Blog Archives

Your online thesis: what you need to know

The PGR Thesis and Examination Policy states that it is mandatory for final, post-examination copies of research degree theses to be deposited in NECTAR.  But what does this mean for PGR students (and their supervisors)?

This post will outline the policy and procedure for depositing your thesis in NECTAR and some the issues you need to consider when doing this.

Gather your strength and read on…

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Dates changes to NECTAR deposits

We’ve made some changes to the way dates are recorded in NECTAR with a new plugin called Dates, Dates, Dates. This will enable us to capture multiple date types for research outputs, which will improve the data we record, and enable us to capture required information to support HEFCE, RCUK and other funder policies.

This post explains the changes and tells you what you need to know to use the new Dates field.

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New research students: getting started

FAQ: I am a new research student and the next induction week is some time away.  What do I need to know now?

First of all – welcome to the University of Northampton! There are plenty of people here to help you get started with your research – your supervisor of course, but also a number of people in the Graduate School and the Library.  If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Your top priority will be to make sure that you can access the university computer network and the various services that it offers.  The checklist for new research students elsewhere on the Research Support Hub (this blog) describes what you need to do to achieve this.

Now that you have all the right login details you should be able to find all the key information you need about being a research student at Northampton.

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Data Protection and research data: Q&A

FAQ: How can I be sure that my research does not contravene Data protection law?

JISC Legal have just published a useful set of questions and answers on Data Protection and research data.  Beginning with “What is ‘personal data’?”, the 24 questions cover topics such as “What are the basic rules for processing ‘personal data’?”, “What is a Subject Access Request?” and “Can I store my data in the Cloud?”.

If you are working with any type of personal data then these Q&As could be worth a look.

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Searching for open access articles

FAQ: I am creating an online resource and would like to ensure that my reading list comprises only texts that are open access (OA). Where can I find suitable content?OAlogo

There are plenty of open access articles and papers out there, if you know where to look. In the list below I have focused on text based materials rather than other resource types.

General repository search (all subjects):

  • CORE – harvests a large number of repositories, claiming to index over 20 million articles.
  • OAIster – now run by WorldCat – includes 30 million records, including text, audio, video, images and datasets.
  • Digital Commons Network – has a colourful subject wheel to facilitate browsing; indexes repositories supported by Digital Commons software.
  • OpenDOAR repository search and Registry of Open Access Repositories – OpenDOAR and ROAR are both registries of repositories; they each have a Google Custom Search box to enable searching of content.

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I thank my colleague, Helen Asquith, for cheering me up with this link this afternoon. You might enjoy a bit of Friday afternoon fun too.

Here are Rebecca Schuman’s thoughts on the use of Powerpoint in higher education.

We all know I’m guilty of these crimes. Are you?


Checklist for new research students

FAQ: I’ve just started as a research student at the University of Northampton.  How do I get access to university IT systems and library resources?

As a new research student it is important that you are quickly able to take advantage of the many resources and services available to you at the university.  This checklist will show you how to log in to the different services and tell you where to get help should you have any problems.

(Note: The checklist contains a lot of information and is therefore quite long, but if a quick overview is all you need then check out the summary table toward the end.)

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Finding journals and journal articles using NELSON

FAQ: How can I use NELSON to find journals and journal articles?

While researchers are often best served by accessing Library and Learning Services’ electronic journal collections directly (via our A-Z list), our research discovery tool NELSON can be a quick and convenient way to find articles and journals online. Read on for a short guide.

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Digital Object Identifiers: what they are and where to find them

FAQ: What is a DOI and how can find out if my work has one?

A Digital Object Identifier, or DOI, uniquely and permanently identifies an object.  Although the ‘object’ in theory may be any entity (physical, digital or abstract), in practice the most frequent use of DOI names is to describe the location of electronic journal articles, data sets and other digital documents.  To date over 84 million DOI names have been assigned (see DOI Factsheet), each with a set of basic metadata and a pointer to the full content.

The principle behind the DOI system is that clicking on a DOI name will take you straight to the definitive copy of the item, irrespective of whether its web address (URL) has changed.

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Finding an open access journal for your article

FAQ: How can I find a suitable open access journal in which to publish my work?

Perhaps your funder expects you to publish your work in an open access journal, or you’d like to enjoy the citation advantage of making your work open access, but you’re not sure where to start.  Here are a few things to think about.

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