Library Services provides access to a wide range of electronic resources, including an extensive collection of e-journals and databases most of which can be accessed off-campus. Many of these can be searched simultaneously via LibrarySearch
Our Academic Librarians can offer specialist support and advice about access to resources to support your research. For introductory information about the collections and resources available in your subject area, see our Subject Guides.
If there is a particular book that you need for your research project you should contact your Academic Librarian to ask if it would be possible to buy a copy using the Library budget.
In some instances, if the book is very specific to your individual project, this might not be an option and you will be advised to speak to your research supervisor to check if funds are available from your school to purchase the title.
If your purchase is authorised by your supervisor, email email@example.com with the details of the item you wish to request. For each request, a fund code and e-mail authorisation from the signatory of the fund that is to be used for the purchase will be required.
When a book is ordered for you either as a purchase for Library stock or for your individual project, you will be notified by the Library when it has been received and ready for use.
The SCONUL Access scheme allows many university library users access to study spaces or books and journals at other libraries that belong to the scheme. Applications to join an external library must be made online via the SCONUL Access application. If you have any queries regarding the SCONUL Access or completing the application form, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*****Unfortunately the SCONUL Access Scheme is suspended as a result of the current pandemic. This means that new applications or renewal of existing applications will not be processed just now and participating libraries are not accepting visitors from other libraries under the scheme.******
Abertay's Research Repository lists all Abertay PhD theses. You can search for theses on the portal by title, author or keywords. Many of the theses are freely available to read and download but some may be under a temporary embargo. If you have a query about a particular thesis on the research portal that you are unable to access, email email@example.com . Masters by Research (MbR) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) theses published from 2016 onwards are also available on the research portal. Older MbR and MPhil theses are available in print in the Library.
If you want to find other UK PhD theses search EThOS (Electronic Thesis Online Service) . EThOS holds records for most UK PhD theses. For non-UK theses, there are several databases that you can search. Further information on finding non-UK theses are available from here.
Published datasets can be a valuable resource to use and cite in your research. Datasets across many disciplines can be found in data centres and repositories, some of which are established by research funders and researcher communities. Advice on finding and reusing datasets can be found on our Datasets page.
Support for Undertaking Research
Library staff can provide support for literature searching, including:
- guidance on which resources are appropriate for your topic;
- support for carrying out an initial literature search;
- guidance on carrying out cited reference searching;
- support for developing advanced search strategies to ensure comprehensive literature retrieval, including searching for systematic reviews.
For support from specialist library staff, contact your Academic Librarian.
Reference management software helps you to keep track of your reading and references and makes it easier to find referencing information to cite material in your work.
Using reference management software will save you time compiling and locating your references and, if used correctly, will improve the consistency and accuracy of your citations and reference lists. However, no citation manager is a replacement for knowing how to reference nor does it abrogate the need to check the accuracy of your references.
Keeping up to date with new ideas and research is an essential part of the research process. The number of journal articles published each year can make this a daunting task but there are a number of techniques and resources that can help you keep up-to-date with newly published materials. Some popular methods are listed below.
- Journal TOCs allows you to set up alerts you when new issues of any 'followed' journals are published.
- Zetoc This service is offered by the British Library. Information on setting up alerts can be found on the Zetoc Alert reference guide.
- Browzine is a great way to browse your favourite journals, save articles and export the citations to your RefWorks account.
- Citation alerts and Saved searches . Most of the library databases offer a citation alert service so that you will be notified if a new article cites an article that you are interested in. They also allow you to save searches to run again at a later point. In most cases you will need to set up an account within the particular database. Look in the help section of each database to see what you can do or contact your academic librarian if you need assistance.
- Cited reference searching. This allows you to find where key articles in your research area have been cited in more recent works. It is a useful way of finding out how ideas and research have developed over time. This service is offered by the library databases Scopus and Web of Science (both available from the Resources A-Z) and also Google Scholar.
- Professional bodies and organisations. The websites of professional bodies and organisations can be useful sources of up-to-date information. Many now offer a news section, blog or Twitter account, which highlight new research.
Library staff can offer advice on Copyright , including re-use of 3rd party copyright material in your publications as well as advice on licensing options, including Creative Commons licenses and other licenses required for publishing your research.
Use of 3rd party copyright material in your e-theses
Copyright law does allow referenced quotation of other people's work. If you have used 3rd party copyright material you should usually be able to rely on one of the 'fair dealing' exceptions such as illustration for instruction, or criticism, review or quotation to include this material for the purpose of examination. Remember the use must be fair. Information on fair dealing is available on the Copyright pages
The fair dealing exclusions may also cover the use of very small amounts of 3rd party copyright material in the e-thesis but our advice, and best practice, is to contact the rights holder to ask for permission to include the material in your e-thesis. Obtaining permission to use 3rd party copyright content can be a lengthy process so we recommend that you start as soon as possible. Below is some wording that you can use or adapt if contacting a copyright owner for permission. Bear in mind that students are never expected to pay fees requested by copyright owners to include 3rd party copyright material in their e-thesis.If you are unable to rely on a fair dealing exception or get permission, the material can be redacted from the published thesis.
I am a PhD student at Abertay University and I am contacting you to seek permission to include the following material within the electronic version of my PhD thesis:
[Provide full details of the material you intend to include]
The thesis will be deposited in the university's open access repository, https://rke.abertay.ac.uk/, which is a non-commercial repository and openly available to all. A copy of the thesis will also be available from the British Library Electronic Thesis service EThOS. A full citation will be included to acknowledge the copyright holder of the material included in the thesis.
If you are not the rights holder for this material I would be grateful if you could let me know who I should contact for permission. If you require any further information, please let me know.
Thank you for your help.
Text and Data Mining (TDM) is the use of automated analytical techniques to analyse text and data for patterns, trends and other useful information. TDM usually requires the copying of the works to be analysed.
In 2014 a new Copyright exception was introduced that now allows researchers to carry out TDM for non commercial research purposes. The exception applies under the following conditions.
- The researchers still need to have 'lawfull access' to the material
- The computattional analysis must be for the purposes of non-commercial research.
- The copy is accompanied by sufficient acknowledgment unless this is practically impossible.
Abertay regulations require the submission of an electronic copy of the final examined version of all research theses. The final version of the thesis should be deposited in Pure. A guide on how to submit your Postgraduate research (PGR) thesis in Pure is available from the Pure support pages. Students should familiarise themselves with the Abertay style guide, - Preparation of your Thesis and a PGR Thesis Template is available.
PGR theses should be made open access as soon as possible on the external Pure Portal. However, there will be occasions when theses need to be restricted (embargoed). For example, you may want to publish some papers from your thesis or your thesis contains sensitive or 3rd party copyright material that needs to be redacted. please bear in mind that not all theses automatically need to be embargoed because of future publications and students should check the appropriate publishers policies on pre- and post- publications. Often the information will be found in the author services section on the publisher or journal website. In the case of journal articles, it should usually be possible to publish material from your thesis if it is sufficiently further developed. If in doubt, speak in the first instance with your supervisor.
All theses submitted for publication on the Pure portal require an Embargo Request Form to be completed regardless of whether an embargo is requested or not. This form is available from the research pages - Forms and Links.
Advice on using 3rd party copyright material in your PGR thesis is available in the copyright section above.
Disseminating, Evaluating and Preserving Research
Bibliometrics is the statistical analysis of books, articles or other publications. It uses citation data to provide insight into the impact of research outputs. Any single metric will not provide a rounded overview of research performance. Responsible use of metrics to evaluate research requires the use of a range of indicators. Consider the context in which the metrics are used and look at them alongside appropriate qualitative indicators such as peer review when assessing research quality.
Sources of journal information that enable publication and citation analysis include the library databases Scopus and Web of Science, which can be accessed via the Resources A-Z as well as free resources such as Google Scholar and Dimensions. Some bibliometrics commonly used by researchers include:
- Citation counts: the number of times a research output appears in the reference lists of other documents. Citation counts can be found in Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar and Dimensions. The citation counts displayed on the External Pure portal are Scopus citation counts.
- h-index: aims to measure an author's productivity and impact. It is the number of publications (h) that have h or more citations. H-index scores can be found in Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar. The h-index displayed on the external Pure portal is derived form Scopus citation data.
- Journal impact factor (JIF). Journal Citation reports (JCR) from the Web of Science can be used to find the impact factors for journals. A JIF of 3.0 means that, on average, articles published in that journal one or two years ago have been cited three times. When comparing impact factors you should compare like with like as different disciplines and different types of articles e.g review or original research articles have different citation patterns. JCR also give a 5-year Impact factor. Further information, guides and tutorials are available from Clarivate support.
- The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) from Scopus is an alternative metric to the the Journal Impact factor. The SJR rates a citation depending on where it comes from, transferring prestige by citing another journal. The figure is derived by dividing the number of citations by the number of documents over the previous 3 year period. You may find the YouTube video -Searching the SCImago Journal Ranking Database useful.
- Journal Quartiles: Both the JCR and SJR ican be used to find what Quartile paricular journals in each subject category are in. These Quartiles rank the journals from highest to lowest based on their impact factor or impact index. There are four Quartiles: Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4, Q1 being the highest.
- CiteScore is a relatively new measure of journal citation provided by Scopus. CiteScore is essentially the average citations per document that a title receives over a three-year period. A CiteScore value is available for most active titles in Scopus – journals, book series, conference proceedings and trade journals – that started publishing in 2015 or earlier.
- Some metrics are normalised. For example, Scopus will let you compare the Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP). This measures the average citation impact of the publications of a journal. SNIP corrects for differences in citation patterns across different scientific disciplines so it can be useful useful if you need more accurate between-disciplines comparisons of citation impact.
Altmetrics are based on the number of times an article is shared, downloaded or mentioned on social media, blogs or in newspapers. Using altmetrics in addition to traditional bibliometrics can provide a wider picture of how a publication is being discussed. Abertay's Pure Portal displays both the altmetric donut and PumX metrics for research outputs.
Open access maximises the impact of your research, and leads to increased citations. Library staff can advise on open access publishing, including complying with Abertay's Open Access Publications Policy , offer advise on the Read & Publish (transformative) agreements that Abertay has signed up to, and help explain publishers' OA policies for both publications and research data. More information is available on our OA support pages.
All postgraduate research students (PGRS) have a profile on Pure. Students should keep their profile up to date, deposit all research outputs in Pure as per Abertay's Open Access Publications Policy and create a record of all published datasets in Pure as per the Research Data Management Policy.
All PGRS theses must be deposited in Pure before graduation. After graduation, all theses will be freely available on the Pure portal either immediately or after an embargo period. Further information is available from the Pure support pages.
ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. ORCID integrates with research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supporting automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognised. Abertay has an institutional ORCID account allowing us to integrate Pure with ORCID. Further information is available from the ORCID support page.
Bibliometric information such as Journal impact factors, Journal Quartiles, CiteScore, etc., (see research metrics section on this page) are useful when deciding where to publish. However there are other factors that you should consider.
- If your research is funded check if there are any Funders' policies on Open Access publishing that you need to comply with.
- Does the journal or publisher comply with Abertay's Open Access Publications Policy
- Check the Read & Publish Deals available to Abertay researchers. These deals provide Gold OA publishing at no cost to the individual researcher. The OA costs are covered by the Library subscription.
- If you are in receipt of UKRI funding check if you can use the UKRI Block grant to pay for Gold OA publishing
- If you research is unfunded, check if you can use the limited Open Access Fund available to Abertay researchers to pay for Gold Open Access publishing. More information in the Open Access Fund for Open Access Publications.
- Does the journal publish articles with similar research topics to the research in your paper? If not - then they are unlikely to publish your article.
Promoting Your research: Once your article is published - don't forget to promote it via social media and sharing your article via any links provided by the publisher.
Predatory Open Access Journals and Publishers
Choosing where to publish can be confusing, particularly for early career researchers. In recent years there have been a growing number of new open access journals, many set up by reputable publishers. However, there are an increasing number of pay-to publish vanity journals. These journals do not have a peer review process or any kind of quality control. They request payment for publishing but add no value to your manuscript in return. The journal names are often similar to well established journals.
Publishing in one of these journals can damage the reputation of the researcher and the University. It also lends the researchers' and their institutions' reputations to a disreputable publication.
A few things to bear in mind when choosing an Open Access journal.
- Take time when selecting where to publish.
- Be aware of the publication landscape in your research area and the most reputable journals. Check if the journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access journals.
- Look at the editors. Are they recognized in their field?
- Look at the journal's home page, contact details and address for their registered office. Do these look odd or have lots of spelling or grammatical errors?
- Does the publisher send unsolicited emails inviting publication in journals that you have never heard of?
- Look at some of the articles published in previous issues? Do they look like they have been edited? Are there formatting errors or inconsistencies? Are there spelling or grammatical mistakes?
Think, Check, Submit is a campaign to provide researchers with information about the criteria that they should look at when choosing where to publish. If you need advice on choosing where to publish or assistance - email: firstname.lastname@example.org