Category Archives: Events and training

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


Leave a comment

Filed under Events and training

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: 

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 (

Contact us on if you have any questions about open access or using RIS.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and training

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and training, Open Access, Publishing

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and training, Open Access

Exploring altmetrics


The colourful donut

We are taking part in two sessions this week on the topic of altmetrics, “the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship”. See the altmetrics manifesto for the original explanation and justification; the Wikipedia article has further background. Reasons why altmetrics are worthy of a researcher’s attention and time:

  • Discover who may be talking about your research online
  • Discover what is being said about similar research in your field (with a view to interesting them in your own research or evaluating its impact)
  • Compiling evidence of research / impact either on a personal or a project level. Altmetrics are a measure of attention (not quality), which could also be said of traditional citation counts, so should be contextualized where possible.

Swansea University had three papers in the Altmetrics Top 100 Articles for 2015 (see the news story “Swansea University scores hat trick in top 100 articles “).

Where to view altmetrics is the major supplier of altmetric data with their distinctive colourful bagel graphic which is found embedded in many other sites too. This web page gives an overview of what the bagel is and what it’s counting.

No altmetrics available? This FAQ related to the Altmetric donut gives some reasons why this may be so: they didn’t start collecting activity until 2011, not all journals are supported and not all articles have a recognizable identifier (or DOI).

Books and book chapters are also not currently well supported for altmetrics although there are developments in this area such as the Springer “Bookmetrix” portal.

Can your boost your own altmetrics?

Altmetrics register online activity. No researcher would want to be accused of “gaming” their metrics yet all researchers are encouraged to maximize their impact and to promote their research themselves as much as possible.

Researchers with an existing active online network and understanding of the world of social media will inevitably be at an advantage here. However there are also others who may be on social media already who can help: the publisher, the institution and/or research office, collaborators or community / commercial partnerships.

There is much on the web about maximizing research impact using social media. Here are some examples, including several from the LSE Impact blog which publishes frequently and reliably on this topic:

As mentioned above, using altmetrics to check out who has been talking about similar papers and including them in your network can be a useful strategy.


Comments and useful resources for exploring altmetrics are welcome!


1 Comment

Filed under Events and training, Library Resources for Research, Research Impact

EndNote for reference management

There are several good reference management tools on the market: Swansea University’s supported solution is Thomson Reuters’ product EndNote. This comes in an online version, the full desktop software, plus free iPad app. As well as storing all your bibliographic references, EndNote can find, store and let you annotate PDFs plus it integrates neatly with Word to insert and format references.

Accessing EndNote

All Swansea University students and staff can access the online version:

The full software version (currently version X7) is available on all campus PCs via the unified desktop (under “Common Apps”). If you wish to install EndNote on your own computer then you would need to purchase the software yourself (currently just over £70).

Support & Guidance

Full information on both version of EndNote is available on our website. You can access there the Workbook PDFs which will take you through the key features of each version. There is also an online information resource which includes details of how to import references into EndNote from all the most used databases.

ISS runs training sessions on EndNote – check our website for details. The final one this term is tomorrow (Thur 10th March, 2pm in LIC, Training Room 3) but we will be running more after the Easter break. You can also contact your library subject teams if you would like an overview of using EndNote.

ISS staff recently ran a “5 Days of EndNote” bite-sized training course – all the materials are available on the blog to work through at your own pace.


Leave a comment

Filed under Events and training, Library Resources for Research

Short info sessions for researchers in March

The library is putting on a series of information sessions for staff over the next few months. Here’s a selection of our 30 minute sessions of general interest to researchers:

  • Mon 7th March, 12pm: an introduction to the increasingly essential ORCID identifier for researchers, including how it integrates with our university systems  (LIC, TR3)
  • Fri 11th March, 12pm: an overview of the university’s RIS system and Cronfa (our repository), vital tools for complying with the new REF open access policy (SURF Room, Fulton House)
  • Fri 18th March, 12.30pm: a short introduction to Altmetrics as a measure of impact and how you can see social media activity relating to your papers (SURF Room, Fulton House)

These sessions run for 30 minutes but there will be time afterwards if you want to ask questions or discuss the topic further. Contact us for more information.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and training