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.

See your article’s altmetrics in Cronfa

Swansea University’s public repository Cronfa has recently had a few enhancements. One of them is the addition of the Altmetric “donut” (or “bagel”, if you prefer). We have blogged about altmetrics before: the system counts mentions of a research paper across a wide range of media, social media, policy documents and more.

The donut will only appear on records that have some altmetric activity AND have a DOI or identifier that can be used to collate this activity (see “How it works” on the altmetric blog for more information). This is how it looks on Cronfa:


Screenshot of Cronfa article showing the colourful altmetric donut below the QR code


When you see the altmetric donut, the number in the middle is the altmetric “attention score” but you can click on it to explore the individual mentions that they have tracked. More information on what is counted on the Altmetric website.

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Are you funded by RCUK? Please note some changes to their open access policy




In 2017/18 RCUK expects institutions to make 75% of their RCUK funded research open access. This is a high target so please make sure you make your work open access if they provide your funding.

RCUK have clarified the licences allowed on green open access articles for the research they fund (6.2 on their FAQ list). These are articles made freely available in an institutional repository. Articles should place no restriction on non-commercial reuse (including text and data mining) and should allow adaptations of the material to be shared. This means that a CC-BY-NC licence is acceptable but a CC-BY-NC-ND licence is not.  There is more detail on these licences on the creative commons web site.

Elsevier currently insist on a CC-BY-NC-ND licence for green open access which does not fit RCUK requirements so if you are publishing with them it would be best to apply for funding for gold open access. You can do this  using the online form on our APC page  when you have an article accepted. The Sherpa FACT tool allows you to check that journals from other publishers meet RCUK requirements.

If an author chooses the green route the embargo period should be a maximum of 6 months for STEM subjects and 12 months for arts, humanities and social sciences. This is a shorter time period than that allowed for the REF (2.1 on FAQ list). However, a longer period is allowed if there is no money for gold open access.

Innovate UK and the UK space agency are not part of RCUK so research funded by them cannot be paid for using the block grant – some people have been unsure about this.

If you are bewildered by the different licences and requirements please be assured that you will not be alone in this! Contact the Library research support team for advice about your own publications



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PlumX Metrics in Scopus

Scopus has introduced PlumX metrics into Scopus, following their recent takeover of the company. These come in 5 categories:

PlumX Metrics green Usage – e.g. clicks, downloads, views, library holdings

PlumX Metrics purpleCaptures – indicating that someone wants to come back to the work – bookmarks, favourites, readers, watchers

PlumX Metrics yellow  Mentions – news articles or blog posts about research. Includes comments, reviews, blog posts, wikipedia links, news media.

PlumX Metrics blue.pngSocial media – tweets, likes, shares

PlumX Metrics orangeCitations

When you are searching in Scopus look out for the image below as this information is now available as part of our subscription. Click on it to see the full detail available. Not every article will attract this kind of attention so you won’t see the image every time.

Scopus PlumX

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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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