A roundup of free online training

There have been a few new, free online training resources for researchers released lately, so we thought with summer here it would be worth a roundup.

From a focus on working with data and data management to a broader range looking at different aspects of working openly, there should be something for everyone.

  • Data Tree is a new free online data management training course, funded by NERC. It’s especially aimed at PhD students and early career researchers in the environmental sciences, but useful for anyone who wants to learn new data skills. It includes ways to engage and share data with business, policymakers, media and the wider public.
  • FOSTER Plus is a 2-year, EU-funded project, carried out by 11 partners across 6 countries, with the aim of developing Open Science. Their draft Open Science training courses have just been released for use and public consultation, so early users have a chance to shape their development. Courses include What is Open Science?, Open Science and InnovationData Protection and Ethics, and Open Access Publishing.
  • We posted about the UK Data Service’s data skills modules back in May, but if you didn’t have time then, take a look now. They have introductory sessions on Survey Data, Longitudinal Data and Aggregate data.
  • We also posted before about the CESSDA ERIC Data Management course which takes you through each step of the research process working with data, from planning to publishing.

If you get a chance to work through any of these and have feedback that you’d like to share, please let us know so we can pass it on. Get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk

 

 

 

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ORDO online drop-in today

Our monthly online drop-in session for ORDO is today, 11:30 – 12:30.

Ask Dan about using ORDO for data preservation, data sharing, showcasing your work, collaborative projects… and anything else.

To join, go to our Adobe Connect “Research Support” page and click on “join room” (and if you find the link takes you to the “DISS Home” page instead, click on “Resources” at the top and scroll down to “Research Support”).

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A great new opportunity to access the Times Higher Education.

The Library is pleased to announce that we have secured access for all staff and students to the Times Higher Education online through our institutional subscription.

Setting up a personal account will enable access to the latest and archive editions of Times Higher Education including news about the latest trends and issues in the Higher Education sector from across the world.

Are you interested? It is straightforward to set up an account for online access using your OU email address, visit the Library website for details.

 

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ORDO online drop-ins – ask us about the OU’s research data repository

Heard of ORDO already but not sure what it does?

Never heard of it before but interested in options for storing and sharing data to support your research?

I’ll be holding an online drop-in session for ORDO, the OU’s research data repository, on the first Tuesday of every month at 11:30 to answer any questions you have about data preservation, data sharing, showcasing your work, collaborative projects… and anything else.

 

The first session is on Tuesday 5th June at 11:30-12:30, and then at the same time on the first Tuesday of every month after that. Drop-in at any time and stay as long as you want.

To join, go to our Adobe Connect “Research Support” page and click on “join room” (and if you find the link takes you to the “DISS Home” page instead, click on “Resources” at the top and scroll down to “Research Support”).

If you want to get started right away, see the ORDO information on our website or get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk

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How does GDPR affect research data management?

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone with an email address that the GDPR comes in to force this week.

The GDPR is the new General Data Protection Regulation: an EU-wide regulation that provides rules for how personal data is handled.

It has implications for how organisations gather, manage, use and share personal data – for example when marketing and delivering services, as demonstrated by the many emails we have all no doubt received recently from companies we once interacted with in one way or another.

But there are also implications for researchers working with personal data, and in March Dr Marc Cornock wrote a guest post for us about GDPR and introduced his editorial about the issues affecting research.

Further to this, we have written a guide: GDPR – How does it affect Research Data Management and data sharing?highlighting the key issues for researchers and drawing together some useful resources and contacts.

If you have any comments or suggestions from your experience, please do get in touch. The guidance will be updated and improved as we all get to grips with GDPR.

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Opening Umbrellas: Icons in Academic Publishing.

HAZARD! OPENING UMBRELLAS.

With a (big) hat tip to Dr. Susan Gibbons, (Yale University) whose presentation at Researcher to Reader 2018 triggered this post.

Spending as much time as I do trawling the academic literature, one becomes immune to the plethora of icons that inhabit publisher, library, content aggregator, repository and other services that hook onto scholarly communications.  At a glance these icons are supposed to tell us something useful.  However, we now have so many different icons, I doubt they now serve any useful purpose.

YES

The basic information these icons are supposed to convey is YES or NO; YES you can access this content, or NO you cannot.   Access to these subscribed journals may be indicated by green ticks, green unlocked padlocks, green rectangles, green squares, a green circular button or a green “S” – there may be a standard colour but there is no standard icon.  Moreover, even within the same website you can get different icons at article level or journal level, there is a lack of consistency across platforms and within them.

or NO

The scholarly content libraries do not subscribe to are often variations of locked padlocks – a variety of colours.  However, they are never red or crosses – that would definitely give the wrong impression!  Some cut to the chase and just present you with a shopping trolley, get your purse ready!  But, my favourite is just an existential empty white box – there’s nothing here to see…

or YES, for everyone

Then we get Open Access (YES for everyone – not just those that have subscription access).  “But that’s simple!” you might say “use the regular orange Open Access icon!”  Yes, well, but some publishers like their own flavour of this; some like a different coloured variation of the open padlock, and others just like an “O”.  Some like to have two varieties, orange for hybrid Open Access and blue for pure Open Access!  Some purely Open Access publishers like to get in on the act and have an open padlock icon too – even though everything in the journal portfolio is Open Access – erm why bother?

or YES, for a period of time

And then we have “Free Access” – access to papers bound by a time period or free access to particular types of journal items (e.g. editorials).  These can be notoriously difficult to tell apart from icons indicating subscribed content.  Different shades of green (or blue) open padlocks, or just plain “F” icons.  Perhaps the most successful of these resort to simple text stating “Free Access”.

or MAYBE…

Then we have partial access to this journal content; when you can read some journal issues but not others.  Mmm, getting tricky.  So we have green squares split into 2 – half green, half white. Or paler shades of green to indicate a more washed out type of access.  And then purple squares with an O split into 2 – partial access to Open Access journals – now that’s a niche use case!

and the ARCANE

“B” icons indicating Backfiles, “N” for New, “E”  for Earlycite (???) and “H” icons for “Held at the library”.  Library discovery systems aren’t great – Orange buttons with “Check Holdings” (what are holdings, again?).  Repositories with embargoed content have PDF icons with (or without) padlocks.  Some publishers have custom items to distinguish Open Access paid for by the author and that paid for by the journal.  Really, does the reader care?

Somewhere along the line we’ve lost the plot – publishers and librarians have requirements that the scholarly reader does not!  The best answer appears to be publishers who have just ditched icons and use clear text to indicate the nature of the journal content.  Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be lovely if it was all rationalised and we had a simple small set of uniform indicators/icons?

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Open Access and ORO – not just about mandates!

The biggest challenge facing  Institutional Repositories like ORO is not meeting the REF Open Access policy, although that is important!  Rather it is demonstrating their long term value to the research community they serve.  Take the case of the discussion paper authored by Dr Lesley Baillie:

Baillie, Lesley (2017). An exploration of the 6Cs as a set of values for nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 26(10) pp. 558–563.

  • This paper has been downloaded over 7,000 times by users from over 90 countries and territories since deposit in June 2017.
  • Making the paper Open Access in ORO has increased downloads by 409%.(1)
  • The version in ORO is not behind a paywall – this increases the readership to professionals and practitioners not affiliated to a university
  • When institutional repositories are indexed by Google and Google Scholar they are great platforms to make papers discoverable and accessible on a global scale.

Lesley comments “Certainly I think the open access is undoubtedly enabling healthcare professionals, including nurses, to easily access literature that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.”

Deposit in an institutional repository like ORO can be massively beneficial in the dissemination of research papers of the community it serves.

ORO Case Study PDF

(1) Based on publisher downloads of 1,458 and ORO downloads of 7,427 – data accessed 2018/05/04

 

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ORO Drop-in

Hi, I’m holding an Open Research Online (ORO) drop in next Wednesday 23rd May from 10-12.

I’ll be in the Library Bookends cafe area (by the book swap) and will be happy to answer any questions on ORO, Open Access & the REF Open Access policy.

Chris

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Training Offer: Making your research data open

There are still spaces available on our training session ‘Making your research data open‘ on Monday 21st May 2018, 14:00 to 15:30.

Image by Jorgen Stamp (CC-BY) at https://digitalbevaring.dk/

In this session we will look at the hows, whats and whys of data sharing:

  • How can you share your data? We’ll take a look at the OU’s data repository, ORDO and provide guidance on preparing data for sharing, including sensitive data
  • What data should you share? Do you need to share everything? What do funders and publishers want you to share?
  • Why should you share your data? We’ll discuss the benefits and the reasons why data sharing is such a hot topic at the moment.

Sign up via My Learning Centre – any if you have any questions, get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk.

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New online data skills modules from the UK Data Service

The UK Data Service has just launched three new online Data Skills Modules, to introduce data to non-experts via easy-to-use interactive sessions.

Data Skills Modules logo and link

Launched as beta versions, they are introductory level modules using short instructional videos, interactive quizzes and activities to test your knowledge, and are aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about using:

  • Survey data
  • Longitudinal data
  • Aggregate data

You can conduct the modules in your own time, and dip in and out around your schedule.

As always, we also recommend checking out the many other excellent resources for using and managing data on the UK Data Service site.

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