Postgraduate researcher (PGR) training survey results – 2019

The Library Research Support team recently undertook its annual survey to capture the training needs and communication preferences of postgraduate researchers (PGRs). We got a good response rate (19.3% of PGRs available). Here are some takeaways:

Over a quarter (25.6%) had not attended any OU training whatsoever, whether run by their faculty, the Graduate School, the Library or anyone else

Email was the most common way that PGRs heard about the training they attended (75.7%). Twitter (2.7%) and Facebook (0%) were not well used in this regard

A clear majority felt Library training met their learning needs (89.2%), had clear learning outcomes (89.2%) and included sufficient interactivity (75.6%)

PGRs who attended Library sessions using flipped learning felt it improved their understanding of the topic (86.3%), led them to reflect more about the topic than they would have done otherwise (81.8%) and led to more efficient use of session time (81.8%). Although, fewer (68.2%) felt it enabled the group to discuss issues in more depth

Additional training needs were diverse and the majority were in areas outside the Library’s traditional remit – Nvivo, presentation skills and academic writing were the most requested training topics

 The results will inform the planning and communication of Library Research Support training in the 2019/20 academic year as we continually develop a tailored programme in response to PGR feedback. We are also sharing findings with colleagues in relevant departments/faculties.

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UK Data Service announce 2019 webinar series

The UK Data Service has just published the dates of its free online training sessions for 2019 for developing skills in data use.

The UK Data Service is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and provides access to a collection of high quality social and economic data, including UK census data, international business data, cross-national surveys, and longitudinal studies; as well as providing guidance and training for the development of skills in data use.

These introductory webinars are aimed at anyone interested in using the data collections in their research or teaching. The hour-long sessions will walk you through the range of datasets available from the UK Data Service and demonstrate how to gain access to them, as well as exploring some of the key issues you might encounter when using these various data types.

Two particularly useful sessions for researchers looking to engage with any of their data collections centre on Data Management Basics, which explores how to manage, document, store and safeguard research data with a view to optimising data sharing, and Key issues in re-using data, which highlights some of the main issues associated with secondary analysis.

Why not have a look at the range of sessions available now and sign up?

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Online training – Research Data Management

Over the coming months we will be running a series of online bitesize training sessions on various aspects of research data management. These are open to all OU research staff and postgraduate researchers.

Please follow the links below for further information and joining instructions.

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ORDO best practice #4 – sharing videos

The latest instalment of my series on best practice in ORDO looks at sharing videos.

In late 2017, we were approached by Dr Erica Borgstrom from the faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. Erica’s research focuses on death and dying, with a particular focus on end of life care. Over the course of the previous year she had been running a series of seminars on death and dying, all of which had been recorded and posted on an OU hosted website. Erica was concerned that the website would not be supported for much longer and that the videos were of high interest and needed to be made available to the public on another platform.This is where ORDO comes in – by putting the videos of the seminars on ORDO, they were given the security and credibility of being hosted on an OU platform, and we were able to guarantee that they would be maintained for a minimum of 10 years. Adding the videos to ORDO gave each one a DOI, enabling Erica and the seminar presenters to cite them at conferences or in papers and ensuring that they are recognised as valid research outputs. ORDO allows in-browser viewing of most audiovisual file types which means that the videos don’t need to be downloaded to be watched. We were also able to add metadata to the records to enable discoverability, and upload extra background documents alongside the videos to add context.Finally, we grouped all the videos together into one collection, giving the entire seminar series a DOI and ensuring that they are seen as a complete body of work.

Seruset Borgstrom, Erica (2017): Open University Death and Dying Seminar Series. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.rd.c.3825658.v2 

Since the seminar series was uploaded to ORDO in January 2018, the videos have consistently featured in our top ten most viewed items. They have been viewed almost 7,500 times and downloaded 571 times.

A brief note from Erica:

I found working with ORDO and the library staff very helpful and exciting. Uploading and storing the videos in this way make them easy to share with a much wider audience and helps us fulfil our mission as an open, and accessible, university. The seminar speakers have also appreciated the professional platform to recognise their talk as a research output.

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“Measuring research: what everyone needs to know” – new ebook available

Want to know more about quantitative research indicators (a.k.a. bibliometrics) such as Journal Impact Factor, h-index or altmetrics? We have a new ebook in stock, containing thorough discussion of this field, the pros and cons of various indicators and the future of measuring research:

Sugimoto, C. R. and Larivière, Vincent (2018) Measuring research : what everyone needs to know(OU login required)

It also answers questions such as:

  • What are the data sources for measuring research?
  • How is impact defined and measured?
  • How is research funding measured?
  • What is the relationship between science indicators and peer review?

 

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“Getting the most out of your doctorate” – new ebook available

We’ve just procured a new ebook at the request of academic staff:

Dollinger, M. (2019) Getting the most out of your doctorate : the importance of supervision, networking and becoming a global academic. First edition. (OU login required).

It focuses on the importance of networking and building relationships as a postgraduate researcher or early career academic:

Beyond the doctoral thesis itself, the most significant factors in the progression of PhD candidature and early academic careers are: the relationships between the researcher and their supervisor(s), the ability to network, and understanding one’s place in the global research arena. Navigating these critical factors and moving from a novice to expert, is a critical undertaking for every PhD candidate and a process that will continue for years following one’s PhD. In this book, scholars from around the world offer practical advice on how to get the most out of one’s doctorate. Readers will get helpful tips on how to sustain healthy and long-lasting relationships with their supervisors, learn how to develop their networks, and understand the important changes impacting the modern PhD candidate.

Edited by Dr Mollie Dollinger (Higher Education Researcher at La Trobe University, Australia) it features contributions from a wide variety of academics, including our very own Prof. Bart Rientes.

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New Podcast – Copyright and your Thesis

You may remember earlier in the year that we created some guidance for Postgraduate Researchers for including third-party copyright works in their thesis. You can now find out more in our new copyright podcast which covers the basics of copyright: what it is, what works it protects, and why and how to seek permission to include copyrighted materials in your thesis.

Between the online guide and the new podcast, we’re confident you’ll get to grips with copyright in no time!

Still got questions? We’re always happy to help. Contact us at: library-research-support@open.ac.uk

 

 

 

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Investigating signing DORA in response to funder policy changes

Adopting a responsible metrics approach is seen as good practice
across the research community.

However, there is now an additional need for The Open University to sign up to an
external responsible metrics statement, such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) or the Leiden Manifesto, or develop one of its own. Certain
major funders have changed their policies, which could impact our eligibility to receive research funding:

“We [The Wellcome Trust] are committed to making sure that when we assess research outputs during funding decisions we consider the intrinsic merit of the work, not the title of the journal or publisher.

All Wellcome-funded organisations must publicly commit to this principle. For example, they can sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, Leiden Manifesto or equivalent.

We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits.”

(The Wellcome Trust, 2019)

 

“cOAlition S* supports the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) that research needs to be assessed on its own merits rather than on the basis of the venue in which the research is published. cOAlition S
members will implement such principles in their policies by January 2021.”

(cOAlition S, 2019)

* cOAlition S is a group of funders co-ordinated by Science Europe. It includes UKRI, Wellcome, the European Research Council (ERC), the European Commission and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They are responsible for Plan S, a radical proposal regarding open access to research publications from which the above quote is taken

 

The Library Research Support team recently brought a paper to Research Committee, which investigates the University’s options in terms of responding to these policy changes. We are looking into how publication metrics are used at The OU and whether any current practices are in tension with these policy changes. The aim is that, all being well, The Open University will look at signing DORA.

We will keep you updated on our progress and would welcome any feedback on this issue.

 

References

cOAlition S (2019) Plan S: Principles and Implementation. Available at: https://www.coalitions.org/principles-and-implementation/ 

The Wellcome Trust (2019) Open access policy 2021. London: The Wellcome Trust. Available at:
https://wellcome.ac.uk/sites/default/files/wellcome-open-access-policy-2021.pdf

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ORDO monthly online drop-ins

Did you know, on the first Thursday of every month between 14.00 and 15.00 we run an online drop-in for ORDO, our research data repository?

We’re here to help, whether you’re interested in using ORDO but not sure where to start, or you’ve been using it for a while and have questions about how to make the most of it.

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”).

Dates for the next few months:

  • Thursday 1st August 14.00-15.00
  • Thursday 5th September 14.00-15.00
  • Thursday 3rd October 14.00-15.00

Hope to see you there!

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New academic writing mini-collection

We have a new mini-collection of books on academic writing, purchased on the recommendation of PACE (Professional and Academic Communication in English) in order to support postgraduate reseachers.

There are a handful of print books, which are housed on the second floor of the Library building alongside the research methods print books (near The Park). They are available on a reference basis (i.e. they cannot be taken out of the library) in order to maximise the number of people who can use them.

There are also a number of ebooks, which you can access online:

We will be adding a few more titles to this collection in the near future.

We hope you enjoy using them and do feed back any comments regarding the collection!

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