Category Archives: Events and training

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!


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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.


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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.

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Free Research Data course

A new MOOC has been launched by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & the University of Edinburgh. “Research Data Management and Sharing” is hosted on the Coursera platform and it’s free to participate. The course lasts 5 weeks and is mapped to the stages of a research project:

  • Understanding Research Data
  • Data Management Planning
  • Working with Data
  • Sharing Data
  • Archiving Data

More information on the Coursera website: 

This may be particularly of interest to researchers whose funding comes with Research Data policies (check the Sherpa Juliet website) or Early Career Researchers.

Swansea University’s site for Research Data can be found here:

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The REF Open Access Countdown is on….


The new open access policy for the next REF starts on 1st April 2016. All papers must comply with this policy or risk being excluded from the submission. We have been working hard to raise awareness with our researchers over the last year but in the next few months we will be doing yet more publicity. The key message is:

  • Researchers are responsible for making sure their papers are eligible.
  • As soon as you have a paper accepted for publication, enter the details that you know onto RIS and upload the accepted version (the final version after peer review).
  • Either check copyright and publish the paper to Cronfa yourself or ask us for help!

The REF policy should not mean you have to pay for open access – most publishers allow self-archiving with conditions varying per journal (the Sherpa Romeo website is the place to check).

Funder policies may have additional open access requirements.

We are running more of our popular “Open Access Briefings” – these are a chance to learn about the policy and ask questions. Book onto a session using the links below:

Singleton Park Campus, SURF Room:

Wed 2nd March 2016, 2.30-3.30pm

Thur 7th April 2016, 1-2pm

Bay Campus, Engineering A103:

Tue 8th March 2016, 1-2pm

Wed 6th April 2016, 2-3pm


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Stand out and be counted: building an effective online profile for researchers

A one day workshop to learn about tools that can help you to promote yourself and achieve the best visibility for your research including:

  • What can be counted about you? Citations, altmetrics and a look at the new Scival tool
  • Your online identity – researcher profiles including ORCID, Google Scholar and our university systems (Cronfa, RIS & staff web pages)
  • Online networking and social spaces for researchers

The day will be a mix of presentations, discussion and a chance to try some of the tools for yourself. Lunch will be provided. We will be running the workshop on the following dates – please click to book a place!

Wed 13th May (9.30-3.30pm)


Fri 19th June (9.30-3.30pm)

For more information, contact us on


Filed under Events and training

More SciVal Training at Swansea Uni

Bibliometric analysis has become increasingly important in evaluations of the research impact of individuals or institutions (such as the REF). SciVal, which uses data from the Scopus database (used for REF2014), is one of the tools that gathers and analyses this kind of bibliometric data. Within SciVal it is possible to analyse and benchmark individual researchers, groups of researchers and institutions based on a variety of different metrics.

Swansea University library is hosting 2 training sessions by Dr Matthew Walker from Elsevier on their SciVal database on Wednesday 18th March. There will be an overview session for new users at 9.30am and an intermediate session for those who have already used Scival at 11am.

The sessions are open to staff and research students. Please sign up on our Eventbrite page if you would like to attend:

More information on SciVal:
Access SciVal (on campus):

Please contact for more information on this session or access to SciVal.

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