Category Archives: Library Resources for Research
Our subscription resource “Sage Research Methods” has got a new interface. Sage Research Methods can be accessed here (Swansea University login required).
The site has a wealth of material for teachers, students and researchers, for example:
- Massive collection of book and journal resources on research methods
- Case Studies where researchers explain why they chose the methods they used
- Datasets to practice on
- Videos including interviews, case studies, specific methods
Click the hyperlinked title to find the library call number and current availability.
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
Altmetric.com 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.
- The Altmetric bookmarklet can be installed on your browser and used to show altmetrics for an article. See their video for an overview.
- Many journal sites now include altmetrics e.g. Nature, Frontiers in Psychology
- PLOS have their own set of metrics which they explain on this webpage. This article on social media metrics is an example.
- The Scopus database has its own metrics: see this example on an article about MMR & autism. The metrics are on the right hand side, click “View all metrics” to explore alongside traditional citation metrics. This blog post gives more information on the Scopus metrics.
- Paid for options include Plum Analytics and ImpactStory
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:
- 3 Ways Researchers Can Boost Their Social Media Savvy: a simple overview with good, basic advice
- Top ten tips for getting your research the attention it deserves from the LSE Impact blog by Danielle Padula and Catherine Williams
- Planning your online engagement strategy? Don’t go it alone. Well-chosen partnerships can maximise reach and impact. Also from the LSE Impact blog by Heather Doran, this gives example of strategic public engagement on Twitter by research projects.
- Academics should express an “editorial mission” in order to create consistent media content by Kevin Anselmo on taking a strategic approach to planning social media engagement
- Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web. by Stacy Konkiel (a key author and supporter of altmetrics) looks specifically at how to track and evidence impact on policy
- Fast Track Impact has some free resources including a “Social media strategy template”
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!
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.
All Swansea University students and staff can access the online version: http://myendnoteweb.com
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.
Collections 1 – 4 of Early European Books Online, to which we recently gained access at http://eeb.chadwyck.co.uk, are a superb resource for many researchers. They contain scanned images of over 20,000 books printed before 1700 from several major European libraries (the National Central Library of Florence, the National Library of the Netherlands, the Royal Library in Copenhagen, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and the Wellcome Library in London which is strong in the history of science). Every page in each book has been scanned to a high quality from the original volumes rather than from microfilm. The specialist search options are impressive. Each individual book in Collections 1 – 4 has a record in iFind Discover the library catalogue, with a direct link to each book.
Most of the books in Early European Books Online are in European languages other than English. It thus complements Early English Books Online (EEBO) which includes 125,000 books published in English up to 1700 and is available to us within the Historical Texts website. Historical Texts contains EEBO, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and 65,000 19th century books digitised from the British Library’s collections. Historical Texts, launched this year, replaced JISC Historic Books whose interface had been widely criticised. There are links to Historical Texts in iFind Research and iFind Research.
Both Early European Books Online and Historical Texts can suggest many possibilities for research. Further developments are planned in both sites.
Oranguatans sipping tea (an image in Europeana) CC BY from the Wellcome Library
The online Digital Public Library of America, set up last year, can be of value in many fields of research. It enables us to search and view millions of items within America’s research libraries, archives, and museums, including books and manuscripts, photographs, sounds, and moving images.
Europeana, the European Digital Library, is comparable with the Digital Public Library of America. It enables us to search and view digitised materials of libraries, archives and museums from most European countries, including all 28 members of the European Union. Over 2,500 institutions have contributed records. Parts of Europeana, including Europeana 1914-1918, invite viewers to add their own family’s memories to resources from libraries and archives.
Both of these digital libraries are growing fast and have ambitious plans. Europeana’s plans are outlined in its Europeana Strategy 2015-2020.