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ARC students Library checklist

This checklist highlights Library advice, information, and resources designed to help you succeed as a student at an Affiliated Research Centre (ARC) affiliated with The Open University. 

A PDF file of this checklist is available for you to download and view offline at your convenience The Open University ARC Students Library checklist (pdf).



Introduction to our services

As an ARC postgraduate researcher at The Open University, you will have access to the full range of Open University online services and resources. Take a look at our OU Library Welcome video found on the Graduate School Network's Affiliated Research Centre Students page to find out more.

Attend a Library online training session 

The Library’s training sessions will introduce you to the OU Library, show you how to use online resources effectively, and help with finding resources. Training sessions run periodically and cover topics such as "Reference management tools - an Introduction", "Smarter searching with library databases" and "Using Library Search for your assignment".

Attend training workshops offered by the Library Research Support Team​

Topics for training sessions include research data management, open access publishing, ORCIDs and data sharing.

Visit the Library website to explore library resources

The Library website is your gateway to the extensive library content provided by The Open University. Use the Library Search box to start searching for resources such as ebooks, databases, journals or journal articles. Alternatively, use the Library Resources tab to browse for resources. Most of our content is available online.

Learn about our 24/7 Chat to a Librarian service

Use our webchat service if you need assistance with library resources or services. Links to Chat to a Librarian can be found on every page of the Library website.

Discover key services for postgraduate researchers

The Services for You page on the Library website contains links to all the key services that postgraduate researchers need. 

Further steps

Set up Google Scholar to link to full text resources provided by Library Services 

Instructions for setting up Google Scholar are available on the Library website. 

Check out LEAN Library and Browzine tools 

The LEAN Library access browser extension will alert you whenever you are on a website that The Open University has a subscription for, helping you to find the content you want with a single click!
Browzine offers Library users a different way to browse content by subject across a range of journal publications, allowing you to build a personal bookshelf of favourite journals, and also to save articles to other services such as EndNote and DropBox.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme 

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you to access other UK University library print collections. You will need to be based in the UK to use it.

Find out about our Document Delivery and Inter-library Loan services

You can use the Document Delivery and Inter-library Loan services to get items that the Library doesn’t have in stock. 

Learn about tools that will help you manage your references

See the Bibliographic management page, and find our Endnote and Mendeley tips and tricks guides on the PGR Community Team files area (log in required).

Write a data management plan

Data management plans help formulate how you’ll store and manage your research data throughout your project. Research data is the evidence on which researchers build their analytic or other work, collected, observed or created for the purposes of analysis to produce and validate original research results. Examples are: images, video and audio; survey results and interview transcripts; experimental observations; text corpuses; notebooks and lab books; models and software.

Read about the potential benefits of sharing your research data

There is lots of information and guidance on data sharing on the Library Research Support website.

Copyright, plagiarism, and your thesis

We recommend you think about securing permission for any third party copyrighted material early on. Take a look at the Research Skills site (OU login required) to help you make a start. Follow this activity to learn about different forms of plagiarism and how to avoid them during the production of your thesis (OU login required).

Find out about Open Access publishing

Open Access aims to make the research process more transparent and published outputs from research accessible to all. Making research outputs Open Access can increase their readership and impact. Research funders increasingly require research data and published outputs to be made Open Access. If your research degree is funded, please check our list of funder requirements.

Familiarise yourself with ORO (Open Research Online)

ORO is The Open University’s open access repository of research publications. It contains records of research outputs published by OU staff and postgraduate research students and theses of former research students. Many of the ORO records also have the full-text of the publications attached. All postgraduate researchers are required to deposit the full-text of their thesis in ORO and a DataCite digital object identifier (DOI) will be created which provides a permanent citable web link.

Find out about ORDO (Open Research Data Online)

ORDO is The Open University’s research data repository, where Open University researchers can upload their data for long-term preservation and, where appropriate, sharing e.g., at the end of a project or supporting a publication. Data stored in ORDO will be kept for a minimum of ten years after project completion. Published data will be given a DataCite digital object identifier (DOI), providing a permanent, citable web link.

Investigate tools that help you find Open Access versions of research publications

Take a look at Open Access Button and Unpaywall. There is also CORE and EndNote Click, formerly known as Kopernio.

Set up ORCID

ORCID is a unique digital identifier that helps ensure you get credit for your published work.

Contact us

Library Research Support team