server rather than the accepted version (or post-print) that is needed for the REF policy, although sometimes these will also be on the site. Unfortunately at the moment files uploaded to Arxiv cannot be used to satisfy the REF Open Access policy because Arxiv does not record the date of acceptance for a paper and the version of the paper to satisfy the REF OA policy’s technical and audit requirements. We believe discussions are ongoing to try and resolve this but Swansea University researchers need to ensure they follow the guidance for compliance with the open access policy and upload the accepted version of all papers to RIS at acceptance for publication. The university’s own open access policy requires that researchers upload the accepted version of a paper into RIS so this remains the position even when an open version of the paper is on Arxiv.

Guidance on the open access policies is on the web here or SU researchers are welcome to contact the Library Research Team at

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Staff training sessions on Bay Campus in Feb


We are running a few training sessions on the Bay Campus next month for staff:

  • How to use RIS for staff publications = 1-2pm, Wed 1st Feb. An overview of the university’s Research Information System and how this links to staff web pages and the repository Cronfa.
  • Stand Out and Be Counted = 10-1pm, Wed 8th Feb. This session is aimed at researchers with a few publications: “Have you ever wanted some help to promote yourself online and achieve the best visibility for your research?  This half day workshop will explore a number of tools that can help you do this”. You can see the content of a previous session here on the blog to get an idea of what we cover.
  • Who’s Talking about your Research? Using Altmetrics to Explore Impact, Opportunities and Citations = 12-1pm, Fri 24 Feb

Booking is essential – staff can sign up via the normal process for staff development courses in ABW (access via the university’s Home portal). Email us at if you need more information!

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Does my conference paper need to go in Cronfa?


Conference papers are published in many formats which makes them tricky to categorise and deal with. This is a brief guide to how to treat conferences in terms of depositing them for the REF.

What is covered by the REF policy?

According to the HEFCE policy only journal articles and conference papers with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) are included in the policy.

HEFCE are aiming to pick up conferences with journal-like series of proceedings, typically in the sciences.

Conferences that look like books, often with an ISBN and typically in the humanities, are not included in the policy.

What if an item has an ISBN and an ISSN?

This does occur in some cases, for example, in proceedings published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science. HEFCE say that institutions will be expected to use their own professional judgement to determine whether an individual paper is covered by their policy. However, if papers are published in a venue with a self-archiving policy which allows deposit in a repository they encourage authors to deposit them.

How do I tell what is the point of acceptance for a conference paper?

If there is no peer review procedure for a conference the date of acceptance is the date that the conference confirms that the article has been received and will be published in the proceedings.

If there is a peer review process the point of acceptance is when the peer review and editorial process has been completed.

Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Springer have a self-archiving policy which allows deposit in a university archive. Librarians who have asked HEFCE for clarification on LNCS have been told that they are within the scope of the policy and should be included in university repositories.

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