EThOS Survey

Hello everyone,

The British Library are running a very short survey to help them gain an understanding of how people use the EThOS thesis service. They are particularly interested in how front end users – researchers of all kinds – use it.

Please follow this link to the survey to fill it out. The results will feed into improvements to the EThOS service in the near future.

We hope you have a great weekend!

ORO Refresh

The Library has been working on refreshing ORO and its appearance will be updated on the week commencing the 13th July. ORO may be unavailable for short periods during this time.

This refresh has been undertaken to improve responsiveness and accessibility. The new look and feel is cleaner and has better contrast so ORO will be easier to read, and will work better on mobile devices. We have also improved the browse menus so they are easier to navigate. Alongside this we have made the usage statistics more visible, as we are often asked about access to statistics on number of downloads.

Following this update, the functionality of ORO, including the deposit process, should remain the same. Please do get in touch with with any questions or comments.

Online Training Session on Sage Research Methods

Calling all researchers! We’re running a webinar to give you the low down on the Sage Research Methods database and how it can enhance your research project no matter what stage you’re at.

What will be covered? A brief introduction to the database including what the database is and how it can be useful whether you are; writing your research question, conducting your literature review, choosing the best research methods, analysing your data, writing up your results or thinking about publication. It’s got something for everyone!

When? 20th July 2020 2-2:30pm

How to sign up? Click this link to sign up on my learning centre.

Need to contact us? Email us at

Hope to see you there!

Which Stats Test? SAGE Research Methods

Hello and happy Thursday everyone!

Today is the final instalment of the SAGE Research Methods blog post series and we will be focusing on the Stats Test tool. This tool is designed to help researchers figure out which statistical test is best for their study – as it can be very difficult to get to grips with! All you have to do is answer a series of questions about your project and SRM will do all the work for you (amazing right?)


Also if you’re ever unsure of how to answer a question, there will always be a help section which will take you to a list of resources designed to help you understand the question. For example, this screenshot shows the question ‘what measurement level are your variables?’ and the help function has links to take you to resources aimed at helping you to understand variables and levels of measurement.


We hope you’ve found these SAGE Research Methods posts useful. If you have any further queries about the database please contact the Research Support Team at

Good luck with your research!

Managing your data during a pandemic

We’re all embracing our new co-workers

The world as we know it has changed, and it seems unlikely that we will be returning to what we previously considered “normal” for some time.

While you’re working from home during this period you might feel as though conducting your research is harder, or even impossible. However, you now plenty of time to get on top of managing your research data! Here are some top tips from the Library Research Support Team:

Free Kings Open Research Conference

Open Research Conference (2)

On the 11th June 2020 Kings College London are hosting their Inaugural Open Research Conference online, and it is open to all (internal and external)!

The conference will consist of a series of talks and a roundtable discussion, world renowned researchers, stakeholders and initiatives will discuss the necessity for Open Research with the view of engendering a research culture shift toward open, accessible, and reproducible research.

Click here for more information and to find details of how to attend.

Helpful Project Planning – SAGE Research Methods

Hello, I’m back again with the fourth instalment of the SAGE Research Methods series and today we are going to focus on the Project Planner feature. The title is pretty self-explanatory but I’m going to explain how you can best use and why you should be using it as well as some tips and tricks to ensure you get the best out of this tool. So let’s start with an overview of what it is for.

First things first, to find The Project Planner cover over the drop-down menu on the top right-hand side of the SRM home page and you’ll see it is the third option in the menu. You’ll also be able to find Project Planner materials in the site search box.

The Project Planner is designed to be with you from the beginning to the very end of your project, acting as a guide to help you understand what needs to be included at every stage of the research planning process (NOTE – that definitely does not mean if you haven’t been using it then you shouldn’t bother and I’ll explain why next).

As you can see from the image above, the Project Planner asks you to think about what stage you’re at in your research and once you’ve identified this, you have a list of options on the left-hand side to start you off at the stage which best describes where you are. These are options included:

  • Overview
  • Philosophy of Research
  • Defining a Topic
  • Reviewing the Literature
  • Developing a Researchable Question
  • Research Design
  • Planning and Practicalities
  • Research Ethics
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Writing Up
  • Dissemination

Within each option you will be presented with clear definitions along with explanations of key terms and questions, as well as links to take you to other useful resources and a checklist which can be helpful in ensuring your supervision meetings stay focused or they can provide the basis for discussions with research clients or collaborators. These can all be read online or you can download them in a PDF format.

This tool will inevitably help you to improve your thesis, dissertation or research projects if used efficiently.

For any further queries on The Project Planner or SRM please email

Open Book Publishers: Chat Drop-in Sessions on Open Access

Hello everyone, happy Wednesday!

Open Book Publishers have been having a lot of success with their open access drop-in sessions and have released some more dates in the coming weeks.

Session 2: This session will be Open Access book publishing: beyond the BPC and will take place on the 25th May. This session will be hosted by the Editor and Outreach coordinator Lucy Barnes. It will be of interest to researchers and research advisors interested in OA publishing and the OA model.

When: Monday 25th May at 5pm (UK time).
How: click here to connect to their Zoom channel.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like to know more, please feel free to contact Lucy by email at any time.

Session 3: This session is for anyone interested in their book publishing process: log on and chat with the co-director and commissioning editor Dr Alessandra Tosi, editor Adele Kreager and co-director Dr Rupert Gatti about their work at OBP – what they publish, how they publish, distribution and more!

When: Monday 1st June at 5pm (UK time).
How: click here to connect to their Zoom channel.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like to know more, please feel free to contact Alessandra by email at any time.

Session 4: This session is for librarians and researchers interested in their membership scheme. Talk with the co-director Dr Rupert Gatti, Editor and Outreach coordinator Lucy Barnes, and Marketing and Library Relations Officer Laura Rodriguez about their library membership programme: what it offers and what it supports.

When: Monday 8th June at 5pm (UK time).
How: click here to connect to their Zoom channel.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like to know more, please feel free to contact Laura by email at any time.


Come and check out our new and improved website – Now Live!

Hello everyone,

We are very pleased to announce that our updated website is officially live and we would love for you to head on over and take a look at some of the exciting features we’ve added.

What’s New?

  1. Our brand new Training page which allows you to browse and sign up for any of our online or face-to-face training sessions held throughout the year.
  2. You can head to the following link to meet our dedicated Research Support Team
  3. Why not check out our Checklists for Researchers page which has been updated to include Library advice, information and resources for PGR Supervisors and for our students from any of our Affiliated Research Centres (ARC).

For any further queries feel free to contact us at

Changes to Library Search

The OU Library is always trying to improve the results you can find in Library Search.

Ex Libris (the Library Search providerhave created a new, more accurate and far reaching index. This index contains a vast amount of information from a large range of publishers. Since November we have been working with Ex Libris on integrating this into Library Search to give you an improved service. 

From 4th May you can expect Library Search to surface more content. You are also more likely to see the results you want at the top of your results list and fewer broken links.If you have set up search alerts in Library Search, you will notice the first alert after the update will contain a large number of results due to these improvements. This applies to both email and RSS search alerts.  

 The way you use Library Search and your My Favourites area will remain the same.