Planning for Open Access in REF2020 – Some Thoughts

I’ve been back in the office a couple of days since Friday’s excellent workshop on implementing HEFCE’s policy and have finally had time to look at my notes and gather my thoughts.  A number of good points were raised on the day, some of which I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post.  Today I would like to think more specifically about what I would like to do here at the University of Edinburgh, to help prepare us for April 2016:

Firstly, it is clear that we need a detailed plan.  I’m happy to start writing this up, but it will need plenty of input from other stakeholders within the University.  The plan will need to identify a number of milestones and identify the pathway to achieving our goal of 100% of research publications being eligible for inclusion in the next REF.  We need to think of this whole exercise as a project deliver it as such.  We need to plan the work and then work the plan.

We will need to think carefully about the support needed to deliver the implementation of these requirements, and what the implications will be for staffing.  We know from our experience with the University of Edinburgh’s Open Access Implementation Project that providing adequate administrative support (even at a junior level) can make a world of difference to the number of research publications added to a repository.

Marketing will be key.  We are currently working on a design for a website which is aimed at delivering a simple message to academics regarding the new requirements and what they will need to do to ensure their work is eligible for inclusion in the REF.  We plan to highlight that the task is an easy one (upload takes a couple of minutes) but that it is essential to make the upload at the right time and not put it off until later.  Once the design is finalised, we are considering a campaign to send postcards all academics detailing the new policy and directing them to the new website.  We hope to licence the text and design as CC-BY as part of the LOCH project to enable other universities to replicate it.

The Scholarly Communications Team is in the process of planning an advocacy campaign for the next two semesters and will aim to contact all Schools over the course of this academic year.  We will write more about our experiences as these meetings take place.

Dominic Tate, University of Edinburgh

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Art Exposed

A chance to experience rarely seen paintings and objects from the University’s Art Collection

*UPDATE: Now with added Paolozzi*

Art Exposed

Recently we learned that the most searched for term on our brand new Art Collections website was ‘Male Nude’ – we’ve decided to go with the assumption that it’s all the Classics students taking their studies very seriously indeed…

But, in honour of all you weirdos out there, we’re giving you the chance to get up close and personal to the slightly racier side of the University’s Art Collection.

Anna and Jill will be around to talk to you about the items on view, how you can access the artworks yourselves, and also let you know about some of the brilliant volunteering opportunities available to anyone interested in curatorial or wider museum work.

So come along to the Art Collections Library Pop session tomorrow, we’ll be around from 10 until 3 in the 1st Floor reception area of the Main Library.

Search the collection:
Follow us: @UoEArtArchives
Engage: #LibraryPop

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Discover more with Searcher


_k4n0188 couple in libraryrSearcher is a discovery tool that you can use to search across many of the Library’s online resources, including e-journals and the Library Catalogue.

what am i searching

Click to enlarge image



What are you searching ?             

  • Searcher defaults to search ‘All Library Resources (print and e-content)’. This means that your initial search will only return results for items which are either available in the Library Catalogue or to which the Library subscribes. This includes printed books, e-books, journal content and database content.
  • You can refine and expand your search by checking / unchecking the tabs on the left hand side of your results page.
  • You can use searcher to search the library catalogue by checking the ‘Library Catalogue’ limiter on the results screen. Video Tutorial: How to find books using Searcher:


The following are some illustrated examples of searches you can carry out

Click to enlarge

Book title search Click to enlarge


Journal article search Click to enlarge

Journal article search
Click to enlarge



More complex search using advanced menu Click to enlarge
More complex search using advanced menu
Click to enlarge








Any questions? Ask at the Pop up Library (Floor 1, Main Library) session on Searcher on Friday 3 October 2-4pm.

*Download a pdf guide on this topic: Searcher discovery tool *

Get Library Smart – follow the information skills blog at

Brought to you by the Library Academic Support Team, University of Edinburgh


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Help ma’ BoB

An innovative online off-air TV and radio recording service for education

The University subscribes to BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National to help enrich teaching and learning with moving image and sound. BoB enables all staff and students to record any upcoming programme from over 60 TV and radio channels. It also allow users to search a growing archive of media (currently more than 1 million programmes).

We, the Main Library Helpdesk staff, are running 2 BoB sessions, as part of our pop-up library events. Please ‘pop up’ to the 1st floor, Main Library, to discover more about BoB National.

The 2 sessions will be on:

Thursday 2 Oct 2pm – 4pm
Thursday 16 Oct 10am – 12noon

We will demonstrate how to:

  • access this service
  • choose and record upcoming programmes
  • request missed programmes from a 30 day buffer
  • edit programmes into clips
  • search BBC and other archives
  • create playlists
  • and much more!

Detailed information about this service is available at

Rong Flynn, Helpdesk Assistant, Main Libary


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SRUC: Another Institutional Repository


Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is the latest Scottish Digital Library Consortium (SDLC) partner to use our services to host their institutional repository. The SRUC are based at King’s Buildings, but have sites all over Scotland, and this repository hosts all of their research papers, which centre on all aspects of agriculture and rural issues. Currently they have opted against attaching PDFs of their papers to their records, but for the most part, Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are available, to summarise the research.

The repository is the first to be released using the DSpace 3.1 infrastructure, and, while this doesn’t look markedly different to our other repositories, there is improved functionality available for OAI_PMH (harvesting), batch import for various bibliographic formats, and statistics (based on Solr indexing).

The URL for the new repository is Let us know what you think!

Thanks to Theo Andrew for guidance on data mapping, and for assisting in training the SRUC staff. Thanks also to Jarlath Flynn, Heather Shirra and Rachel Atkinson from SRUC for their assistance in getting everything implemented.

SRUC Repository

SRUC Repository

Scott Renton- Digital Development

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How do I get hold of the book I need?

With Resources Plus!

Resources_plus_posterFound a book in the Catalogue or Searcher and don’t know how to get it? Someone already borrowed the book you need? Need to access a book or journal article that the Library doesn’t have in its collections?

Find out the answers to all of these and more at our Resources Plus session today (Tues 30th) 2-4pm on the 1st floor Main Library. Why not pop up for a chat!

Find out more about the session at Resources Plus.

Caroline Stirling, Main Library Helpdesk

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Finding a thesis

Visit us at the Pop Up Library on level 1 of the Main Library to get ideas and advice around theses. We’ll be there between 10am and noon on Thursday 2nd October.Find a thesis

  • Learn what to use to find theses on topics you’re researching.
  • Find out how you can read a thesis you know is of interest.

If you can’t make it on the day, have a look a the Subject Guide to Theses or get in touch with your Academic Support Librarian.


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Paper Conservation – techniques and tricks

Interested in learning more about conservation activity at the University? Come along to our Pop-Up Library Session at the Main Library tomorrow, Tuesday 30th at 10am and take the opportunity to talk to Emma (Conservation Officer) and Ruth (LHSA Manager) about their work at the University and the techniques involved in conserving and caring for our many collections.

Based in our studio within the Centre for Research Collections, our remit is to guide and support conservation and preservation activity across the many and diverse rare and unique collections held by the University. This work can include undertaking practical conservation treatment of paper-based items, as well as the preventive care of the wider collections.

We hope to see you tomorrow. There may even be the chance to have a go at some conservation techniques yourselves….


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September Update

The end of September is rapidly approaching and things are moving forward quickly with the LOCH Project. All three partners have been thinking about workflows and are starting to make plans about how to handle the Open Access requirements for REF in each institution.

September has been a busy month for all the project partners. On Friday 19th September, Jackie Proven and I attended the a Jisc Monitor workshop in London, aimed at supporting the development of Jisc Monitor into something that will help to support Open Access processes in HEIs across the UK.

On September 22nd and 23rd, Janet Aucock, Jackie Proven and Linda Kerr and I attended the Pure UK User Group which was hosted at the University of Edinburgh. LOCH Project partners have all been influential in the development of a new Open Access specification for Pure, which will enable customers to better manage OA compliance and reporting for the next REF, with the side-effect of improving compliance for RCUK and Wellcome Trust requirements too. The specification is ready to be agreed, pending the disclosure of the final metadata and audit requirements by HEFCE. A final face-to-face meeting is being planned for the second half of October. All being well, the specification will be passed to Elsevier for development by the end of October, and the new functionality will be released in June 2015.

On Friday 26th Janet Aucock and I presented at the joint Jisc/Sconul/RLUK event in London, looking at how best to implement the Open Access policy in the next REF. This was an interesting and productive meeting, and it was great to see the approaches taken by different universities. Key points which came up included

  • The need to engage with the policy early on
  • The need to ensure adequate staffing is in place
  • Advocacy and engagement are key to gaining high levels of compliance
  • You could consider writing the policy into researcher annual appraisal documents
  • It would be advisable to treat this as a project and write a plan
  • You might want to consider a mock exercise next year to test compliance rates

As we move into October, partners are hoping to publish initial baseline reports and to finalise the functional specification for Pure.

Dominic Tate, University of Edinburgh

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How to search the Library catalogue

_k4n0188 couple in libraryr

The Library catalogue is a searchable database that tells you what a library has in terms of books, journals, and other resources (in print and/or electronic format) and where that material is located. Bear in mind that the catalogue search is not like an internet search engine in the sense that you have to be a bit more precise– spelling mistakes will give no results. Also, don’t use “the” when searching book titles.

You can search the catalogue using different menus. The choice of the menu will depend on what you want to do and the information you already have about the item you want to find

catalogue simplesearchview

Quick Search

catalogue simple searchview2

Simple Search

catalogue advancedmenu

Advanced Search

click on the thumbnails to view the different menus

The following are some illustrated examples of the type of searches you might want to carry out:

1- Book title search


What does this information mean?

  • Location refers to the library site(s) that have the books. Different library sites might have copies as well.
  • Shelfmark tells you where on the shelves the book can be found. The shelf mark is like a post code. Consult the library maps and shelf signs to locate the book.
  • Number of items tells you how many copies there are in total
  • The status indicates whether the book is currently on loan or not and how long you can borrow it. If the item is on loan then you can recall it


 2- Journal title search

Things to keep in mind before you start searching for a journal

If you are searching for a specific article (that might be on your reading list) try the following process

  1. Check whether we subscribe to the journal – this can be done by carrying out a journal search on the library catalogue. The results will indicate whether we have a print or electronic subscription (sometimes both).
  2. If you get no results then you should search for the title using the e-journal search tab.

journal search


If you have tried the above and still get no results then you can make an interlibrary loan request (ILL) and we will try and get the journal article you require from another library

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Brought to you by the Library Academic Support Team, University of Edinburgh

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