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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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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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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Archives of sexuality and gender – trial

We are currently trialling the Gale Archives of Sexuality and Gender digital archive until 31st March 2019

This fully searchable digital archive spans the sixteenth to the twentieth century and is the largest digital collection of primary source material relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality and gender. Documentation covering social, political, health and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world is included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities, providing a window into how sexuality and gender roles were viewed and changed over time.

Selection of materials for this milestone digital programme is guided by an advisory board consisting of leading scholars and librarians in Sexuality and Gender Studies. Documents include periodicals, newsletters, manuscripts, government records, organizational papers, correspondence, posters, and other materials.

Please access the trial directly by clicking here.

Please email feedback on this archive to:

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One-Hour Wait to re-Borrow Books Abolished – You Said, We Did

In the past, when you had reached the renewal limit on a book you had on loan, we used to make you wait an hour after you had returned it before you could take it out again. We thought that this would give others an opportunity to take it out.

Feedback from you indicated that this was not very helpful for you:

You said:

“I think the one hour return idea is a nonsense…. The likelihood of another reader finding the book on the shelves is nearly impossible as the book may never get out of the sorter room within an hour.”

We reviewed our policy and found that we agreed with you. As long as you bring your books back to the Library after your 5th renewal, we can check them in  and re-issue them to account immediately.

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Extended Opening Hours for Students from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences – You Said, We Did

The McClay Library offers 24-hour opening to support students during the Semester 2 Examination period.

Following demands from students and the School, the McClay Library has also offered extended hours outside term-time for students from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences who continue to sit exams.

However, we continued to receive feedback from students in the School of Medicine who relied on increased library opening times during the run up to their exams.

You said:

I understand that most Queen’s students are finished exams by this stage but we aren’t and it’s not fair that we don’t have the same availability of facilities to study just because of our semester dates.

This year, therefore, the McClay Library will also open overnight during the first 2 weeks of June.

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Library Help Drop-In Sessions – Biological Sciences

Library Help Drop in sessions are running throughout March and April for students from the School of Biological Sciences.  No need to book, just come along if you need help with literature searching, finding articles, using databases or reference management.

Monday 4th March 9.30am to 12.00pm
Thursday 7th March 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Monday 11th March 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Friday 15th March 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Tuesday 19th March 12.00pm to 2.00pm
Thursday 21st March 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Monday 25th March 9.30am to 12.00pm
Thursday 28th March 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Tuesday 2nd April 9.30am to 12.00pm
Friday 5th April 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Monday 8th April 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Thursday 11th April 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Tuesday 16th April 9.30am to 12.00pm

Where: Biomedical Library Office, Ground Floor MBC Building, Lisburn Road.

Contact: Patrick Elliott, Subject Librarian Biological Science

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Document Delivery for Staff and Post-Graduate Research Students – You Said, We Did

With an increase in staff and post-graduate research students working from home, we wanted to investigate the desirability and feasibility of establishing a document delivery service for these customers. Between August and December 2018, we have been satisfying Inter Library Loans requests for articles which were actually available in QUB Libraries, by scanning and emailing the article directly to the requestor. In the past, we would have sent an email giving the location of the article, so this would be a vast improvement for the customer.

The pilot was very successful and we received 100% positive feedback from participants who said:

  • Thanks so much for this. Brilliant service!
  • Thanks very much for your help. It is a ★★★★★ I think this does the job very well but people might still want to know the details of their location in the library for say viewing colour images etc. A colour scan may be a useful idea also.
  • This is perfect, thank you. I’ve also filled in the survey and, as discussed with your colleagues on the third floor, this is a valuable service. 

Staff found that the increase workload did not create additional pressure for them. Library Management Team assessed a report on the pilot and the feedback from participants. The following recommendations have now been implemented:

  • The Document Delivery Service is now offered by all QUB Library branches.
  • The Document Delivery Service is offered to QUB staff and QUB PG Research students as standard.
  • When the article has colour plates, for example, a colour scan should be considered.
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