Author Archives: ISS Research Support

About 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.

ISBNs – do you need one?


An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, etc.  for ordering, listing, and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the publisher as well as the specific title, edition and format.

There is no legal requirement to have an ISBN. However, it can make your publication more visible because it will be added to a national register and is more likely to be picked up by library catalogues and other listings. It also looks professional. Any book made generally available can have an ISBN whether it is priced or free.


If you are publishing with a commercial publisher they will arrange an ISBN. If you would like a Swansea University ISBN complete the application form on our web pages. The library will cover the cost and register the ISBN for you. Contact ext 4567 if you need any help.

If you are producing a journal or other serial you can obtain an ISSN (international standard serial number) direct from the British Library free of charge.

Publishing material within your department?  Note that the British Library and other copyright libraries have a legal right to receive a copy of everything published in the UK.  A copy should be sent to the British Library within a month of publication and the other libraries will request a copy if they want one. This applies whether you have an ISBN or not.









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Journal Citation Reports



The latest edition of Journal Citation Reports has just been released. JCR ranks journals by the number of citations likely to be received by an article and is often used to help decide which journals to publish in, particularly for STEM subjects.

Journal Citation Reports has been around for 42 years but has recently changed ownership to Clarivate Analytics who have also taken over Web of Science from Thomson Reuters.

You can find JCR by logging in to with your Swansea username and password then clicking Journal Citation Reports in the black bar at the very top of the screen.  The first time you use JCR you will need to register on a campus PC – click register from the Sign in link. The Select categories option will allow you to look at the top journals in your own subject area.

Our brief guide to Journal Citation Reports

Remember that metrics should be used with caution as there are many reasons why journals do not get a high score. Articles on the subject include Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research by Per O Seglen in BMJ and The impact factor: a useful indicator of journal quality or fatally flawed? by David B. Elliott in Opthalmic and Physiological Optics.

You can find more information on metrics on our web page. If you would like help please contact

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Open Access at Swansea Uni: some stats

We are just over a year into the REF Open Access policy; our own institutional open access policy (PDF) came out in March 2015. Taking a look at our repository back and front ends, we can see how deposit and full text rates have varied over time. The figures are as accurate as we can manage – unfortunately Cronfa does not yet utilise the IRUS-UK service which would give us a richer set of data. We hope one day we can join.

Items added to our repository (RIS)

Last month showed the highest ever number of records created: 961. This chart shows a month-by-month comparison over the last 3 years:


We can see our repository is quieter in holiday months; it is likely the peaks are due to internal audit exercises where academics are reminded to add their papers.

Items with full text on Cronfa

The chart below shows the steady growth in full text items on Cronfa from 2015 onwards:


At the moment we have about 10.3% of items on Cronfa with full text available – up from 2.2% in March 2015. This figure is particularly low because it includes many older items and significant numbers of books/book chapters/other output types. If we look at journal articles published since 2014, then we have around 36% full text. For the year 2016, full text journal articles reached 49.1% (with some items possibly still under embargo).

It’s encouraging to see the growth in open access content over the last few years. Our repository also feeds into the CORE aggregated search portal and an increasing amount of content is appearing on Google Scholar. The home page of Cronfa shows the most downloaded items and most recent additions.

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June Staff sessions: Open Access and Altmetrics

We have 2 open access sessions running next week on Park Campus:

  • Wednesday 14th June, 1-2pm
  • Friday 16th June, 11-12pm

These will be informal and can cover all aspects of open access and using RIS. Book via Eventbrite and select the session you require.

We also have a session on Altmetrics:

“Altmetrics: who’s talking about your research online? Thursday 15th June, 12-1pm: book here”

Booking is essential! You can also let us know if you’re interested but can’t make those dates/times.

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Discount on APCs from SAGE


All authors at Swansea University who publish with SAGE are entitled to an article processing charge for a discounted rate of £200 until December 2018.

  • The deal applies to journals in the Sage Choice and Sage Premier categories. Sage should notify you that you are eligible when your article is accepted.
  • When you complete the Sage Publishing Agreement form enter WHEEL2017 in the university account code field.
  • Return the agreement to the Sage email address as instructed and they will send an invoice for £200.

If you are RCUK funded and want the £200 paid from the Swansea RCUK fund please complete our request form and wait for confirmation that funds are available before applying to Sage.

This discount is due to a WHEEL Wales wide procurement collaboration.

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RIS, Cronfa & Open Access staff session

We have a staff session on Thur 11th May 4-5pm which will cover using RIS and Cronfa for your publications and to comply with open access requirements. The session is on Singleton Park campus in the library: Training Room 1.

Book on here:

Like to attend but can’t make that date? Let us know!

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Get recognition for peer review with Publons

A researcher recently brought the site Publons to our attention as a good way to get credit for the often unseen and uncredited work of peer reviewing for publication. Publons states their mission as follows:

Publons works with the world’s top publishers so you can effortlessly track, verify and showcase your peer review contributions across the world’s journals. It’s all part of our plan to speed up science and research and give the experts involved in peer review the recognition they deserve.

The service has had support from several major publishers already (e.g. Wiley, CUP) and integrates with ORCID so that your review record can be included on your ORCID profile. Read the full list of benefits for researchers here: . An example of a profile page is Charles Dunnill from Swansea University.

Swansea University has an institutional profile page too –  Swansea University. Publons were great at removing a duplicate profile we’d got for “University of Wales, Swansea” so all our researchers are now in one place.

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