Earlier this year saw the publication of the CWTS Leiden Rankings. This ranking provides indicators of citation impact, collaboration, gender diversity… and open access publishing. And we thought we’d take a moment during open access week to highlight Durham University’s achievement in the latter.Continue reading “#OpenAccessWeek2020: Thank you – we’re in the Top 10!”
Last week we introduced a range of new Guides available for staff and students across the University, and yesterday we highlighted some of the features you may have missed in our new Reading Lists platform. Today we’d like to highlight the support available to you on our Research Skills Guide to help you navigate the collections and resources available to you beyond your reading list. Read on to find out more…Continue reading “Going beyond your reading list…”
As term is now underway, many of our new and returning students and colleagues will have been exploring our new Reading Lists. We thought we’d take this opportunity to highlight and explore some of the additional functionality they offer to you – from adding notes, to managing your reading progress and references for your bibliography.
To help, we spoke to one of our Faculty Librarians, Richard Holmes, who was part of a team of colleagues across the service who got this up and running in record time for the start of term.Continue reading “Making the most of your reading list”
Durham University Library and Collections is a member of Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a consortium of the most significant research libraries in the UK and Ireland. As many members entered lockdown in March, Dr David Prosser (Executive Director of RLUK) took a virtual tour of RLUK member’s special collections via Twitter (#RLUKCollections), including those at Durham University, to highlight just a small selection of the extensive, diverse, and unique collections held within the member libraries and archives.
We have (with permission) highlighted here Durham’s brief entry, and provided links to each of the others, as an opportunity to quickly sample some of the many treasures held within the British Isles.
As with so many of our colleagues across the University, over the last couple of months (has it really been that long??) many University Library & Collections staff have been getting used to saying hello to each other through a computer screen, rather than over a cup of coffee in the staff room or across a desk at the start of the working day.
Whilst we miss our conversations with staff and students within our libraries and museums, and across university sites, we hope you’ve been making use of the range of expanded online services we’ve been able to offer over this period. This post offers a reminder of some of those services we provide, alongside a sneak peak inside some of our working-from-home lives.
We all have those moments, having found 5 minutes where we can actually read that journal article our friend/colleague/supervisor/lecturer/mum sent us. We might be nestled in our nice comfy chair, laptop at the ready. Or we may be perched uncomfortably between the washing machine and fridge; the safest place to steal a few moments peace and quiet from the increasingly feral children running rampant through our homes.
And then it happens. That journal article, in the journal we know we could access at the click of a mouse when we were on campus, tells us we have to pay $38 to have 24 hours access. Why can’t it be easy? Why!!?
The Internet Archive is a huge resource, used by many students and researchers across Durham University (we suspect some without realising what a treasure trove they have stumbled upon). It provides immediate access to:
- almost 20 million digitised copies of pre-1923 books and texts.
- a 20+ year archive of over 300 billion web pages through the WayBackMachine
- Over 4 million audio recordings (including news broadcasts and live concerts)
- Over 1 million archived news broadcasts
- Around 3 million images
- And more…
But during the current Global Covid-19 Pandemic, their services for displaced scholars globally have temporarily removed a further barrier to access to one of their services…
So, after watching the latest Government announcement this evening I was looking for some lighter entertainment to take the edge off the rest of the day, only to realise as I tried unsuccessfully to find the Disney Plus App on the Smart TV, that I was still a day too early.
Luckily, as a University Library we offer online access to far more than ‘just’ books and journal articles, newspapers and theses. We can provide you with access to an archive of over 2 million tv broadcasts from ‘classic’ episodes of Eastenders and Hollyoaks (thats’s still a thing, right? And Tony is still in it?), through to Disney favourites including Dumbo, Bambi and The Bridge to Terabithia. Or maybe, given the times we’re living in, something a bit more cheery, like Toy Story 1,2 or 3, or all of the movies in the Halloween Franchise?
To all of our amazing colleagues across academic and professional support departments, and our wonderful students, whether you’re playing football in the field outside the Bill Bryson Library, or at home caring for family and loved ones, our thoughts and best wishes are with you at a time which many of us are trying to struggle for normalcy as everything is changing rapidly around us.
University Library and Collections colleagues are working flat out (both on campus, and working from home – we’ll be sharing pictures and experiences in the near future!) to try to ensure that our existing collections are made as accessible as possible and we are providing support wherever we can, in challenging times (see our web pages for more details and updates including click & collect services, expanded virtual library help and live chat support).
But we are also working with publishers and library colleagues at other universities to ensure we can ease access online to resources wherever we can, for both students and staff. We have highlighted some of those new developments below:
During open access week, we have had discussions with academic and professional support colleagues at the department’s we have visited, through events organised for academic colleagues to talk about their research, and through our posts on this blog and via Twitter. We have tried to discuss open access in a wider context, focusing less on the “policy stick” (what authors have to do because their funder, publisher or university requires them to do so), and more on the actual research being made available, how that is then shared and used, and how you (staff, students and everyone else) can search for and access it outside of your usual approaches.
We’d like to close our series of posts this week by briefly highlighting that “open access” can mean different things, and carry different expectations for different content creators and content users. Essentially, when we say something is open access, how open is open?