This checklist highlights Library advice, information and resources designed to support supervisors of students registered for a research degree at The Open University.
A PDF file of this checklist is available for you to download and view offline at your convenience The Open University PGR Supervisors Library checklist (pdf).
Discover key services for researchers
- Familiarise yourself with the services available to your student(s) by visiting the Services for You page on the Library website.
Copyright and your student's thesis: Find out more about permissions needed to include third-party copyright materials in a research degree thesis
- The process of seeking permission to use copyrighted content should be considered by your student(s) as early as possible. When they submit their thesis to ORO (Open Research Online) they will be required to sign a document to confirm they have obtained all necessary permissions to use any third-party copyrighted content in their work. Recommend our Copyright and your Thesis podcast and guide (OU login required) to your student(s), where we provide details of how, when, and why to seek permission to include third-party copyrighted material in a thesis, as well as what to do if your student is pursuing a PhD by published works. Direct them to our Copyright and your thesis training sessions, too.
Read our plagiarism guidance for Postgraduate Researchers
- There are additional complexities regarding referencing and plagiarism that PGRs may face. This plagiarism guide (OU login required) was designed with them in mind. Why not take a look for yourself and encourage your student(s) to work through this guide to test their understanding?
Ask your student(s) to look out for training sessions offered by the Library and Library Research Support Team
- The Library offers a number of training sessions that run periodically and cover topics such as "Reference management tools - an Introduction" and "Smarter searching with library databases". The Research Support Team offers a range of training across different areas designed to support Postgraduate Researchers. Talk to your student(s) about the training sessions we offer and encourage them to sign up.
Help your student(s) learn about tools that will help them to manage their references
- See the Bibliographic management page on the Library website, and refer them to our tips and tricks guides to Mendeley and EndNote.
Visiting the Library building
Opening hours and support for you and your student(s)
- The Library building is open from Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00. During this time, you can access our collections, borrow items, and use study areas and meeting spaces. Library staff will be located on the ground floor to welcome and assist you with any library-related enquiries you have.
- Let your student(s) know that the PGR Common Room (located on the ground floor of the Library building) is open to them 24/7. However, access to the main Library building will not be permitted after hours. They will also need to have their staff ID cards activated by Security to gain access.
Find out about our Document Delivery and Inter-library Loan services
- You and your student(s) can use the Document Delivery and Inter-library Loan services to get items that the Library doesn’t have in stock. You will need to join the Library before accessing this service.
Help your student(s) to learn about data management plans (DMP) and encourage them to write their own
- See the Research Data Management webpages to learn what a data management plan (DMP) is, learn what research funders expect from a DMP and find guidance on writing a DMP. You can also contact us to request that we review a draft DMP for you.
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 student(s) research degree is funded please ask them to check our list of funder requirements.
Find out about 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. The University Code of Practice for Research states that all applicable research publications should be deposited on ORO. ORO disseminates the outcomes from our research, helping to facilitate its impact, influence on policy and practice and ability to change lives for the better. Your student(s) will be required to upload their thesis to ORO upon completion. This copy of their work will be openly available, unless an embargo is agreed at the start of their studies, and a DataCite digital object identifier (DOI) will be created which provides a permanent, citable web link. Work with your student(s) to familiarise them with ORO and discuss the potential benefits open sharing can bring.
Discuss adding your student’s data to ORDO (Open Research Data Online) upon project completion
- 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. Encouraging your student(s) to upload their data here at the end of their research project will help to preserve the data long-term and allow other researchers to potentially benefit from their work.