The McClay Library Expansion Project – March 2019 Update

This is the latest in a series of regular updates planned for the 2018-19 academic year which will keep you informed on progress of the McClay Library Phase 3 expansion project.

The project is progressing well with most of the work currently concentrated in the courtyard area behind Borrower Services. However, work is also beginning in the area adjacent to the atrium on the ground floor. To isolate students from the noise, an acoustic hoarding now stretches from just below the IT Service Desk to near the entrance to Staircase 3. This will remain in place until mid-summer.     

While we will do our utmost to minimise any disruption during the pre-examination and examination periods (any particularly disruptive work will be completed out of hours or carried out as early in the morning as possible), please note that this is a major building project so there may be some background noise. 

If you have any particular feedback or questions, please contact:

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Research Data Survey


Thank you to everyone who completed the survey on research data, which was distributed by Information Services (IS) in January 2019, we appreciate your feedback.  

The aim of the survey was to help IS meet the research data needs of academic and research staff by quantifying the scale of the technical infrastructure required, identifying any training gaps, and determining the level of advice and support that should be provided. We defined research data as “that which is collected, observed, or created in a digital form, for purposes of analysing to produce original research results”.

The survey was sent to nearly 1900 academic and research staff and completed by 302 people so the response rate was 16%.  As 302 people completed the survey, £302 will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support because IS pledged £1 for each response.

Summary of the Results

The results of the research data survey are summarised below.

  • Each school at Queen’s was represented, with Medical, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences submitting the highest number of responses (23%), followed by Mathematics and Physics (10%), and then Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (9%). The other responses were spread across the remaining schools.
  • 59% of respondents indicated they had a Data Management Plan (DMP) for at least one of their research projects and the top three reasons for this were: good research practice (87%), required by research funder (61%), and Queen’s Research Data Management Policy (34%).  
  • The three commonest types of research data at the University were: documents or reports (72%), spreadsheets (58%), and text files (44%).

  • 57% of respondents estimated their research data amounted to less than 500 gigabytes. There were only a small number of academic and research staff (4%) at the other end of the scale with research data totalling 51 terabytes or more.

  • Most of the academic and research staff who completed the survey (63%) thought that less than 500 gigabytes of their research data had long-term value.

  • The overwhelming expectation was that research data with long-term value should be preserved for at least a year or more (98%), with 32% of respondents anticipating that it should be preserved for beyond 10 years.

  • 66% of respondents expected their research data storage needs to increase during the next five years, either slightly (38%) or substantially (28%).

  • Respondents indicated they would value research data support from IS across a range of areas. The top three were: long-term preservation and storage of research data (66%), developing a research data management plan (64%), and tracking and managing research data (58%)

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Essential construction work in McClay Library Atrium Friday 15 March – Monday 18 March

As part of the McClay Library Phase 3 construction project, it is necessary to erect a temporary hoarding in the atrium to screen student areas from noise and dust while work is ongoing in the adjacent area.

This work will take place during the following period:

Friday 15 March 4.00pm – 12.00 midnight

Saturday 16 March 7.00am – 6.00pm

Sunday closed

Monday 18 March 8.00am – 8.00pm (painting work only)

There will be unavoidable noise and disruption in the atrium area during this period.

Please find a PC or study seat in another location in the Library.

Alternative study space is also being made available in rooms 12 and 18 on floor 3 of the Peter Froggatt Centre at the following times

Friday 15 March 3.30pm – 8.00pm

Saturday 16 March 10.00am – 5.00pm

During this period, stairwell 3 at the bottom of the atrium will be accessible for emergency use only from all floors.  

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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My Account problem resolved

The problems with the My Account function are now resolved.

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MAG Online Library access problems resolved

The problems with access to MAG Online Library e-journals is now resolved.

Apologies again for the inconvenience caused.

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Tell us what you think about the library

The Library is currently conducting a Customer Satisfaction Survey.  Invitations to respond have gone out to a random selection of QUB staff and students.  If you have received the email we would be very grateful if you could spare 5 or so minutes to complete it.  Your responses are very important, and have a direct impact on the services we offer, and our future planning.

On completing the survey students will automatically be included in a draw to win a £25 Amazon voucher.

The survey will close on Tuesday 2nd April 2019.

Thanks for your help.

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My Account problem

We are currently experiencing problems with the My Account facility on the Library homepage and catalogue. You may see no loans displaying when you login or experience a Too Many Requests error message.

Please use this My Account link to gain access to your account details.

If you continue to experience problems please log an IT Support call.

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MAG Online Library access problems

We have been informed by MAG Online Library that there are currently problems with access to the MAG Online Library website. They are investigating the cause and attempting to resolve it as soon as possible.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

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Library Systems – Scheduled Maintenance Tuesday 12/03/19


Library Systems will be carrying out some essential maintenance on our catalogue search on Tuesday 12th March 2019.

The catalogue will be unavailable from 08:00 am (GMT) on
Tuesday 12th March for approximately 2 hours. My Account will be unavailable and it will not be possible to borrow or renew books during this time.

During this time our article search will continue to be available from the library home page.

Databases can still be accessed from our A – Z list.

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Thesis digitisation project at the Library

The Library at Queen’s is delighted to announce that it is undertaking an exciting new initiative of retrospectively digitising theses of the university.

One hundred of the most heavily used theses will be digitised and, thereafter, uploaded to Pure, in this way making them available online, free of charge through Queen’s Research Portal.

Currently, it is only the most recent theses which are available on the Portal: since September 2016 all Postgraduate research students and UKRI funded students are required to upload an electronic version of their thesis (in addition to print copies) once they submit. There is, however, a back catalogue of theses, available in print format only, dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

The purpose of this special project is to widen access to the most heavily used theses, which are a vital source of research. This digitisation endeavour consequently will be of great interest to researchers across a wide array of disciplines. This includes Arts and Humanities, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Management, Education and Social Sciences.

The digitised theses will be available to anyone with an internet connection. There are no subscriptions. No paywalls. No need for authentication logins. Like existing theses in the Research Portal, the newly digitised theses will be freely available for anyone to peruse, access and download. This is part of a greater push to make academic research open access.

Each thesis is a significant achievement and the culmination of originality, hard work, dedication, critical thinking, and a considerable amount of self-questioning and sleepless nights! It is right to celebrate some of the most heavily used theses by making these easier to access.

Once the theses are digitised they will reach a wider audience and will be used by a diverse range of users. It is anticipated that the digitised theses will be able to be accessed online by late summer 2019.

The Library considers each thesis to have intrinsic research merit and would encourage all its former graduates (Postgraduate research students) who have submitted a thesis (pre-September 2016) to support us in our digitisation project. We operate a take-down policy so if you do not wish for your thesis to be involved in the project, please contact us.

This is the first phase of an envisaged long-term project that will see further print theses digitised in the future.

Did you know?

  • Some of the earliest theses were typed.

  • The Library is fortunate in holding approximately 14,000 Queen’s theses. This includes notable luminaries such as Rev. Robert Allen, 1904-1968 (Presbyterian minister and historian), Sir David Bates, 1916-1994 (mathematician and physicist), Kathleen Cuthbert (nee Ferguson), 1920-2016 (translator at Bletchley Park during WW2), Eileen McCracken 1920-1988, (botanist and historian of Botany), Professor Mary (Mollie) McGeown, 1923-2004 (specialist in the treatment of kidney disease) and Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, 1950-2018 (musician and composer).

  • There are theses also of current Queen’s staff, including Leontia Flynn (Creative Writing and multiple award winning poet), Professor David Livingstone (School of Natural and Built Environment), Professor Tony Gallagher (School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work) and Professor James McElnay (School of Pharmacy).

If you require further information about the thesis digitisation project, contact the Institutional Repository Officer, Dr. Michael O’Connor:

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