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This checklist highlights Library advice, information and resources designed to help you succeed as a postgraduate researcher at The Open University.
Attend a Library online training session as part of your University induction
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 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
Use our print research methods and academic writing books
Covering a wide variety of topics, they are on the second floor of the Library building (near The Park) and 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.
Learn about tools that will help you manage your references
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.
Find out about OU requirements regarding your thesis
Open Access aims to make the research process more transparent and the data 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 PhD 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. It will contain details of research outputs published by members of your department and theses of former research students. It is expected that your thesis (if applicable) will be deposited in ORO.
Find out about ORDO (Open Research Data Online)
ORDOis The Open University’s research data repository, where Open University researchers can upload their data for long-term preservation and, where appropriate, sharing – 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