Developing your research skills

Library Services offers workshops, appointments and subject specific Library Guides in order to help you develop your research skills.

Whether you are a brand new student just starting out, returning to study after a gap and looking to refresh your skills, or a postgraduate aiming to publish your work for the first time, there are lots of ways in which we can provide support, guidance and advice at a time and a place when you need it.

Dedicated Subject and Research Librarians along with Copyright specialists and our Digital Repository team are available to assist on an individual basis, or by providing embedded information literacy workshops tailored to individual course content and module requirements.

We also provide a range of opportunities for you to access help including: Help Desks staffed 7 days a week, Online Chat, and our Ask Us service: and we’re proud to have recently been awarded Customer Service Excellence accreditation.

All of our online services and resources can be accessed via the Library website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as long as you have an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC or other connected device.

And we’re always looking to improve our services and support too, so please do contact us with your feedback, comments and suggestions.

What happened in City Research Online (CRO) in March?

March has seen a buzz of activity in CRO, with 190 new research publications being uploaded from across the university.  These new additions bring the total number of City’s research outputs available for download or request to nearly 14,000. The infographic below details a breakdown of upload and download figures for the month.

Over 20,000 visitors from 168 countries have visited CRO this month, highlighting the global appeal of research published by our academics, and resulting in over 73,000 items from across the schools being downloaded.

For the second month this year, the most accessed paper was Sociology lecturer Dr Carolina Matos’ ‘Globalization and the Mass media,’ gaining 643 downloads across the world.

March’s figures give a strong indication of CRO’s importance for increasing the visibility and discoverability of our academic research, giving users in countries as far afield as Mali and the Seychelles free and immediate access to the research information they need.

You can help build upon CRO’s growing archive of research by adding your work today. If you need help uploading your work, contact the Publications Team, or visit our City Research Online step by step guides on adding publications.

Unlocking the knowledge contained in doctoral theses

In most cases, it takes anywhere between three and five years to write a doctoral thesis and a lot of the content is original research. But until recently, once finished, bound, and the degree has been awarded, the doctoral theses would end up inaccessible to most potential readers.

Theses4

So where are all the theses?

At City, the theses would be catalogued and then taken to the library store. The theses would be locked away in this store, which is in the university’s basement, and it would be necessary for them to be requested in advance and brought up to the library by  library staff in order for them to be read. Obviously, the potential readers would have to make a trip to the library.

But then, in 2011, with the launch of City Research Online, our institutional repository, things changed. The bound theses are still stored in the basement, but electronic copies of the theses are made available through City Research Online.

Has it made any difference?

A quick scan of the available data shows that in the past 10 years, the most popular print thesis was requested 37 times. This is in stark contrast to the most popular electronic thesis, which was downloaded over 7000 times in just over 5 year period. Our theses have been downloaded by readers across the globe, and I am doubtful that a reader from Estonia or Zimbabwe would take a trip to City to access the print copy.

printthesesgraph

ethesesgraph

The figures also show that only 48% of our print theses have been requested to be read, whereas all our electronic theses have been downloaded at least once. Even if we assume that those downloaded once only were viewed by a librarian, this figure is still below 2% of all City theses available online.

To browse theses in City Research Online, by school or by year, click on the theses icon and discover the amazing knowledge they contain.

Theses button in CRO

 

Lenka Shipton

ccby

Creative Commons licenses made easy

CC licencses banner

Creative Commons licenses enable sharing of, and access to, creative works, such as images, scholarly literature or music.

Creative Commons in numbers

  • The American non-profit organisation providing Creative Commons licenses was founded in 2001
  • 1.4 billion works were available under a Creative Commons license in 2017
  • 56% of all works available under a Creative Commons license in 2014 didn’t restrict commercial use or adaptation

Where can you find works shared using a Creative Commons license?

flickr logo    Youtube logo   vikipedia logo  doaj logoplos logo

Creative Commons symbols, what they mean and what they allow or restrict

CC License infographic

 

The benefits of open access

The principle benefits of open access were first enshrined within the visionary Budapest Open Access Initiative statement released on 14 February 2002 and are still very much alive 16 years later.

The convergence of research sharing with technological distribution via the internet, it declared, would create an “unprecedented public good” by facilitating free, unrestricted access to information for academics, scientists, students and the general public.

“Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge” (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002).*

cc-by_logo

In addition to providing an invaluable asset to society, open access publishing has specific merits for you as an academic researcher.

  • You gain more exposure for your work

The traditional publishing route often means work is locked behind a paywall resulting in knowledge for those who can afford it. When publishing open access, your work will be widely discoverable and freely available for anyone regardless of ability to pay.

  • Professionals can apply your findings in their services

Free and unrestricted content enables professionals outside of academia, such as medical practitioners, to obtain access to up-to-date research and information they can use for vital decision-making processes and influencing service development.

  • You can achieve higher citation rates

As open access scholarship increases the visibility of your work, studies have revealed that open articles can receive as much as 18% more citations in other academic papers. The more your work is cited, the more likely it is to be read.**

  • Your work can be accessed by the general public

Publishing research in openly available format will allow access for anyone with an interest in your subject. This provides the potential for your work to become the foundation for future innovative research that can yield greater societal benefit.

  • You can achieve compliance with funding rules

In light of funders increasingly mandating open publishing as a requirement for grant allocation, making your work free at the point of access is an easy way to ensure you are complying with rules associated with your financial support.

  • You can give taxpayers value for their money

With the majority of research being supported by publicly funded research councils, choosing open access publishing routes ensures you are giving back to the taxpayers who made your research possible in the first place, and who have a vested interest in the results.

  • Your work can reach researchers in developing countries

Escalating journal costs underpin a glaring inequality in access to vital information for developing countries which might have difficulty in affording the subscriptions. Making your work open access is crucial for allowing researchers in developing countries to access up-to-date knowledge for research development whilst, at the same time, increasing global visibility of your research.

* Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) Available at: https://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/ (Accessed: 16 October 2018).

** Piwowar H. et al. (2018The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ 6:e4375. Available at: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4375 (Accessed: 16 October 2018).

ccby

Psyched about DPsychs

If you’re in the process of studying to become a practitioner psychologist and preparing to carry out a research project, you will probably want to have at look at past theses submitted by previous City students.

You can of course search for theses using CityLibrary Search and/or browse City Research Online, but our Subject Librarian Antonella has also created a handy list of DPsychs published over the last few years on Reading Lists Online– plus she’s helpfully highlighted the methodology used too.

Image of the list of DPsychs on Reading Lists Online
List of DPsychs on Reading Lists Online

There are many theses available in full-text via City Research Online as well as print copies available on request from our basement store, so hopefully you’ll find some great examples to help you get started.

4 things researchers at City should know about Library Services

Are you busy writing your PhD? Finishing off a paper for publication? Or, just thinking about starting a project?

Well, the good news is Library Services can help you. And the even better news is that we can help you help yourself too. Here are 4 things you need to know:

  1. We have experts dedicated to you: Research Librarians, a Copyright Librarian, the Publications Team- we have a host of talented and dedicated staff members ready to answer your questions, support your enquiries and help solve your problems; all to make sure you know everything you need to know about all the things you need to know about
  2. Our specialist Library guide is special: so special in fact that it covers literally everything, from starting a literature search to ordering an Inter-Library Loan. And when we say everything, we mean everything: including those things you didn’t even know that you didn’t know about…
  3. You can tell us to buy things for you: Read for Research is set up so you can ask us to purchase books needed for your research. You’re just an online form away from ordering all sorts of goodies to be added to our collection- and the best bit? You get to borrow the item first, freshly processed, still glistening with newness
  4. City Research Online has gone global: our institutional repository reaches a worldwide audience, meaning your research really will have an international impact. Plus, you can keep up to date with all the latest output from schools and departments across the University via Twitter: articles, PhD theses, book chapters and more.

4 things, one outcome: your research success.