Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2018

Black History Month and Open Access Week with Leicester Research Archive

by: Grant Denkinson
Research Services Consultant

As part of Black History Month and Open Access Week, we took a look in Leicester Research Archive (LRA) for the research and scholarship about Black people that has been published at University of Leicester (UoL) and made available openly to the world. Let's start with some UoL theses which LRA preserves in digital form, including digitised older theses:
Dhia A.H. Aljubouri’s 1972 thesis “The Medieval Idea of the Saracen as illustrated in English Literature, Spectacle and Sport”. A scholarship from the Study Leave Committee of Baghdad University helped give Dr Aljubouri the chance to write on: “Anti-Islamic Polemics and Crusade Propaganda in the Middle Ages”, “The Horrible Saracen” in “the Non-Dramatic Writings in Middle English with particular reference to the Romances” and in “Early English Religious and Folk Drama, Spectacle, and Sport”. Brian George Holder’s thesis, also from 1972, examined the “Politics of Mississippi, 1900-1966”

Open Access, Altmetrics and Citations

Earlier this week I blogged about how Open Access broadens out readership beyond academia and recommended investigating Altmetrics, which offer a really useful insight into the conversations that take place online between audiences. Today's post delves a little deeper into a possible link between Open Access, Altmetrics and citation count.

The correlation of Open Access publication and an increased citation rate has been well-established, from +36% (Biology) to +600% (Agricultural Sciences). It's been interesting since then to observe how the Open Access landscape has evolved to include Altmetrics into the citation equation.
Studies have found a short-term spike in the attention received by articles that have been Tweeted by the journal publisher, others have linked Altmetrics attention to a citation count higher in Open Access (OA) articles than in Non-Open Access (NOA) articles. However, the causality in these cases in unclear: Do OA papers generate more citations because the…

Theses Thursday

Today's post for Open Access Week is in celebration of the Open Access E-theses available from Leicester Research Archive.

University of Leicester Theses have been downloaded 514,259 times from Sep 2017-Sep 2018, making them the most popular collections in the repository by a country mile.

The top three downloaded theses for this period were from the Depts of Media and Communication, Education and Chemistry:

Al-Ahmed, Mohammed S. (1987) Mass media and society: The six normative theories and the role of social, political and economic forces in shaping media institution and content: Saudi Arabia - a case study. Available at: Downloads
Yazigy, Rula Jamil. (1991) Social and psychological factors in learning English as a foreign language in Lebanon. Available at: Downloads:
Abolibda, Tariq Ziyad Y. (2015) Physical and Chemical Investigations of Starch Based Bio-Plastics. Availa…

Open Access, Altmetrics and Readership

Those who advocate Open Access recognise that a scholarly work has the potential to interest a broader audience, academic and non-academic. It may come as a surprise who takes an interest outside of the author's immediate network, but consider the amount of primary research taking place outside of academia and it may not be such a surprise after all. For example, a reader with access to articles and data working in a  business' research and development department could accelerate innovation and discovery at pace, much faster than the time it could take to accrue one citation.
Open Access is about not putting a barrier between the person who might want to access it and the research itself. (Dr Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester)  Non-academic audiences could unlock the potential for real-life impact by pushing and promoting literature to different communication channels. Other examples of non-academic audiences are journalists, citizen scientists, medical patients and th…

Colours of Open Access

International Open Access Week 2018 celebrates 10years of promoting open scholarship worldwide. Let’s go back to basics and see how the publishing landscape has changed over the last decade.

Open Access was defined in the Finch Report (2012) stating that ‘research outputs arising from publicly funded research should be freely accessible at the point of use with minimal if any limitations on how they can be used’. In fact, Open Access is all about reaching wider audience and increasing the impact of your research. According to Universities UK Report on transition to Open Access (2017) the proportion of UK-authored, open access articles increased from 12% in 2012 to 30% in 2016. Currently 37% of research outputs in UK and 25% worldwide are freely available at the publication date.
The movement supporting discoverability and accessibility of research outputs sparked a change in policies of the HEI, funders and most scholarly publishers. Two options for making publications open were set…

Forthcoming Events: Open Access Chat at Glenfield Hospital, Free Screening of Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, and Publishing with IEEE

International Open Access Week International Open Access Week (22nd-28th October) is a time for researchers to share experiences and best practice in making their research freely available. Now in its tenth year the #OAWeek campaign encourages everyone in scholarly communications to reflect on how close we are getting to living in a world where knowledge is truly open and free for all. The Research Services Team in the Library will be marking International Open Access Week in a variety of ways over the next two weeks.
·Come and chat to us at Glenfield Hospital CafĂ© Cardiologique on Thursday 25th October 12:30-14:00 - any question on Open Access is welcome!
·Bring your lunch down for a free film screening of Paywall: The Business of Scholarship. Tuesday 30th October, from 12:00 at the David Wilson Library Digital Reading Room (film starts 12:30).
·Join our conversation on Twitter @DWLresearch
The film - Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which focuses on the need for o…

Library support for Distance Learners

We provide several services for distance learners doing PhDs at Leicester. The Library website and catalogue can be accessed off-campus, as can our ebooks and online journal articles. We also have further support for distance learners:

Digitising book chapters and journal articles You can ask for the Library to scan print journal articles or book chapters, and send them to you. Find our more here.

Postal loan servicesWe offer a postal loan service too. We will send books from the main library collection to you by post (you bear the cost of sending them back to Leicester). Find out more hereor in the short video below:

Skype appointments We offer 1-2-1 appointments for all PhD students to discus questions you may have in more depth.  For those of you who can't come onto campus, we are happy to talk via Skype. Please email us on to arrange a time. 

WebinarsThe Library run workshops as part of the Doctoral College researcher training. This year the following sessions …