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Library Services

Your gateway to a wide range of online information resources

Writing your thesis

A number of resources are available to help you prepare and present your dissertation or thesis, and decide where to publish your work.

Research skills

Student working from a laptop at homeThe Library provides advice and guidance on different aspects of the research process; 

The Open University Graduate School Network (GSN) supports OU research students in developing skills they will need to pursue and complete their doctorates successfully and on time.

Writing research papers and dissertations

The OU Library Search can be used to find material on preparing and presenting dissertations and theses by searching for the subject heading Dissertations, Academic Handbooks, manuals.

Where to publish

Your supervisor will advise on where to submit material for publication. However, you might find the ISI Journal Citation Reports (JCR) a useful source of information. Click on "Journal Citation Reports" on the ISI Web of Knowledge Interface. You can use JCR to generate a list of journals in your subject area ranked by their 'impact factor' a ratio based on the number of times a journal article is cited in academic literature. Journals with high impact factors may receive greater exposure and notice than articles in lower rated titles. However, it is important to note that impact factor should not be the only measure used to decide where to publish. 

The OU recently signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), signalling a commitment to recognising and measuring the quality of research based on its own merits, rathar than the popularity of the journal it is published in. It may be more important for you to think about whether a journal is suited to your needs and field of experise instead. Ask questions such as: is it a trusted journal? Do fellow researchers in your field recommend the journal? Are the author guidelines clear? Using a tool such as Think.Check.Submit may be a good place to start.

If you are thinking about publishing your work Open Access (OA), the Research Support team have a dedicated Open Access publishing page, offering advice and guidance on what it means to publish OA, the benefits of OA, and our current publishing deals. Websites such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) offer a way to find OA journals and articles, and OAPEN provides information on OA book publishing. 

Get in touch with the Research Support team if you have any queries.