Thursday, 26 November 2009

Patterns of information use and exchange: case studies of researchers in the life sciences

The Research Information Network (RIN) and the British Library have produced a report that addresses research patterns in life sciences.

It reveals that researcher practices diverge from policies promoted by funders and information service providers. The report concludes ‘one-size-fits-all’ information and data sharing policies are not achieving scientifically productive and cost-efficient information use in life sciences.

Key findings include:

* Researchers use informal and trusted sources of advice from colleagues, rather than institutional service teams, to help identify information sources and resources
* The use of social networking tools for scientific research purposes is far more limited than expected
* Data and information sharing activities are mainly driven by needs and benefits perceived as most important by life scientists rather than ‘top-down’ policies and strategies
* There are marked differences in the patterns of information use and exchange between research groups active in different areas of the life sciences, reinforcing the need to avoid standardised policy approaches

>>>Patterns of information use and exchange: case studies of researchers in the life sciences

Monday, 16 November 2009

EThOS - Update

EThOS, the British Library's thesis digitisation service launched in January and has so far made over 24,000 theses available for immediate download. It allows researchers to access theses online and showcases the quality of UK postgraduate research.

The service has been extremely popular with researchers and digitisation times for theses not already available electronically have dramatically reduced.

Already Bournemouth University has 142 digitised theses in EThOS, which are also being added to BURO.

Early Career Researchers - New Guide

Elsevier has published a guide that helps Early Career Researchers make informed decisions about their direction following completion of their doctorates.

In two parts, Professor Alan Johnson's booklet explains how to create a career plan, select a research discipline, supervisor/mentor and the importance of collaboration and networking

The second half of the guide discusses ethics, how to publish research, where to publish, funding, collaborating with industry and academia etc.

>>>Charting a Course for a Successful Research Career: A Guide for Early Career Researchers

Friday, 13 November 2009

Academia.edu helps academics discover 'Who's researching what?'

Academia.edu is an example of a multidisciplinary social networking site for academics. It helps academics worldwide answer the question 'Who's researching what?'

  • You can find people with similar research interests to you
  • You can keep track of the latest developments in your research area - the latest papers, talks, blog posts and status updates
  • You can create an academic webpage, listing your research interests and any papers you have written.

Sample webpages:

http://oxford.academia.edu/RichardPrice
http://bournemouth.academia.edu/DimitriosBuhalis

As when adding your full text items to BURO (Bournemouth University Research Online), you must abide by your publisher copyright agreements.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Open Access Week

Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Web to open access to previously hidden knowledge. It encourages the unrestricted sharing of research outputs with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society.

This week (October 19-23) marks the first international Open Access Week. Open Access Week is an opportunity to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access to research, including access policies from all types of research funders, within the international higher education community and the general public.

Examples of open access resources:-

  • Research repositories, such as BURO (Bournemouth University Research Online)
  • Open Access journal services, such as DOAJ, Open J-Gate

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

BURO - New Author Browse function

The new Author Browse function in BURO allows BU Staff and external users to locate individual members of staff much more easily.

BU academics can also use the persistent web address (url) that exists for their individual research outputs in their email signatures to promote their work to colleagues, national and international collaborators.

  1. Go to Author Browse in BURO
  2. Select your name
  3. Copy the url from your web browser
  4. Paste into your email signature
e.g.

Professor Ralph Clarke
Centre for Conservation Ecology and Environmental Change
School of Conservation Sciences
Bournemouth University
rclarke@bournemouth.ac.uk
www.bournemouth.ac.uk/cceec

My publications:
Researcher ID
http://www.researcherid.com/rid/B-3859-2009
BURO
http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/view/author/9e882aad8837e2681384821abf8aa476.html

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

BURO - Service Outage 6pm 7/7/09

A short service outage is scheduled for this evening between 6 and 7pm in order to carry out essential maintenance to the BURO server. This includes a substantial RAM upgrade which should increase the performance of the repository. We estimate 10-20 minutes downtime.

Please accept our apologies for the short notice, this is not our usual policy. Any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the BURO Manager.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Publishing Opportunities Database

Publishing Opportunities Database provides an extensive listing of opportunities from three distinct sources for those wishing to present and publish their research papers:
  • Journal Call for Papers records index
  • Conference Call for Papers
  • Special Issue Call for Papers
>>>Go to Publishing Opportunities Database

You can save advanced searches as alerts and have EBSCOhost e-mail you with any new results. You will need to create a personal My EBSCOhost account first.

>>>Saving a Search as an Alert

Please note, Publishing Opportunities Database replaces Papers Invited.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Elsevier threat to Open Access

It has been reported that Elsevier has been approaching university v-cs about taking repositories out of universities' hands. Publishers are feeling threatened by the researcher-led open access movement that supports full text access to publications via institutional repositories.

Most UK universities, such as Bournemouth University operate open-access repositories e.g. BURO, where researchers can voluntarily deposit final drafts of their pay-to-access journal publications online. Increasing numbers are also making deposition mandatory.

A repository operated by a journal publisher could set access conditions that undermine the needs of researchers and make it hard to search the data.

Stevan Harnad, a professor at the University of Southampton who champions institutional repositories via his Open Access Evangelism blog, suggests that this could give repository access only to an unsatisfactory version of a document.

>> Read Zoe Corbyn's story in the THE

Monday, 22 June 2009

2008 data now added to Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) provides a systematic and objective means to critically evaluate the world's leading journals, with quantifiable, statistical information based on citation data. By compiling the references that cite articles, it helps to measure research influence and impact at the journal and category levels, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals.

New JCR Web metrics and data complement the Impact Factor, depicting a more precise view of journal citation results, from a broader range of scholarly disciplines in farther-reaching contexts. Expanded analytical capabilities include Five-year Impact Factor, Eigenfactor™, Impact Factor boxplots, Rank-in-Category Tables and Journal Self-Citations.

>>More information about JCR

>>JCR Quick Reference Card

>>Go to JCR

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

New digital research hubs to be set up in the UK

Research Councils UK has revealed that three digital research hubs are being set up. The new centres will be based in Nottingham University, Newcastle University and Aberdeen University and will develop new technologies to enhance life in the UK and to create a "Digital Britain".

Each centre will specialise in a a particular area. Nottingham will focus on business, Newcastle on social inclusion and Aberdeen on rural issues.

Links

Digital hubs to transform how we live in Digital Britain
Research Councils UK

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

BURO - Service Now Resumed

Problems have been reported with the BURO server this morning. Eprints have alerted our ISP who are investigating the problem with highest priority. Apologies for the temporary loss of service.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Lessons learned through Research Excellence Framework (REF) bibliometrics pilot

Bournemouth University were one of the participating institutions in HEFCE’s recent pilot to inform the use of bibliometric indicators in the Research Excellence Framework. HEFCE commissioned Technopolis to identify and disseminate the key lessons learned by all participating HEIs. The report Identification and dissemination of lessons learned by institutions participating in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) bibliometrics pilot highlights their findings. Concern is expressed regarding a proposed developmental REF bibliometrics exercise in 2010 which may risk rushed decision-making and implementation. This now appears to have been scrapped by HEFCE as bibliometrics are becoming less important to the REF.

Zoe Corbyn of the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) reports on HEFCE's current thinking on the REF as a work in progress. She suggests that evolution rather than revolution looks set to be the hallmark of the REF. Bibliometrics will be used to inform expert review rather than replacing it, but subject discipline will be key with more relevance to science and medicine.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Methodspace – a global networking space for Research Methods

SAGE has recently launched Methodspace – a global networking space for communicating about Research Methods.

Hosted by Ning, Methodspace allows you to

  • Read a featured book or journal article of the month
  • Share your latest research methods questions on the forums
  • Blog about your latest research methods activities
  • Look up events that are coming up in research methods
>>Go to Methodspace

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Do you use the British library?

The British Library are looking to understand more about the value that they add to your research or work. Have you used their collections and services (including their digital resources) to, for example

  • Complete a post-graduate qualification?
  • Write a book?
  • Help set up a business?
  • Develop a new product?

If so, they would like you to tell them your story.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

EThOS - an update

Since its beta launch in January 2009, EThOS, the open access repository for UK theses, has become one of the British Library's most popular online resources.

Over the three months that it has been available as a beta version:

• Over 100 UK universities have signed up to participate in the service;
• Traffic to the site has grown to over 550,000 hits per month;
• The number of theses available for immediate download has tripled, from 4,000 in January to over 12,500 at the end of April;
• It has become the most popular linking destination from the British Library Integrated Catalogue, generating four times more links than the next most popular resource.

EThOS has quickly been adopted by the research community and is effectively showcasing UK research to the World. However, this popularity has created some service delays.

Demand has been twice British Library's expectation, resulting in a backlog of theses waiting to be digitised. The British Library has taken steps to minimise the backlog by introducing a second digitisation shift and investing in new scanning machinery.

Details on the size of the backlog at the end of April:

1) Number of theses waiting to be digitised: c10,000;
2) Average number of new requests for theses per day (as of 6/5/09): 100;
3) Digitisation capacity (theses per day): 175;
4) Forecast date for complete digitisation of theses in backlog: October 2009.


The British Library realise that this is a frustrating time for EThOS users and they appreciate your patience while they work to overcome the short term digitisation issues.If you have any questions about EThOS, please contact the Customer Services team at EThOS-help@bl.uk

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Publishing Opportunities Database trial

Publishing Opportunities Database provides an extensive listing of opportunities from three distinct sources, for researchers interested in presenting and publishing their research papers: Journal Call for Papers records index, Conference Call for Papers, and Special Issue Call for Papers.

Publishing Opportunities Database is a potential alternative to PapersInvited. The trial expires at the end of May. We welcome your feedback.

>>Go to Publishing Opportunities Database

Please note this trial has been extended until the end of June

Friday, 1 May 2009

Software upgrade required for SED Inter Library Loan users

On 4th May Adobe are due to release a software upgrade for Adobe Digital Editions (Version 1.7.1).

For Inter library Loan users to continue receiving documents via the Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) service it is necessary for the version of Adobe Digital Editions on your pc to be upgraded.

Please contact IT Services help desk to request an upgrade, giving your pc number, office location and contact telephone number. IT Services help desk can be contacted by e-mail, phone or ICT Self Service

Friday, 24 April 2009

E-journals: their use, value and impact

This Research Information Network (RIN) report takes an in-depth look at how researchers in the UK use electronic journals, the value they bring to universities and research institutions and the contribution they make to research productivity, quality and outcomes.

The late 1990s brought a revolution in the scholarly communications process. Now a very high proportion of journal articles are available online – 96 per cent of journal titles in science, technology and medicine, and 86 per cent of titles in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The report examines how researchers interact with journal websites and whether enhanced access to journal articles has led to greater productivity, research quality and other outcomes. It finds that researchers are savvy when it comes to using e-journals, finding the information they need quickly and efficiently, and that higher spending on e-journals is linked to better research outcomes. tarts to build a clear picture of how e-journals are shaping the information landscape – a picture that we’ll add to as our research in this area continues.

The full report is available on the RIN website.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

PhD student volunteers wanted for a ground‐breaking research study!

Were you born between 1982 and 1994? Does your doctorate start in 2008 or 2009?

Education for Change (EfC) is managing a research study for the British Library and the JISC to investigate the information seeking and research behaviour of doctoral students born between 1982 and 1994 – commonly dubbed ‘Generation Y’.

They need volunteers to take part in a longitudinal research study over 2½ years of about 70 full‐time UK doctoral students from all subject disciplines, which will track information‐seeking behaviour and changing attitudes to research. They want to find out how you do your research, how and when you use libraries, information and research resources both online and off.

Being involved in the Researchers of Tomorrow study will offer interesting and valuable
opportunities to share your own research experiences and exchange ideas with
other doctoral students in the study. There will be get‐togethers at the British Library in London and there will be free opportunities to attend events and take advantage of the
Library’s facilities and services.

If this interests you, please contact Louise Wetheridge immediately l.wetheridge@efc.co.uk or
telephone 020 7247 3370.

Friday, 3 April 2009

e-infrastructure for scientific data

The rapid changes in information technology are a real threat to the preservation of digital material. File formats and software become obsolete over time therefore making the task of preserving data for future generations a real challenge. PARSE.Insight (Permanent Access to Scientific Data) is an EU funded project which aims to preserve scientific information from initial data through to published research. The project will create a roadmap for developing an e-infrastructure to ensure the long term accessibility of scientific data. A draft document is available at http://www.parse-insight.eu/publications.php

Links

PARSE.Insight
Alliance for Permanent Access to Records of Science

Monday, 30 March 2009

JISC podcasts

The JISC web site has a range of podcasts available for download. One of particular interest is an interview with Ewan McIntosh the Digital Commissioner for 4ip. Ewan, who was one of the keynote speakers at the recent JISC conference in Edinburgh, discusses how mashup and digitisation can encourage researchers to be more innovative and creative.

Links

Podcast: Mashing up research and connecting with learners through social media
JISC Podcasts

Friday, 27 March 2009

Researchers of Tomorrow

The British Library and JISC have engaged Education for Change to undertake a 3 year study of the research behaviour of young doctoral students (those born between 1982-1994). This study of the so called 'Generation Y' researcher will look at their information seeking behaviour and their use of both physical and electronic research environments.

Further details of the study can be found on the Education for Change website.

Links

Education for Change
Researchers of Tomorrow

Monday, 23 March 2009

Accessing Grey Literature

Identifying and tracking down 'grey literature' can be very problematic due to its lack of conventional bibliographic control. There are now several web sites designed to keep you up to date with what is available:

DocuTicker is a daily update of new reports from think tanks government agencies and and non-governmental organisations. Sign up for an RSS feed or subscribe to the weekly email newsletter.

GreyNet aims to facilitate dialog, research, and communication between persons and organisations in the field of grey literature.

Monday, 9 March 2009

New editors for the Research Support blog

Two new editors will be contributing to the Research Support blog from the beginning of March, Emma Crowley (Subject Librarian for the School of Conservation Sciences) and Anne Davey (Subject Librarian for The School of Design, Engineering and Computing). Matt Holland is leaving the University to take up a new post.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

BURO ranks in World Top 300 Repositories

BURO is ranked 281 in the Top 300 World Repositories measured using four quantitative web indicators. The highest placed UK repository is University of Southampton Eprints in 9th place.

Monday, 2 March 2009

SciTopics

SciTopics is a free online expert-generated knowledge sharing service for the research community to quickly offer scientific, technical and medical knowledge on a variety of subjects. It provides distilled, authoritative and up-to-date, information for researchers. (SciTopics Website).
Articles on SciTopics are backed up with links to related sites, links to related articles from SciTopics, references to other literature, and most recent and most cited relevant articles sourced from SCOPUS. Scirus, also provides relevant news items from established news sources and relevant results from the web. Topics cover a full range of topics from Science, Social Sciences and the Arts and Humanities, although most articles are on Science and Science related topics.

You need to register to be able to add comments and create a profile. Profiles link to Scopus and can import your references from Scopus using your Scopus Author ID.

SciTopics links a number of products from Elsevier, Scirus, 2collab, Scopus and ScienceDirect. SciTopics profile is comparable to Thomson Reuters ResearcherID although the functionality is different.

Links

SciTopics
SciTopics FAQ

Friday, 27 February 2009

Resources on Open Access

The idea of Open Access (OA) has been around for some time. The Open Access Directory timeline begins in 1966 with the launch of Education Resources Information Center [ERIC]. OA publishing has a strong presence in some disciplines (the High Energy Physics Repository arXiv; BioMed Central and Cogprints - Cognitive Sciences Eprint Archive) and a growing community of OA journals (see Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and African Journals Online).

Discussions about OA has been limited to a small group of proponents, however, increasingly policies and statements supporting OA are being adopted by organisations who fund and support UK Research, including HEFCE, JISC, Research Information network (RIN) and the Research Councils. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) now mandates Open Access publishing in line with all UK Research Councils.

As researchers you may already have a stake in OA, if you publish in an OA journal, if your work is funded by an organisation that mandates OA, if you use OA journals or access OA articles, or if you have contributed a pre or post print to Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO).

OA is divided into two types. These are complementary not exclusive. Gold - publishing in a journal, paying a fee to the publisher to enable OA to your article and Green - publishing pre or post prints on a repository (OA self archiving).

For more information on OA look at Peter Subers Open Access Overview, the Open Access pages from Eprints (who also provide the software and support for BURO) and the Open Access Directory - a comprehensive resource on all aspects of Open Access.

If you want to get involved with OA, add a pre or postprint to BURO, you need to check your publishers policies on OA on the SHERPA/RoMEO website which expalins what publishers will or will not allow. You can also write to publishers to request permission to include material on BURO.

Links

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

European digital library launched

Europeana, Europe’s multimedia online library is now available. It enables people around the world to access more than two million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archival documents, paintings and films online. These resources come from national libraries and cultural institutions of the European Union's 27 Member States.

Europeana was created by the European Commission in 2005 and is run by the European Digital Library Foundation. It is hosted by the Dutch national library, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, and contains material from over 1,000 cultural organisations from across Europe. The Commission plans to invest €2 million per year of EU funding in Europeana over the next 2 years.

Links

Europeana

Friday, 20 February 2009

Bibliometrics and the REF

The Research Excellence Framework [REF] will use citation analysis or bibliometrics as one part of research assessment. The extent to which bibliometrics is used compared to qualitative methods will depend on the subject. Subjects that favour publication in journals and conference papers are better suited to bibliometric analysis than subjects which use the full range of publication and other forms of non print outputs - performance, animation or artefact's.

Citation counts for individual researchers do not tell us much about the impact of an article or conference paper, is 24 citations good or bad? Set against the average of citations in a particular subject it is possible to assess whether a paper has above or below average citations. So if the average number of citations for papers in subject X is 16 then 24 (24/16) is 1.5 times the norm for that subject.

The REF is likely to profile the output from one subject within an institution against the norms for citations in that subject assigning outputs to categories on a scale of excellence, below average citations through to well above average (see link to leaflet on Bibliometrics and the REF below).

Perhaps more of a challenge is how to define subjects in terms of collections of journal titles from which citation subject norms can be derived. The REF may follow a similar path to that of the Excellence in Research for Australia [ERA], creating lists of journals through a process of expert review and assigning journal lists to Fields of Research [FoR] [2 digits] further broken down into sub fields [4 digits].

Links

Options for Defining Normalisation Fields - A report to HEFCE by RAND Europe

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

First EThOS Ph.D. thesis added to BURO

The first digitised Ph.D thesis requested from Bournemouth University through EThOS, and supplied to the University has been added to BURO.

Saunders, R., 1987. Road traffic accidents and their implications for management. PhD Thesis (PhD). Dorset: Institute of Higher Education.

Bournemouth University is a full Open Access member of EThOS which means that any thesis requested from Bournemouth University through the British Library will be digitised and made available on the EThOS website for registered users and a copy placed on BURO.

Links

Bournemouth University Research Online BURO
EHtOS website

Friday, 6 February 2009

Archival Sound Recordings – Recording of the Month competition

Archival Sound Recordings is an online audio resource which makes selections of music, spoken word and environmental sounds from the British Library Sound Archive available online. Recordings are available for playback and download to staff and students in UK higher and further education.

To enter the Recording of the Month competition, simply log in to the website using your Athens password, pick a favourite recording, write up to 50 words about why you love it, and send it to [ ginevra.house@bl.uk ].

The prize is a £20 book token and winners are picked monthly.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Why We Cite

Bibliometrics and its sub disciplines citation analysis and citation behaviour (or why we cite) used to be a fairly obscure branch of academic activity. However, with the use of citation data to evaluate research in national research assessment exercises this topic has relevance to all active researchers.

Despite many decades of research no systematic explanation of citation behaviour has emerged, beyond the fact that motivations for citing are a complex mixture of local context, cultural and psychological factors. There does seem to be a consensus that aggregated citation statistics do identify significant contributions to any discipline (Bornmann and Daniel 2008).

The recent REF consultation exercise indicated concerns about techniques researchers could use to influence citation patterns - reported in the THES (Corbyn 2008). For example, citation clubs, groups of researchers working together to inflate citation counts by citing each others work or excessive self citation - which will be eliminated from the REF. These concerns may be too negative. For a more positive view on why we cite, Research Trends - a bi-monthly newsletter from Scopus - runs a regular feature on why elite researchers are cited or cite others.

The focus on citations may also have distorting effects on publication and citation behaviour. Researchers increasingly focusing on highly cited journal titles, senior researchers publishing less but in 'better' journals, a reluctance to co-author with junior researchers papers that are less likely to have a citation impact and publishing review articles which are thought to be more highly cited.

References

Bornmann, L. & Daniel, L-D., 2008. What do citation counts measure? A review of studies on citing behavior. Journal of Documentation. 64 (1), 45-80. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00220410810844150 [Accessed: 05 February 2009].

Corbyn, Z., 2008. Researchers may play dirty to beat REF. Times Higher Education. 7 February 2008. Available from: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=400516 [Accessed 05 February 2009].

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

News from SCOPUS


  • In April 2009 1,450 journals in Arts and Humanities core areas such as history, literature and visual arts will be added to Scopus. Many countries will be better represented as a result of these added titles and researchers will have enhanced access to international Arts and Humanities content. Journal subjects include literature and literary theory (30% of new titles), general arts and humanities (22%), history (17%), visual/performing arts (16%), among others.

  • SCOPUS has been chosen by the Australian Research Council (ARC) for its Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. The ERA initiative will assess research quality within Australia's higher education institutions using a combination of indicators and expert review by committees comprised of experienced, internationally-recognized experts. Scopus Custom Data will be the sole provider used to assess the country’s higher education research output for the ERA’s first group of science disciplines (Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences (PCE)) in 41 Higher Education Providers (HEPs): Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences (PCE). The ERA process is similar to the planned REF, currently HEFCE is running a pilot exercise using data provided Thomson Reuters/Evidence.




Keeping up to date with the REF

Now that the RAE is published, with a further announcement due in March on the actual allocation of money for research, thoughts are turning to the REF. Bournemouth University was one of 22 Universities to take part in the REF Pilot exercise and one of five Case Studies commissioned by JISC to look specifically at the issues of data collection. Bournemouth was chosen because of interest in the development of BURO. Both the REF Pilot website and the REF Home Website have links to key documents and reports.

The REF has been in the news most recently because of the takeover of Evidence by Thomson Reuters, who also own one of the key data sources for analysing the pilot data the WOS ISI Citation Indexes. Evidence is managing the REF pilot on behalf of HEFCE. Questions about a conflict of interest were raised by THES and denied by Evidence. However, Evidence will now only use data from WOS according the the HEFCE website. The other possible data source is Elsevier's SCOPUS.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Research Information Network (RIN) Factsheet - Making sense of research funding in UK higher education

The Making sense of research funding in UK higher education guide from RIN, explains the "Haldane Principle", dual funding and the TRAC system and much more in four pages. A very good summary.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH)

The ERIH Lists categorises journals in the Humanities using a three point scale A, B and C. Definitions of these categories are presented in ERIH guidelines :

A high-ranking international publications with a very strong reputation among researchers of the field in different countries, regularly cited all over the world.
B: standard international publications with a good reputation among researchers of the field in different countries.
C: research journals with an important local / regional significance in Europe, occasionally cited outside the publishing country though their main target
group is the domestic academic community.

The aim of the project is to identify areas of excellence in the humanities. The lists are compiled by groups of experts, which reflect a similar process used by the Australian Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). Clearly stated on the ERIH website is that lists are not intended as a ranking exercise and should not be used as a bibliographic analysis tool. Their aim is to identify excellent research in the 15 areas analysed.

However, the ERIH has generated controversy among publishers and editors who argue that whatever the intention of the exercise, the outcome will be to produce a hierarchy of journals and to encourage academics and those who evaluate research outputs to focus on A category titles. Following protests from publishers, the A B C categories are being replaced by textual descriptors, reported in the THES. Some journal editors plan to publish a letter outlining their concerns with the ERIH in January 09 issues. Australian academics have voiced similar concerns, noting that journals in some areas of research, for example in media and film, there are few or no journals in the top A* category. The arguement continues in the blogosphere.

The debate is particular interst in view of the future planning for the REF, and the percieved problems of trying to assess the quality of research outputs in the Arts and Humanities.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

National e-Book Observatory - final questionnaire

Last January, JISC the National e-Book Observatory conducted one of the biggest surveys of Libray users ever conducted, with more than 23,000 responses from students and staff at UK universities. The project is now finishing and is asking students and staff to complete a final questionnaire.

If you recall the project provided access to e-books in media studies; business and management; engineering; medicine to generate data for the project. They are asking for responses from users of those e-books and from non-users.

Questionnaires can be found here ...

Student Questionnaire

Staff Questionnaire

Links
More information about National e-Books Observatory Project
List of e-books in the project. These titles are available on the BU Library Catalogue for the duration of the project.

Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) Update

Electronic Theses Online Service or EThOS is a new British Library/JISC project to make available PhD theses to researchers over the web. The project has now moved into a new phase with a live system located at [ ethos.bl.uk ].

You need to register as a user before you can request a thesis, although if you just want to search there is a basic search engine to check what is available. Some theses are available for immediate download - you have to log in to access these. This number will increase as the project rolls out and more digitised content is added.

This service is free to you. However, as with Inter-Library Loan, there are costs in the system which are being absorbed by participating universities and the project funders. Bournemouth University will monitor our own use of the system and may review costs in the light of actual usage.

Bournemouth University theses requested by other UK universities and digitised for EThOS will also be added to BURO.

Links
EThOS website ethos.bl.uk
More about the EThOS project
Detailed description of how EThOS will work

Sunday, 25 January 2009

BURO - log in problems on 23 January 2009

You may have experienced some problems accessing BURO yesterday, 23 January 2009. The problem is now resolved. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

The Australian Research Council [ARC] is in the process of developing a similar evaluation exercise to the Research Excellence Framework [REF] in the UK. The Australian framework for evaluation, Excellence in Research for Australia [ERA], is more advanced than the REF and will use a mix of performance Indicators including citation analysis and peer review depending on the specific requirements of each discipline. The ERA divides research into 8 discipline clusters, which are further broken down into 157 sub disciplines, or Fields of Research [FoR] identified by four number codes.

One Indicator will be based on the ranking of c21,000 journals according to their standing relative to each other. Journals are assessed in 4 Tiers A* (All articles report Top level research of international standing), A (Most articles report Top level research of international standing), B (Few articles of high quality, a high proportion of articles by PhD and early career researchers), C (Journals not included in the higher tiers). Institutions and Discipline clusters can be assessed by what proportion of publications appear in journals in each category.The rankings are subject to Peer Review by subject experts.

Although, not as mathematically precise as rankings derived from citation analysis, they promise an interesting exercise in combining journal rankings with peer review. The final rankings will be made available during 2009. The 2008 list can be viewed here, listed by title and FoR (Field of Research).

Links
Australian Research Council [ ARC ]
The Excellence in Research for Australia [ ERA ] Initiative
Research Excellence Indicators
Description of the Consultation process
ARC Journal Rankings 2008

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

British Library Newsletter - January 2009

Latest news from the British Library. In this issue there is information on Taking Liberties Study Day, an Entrepreneurship Training Day for postgraduates, news on the Burney Newspapers Collection now available free to HE institutions, also news of the Jewish Holocaust Survivors collection on the Archival Sound Recordings website.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Brief Guide to Searching BURO - Hints and Tips Part Two

This presentation provides a simple overview of browsing, searching
and exporting results to your personal EndNote library.



Contact Matt Holland if you would like a copy of the original .ppt presentation. May not display correctly in all browsers.

Links

Previous related post

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Electronic versions of theses and EThOS

We have had a number of questions about electronic access to theses recently, this summarises some of the issues.

EThOS

Bournemouth University is participating in the EThOS programme at the Open Access Sponsor level.

EThOS is currently operating in a beta test phase and has not been officially launched to the community. Whilst the aim of the service is to allow individuals to find, access and archive e-theses produced in UK Higher Education Institutions, at this stage it is not a mechanism for the systematic digitization of all UK doctoral theses.

As an Open Access Sponsor, Bournemouth University is committed to supply to British Library on demand paper copies of Bournemouth University doctoral theses and pay for the digitization. Initially the selection mechanism for which theses are digitized is based purely on demand from British Library users. However, there may be an opportunity as the project progresses in 2009 and 2010 for the University to select specific theses for digitization. As such there is currently no mechanism for automatically adding a digital copy of your thesis.


Electronic Submission of Theses

The University does not require electronic submission of theses. The question has been raised, but as you might expect, a significant change like this has to go through the appropriate University Committee structure for scrutiny before regulations on submission can be changed. Were this change to happen it is likely theses will be made available via BURO.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Did I write this? Author misidentification

Author misidentification has always been a problem for large databases like SCOPUS and Thomson Reuters Web of Science [WOS]. Unless you have a unique surname any search for your own output, or anyone else's, using Author Name is going to find articles written by authors with the same or similar name. There are over 100 "Holland M's" identified in WOS for example.

This might just be an irritating side issue but it will become more important for the next version of the RAE, the Research Excellence Framework [REF] which will be based on citation data sourced from either SCOPUS or WOS, where accurate identification of authors is critical to the integrity of the exercise.

It may not be a coincidence that both SCOPUS and Thomson Reuters have brought out tools for users this year that are seeking to address this problem.

ResearchID (Thomson Reuters) which creates a unique number for those who register, and allows you to create a list of your publications sourced direct from Web of Science.

SCOPUS Author Preview which allows you to search for your own papers, provide Feedback to SCOPUS where papers have been misidentified, and use RSS to create your own publications list.

Links

Previous blog entry on ResearcherID
Promotional fact sheet for ResearcherID from Thomson Reuters
HEFCE Report Appraisal of Citation Data Sources comparing SCOPUS and WOS
SCOPUS Newsletter announcing Author Preview feature