(Open Access Week) Telling the story of your research

Publishing research open access offers numerous potential benefits for researchers, for the University, and also for wider society. It opens up research outputs and makes them accessible to anyone anywhere with an internet connection. By opening up research in this way it could be argued that it is more important than ever that we try to understand the impact and reach of papers beyond citation counts limited to just academic and other research-specific publications.

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(Open Access Week) Focus on: the benefits of open access from one researcher’s perspective

Working in the Open Access Team it is clear to us that opinions on publishing open access can vary quite considerably from department to department and from researcher to researcher. As part of the work of the Open Access Team we strive to develop our understanding of these opinions by speaking directly with our researchers.

We interviewed Kislon Voitchovsky and asked him to share his own thoughts and experiences on publishing generally and more specifically on publishing open access. The aim was to provide information and guidance for early career researchers and doctoral students but it should be interesting reading for all.

It may make it clear to you just how different the publishing environment is for researchers in a field other than your own or it may convince you of the potential benefits of publishing your research open access.

If you would like to share your opinions on and experiences with open access we would love to hear from you – openaccess.publishing@durham.ac.uk

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(Open Access Week) A conversation with Chris Stokes: Glaciologist, Department of Geography

The theme of Open Access Week 2019 is: ‘Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge’. So, this seemed like a good opportunity to speak to Professor Chris Stokes, a glaciologist from Durham’s Geography department about research and the benefits of open access. Chris was the lead author on the 2019 open access paper:

Widespread distribution of supraglacial lakes around the margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet Scientific Reports 9 (13823) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-50343-5

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“Isn’t that something! Magnificent sight out here.”

Fifty years ago today, the Apollo 11 mission saw the first two humans – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – land on the surface of the moon (whilst Michael Collins, remaining on the command module overhead, momentarily experienced a solitude unparalleled as he disappeared, alone, in orbit round the dark side of the moon and out of contact and sight of every other known living creature).

Most of us here in the University Library were young children or but glints in our parents’ eyes. But we have many primary sources available to Durham staff and students to explore these and other momentous (infamous or obscure) events in our shared history. Snapshots of how they were reported, the views of those who observed or experienced them, the discussion, commentary or argument that followed.

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“I am not a number. I am a Free Man*!”

* (Please note – this title is a quote from the 1967 British TV Series, The Prisoner. There are recognised issues of gender bias in citation and authorship across academia – this title was not intended to reflect that (and yes, the author was male). Please consider yourself equally free to be treated as a number rather than a person – whatever your gender identity – but recognise that those numbers may reflect bias in the practice of authors and reviewers) [ed: 17th July 2019]

Who is citing who?

We often (well, sometimes) get asked by students:-

– How do I know who has cited this work? (How do I do this?)

We more frequently get asked a similar question by our academic colleagues:-

– How do I know who has cited MY work? (How do I do this?)

Is BIGGER always BETTER?

Why would you not want to know who has been citing your research? It may just be to massage your ego, or it might offer an opportunity to re-evaluate your own work in the new light shed by others. It could offer an opportunity for a future collaboration, or a conversation starter with a citing author at an upcoming conference. Sometimes it is just nice to have that (often fleeting) sensation of finally having your value recognised by someone. Or often, sadly, being able to show how often you have been cited is the game you are forced to play for that next academic job application or promotion review.

When it comes to that last reason, the assumption is often that “bigger is better”. Whilst this may often be true, there is a lot of nuance to that question.. not least what might be understood to be “big” from one discipline to another. But, casting your eyes back to the title of this post, do you want ‘quality’ to be measured by a number? The answer to that question might be influenced by whether you’re a STEM or humanities scholar… or just whether you’re the person sitting on an interview panel with a long-list of over 500 applications to get through in far too little time. Continue reading ““I am not a number. I am a Free Man*!””

On serendipity and libraries…

Earlier this week, my son’s school played host to a visit from Martin Longstaff, who performs under the moniker of ‘The Lake Poets’. For any fans of quality football, this name may not be familiar – but for those who, like my son, support Sunderland AFC, you may recognise at least one his songs – “Shipyards” – which has been used as the theme song to the Netflix series “Sunderland til I die.”

In an interview a few years ago in the Guardian, Martin noted that the name for his musical persona came from a moment of serendipity whilst studying at a university not too far from this esteemed establishment.

“One day in the library at university Longstaff noticed a book, “It was called Recollections of the Lake Poets that explored the works of 19th century romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Coelridge, Southey… I read it and thought “The Lake Poets” would make a great band name.”

Brinnand, E ‘The Lake Poets – New Band Up North #37’ Guardian (30 Oct 2013)

A chance encounter in the library with a real world impact on the direction of a student’s trajectory through life.

Continue reading “On serendipity and libraries…”

A new age for media coverage of women’s sport? An analysis of English media coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Here at Durham University Library we’re always interested to see what research our academic colleagues are publishing and making available to all via our open access repository, Durham Research Online.

Kelly H: “Growing up in a North-East town in the 1990s, conveniently located between Newcastle and Sunderland, football was a prominent part of my childhood.  There were many arguments about which team was better – Newcastle or Sunderland (Newcastle, obviously!) But one thing was for certain – football was for the lads.  This view was perpetuated by the teachers, our parents and of course, the media.  There was one girl in my class who was an amazing footballer and the boys accepted her as an equal – until secondary school when she was no longer allowed to play with them due to health and safety.

Women playing football (Male linesman)
Image: Noelle Otto, CC 0, https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-athletes-playing-soccer-906073/

Continue reading “A new age for media coverage of women’s sport? An analysis of English media coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

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