Queen’s University Belfast Submits RCUK Open Access Compliance Report 2015/16

The Library’s Open Access Team has submitted, on behalf of the University, its open access compliance report for 2015/16 to the RCUK.

Queen’s is one of 108 UK research organisations to receive an annual open access block grant from the RCUK. This grant aims to support universities in meeting the requirements of the RCUK Policy on Open Access, in particular meeting the cost of article processing charges (APC) to make articles open access through the publisher.

During the period there was a massive increase in APC spending  in comparison with the previous reporting periods.  A total APC spend of £207,222 enabled 115 papers  to be made open access through a number of publishers.  A further £85,307 was spent on publisher discounts and membership schemes.

A combination of green and gold open access papers gave Queen’s an estimated overall compliance rating of 64%.

The full report can be viewed on Queen’s Research Portal

If your paper has received RCUK funding and you would like further information on the RCUK’s open access requirements and available funding, check out our Open Access LibGuide or email openaccess@qub.ac.uk.

The RCUK Block Grant  is allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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Problem resolved – Web of Science ‘Advanced Search’

The recent Web of Science ‘Advanced Search’ problem affecting the use of  the proximity operator Near/x has now been resolved.

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Standards of Service 2016-17

The Library has developed a suite of customer-focused service standards and measures our performance against these standards. Our performance during 2015-16 and targets for the year ahead have now been published.

If you have any feedback or comments, please let us know via our Customer Feedback Page.

We are particularly interested to hear if you feel that there are other important areas of service delivery that we should focus on.

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Documents, DOIs and URLs on Pure: what should I add to be REF-ready?

Are you a researcher recently accepted for publication in a journal or a conference proceedings with an ISSN?

If so, you are subject to HEFCE’s new rules requiring the upload of accepted manuscripts to Pure within 3 months of early online publication in order to be eligible for submission to the next REF.

It is important that all researchers understand exactly what is meant by uploading the accepted manuscript.

In each Pure record created, you can use the following button to add files and links:


If you are publishing via the Green Open Access route, use the Add Document button to upload your accepted manuscript to the Pure record and satisfy HEFCE requirements. The accepted manuscript is the finished accepted article, including any changes from peer review, but prior to publisher formatting being applied.

Papers published via the  Gold Open Access route are exempt from the 3 month deposit requirement, but you are still encouraged to upload your final paper via the Add Document button as a best practice and a way of enhancing your online research profile.

You should also add your accepted paper’s unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier) when available. In the absence of a DOI, addition of the abstract page URL is a helpful alternative. Either will point users of the Research Portal towards the online published version of the paper, though full access may be restricted exclusively to the host journal’s subscribers.

In summary, if you want to make sure you’re REF-ready:

-always use ‘Add document/DOI/URL’ and upload your accepted manuscript no later than 3 months after publication.

-for best practice, also use ‘Add document/DOI/URL’ to provide a DOI or URL.

For a step-by step guide to uploading documents to Pure, please visit our Deposit Guide.

If you need more information on open access at Queen’s, please see our webpages, email us at openaccess@qub.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter.

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Is my Research Council covered by RCUK Funding for Open Access?

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership between the UKs seven Research Councils. Each year they invest around £3 billion in research across all academic disciplines.

In their role of investing public money in research the RCUK is committed to open access to ensure the research they fund is free and open access to the public.  Although the RCUK supports green open access its preference is for the gold route as it offers immediate open access with the maximum opportunity for re-use. To support the gold route RCUK supplies UK Universities with a block grant to cover the Article Processing Charges (APCs). Gold open access means that the published version of a research article is open directly from the journal with no fees to the reader. Some journals require the author to pay an APC to help cover the journal’s costs and ensure the content remains free to the reader.

The RCUK includes the following Research Councils. If your research is funded by one of these you would be eligible to apply for funding from the block grant to make your research open via the gold route:

  • AHRC – Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • BBSRC – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • EPSRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC – Economic and Social Research Council
  • MRC – Medical Research Council
  • NERC – Natural Environment Research Council
  • STFC – Science and Technology Facilities Council



If you want to avail of this grant you should contact openaccess@qub.ac.uk before publication to ensure there are sufficient funds remaining to cover the cost of your article processing charge (APC). For further information on eligibility and whether you meet the criteria please see the our LibGuide

For any further information or questions on open access please email us at openaccess@qub.ac.uk

To read the full RCUK Policy on open access visit: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/documents/rcukopenaccesspolicy-pdf/

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Student Satisfaction with Library Services

The Library seeks to make continuous improvements to our services and we welcome the  feedback we receive from students.

There are several annual student surveys which assess student satisfaction with the Library and the 2015 and 2016 (where available) results are summarised below for your information.

In the National Student Survey 2015 (all graduating students), Learning Resources received an overall satisfaction score of 94%. We believe that this high score was due to our ongoing efforts to improve services to students in libraries and other learning spaces.

Surveys of current students also measure satisfaction with the Library service. In the First Year Experience Survey 2016 learning resources received an overall satisfaction score of 89%; the equivalent score in the 2016 Second Year Experience Survey was 88%.

Library resources and services are also highly rated by postgraduate students at Queen’s.  In the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2015 an overall satisfaction rating of 86.6% was achieved. The overall satisfaction rating in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2015 was 86.5%.

While these results are very encouraging, we will continue to work to improve student satisfaction with our services year on year.

July 2016

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Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War – Trial Access Now Available

SecretfilesQUB staff and students now have trial access to Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars.  The trial ends 31st July 2016Access is available on-campus only from this link: http://www.secretintelligencefiles.com

We would be interested in getting your comments and feedback: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LWDRPFP

Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War: Intelligence, Strategy and Diplomacy provides access to British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files from 1873 to 1953, with the majority of files dating from the 1930s and 1940s. Spanning four key twentieth century conflicts, with a spotlight on the Second World War, the material, sourced from The National Archives, U.K., enables rich research into intelligence, foreign policy, international relations, and military history in the period of Appeasement, through the Second World War, and into the early Cold War.


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Trial Access to Guardian/Observer and New York Times Archives

image_1Queen’s staff and students have trial access to the following ProQuest Historical Newspaper databases:
The Guardian and The Observer
The New York Times with Index

Access is available until 31 August 2016 (on-campus NYTonly) from this link.

We welcome your feedback and comments – you can leave them here.


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Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences Literature Searches

If you are studying, or working within, medicine, dentistry or biomedical sciences at Queen’s, you can now request literature searches from your subject librarian, Richard Fallis.

Ultimately, it is best if you carry out your own searches. But, if you are short on time, or struggling to find results, Richard is happy to carry out searches for you, in the databases of your choice.

To request a literature search, simply fill in this on-line form.

Please note: this form can only be used by QUB Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences students and staff.

If you have any questions about requesting or carrying out a literature search, please email Richard.

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Medical and Biomedical Libraries Summer Vacation Hours

Please see below for the summer opening hours for the Medical and HSC Library (RVH site) and the Biomedical Library (MBC site).

Medical and HSC Library

From 6th June 2016 – 30th July 2016
Monday – Friday    8.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday                   9.30am – 1.00pm
Sunday                      closed

From 1st August 2016 – 24th September 2016
Monday – Friday    8.30am – 6.00pm
Saturday                  9.30am – 1.00pm
Sunday                     closed

Biomedical Library

From 6th June 2016 – 24th September 2016
Monday – Friday    9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday                  9.30am – 1.00pm
Sunday                     closed

Both libraries are closed on 12th and 13th July 2016, and normal term-time opening hours resume on Monday 26th September 2016. A full display of the opening hours can be viewed here.

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