Category Archives: Events

Getting to grips with Research Data Management; training workshop 1st November 2016


Today I ran a training session for research staff and doctoral students on research data management. The slides are stored on slideshare: click on the link below the image

We run these sessions in November and again in May; so if you missed the session today and would like to attend the next workshop, keep an eye on the Research Career Development program.

Open Access Week 2016

The 9th Global Open Access Week is held between October 24th to 30th, the theme this year is “Open in Action”. Library Services is marking Open Access Week with 3 events, all sessions are open to all.



Open Research Data & Open Research Data Online (ORDO)

Wendy Mears (Research Support Librarian) will be introducing the new research data store that enables you to publish completed research data and get a permanent, citable DOI for your work. Based on the established Figshare platform, ORDO makes it easy to link to supporting data from other publications, and provides an accessible shop window on University research. ORDO can also be used for live data storage by individual users or collaborative project groups.

Further Information: Tuesday 25th October, 10-11am Library Presentation Room
Booking Information:

Getting to Grips with Open Access Publishing

Chris Biggs (Research Support Librarian) will explore Open Access Publishing. We will cover both the Gold and Green routes to Open Access, the benefits of Open Access and the different Open Access Policies researchers now operate under.

Further Information: Wednesday 26th October, 10-11am Library Presentation Room
Booking Information:

Claiming your research publications: ORCIDs at the OU

Chris Biggs (Research Support Librarian) will give an introduction to Open Researcher & Contributor IDs (ORCIDs), the non-proprietary identifier for researchers that has become the de-facto standard in the community. We will explore why they are a good idea and the time saving benefits for researchers. Please bring along a mobile device – there will be time to sign up for ORCIDs, add items to your ORCID record and configure it to auto-populate with new publications.

Further Information: Friday 28th October, 10-11am Library Presentation Room
Booking Information:

Getting to grips with RDM

Yesterday I ran a workshop on research data management for research staff and students. The session generated lots of interesting discussion, especially around questions of ethics and the gaining of consent for data sharing; trying to anticipate what might be worth sharing with others; and whether documenting data processing activities is really worth the interruption to creative flow! As promised, the slides are uploaded here.

The sessions are run twice yearly, so if you missed this one, keep an eye out for future training emails from the Research Career Development team in the Autumn.

Open Access Week – Academic Social Networking Sites

On Monday Katy Jordan from IET gave a talk on Academic Social Networking Sites (SNS) as part of Open Access Week.  Katy is currently a postgraduate student and her provisional thesis title is Reshaping the Higher Education network? Analysis of academic social networking sites, so she was a natural choice to ask!

As the ORO manager I’m often asked how sites like ResearchGate and interact with the institutional repository, so I was a little anxious as to the implications for ORO from Katy’s research.  But Katy’s talk was actually a resounding re-affirmation of the case for the Institutional Repository.

Katy presented a diagram in her presentation where ORO sits alongside and complements both Twitter and Academic SNS.jordantriangle

  • ORO was the host of self archived research publications
  • Twitter was for discussions and building new networks
  • Academic SNS were ‘a portable business card’

Katy’s talk was both wide ranging and engaging, other themes I found particularly pertinent were:

  • Interventions by Academic SNS into publishing services such as peer review and minting DOIs appear to be a challenge to existing models of scholarly communication.
  • Academic SNS seem to replicate existing networks rather than creating new ones.
  • Academic profiles are already out there so you shouldn’t ignore them but actively curate them.
  • There is a disciplinary divide where ResearchGate is more sciences based and more Arts and Humanities.
  • Academic SNS are commercial enterprises – but revenue generation will not occur until the network is strong enough.

Katy’s presentation is available here:

Thanks again to Katy for a fascinating talk.





Open Access Week: 19th – 23rd October

Next week is Open Access Week, and to celebrate, together with RSQ Unit we’ve arranged a series of lunchtime events.

Lunch will be provided; register by following the links below to guarantee your place.

Monday 19th October, 12pm – Library Seminar Room 1

Academic Social Networking Sites

Katy Jordan (Institute of Educational Technology) will discuss the emergence of academic networking sites such as ResearchGate and, and their impact on openness of research in the academic community.

Eventbrite - Open Access Week: Academic Social Networking Sites

Tuesday 20th October, 12pm – Library Seminar Room 1

Open Data

The Pelagios project seeks to use linked open data to create connections between places in the ancient world and the present. Dr Elton Barker from the Classics Department will introduce attendees to the way in which open data is being applied to create a new sense of the world in this project.

Eventbrite - Open Acces Week: Open Data

Wednesday 21st October, 12.30pm – Library Presentation Room

Running an Open Access Journal

A panel featuring the editors of the OU’s Open Access journals:  Francesca Benatti (Arts), Clem Herman (Maths, Computing and Technology) and Martin Weller (Institute of Educational Technology) will discuss the role of university-based open access journals in meeting the challenges of academic publishing in the 21st century.

Eventbrite - Open Access Week: Running an Open Access Journal

Thursday 22nd October, 12pm – Library 2nd Floor Meeting Room

Open Research Online (ORO): The Gateway to Green Open Access Publishing

A panel of OU researchers: Richard Blundel (Faculty of Business and Law), Simon Kelley (Science) Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (Institute of Educational Technology) and Shailey Minocha (Maths, Computing and Technology) will discuss how using ORO has opened up new horizons for their research, introducing their publications to new audiences, and bringing them in contact with researchers and professionals from around the world.

Eventbrite - Open Access Week: ORO, the Gateway to Green Open Access Publishing

We look forward to seeing you there!

Open Access Week 2015: 19th-23rd October

open access week

 Are you interested in making your research more open?

The 8th annual International Open Access week runs from 19th -23rd October and to celebrate, Library Services in conjunction with Research Scholarship and Quality (RSQ) Unit have organised a series of lunchtime events.

This year we are highlighting a number of the OU’s Open Access success stories, including:

  •  how using social networking sites has created new opportunities for research collaboration
  • some of the innovative ways researchers are using open data
  • experiences of OU academics who are running open access journals
  • how using ORO has opened up new horizons for open research

Sessions are open to all, and lunch will be provided.

For more information and to sign up, visit the Open Access Week event page.


The OU supporting research

This morning, Chris, Nadine from RSQ and I delivered a session to research managers and administrators on Open Access publishing and Research Data Management. This is a particularly important audience for us, as these are the people who work day-to-day with OU researchers and can really help us to spread the word about policies and services.

The session was very well-attended and I hope that those who came along will have gone back to their desks with a better understanding of the work we are doing in Library Services  to support researchers with managing their research outputs- be they publications or data.

The slides from the session are available here:

All aboard the training train!

I’ve had a busy week with not one, but two training sessions on RDM for OU researchers.

Getting to grips with research data management

The first took place last Wednesday – Getting to grips with research data management was an Early Bird Seminar organised by the Researcher Career Development team. This was well attended – 21 delegates came along from a range of different academic disciplines. As always, this session generated a lot of discussion, particularly on this occasion around the difficulties of gaining valid consent to share from vulnerable research participants. Slides from the session are available on the RDM intranet site, or to download here.

Yesterday I contributed to a session organised by the OpenSpace research centre and led by some of the fabulous experts from the Digital Curation Centre. The focus of this half-day workshop was on preparing data management plans for bids, and it was particularly useful  to hear from Sarah Jones of the DCC about exactly what funders want to see in DMPs, with a focus on the requirements of AHRC and ESRC. Following an opportunity to review a couple of plans and discuss these in groups on our tables, I gave a short presentation about the support offered for Research Data Management at the OU. As ever, this was a great opportunity to highlight the developments happening in Library Services, RSQ and IT to deliver Research Data Management services. Slides from the session will be uploaded shortly to the OpenSpace event page. My slides are available to download here.


Keep an eye out for more training opportunities

There are more RDM training sessions in the pipeline, including a session for research managers and administrators on 30th June and a session for researchers in IET planned for September.

We’re also currently planning training for next year, so if you have any ideas or suggestions to how we can improve the current provision (or to tell us what we’re doing well!) please leave a comment below.

Open Access Again

Yesterday, Nicola and I facilitated an Open Access Publishing seminar here in the Library at Milton Keynes.  We’ve done these for a few years now but I think this one was the most successful.  I’m going to bullet point some things that stuck with me.

  • The enormous difference between Article Processing Charges (APCs) in pure Open Access journals and hybrid Open Access journals i.e. from £0 to £3K.
  • The link between publishing in prestige journals and career progression for researchers.
  • The potential of bargaining with publishers to get an equitable deal when publishing Gold.
  • The issue of predatory Open Access publishers.
  • Things differ between disciplines!!!
  • Should pure Open Access journals utilize APCs for a sustainable business model?
  • The potential difficulties of archiving Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) at point of acceptance. (e.g. do co-authors have access to these versions and how do repository staff identify these versions?)
  • Using Social Networking sites to archive research papers.
  • The implications of archiving Author Accepted Manuscripts at point of acceptance (e.g. harvesting of AAM metadata from repositories by Google Scholar).
  • Using Open Access materials (and materials from library subscriptions) in Open University Modules.

There were lots of other really important points raised and as ever I worried that we confused some issues rather than clarify them.  But then that’s part of it really, it can be confusing!

Optical Illusion by Aaron Fulkerson

Optical Illusion by Aaron Fulkerson (

What we need to try and do is identify the key points about Open Access publishing and get them across clearly, without forgetting that Open Access can be complex.

Thanks to everyone who attended.


Slides are here: Open Access Publishing Slides

Notes (with links to contacts) are here: Open Access Publishing Notes

Research Data Management for projects in international education

This lunchtime I ran a workshop around research data management for projects in international education in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies and the International Development Office.

The session covered all aspects of research data management from creation to sharing; we looked specifically at the UK Data Archive research data lifecycle model and the actions and procedures needed at the different stages of a research project.

The UK Data Archive research data lifecycle

There was lots of interesting discussion, particularly around barriers to the open sharing of research. While most people in attendance agreed in principle with the idea of open data, the practicalities around acquiring informed consent, especially from research participants in developing countries who have no concept of the implications of data sharing and re-use were seen as a major ethical barrier to data sharing. This is an interesting issue, and perhaps the answer (as one of the attendees suggested) is in taking responsibility for the rights and privacy of your research participants who do not always fully understand what they are agreeing to.

The group are hoping to produce a set of guidelines which will allow anyone starting a new project to easily assign responsibilities, tasks and procedures for research data management. I hope that this workshop proved a useful starting point for discussing the issues involved in RDM and the ways in which current practice could be improved.

Slides from this workshop are available here: RDM workshop FELS/IDO

If you are interested in running a similar session in your faculty or research group please email me at: