“Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers” – free online course

A free online course (“MOOC”) starts on 5th March 2018 on the Futurelearn platform: “Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers”. The course is a collaboration between Glasgow, Sheffield and Edinburgh universities. They state “this course is for academic researchers – both postgraduate researchers (PhDs) and early career researchers (post-docs). The course focuses primarily on the UK context but others may also find the content useful.”

More information and a sign-up link on FutureLearn

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.

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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/using-ris-cronfa-tickets-34356643646

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

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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sage-research-methods-tickets-32227097115


Last open access briefing this term!


We have one more open access briefing this term – it’s on Friday 25th November 12-1pm in the SURF Room, Fulton House, Singleton Park Campus. Book your place here!

All Swansea University researchers need to ensure their publications comply with the REF Open Access policy, the institutional policy and any funder policies. Not sure what you need to do? Come along and find out!

We will give an overview of the new Open Access policy for the next REF – this policy places the responsibility on authors to “deposit their work and consider their open access options” but the Library Research Support Team can help with this. As well as widening readership beyond those who can afford expensive journal subscriptions, open access is being shown to boost citations and impact so authors should benefit from the extra effort required by these funder policies.

Come along to find out:

– what needs to be done on RIS when you have an output accepted for publication

– the pros and cons of the different options for making outputs open access, including potential costs and sources of funding.

– how the Library Research Support team can help you

The session will be led by Sam Oakley, Research Librarian (s.l.c.oakley@swansea.ac.uk)


Raising your research profile – resources


We are running some sessions for postgraduate students this term on raising your online research profile. This post is a summary of some of the topics we will be discussing. (It could also have a subtitle: “How many places do I have to keep up to date?!?”)

Establishing your identity

Distinguishing yourself and your publications is vital not only so people can discover your work and give you credit for it, but also for the accuracy of bibliometrics for your work:

  1. ORCID has become the de-facto standard researcher identifier, adopted by many funding bodies, publishers and other organisations. We have it embedded in Swansea University systems for staff; it can also be used to set up an ImpactStory profile (see below). Sign up at ORCID.org : we have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
  2. Google Scholar profile: gather your publications on Google Scholar to get a neat profile page (example) and citation stats. Improves discoverability of your work – your name becomes a hyperlink to your profile in Google Scholar results. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
  3. Scopus ID: Scopus is mighty Elsevier database (login needed off campus) has a STEM focus but is expanding its coverage of other subject areas. It is the source of bibliometrics for university world rankings and other assessments. Check your papers are credited to you and you also get useful stats on your citations and profile. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one to curating your profile there.
  4. Researcher ID: this originated in the Web of Science database, another (rival) source of bibliometrics. See a sample profile and ensure you are credited with all your papers on Web of Science. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
  5. ImpactStory uses an ORCID to provide you with a profile page that lists your publications and mentions. An account is free. We have blogged on it here or you can take a look at a Swansea University profile.


As well as general social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, the sites with a specific academic focus can act as a “shop window” for your research and publications. Most come with their own set of pros and cons, mostly relating to how predatory and spammy the site becomes once you have set up a profile…

  • Academia.eduhttps://www.academia.edu/ The largest network but possibly not the most active. Encourages connections and uploading of publications. Despite the .edu domain, the site is a for-profit company.
  • ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net; build a network and add your publications. Like Academia.edu, the site encourages uploading of full text – most of this does not comply with publisher copyright permissions so act with caution. The Wikipedia article highlights the main criticisms of the site, most notably the aggressive email approach it has taken to lure new members.
  • Piirushttps://www.piirus.ac.uk/ Linked to the jobs.ac.uk portal, the site promotes membership to develop your networking and consultancy opportunities.

Also in this section are what Katy Jordan terms “modified academic tools”, sites which have a practical purpose but which have also developed networking facilities:

  • Slideshare: upload presentations (or documents); you can also follow people, comment etc. Now owned by LinkedIn and increasingly integrated with that network. See Katy Jordan’s presentation on Academic Social Networking Sites as an example.
  • Mendeley: now owned by Elsevier, the site is increasingly being promoted as a network as well as a reference management tool.
  • Zotero: another reference management tool which has a “People” facility too

Getting started on social media (for researchers)

Use of social media to promote one’s research and boost impact is a huge topic of debate. The LSE Impact blog has many posts relating to different aspects of the pros and cons for engaging on platforms such as Twitter. This also relates to the use of altmetrics which we have discussed elsewhere.

Some useful starting points could be:

We will be re-running our “7 Days of Twitter” online course for Swansea University researchers, starting 2nd December 2016.

Please share any useful articles or resources in the comments that you think we should be mentioning!

Courses for research postgraduates this term



Library staff offer a range of courses for research postgraduates, aimed at helping them to develop their library and research skills in line with the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Courses run as part of the University Postgraduate Research programme and can be booked here.

Courses this term include advanced literature searching, EndNote, tracing theses, finding financial information, working smarter with tools and apps, and finding your research network. A full listing and descriptions can be found on our web pages.

There are also additional EndNote classes open to anyone on Friday 28th October, 2-3.30, Wednesday 23rd November 1-2.30 and Thursday 1 December 3-4.30 in Training Room 3 in Singleton Library and Wednesday 16th November 10-11.30 in the Bay Library PC Rm 1. You can just drop in to these.

Don’t forget that subject librarians are always willing to see individual students to discuss the best resources for their work or help with any of topics covered by our courses. Contact details can be found by selecting the relevant library guide for your subject at http://libguides.swansea.ac.uk/


Staff info sessions this term: RIS, Open Access & Altmetrics

Image copyright: JISC and Matt Lincoln, reused under CC BY-NC-ND licence

We will be continuing to support open access at Swansea University with a new series of information sessions this term for researchers. All researchers need to ensure their publications comply with the REF Open Access policy, the institutional policy and any funder policies. Not sure what you need to do? Come along and find out!

Open Access sessions

  • Open Access Briefing: Wed 12 Oct, 2-3pm, SURF Room Fulton House.
  • Open Access Briefing: Thur 3 Nov, 12-1pm, SURF Room Fulton House.
  • Open Access Briefing: Fri 25 Nov, 12-1pm, SURF Room Fulton House

Book the above 3 sessions here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-access-briefing-tickets-28355872177 

We’re also doing an “Open Access & REF” session tomorrow for Medicine and CHHS staff only as part of the Life Science Hub Seminar Series. The session is in ILS1 Seminar Room on Thur 6th Oct, 12.30-1.30pm.

Contact us on the email below if you’d like us to run a session for your department or research group.

Other training run as part of the Staff Development programme:

  • How to use RIS for Staff Publications: *Fri 7th Oct*, 1-2pm, SURF Room, Fulton House. Book via ABW
  • Who’s talking about your research? Using altmetrics to explore impact, opportunities and citations: Thur 20 Oct, 1-2pm, SURF Room, Fulton House. Book via ABW.

Agresso Business World (ABW) can be accessed via the university’s “Home” portal for staff (home.swan.ac.uk).

Contact us on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk if you have any questions about open access or using RIS.

Don’t fall victim to predatory publishers


Have you received emails asking you to submit a paper to a journal or conference? Researchers are increasingly being bombarded by unsolicited solicitations to publish and these should be treated with extreme caution.

The model of authors paying to publish open access has had the undesirable side-effect of spawning an industry of low quality, sometimes fraudulent, publishers and copy-cat journals to try and get authors to part with money to get published. Emails may reference your previous research or conference presentations; the journal may be a close imitation of a well-reputed one in your field. The pressure on academics to publish means that some of these emails will succeed – unfortunately, it is not just the loss of money that is at stake but also reputation:

One dodgy publication in your publication list brings all the others into question. If you are attaching that publication list to a research grant application, it works against the whole submission. (“Are my publications any good?“, The Research Whisperer blog, 22 Mar 2016)
You may already be wise to this but please don’t assume your colleagues or PhD students are – help us spread the word that this is happening and that there are resources available to help evaluate where to publish.

We have already blogged on some places where you can explore legitimate places to publish. The Think, Check, Submit website also offers good advice on approaching the question of where to publish. Their video is below:

Think. Check. Submit. from Think. Check. Submit. on Vimeo.

Open Access briefings in April

With the start of the REF Open Access policy on 1st April, we are running two more open access briefing sessions next week for any researchers who aren’t sure what they need to do. Booking is essential:

There will also be a slightly different session on Thur 14th April, 12-1pm in the SURF Room, Fulton House, Singleton Park campus. This is a general, introductory overview of Open Access (not focussed on the REF policy, although that will get a mention): all staff are welcome and no booking is required. This is one of the ISS staff sessions – see our website for further topics.