We are running some general briefings for any Swansea University research staff who wish to learn more about the HEFCW open access policy (and the University’s own Open Access mandate) and what it means for them:
“Getting REF-ready: what you need to do for HEFCW’s new open access policy”
This briefing will give an overview of HEFCW/HEFCE’s open access policy which governs which papers will be eligible for the next post-2014 REF. HEFCE state that “The author is responsible. It is a feature of this policy that it places a responsibility on authors to deposit their work and consider their open access options” so all Swansea University researchers need to be aware of these new requirements. Come along to find out what needs to be done when you have a publication accepted and how we can support you with this.
There are 2 sessions scheduled:
More information: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/iss/researchsupport/open-access or contact email@example.com.
HEFCW/HEFCE Policy information: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/rsrch/rinfrastruct/oa/policy/
One of our library training sessions – librarian Clare Boucher in action!
I was lucky enough to get to meet some of our new postgraduate research students at an introduction to the Postgraduate Research Skills Development programme run here at Swansea University. It was a good opportunity to promote all the different kinds of support we can offer here in the library. We teach some sessions on the Skills programme but help and resources are also available online (on our Blackboard site and our website) and in person, via a one-to-one meeting with subject librarians.
What can we help a research student with? A lot!
- The resources they need for their research: not just books and articles (accessed via our iFind systems) on their subject but also more general resources such as books on research methodology, resources on how to create research posters, our DVD collection, the Wellbeing collection, our thesis collection to see examples of other PhDs.
- Accessing material we don’t have in stock here or subscribe to: our document supply service can help or the SCONUL access scheme can be used to visit other libraries.
- Reference management software: we run regular sessions on EndNote and EndNote Online (the software recommended at Swansea University) but there are also other free options such as Mendeley or Zotero that can help manage references and PDFs.
- Working smarter: this could mean getting some extra search tips or database skills, setting up an efficient current awareness stream and alerting services, apps or tools to make your research more mobile or easier.
- Thinking about publishing? We run sessions in collaboration with academics on publishing your first book and your first journal article. We can also advise on open access, journal impact factors, copyright, creative commons licenses…email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Developing an online academic presence: registering for an ORCID, the pros and cons of academic social networking sites, using social media to publicize your research, building a professional web presence (or at least monitoring what is being said about you!). We have sessions and information on all these and more!
All research students are encouraged to come and meet with one of their library team at any point in their studies – details are on the Subject Support website pages – or contact the dedicated Research Librarians on email@example.com. We’d be glad to discuss all or any of the above topics!
Jamie, Public Engagement Officer at the University of Glasgow and former scientist, gave an entertaining talk on this topic at the university yesterday. Here are some of his key points, sadly expressed more dully than they were by him:
- Remember that people are not as interested in your research as you are. Jamie practised his communication skills at the Glasgow Science Centre and found that people will walk away if you don’t interest them. Find an angle which will appeal to your audience. Jamie was researching materials for energy harvesting but found it was easier to start a conversation on related topics which people could relate to such as using body heat to power a mobile phone.
- Being able and willing to talk can bring opportunities. The Science Council named him as one of the top hundred scientists – an accolade he insists he didn’t deserve but came through being well known. Keep a record of what you have done so that you have evidence of your achievements.
- Make it a mutually beneficial experience. Think what you would like to gain, for example, evidence for your research or experience in presenting. Also think what attendees might like to gain. For example, if they are members of the public at a museum they may want to be entertained. If they are asylum seekers they may want to feel they are achieving a purpose and you could consider going back to explain outcomes to them.
- Consider costs of engagement when applying for funding. There are opportunities to apply for money for outreach, public engagement or for training for your team. Research Councils UK (RCUK) now encourage this as part of ‘Pathway to Impact’ statements’. You should ensure you cost all your public engagement and outreach activities within this section of the grant application: they will consider costs for travel, evaluation, presenters and staff.
- Impact means causing a change. Jamie felt that it can be difficult to understand REF type impact and how you can generate impact from public engagement activities. Some people think that it means things like making a TV programme, but demonstrating the impact or change from this is difficult to measure. Try to ensure that your engagement has some benefit– it could be interest from the public, new skills for the researcher, children inspired to go to university etc. This could lead to REF type impact though proving change is not easy.
- Know your starting point and measure! It is difficult to measure the impact of public engagement. If you are going to demonstrate a change you need to keep a baseline of how things were when you started. Try to record everything you can. Count the number of people you speak to and the time you spend with them. You could ask questions and record the answers, ask people for a show of hands or use electronic voting to get feedback. If you speak to someone in depth keep a transcript.
- Make any measurement relevant to your aims – avoid long questionnaires with irrelevant questions about catering etc. Questions such as “Did you know about this before” can give evidence of change. Think of fun ways to capture the information you want. Jamie gave examples he has seen such as voting with ping pong balls, hitting shuttle cocks into an umbrella to give the correct answer, this was used to find out how long people take to get to work, and a graffiti wall filled with post it notes which looked like a work of art.
- Engagement doesn’t have to be public speaking. There are many ways to engage with the public, presenting at festivals, hosting events, activities or social media being one of the easiest mediums with the widest reach. Jamie in his entertaining style said he could think of many academics he might not want to put in front of an audience of children! He produced an online periodic table showing the countries where elements were discovered which produced a great deal of interest. Blogging is another way of presenting your research to a wider audience or you could produce an accessible summary of your research on a web page. It also doesn’t have to be the general public. There may be sensitive topics such as mental health where you could engage with charities for mutual benefit.
My only regret about the talk was that he didn’t give us a demonstration of his “science of salsa” dance!”
Bibliometric analysis has become increasingly important in evaluations of the research impact of individuals or institutions (such as the REF). SciVal, which uses data from the Scopus database (used for REF2014), is one of the tools that gathers and analyses this kind of bibliometric data. Within SciVal it is possible to analyse and benchmark individual researchers, groups of researchers and institutions based on a variety of different metrics.
Swansea University library is hosting a training session by Dr Matthew Walker from Elsevier on their SciVal database on Tuesday 3rd February, 11.30-1pm. This will be an overview session for new or returning users that will cover:
– An overview of SciVal
– A practical hands-on introduction to using SciVal
The session will be held in Training Room 2 in the library and is open to staff and research students. Please sign up on our Eventbrite page if you would like to attend: https://eventbrite.com/event/15350794640/
More information on SciVal: http://www.elsevier.com/online-tools/research-intelligence/products-and-services/scival
Access SciVal (on campus): https://ifind.swan.ac.uk/discover/Record/771232
(Elsevier are currently looking at an issue with logins – if you have already created a Scopus account with your email address you may need to use a different one to create an account on SciVal).
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this session or off-campus access to SciVal.
The Centre for Research Communications at the University of Nottingham is developing a new SHERPA/REF service to help authors comply with the open access policy for a post-2014 Research Excellence Framework. All survey responders will be entered into a draw to receive a £50 Amazon voucher (or another e-retailer of their choice).
Librarians and research support staff: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/SHERPAsupportstaff/
Both surveys should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, and your opinions and thoughts are highly valued by the SHERPA/REF team as contributing to defining a successful service.
The survey is being run by:
The 1,911 submissions made by 154 UK universities to the 2014 REF have now been published on the REF website. The submissions included 52,061 academic staff, 191,150 research outputs and 6,975 case studies on the impact of research.
To access the submissions visit: http://results.ref.ac.uk
We are running the popular “10 Days of Twitter” online course for Swansea University staff and research students. Over 100 people are signed up already! If you would like to join in, we start on Monday:
Join us for “10 Days of Twitter”, 19-30th January 2015
Learn to use Twitter from scratch: how to develop a professional network and join in the conversation in 10 days!
“10 Days of Twitter” is an open online course for staff and research students at Swansea University. It will explore Twitter and its potential use to support teaching, learning and research in small, bitesize chunks. During each of the 10 days, a daily post will guide you through a small aspect of Twitter and offer some suggestions how each feature can be helpful to a professional in Higher Education, allowing you to learn all about Twitter from the comfort of your own home or office. During the course participants are encouraged to interact using Twitter with the team and each other, building their professional network as they learn to use the platform.
Join us if you’ve ever wondered how Twitter works and how it might be relevant in a professional academic context. You are also welcome to join in if you’ve experimented with Twitter before but would like to explore further how it could help you professionally.