Library Services Customer Satisfaction Survey 2015 – You Said, We Did!

Thank you to everyone who responded to the 2015 Library Services Satisfaction Survey just before Christmas. The focus of the survey was on overall satisfaction, speed of service delivery, quality of staff interactions, etc. and was sent to a 10% sample of staff and students. We had an acceptable response rate of approximately 4% and results were very positive with 92% of respondents either “Satisfied” or “Very satisfied” with the service.

Comments and feedback received have been analysed by library staff and we have identified a couple of areas where we thought it would be useful to respond or offer clarification:

Printing charges

Slides are now on display in Print Copy rooms to explain how the income from student printing is invested in the service.

Security in the Biomedical Library

We have taken steps to improve security in the Biomedical Library in the MBC.  A security camera is to be installed at the entrance to the Biomedical Library with a second one installed in the reading room area. We have also arranged for security staff to increase the number of times they visit the library with additional evening and weekend visits.

Modern Irish material in Special Collections

Special Collections provides access to the Library’s rare and early printed book, map, and manuscript collections, as well as to more modern material relating to Ireland and Ulster in particular. These materials are considered to be of lasting research value. Officially established in 1929, the Hibernica collection continues to develop through the acquisition of current publications which will be available for research in the future. 

Please note that it is now possible to place a hold on a standard loan item from the main collection even if a Special Collections copy is available.

Environmental conditions in the McClay Library

While the building has default settings for heating and ventilation, we can sometimes vary these if library users are uncomfortable, so e-mail with your feedback.

Finding books on the shelves

We are reviewing our shelf guiding to help with this.

Library Services aims to deliver a high standard of service to you and to respond to any suggestions made so please contact or visit our feedback page.

Library Services

February 2016

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Forthcoming Open Access Courses

There are places available on the following courses:

  • What is Open Access – Monday 15th February 2 – 3pm McClay Library Auditorium
  • How to comply with HEFCE’s Open Access Policy for the REF – Wednesday 17th February 2 – 3 pm McClay Library Auditorium

To register, login to Queen’s Online and click ‘Training Courses’ from the ‘Other’ section. . Alternatively email Open Access and we can book the course(s) on your behalf.

The full training schedule is available on the Open Access LibGuide

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Queen’s University Belfast Submits APC expenditure for 2015

The Library’s Open Access Team has submitted, on behalf of the University, an Article Processing Charges (APCs) expenditure report to Jisc Collections for 2015.

For the last two years Jisc Collections have been working with higher education institutions to collect and openly release article-level data on their APC expenditure.

In 2015 Queen’s University Belfast had a total APC spend of £138,039 which enabled 123 articles by Queen’s authors to be made open access via the gold route. This is a significant increase in both APC spend and the number of articles made open access in comparison to 2014.

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

If you would like to know if your paper is eligible for Gold Open Access check out our LibGuide or email

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Problem resolved – QCat Article Search and Internet Explorer

The issue with QCat Article Search not working with Internet Explorer is now resolved.

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Library sessions for Medicine, Health and Life Sciences Postgraduates

The Medical Library is running the following course in February and March, aimed at Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Postgraduates:

The ‘Big 4’ Databases for Medicine, Health and Life Sciences: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and Scopus

To book a place on a session, please click the relevant date below:

Friday, 12th February 2.00pm to 4.00pm

 Tuesday, 23rd February 2.00pm to 4.00pm

 Tuesday, 8th March 2.00pm to 4.00pm

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Trial access to RILM Music Encyclopedias

Trial access to the RILM Music Encyclopedias database is available until 12th February.

The database is a full-text compilation of 41  titles published from 1775 to the present, comprising nearly 80,000 print pages, the majority of which are not available anywhere else online. A wide range of disciplines, fields, and subject areas is covered, including popular music, opera, instruments, blues, gospel, recorded sound, and women composers. Its content spans multiple countries and languages—English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and Greek.

Please let us know how you rate this resource by filling in this short survey.

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Coming soon: improved electronic document delivery from the British Library

The British Library have recently launched a new improved service for delivering journal articles and book chapters electronically. We’ll be adopting it from January 27th this year.

We’re already used to fulfilling your Inter-library loan (Document Supply) requests electronically as much as possible. Electronic supply allows for much faster delivery, which we know is important when it comes to getting you the materials you need for your research. Currently, in order to download inter-library loans you need to install the File Open plugin on your computer. This software ensures all requests are compliant with copyright law and locks the article so it can only be viewed on one machine.  Although it serves its purpose, the process of installing this software can be fiddly, especially on shared machines, so – like many other institutions -we’ve been asking for an easier and less restrictive option for some time. And now The British Library have unveiled one.

From 27th January 2016 we will be delivering article and chapter requests supplied by the British Library to you via their new service, DRM-lite.

Benefits of DRM-Lite:

  • No need to install plugins or special software, access documents on any device with Adobe Reader
  • PC, laptop, tablet: open your document as many times and on as many different devices as you need to
  • Saving is permitted and each document may also be printed and a copy retained
  • The same speedy delivery as the old service

How do I get articles via DRM Lite?

  • The process of requesting an inter-library loan is exactly the same as before. Requests should be made via our online order form.   
  • Before you can view your article you will need to have registered for On Demand with The British Library. Registering is free, just takes a few minutes and will only need to be done the first time. Once you have registered, you can use your username and password to access articles that have been supplied to you
  • If you are likely to be making use of our Document Supply service in the coming months why not register now so that you are all set up ready to start receiving documents? Click here to register now

Article requests fulfilled before 27th January will continue to use the File Open system but we’re looking forward to saying goodbye to plugins and hello to this new, simplified, copyright compliant service.

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ISI Journal Citation Reports – new features available

ISI Journal Citation Reports, a database which provides impact factors for journals in science and technology and social sciences, is moving to the InCites platform. The new platform provides useful new features, including interactive maps and relations charts, improved sorting in tables and more user-friendly filter options.

A quick tour of the new features is available on YouTube.

The traditional Journal Citation Reports interface remains accessible until 31 December.

Please do not hesitate to contact your Subject Librarian if you would like any further information.

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New HEFCE Policy on Open Access – Just over 3 months to go!

With just over 3 months to go, the countdown is on to 1st April 2016 when HEFCE’s policy for open access in the post-2014 REF will be implemented. Non-compliance with the policy will mean that papers are not eligible for assessment and will be given an unclassified score.

In brief HEFCE have mandated green open access. The policy has two major parts:

  • a requirement to deposit final peer-reviewed manuscripts of journal articles and conference proceedings into an institutional repository or subject repository within three months of publication; and
  • a requirement that papers are made open access as soon as possible after publication and do not exceed the embargo limits (12 months REF Main Panels A & B; 24 months REF Main Panels C & D).

The policy will apply to all manuscripts accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 but you are encouraged to start uploading your accepted papers now to Pure.

Further details and useful information can be found in the Open Access LibGuides. If you have any questions, you can contact our Open Access Team by emailing  or you can get in touch via Twitter.



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Open Access and Predatory Journals

Are you looking to publish an Open Access (OA) paper?

With Open Access now well-established, there is an ever-increasing number of OA journals available for researchers to choose from.

The majority of OA publishers are legitimate, with many newer journals quickly establishing a reputation for academic credibility and scholarly standards. These are usually soon endorsed by libraries and the academic community. Many other new OA journals are published by well-known publishers or institutions with long-established credentials.

However, as with traditional publishing, some journals are of less evident academic standing, and in a number of cases may be considered ‘predatory’. Signs of a predatory publisher include:

  • Spamming prospective authors with emails actively soliciting submissions
  • Offering to create a new journal to fit your research and potentially offering you honorary editorship
  • Prioritising APC fee-collection and an unusually fast turnaround for publication
  • An ill-defined or dubious ‘peer-review’ process
  • Websites with vague or absent author instructions, over-simplified copyright policies, or oddly formatted volume/issue structures.
  • Over-emphasis on Impact Factors – these may be fabricated to fake a credible reputation.

The term ‘predatory journal’ was first used by the librarian Jeffrey Beall who maintains a list of potentially suspect titles: Beall’s List.

For peace of mind, you may wish to search for your potential host publication on an approved ‘whitelist’ of officially vetted OA journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) includes only those journals which have been vetted under strict application rules.

Further online indicators of a legitimate OA publisher are:

  • Affiliation with a widely-respected organisation with an official code of conduct, eg. Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) or Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
  • Full and easy to find contact details, with different means of communication (email, telephone number, postal address) offered.
  • Clearly laid out publication costs
  • A complete list of the editorial board, ideally with accompanying biographies and evidence of expertise.

If you are unsure about a particular journal, please do not hesitate contact the Open Access Team and we will be happy to advise. You can get in touch by emailing  or getting in touch on Twitter.

Further contact details and useful information can be found on the Open Access LibGuide 

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