– Swansea University Information Services & Systems (ISS) –
Author: ISS Research Support
ISS Research Support aims to bring together in one place links to relevant news stories, and significant reports & publications, as well as information about our services' resources and support which will benefit, or be of interest to, researchers at Swansea University.
We are an institutional online publisher of Open Access electronic journals. Our catalogue of titles allow readers to access and use the content free of charge under a Creative Commons licence.
We are growing this service and welcome enquiries from Swansea University researchers considering starting an academic journal. We do not charge the editors of journals for publishing with us on the Open Journal Systems platform (OJS). Editors wishing to transfer established journal titles to Swansea University are welcome to apply.
If you would like to find out more why don’t you come along to the next Academic Publishing Coffee Morning?
At this event, you can:
Speak to experienced academics and professional services staff who already publish journals
See what is really involved in editing and publishing academic publications
Learn about OJS, the journal publishing platform supported by Swansea’s Digital Humanities team
Find out what support we can offer you to set up your own peer-reviewed academic journal as part of Swansea’s digital press
Wednesday February 12th, 11:00 – 13:00 – Nanhyfer Workzone Sem Rm 01 on the Bay Campus
The Game of Open Access is a board game developed by staff at the University of Huddersfield. The aim is to engage researchers with the key concepts and tools required to meet Open Access mandates. Through the use of playful learning, it aims to develop an understanding of the role of Open Access through the initial idea for an article to its acceptance for publication.
In essence, you play as a researcher making your way through the research process landing on square where you pick up a card with a question about Open Access at Swansea University, then discuss and answer the questions to make your way around the board.
The Game is ‘customizable’, so if there are specific questions relevant for your department, we can include them.
Why should you take part?
The Game of Open Access is a fun way of getting to grips with points of confusion around open access (the difference between Green and Gold for example, or which type of manuscript to upload to RIS), in contrast to sitting listening to me talk for an hour. Also there are sweets.
Who is it for?
The game is relevant to researchers at any stage of their career, whether it’s your first introduction to open access or you need a refresh on Swansea’s specific policy. It can also be useful for professional services staff who support researchers. We have previously run the session in the College of Engineering, and the main feedback was not enough questions!
Interested? Get in touch with us to arrange a session in your college by emailing Ellie Downes, Research Librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Firstly we would like to thank you for your patience during the last couple of weeks as we work through some of the bugs within the new Research Information System (RIS). Despite much planning, user testing and two pilots of the system, some issues have been found and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. We are working through these as soon as we can and further updates on some common issues can be found below.
Please continue to use the feedback tab on the right of any page within RIS to provide feedback or raise queries with the team. We are responding to all queries to acknowledge receipt and to confirm once issues have been resolved.
The development team have been working hard to resolve as many queries as quickly as possible.
To date, the following issues have been resolved:
Internet explorer not showing outputs
Development work undertaken to address this issue
25th October 2019
Dates appearing incorrectly
A new date format has been used and dates now appear as 14 Sept 2019 or 22 Dec 2019
24th October 2019
Issues with information pulling to Cronfa and items missing
This was due to a firewall issue, which has now been updated
1st November 2019
UoA Lead admin access not available
A fix for this has been identified and implemented
7th November 2019
If you have any further problems regarding the above issues,
please do contact us through the feedback tab.
Author ordering and citations. Work is ongoing to add
information on co-authors from old RIS to ensure full citation information is
available. Once this development work is complete, this will then feed the
information on Cronfa and staff profiles to ensure all information is correct.
REF Officer cannot
view exceptions. Work is ongoing to ensure that REF Officers have access to
Open Access exceptions.
GPA calculator for admins. Work is underway to ensure
the calculations in the GPA calculator are correct.
We will also be undertaking work to:
Improve the navigation around RIS, e.g. if you
undertake a search your results will be held whilst you click in and out of
Provide additional information within downable
Ensure ORCiD details are pulling into the system
Please accept our apologies again for the inconvenience
caused by the bugs in the new system. We are working through these as quickly
as possible. As mentioned above, please continue to feedback or raise any
queries through the feedback tab and a member of the team will be in touch.
With just over 10 days until the launch of the new RIS the
team is finalising details including applying permissions and fixing any
After release, we will continue to implement further enhancements
including notifications and to look ahead to integration with the REF2021
So what has changed?
A summary of the changes has been included below. Further
details on all of these changes can be discussed at any of the awareness
raising sessions or training drop-ins.
Multiple authors would add the same output
One output will mean one record. Additional authors can be added to a record, removing the need for duplication of efforts. This will benefit all users, ensuring rich metadata and one version of the truth.
Reports take a long time to produce and data is often managed outside of RIS due to concerns around data integrity
Additional reporting functionality will be available to support continuous assessment and to ensure we have an accurate view of our position ahead of submission in 2020. This will benefit all UoAs, providing additional information quickly to allow our REF submission to be optimised.
Impact Case Studies and Environment narratives not able to be shared within RIS until submission
Updates to the permissions in RIS mean that Impact Case Studies and Environment narratives can be made visible to members of the UoA for feedback once at an agreed point.
Assessment managed in a number of ways across Colleges/Schools
UoAs can toggle on and off whether scores are visible to staff.
The current RIS will not be accessible from Monday 21st October. The new RIS will be populated by content from the current RIS and will be live on Tuesday 22nd October. From this point onwards, this will be the only RIS is use.
A number of training sessions will be held over the
coming weeks to assist users with undertaking tasks such as adding an
output or uploading Impact Case Studies and Environment Narratives. Please
feel free to drop in to any of the following sessions:
RIS training drop-in sessions:
16th October 2-4pm, SoM109 PC Lab, Bay
17th October 12.30-1.30, Training Room 1, Level 2 Library, Singleton
22nd October 1-2pm, Training Room 1, Level 2 Library, Singleton
28th October 12.30-1.30, Training Room 1, Level 2 Library, Singleton
What if I have a
A comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
will be made available from Monday 21st October, ahead of the
new system launching. A link to this information will be circulated at the
If you have any queries please contact Laura Bailey (email@example.com) and/or Andrew Burrows (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will of course keep you up-to-date on progress and training will be provided should the changes to the system necessitate this.
We are now just weeks away from launching the new Research Information System (RIS). Over the next week or so we will be releasing the test system for use with some departments in order to gather further user feedback and to begin introducing the system.
development team are currently finalising functionality that will enable admin
users to model various scenarios and calculate a GPA for the UoA within
seconds. This will be particularly helpful for colleagues as we move towards a
continuous assessment approach ahead of submission in November 2020.
to development work, we are liaising with stakeholders around the use of
notifications (in RIS and via email) in order increase visibility in areas such
as open access compliance.
work will be completed to implement notifications and we will also be testing
the new GPA calculator functionality. The team will also be ensuring alignment
between the new RIS and the PDR system.
with colleagues on the migration of Impact and Environment documents, we plan
to use the latest items submitted as part of the State of Play update in September
to the system. Authors will then be able to add further items such as evidence
once the system is live.
Feedback and get involved
Colleagues are welcome to come and
view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend
bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to
provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments.
The team continue to work through the user feedback to make
changes to the system in terms of functionality and style. This includes
updates to allow users to be able to add additional authors to items and to
signal mandatory fields before saving.
In addition to development work, we are liaising with
colleagues on REF submission optimisation tools and notifications to assist
users in analysis and improve workflows.
The migration process is now complete and all outputs should
now be showing in the new RIS. Testing is underway with the team to ensure this
is the case. Over the coming weeks we hope to be able to release the system for
further testing and feedback.
Liaising with colleagues on the migration of Impact and
Environment documents, we plan to use the latest items submitted as part of the
State of Play update in September to the system. Authors will then be able to
add further items such as evidence.
Feedback and get
Colleagues are welcome to come and view the current stages
of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend bi-weekly showcase meetings
where the development team demo the new system, to provide an opportunity for
colleagues and inform future developments.
We will be continuing to test the system with users over
the coming weeks. If you are interested in taking part please contact Laura
and/or Andrew Burrows (email@example.com).
We will of course keep you up-to-date on progress and training will be provided
should the changes to the system necessitate this
User testing has been a key focus over the past weeks with users from across all Colleges and Schools being invited to test the system. This includes members of the REF Team, REF Officers and academics. We have held sessions in ISS and also run sessions remotely to allow colleagues to test the system from the comfort of their own offices and at a time convenient to them.
A number of common concerns have been raised through the testing including:
· The need for the system to give a visual sign when pages are loading
· Additional save buttons to prevent the user from scrolling needlessly
· A welcome message using the users preferred name e.g. welcome John, rather welcome J.Jones@swansea.ac.uk
We would welcome any further feedback on the system and if you would like to be involved in testing please contact the team on the details provided below.
Over the coming weeks we will be working to ensure that the feedback from user testing is used to inform future development work and to fix common problems. We will also be looking ahead to the rollout of the system in September, with our attention turning to developing training sessions and updating user guides.
Please note, the Outputs Mini-REF for 2019 will be run from the current RIS following the Publications Mini-REF Assessment Process 2019.
Feedback and get involved
Colleagues are welcome to come and view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments.
We will be continuing to test the system with users over the coming weeks. If you are interested in taking part please contact Laura Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Andrew Burrows (email@example.com). We will of course keep you up-to-date on progress and training will be provided should the changes to the system necessitate this
Pre-prints are not new. Some pre-print servers such as arXiv have been going since 1991;
however, there is increasing interest in the use of pre-prints as part of the
move towards open access publishing and open scholarship in general.
What are they?
Pre-prints are versions of your paper before it has been submitted to peer-review. The use of pre-print servers varies significantly between disciplines, being an embedded and well known practice in areas like Physical Sciences, and almost unheard of in others.
Why should I bother?
Posting a pre-print on a specific pre-print server or
repository means your work has the potential to reach other researchers in your
discipline and citations can accumulate, earlier. It is also useful to gather
early feedback on the paper from your peers, before the official peer-review
process of the journal you submit to.
Will my paper be
Contrary to some fears, pre-prints can actually help protect your work from being ‘scooped’. Most servers register the papers on receipt enabling you to establish provenance should another very similar paper be published after yours. Many pre-print servers enable you to add a DOI allowing you to keep track of your paper and its citations.
University researchers are not
restricted from using preprint servers by the institution. Individual
researchers considering submitting a paper do need to check
the funder and journal to see if any restrictions apply. This can be done
using SHERPA/ Romeo
and searching the journal you are considering submitting to.
As stated above, there are preprint servers for different disciplines and institutional repositories can host preprints. The benefits of submitting preprints in terms of citations, engagement and impact will not materialise unless the author/college publicise the paper themselves especially in disciplines which are only just starting to use pre-print servers.
ISS Research Support are happy and able to assist researchers with information regarding journal restrictions, and which pre-print server may be most appropriate. We have a list of pre-print servers and open access repositories here.