We are pleased to announce that from January 2020 all new PhD theses submitted to the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA) will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The Library will be using the DataCite DOI registration agency to provide this service.
What is a DOI?
A DOI is a character string (a ‘digital identifier’) used to uniquely identify and provide a permanent link to a digital object, such as a journal paper or other scholarly work.
Benefits of having a DOI
Assigning DOIs to PhD means that researchers are able to confidently cite theses alongside traditional journal articles knowing that a link will be persistent. The benefits for authors include gaining due academic credit for their efforts to produce these valuable research outputs and the ability to track and measure online attention via alternative metrics like Plum X or Altmetric.
Which PhD theses will get DOIs?
In the first instance the Library will give all new PhD theses a DOI once the final version has been submitted to Pure and graduation has occurred. Before a DOI is registered the PhD thesis must be archived fully in ERA. Some PhD theses submitted for Winter 2019 graduation which have not yet appeared online in ERA will be assigned a DOI.
We aim to roll out and assign DOIs for all of the PhDs in the existing online collection, but since the collection is large (>20,000) we will have to approach this in stages.
Edinburgh Research Explorer • www.research.ed.ac.uk
These are conclusions from a survey of the Top 100 MOST POPULAR downloads from Edinburgh Research Explorer in August 2019, it contains some VERY obvious biases and doesn’t reflect the breadth, depth, or usefulness of the repository as a whole; and shows that whilst OPEN ACCESS can reach a wider audience, it can also be ignored by a wider audience.
1. STEER CLEAR OF SCIENCE
Research items from science-related schools made up 18% of the Top 100, dropping to 12% in the Top 50 and 0% in the Top 10.
2. DON’T COLLABORATE
With each additional author, the number of items and the average number of downloads decreased.
3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE IN ENGLISH, BUT IT HELPS
In the Top 100, one item was written in Italian, the remainder in English:
that was also one of only five items that month, that failed to find an audience outwith the UK.
4. GO OPEN-ACCESS
8 of the Top 100 items didn’t offer Open-Access Permissions, they averaged 25% fewer downloads than the overall average.