X Close

Open@UCL Blog

Home

Menu

Archive for the 'Training' Category

Using games to engage with Open Access (and beyond!)

Kirsty18 May 2022

Guest post by Petra Zahnhausen-Stuber, Open Access Team, UCL Library (LCCOS)

In recent years, ‘Gamification’, the use of game elements in non-gaming settings to improve user experience, has been embraced by Research Support Services at Higher Education Institutes. Research Support Games cover various topics including research data management, copyright and/or open access and address an audience ranging from early career researchers and academics to support staff.

For the organisers of the Research Support Games Days (RSGD), games can be an effective tool to communicate with scholars about often complex concepts. In its third instalment since 2019, this event promotes the use of game-based learning among Research Support Services by presenting games, online tools and platforms that could be beneficial for training purposes. Here it was also highlighted, that most of these games were designed to be played in person. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 was a catalyst for developing more virtual games as a way of continuing the engagement with researchers when face-to-face training was not possible. Despite any the challenges of creating digital games, their advantage of reaching a wider audience outside the physical environment of research institutions becomes apparent in the following examples of Open Access themed online games.

The Publishing Trap (UK Copyright Literacy), this game about scholarly communication focuses on helping researchers understand the effect of different publishing models, copyright and finances on the dissemination of their research. First launched as a board game in 2017, in response to the pandemic a digital version was created in 2020. In both versions participants form up to 4 teams representing four scholars in different career scenarios and make decisions about how to best publish their research. Retaining most of the original features, the online version uses interactive PowerPoint slides and can be played via any virtual classroom software with a break-out room functionality, so that the element of team discussions from the board game is being replicated.

A group of people doing a jigsaw puzzle on the floor

Open Access Escape Room in action at the 2022 EARMA conference

Similarly, in 2020, the role-playing Open Access Mystery game developed by Katrine Sundsbo uses downloadable slides. It was also designed for online platforms (i.e. Zoom) to allow for immediate verbal interaction between players who are tasked with finding the culprit responsible for a global lockdown of all research. The Open Access Escape Room, also by the same author, was originally created in 2018 as a physical game and digitally adapted in 2020 under the name The Puzzling Hunt for Open Access. Both versions follow the narrative of all research being locked away by a villain and are aimed at academic staff to gain an understanding of the concepts of Open Access. The players have to find clues and solve various Open Access themed puzzles in order to unlock research. Despite not replicating the original escape room format, where participants interact with each other in teams, the online game offers more flexibility as the mixed media-based puzzles can be completed by a single player at their own pace. Like most Research Support Games, all materials are published under a CC BY licence resulting in both versions having been played and adapted further in and outside the UK.

The single-player Open Axis: The Open Access Video Game (UCLA) was always designed for a remote learning environment intending to reach a worldwide audience of graduates and undergraduates. Created in 2020, this “choose your own adventure” can be played in a web browser, is predominantly text based but features classic 8-bit video games. The player chooses between several characters portraying scholars of various backgrounds. Following a non-linear narrative, the player’s decision impact the course of the in-game stories around themes of open access, scholarly publishing and research practices.

Choosing another approach of getting scholars interested in Open Access, the team at Robert Gordon University developed five online puzzles in 2021, including memory, crosswords and a scavenger hunt. Since puzzles can be played quicker than games, it makes them suitable for bite-sized learning during icebreakers or coffee breaks.
These games form by no means an exhaustive list and it is worth delving into the manifold resources of the Research Support Games Day Proceedings (below), where the benefits and challenges involved in taking games online are further explored.

For more information on Research Support Games Days and Gamification:

Adaptions of the “Open Access Escape Room”:

New year, new library research skills

Kirsty12 January 2022

Did you intend to make new year resolutions but did not get round to it? Why not resolve to take some time this year to further develop your library research skills and ensure you are following best practices for research? UCL Library Services provides training and support to enable you to carry out your research effectively, including online guidance and self-paced tutorials, live online training sessions, tailored and individual training and specialist enquiry services.

Here are our top 5 suggested resolutions for researchers looking to enhance their library research skills and research practices:

Be FAIR

The principles of FAIR are designed to help lower barriers to research outputs and help other researchers find and understand them in order to reuse and repurpose them. This will in turn build further research opportunities and maximise the potential benefit of resources.

Findable – making research outputs discoverable by the wider academic community and the public.
Accessible – using unique identifiers, clear metadata, use of language and access protocols.
Interoperable – applying standards to encode and exchange data and metadata.
Reusable – enabling the repurposing of research outputs to maximise their research potential.

Practise open publishing

The goal of Open Access is to make all research material openly available online without restriction, to all readers, free from the barriers imposed by subscriptions. Open access is now required by many research funders and for the REF but it also has its own intrinsic benefits such as more exposure for your work, more citations, broader reach and wider readership worldwide.

Get searching

Refine your literature searching skills for reliable, relevant and comprehensive results. Whether you are searching for references to inform your research, as background reading, to scope your research topic, for a literature review or a systematic review, a robust search strategy is essential to ensure you find all the relevant research without having to wade through excessive irrelevant results. Our support for literature searching includes a range of options to support you at every stage of your research:

Organise your references

Get the most out of reference management software such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero, which enable you to gather and organise references and full text documents relevant to your research and to insert references in a Word document automatically, generating a reference list in the citation style of your choice. We provide support in using EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero to help you use the software more effectively and to troubleshoot your queries:

Understand bibliometrics

Bibliometrics is concerned with the analysis of research based on citation counts and patterns. The individual measures used are also commonly referred to as bibliometrics, or citation metrics.

 

Open Science monthly schedule outline – Academic year 21/22

Kirsty23 November 2021

New for the academic year 2021-22 the Office for Open Science and Scholarship is organising a monthly series of talks, showcases and training sessions across as many of the eight pillars as we can fit in for UCL colleagues and students at all levels.

All of the teams will be teaching their usual classes, keep watching your usual sources of training plus here and on Twitter for those, but these introductory sessions are intended to give a general overview of each subject area for a general audience with plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions. These introductory sessions will also be supplemented with ad hoc events throughout the year.

  • November
    Departmental UKRI Briefings – contact catherine.sharp@ucl.ac.uk to arrange a briefing for your team
  • December
    Introduction to the Office for Open Science & Scholarship – December 15th 2-3pm – Postponed, please express interest below
  • January 22
    Introduction to responsible metrics – January 27th 2-3pm – Online
  • February
    Introduction to Research Data Management – February 2nd 10-11am – Online
  • March
    Getting started with the RDR – Friday 4th Mar 10-11am – Online
  • April
    Open Science Conference (Dates TBC)
  • May
    Citizen Science project showcase (Details & Dates TBC)
  • June
    Citizen Science, Public Engagement & Research Impact (Dates TBC)
  • July
    ORCiD, DOI and beyond – Introduction to Persistent identifiers (Dates TBC)

If you are interested in any of the sessions above then please complete the MS form and the organisers will get back to you with calendar details and joining instructions for planned sessions. Any sessions without firm dates, we will contact you as soon as details are confirmed.

Reproducibility events and initiatives from the UKRN

Kirsty11 November 2020

Improve your workflow for reproducible science: We recently hosted this workshop on reproducible data analysis in R Markdown and Git, led by data scientist Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel. The recording can be found here and the materials here.

Open science in covid-19 research, ReproducibiliTea journal club (Dec 2nd):Dr Lonni Besançon will present his paper ‘Open Science Saves Lives: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic’. Further details and registration can be found here.

Funding for activities to develop data skills/software: UCL are offering £3000 for projects (£600 each) that support community-based activities which either contribute to the development of software and data skills, foster interdisciplinary research through the reuse of tools and resources (e.g. algorithms, data and software) or strengthen positive attributes of the community. The aim is also to provide PhD students, research and professional service staff opportunities to develop their leadership and advocacy skills. Deadline to apply is the 23 November 2020 (noon). Further details can be found here. 

 

Office for Open Science & Scholarship Launch week – summary, links and thanks!

Kirsty29 October 2020

Last week, 19-23rd October, saw the launch of the new Office for Open Science and Scholarship, coinciding with International Open Access Week. What a week it was!

As well as launching our Office Newsletter, the many and varied events we held last week were a huge undertaking for all involved. This post reflects the information shared in each session; it comes with huge thanks to everyone who took part and helped out behind the scenes with promotion and organisation.


The week started with the official launch of the Office – Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost for Library Services, and Head of the Office for Open Science and Scholarship, opened the first session with an overview of the development of the Office, and the current status of Open Science at UCL. This was followed by lightning talks highlighting just some of the teams that are linked to the Office and available for supporting researchers in a number of aspects of Open Science.

  • Lara Speicher from UCL Press gave an overview of the work of the Press since its launch, and its current work publishing Open Access books, monographs and journals:
    uclpress.co.uk
  • Catherine Sharp from the Open Access Team outlined the service and policy support that her team provides. She also described UCL’s new range of transformative publisher agreements and new web pages on open access funding:
    ucl.ac.uk/library/open-access
  • James Houghton from the Research Data Management (RDM) Team talked about the RDM Team’s responsibilities and areas of support, including Data Management Planning, FAIR Data, and the UCL Research Data Repository:
    ucl.ac.uk/library/research-support/research-data-management
  • Andrew Gray from the Bibliometrics Team discussed the origins of responsible metrics and the principles behind the new Bibliometrics Policy recently launched at UCL:
    ucl.ac.uk/library/research-support/bibliometrics
  • Grace Gottlieb from OVPR discussed definitions and the importance of Research Transparency, Integrity and Reproducibility and introduced the support and training available, as well as the institutional contacts for the UK Reproducibility Network:
    ucl.ac.uk/research/integrity

This event was recorded and it and all of the slides are available on MediaCentral.

Later that afternoon, our colleagues in Research IT Services, led by David Perez-Suarez, kicked off UCL’s first ever ReproHack. This is a hands-on reproducibility hackathon where participants attempted to reproduce the results of a research paper from published code and data. The outcomes were then collated and shared with the group. These outcomes will also be fed back to the paper’s authors. David is going to be writing us a guest blog post about this event – so watch this space!

Tuesday saw the first of our sessions with the different teams, starting with a training session with the Bibliometrics Team entitled ‘Introduction to InCites’- a metrics tool that UCL subscribes to. This tool can be used to compare research output across different institutions, analyse publication data for UCL at department and faculty levels, and understand activity in a research field as a whole. This session was not recorded but there is a full range of Bibliometrics training including an InCites session available on the bibliometrics website. The Open Access Team also hosted an afternoon drop in session for UCL researchers in which they discussed transformative agreements, open access funding and the importance of UCL’s Bibliometrics Policy in freeing researchers to publish in a wider range of journals.

Wednesday was another exciting day, giving us the second of our three webinars of the week – this one focused on Citizen Science. This session began with an overview of the history and development of Citizen Science at UCL by Professor Muki Haklay, and included a wide range of examples of how the principles of Citizen Science can be used in practice. This was followed up by a series of lightning talks where colleagues from across the university shared their projects and experiences of working on vastly different Citizen Science projects:

  • First, Rosie Brigham shared with us the details of her PhD study, Monument Monitor. This project invites visitors to historic sites to share photographs of their visits using social media in order to monitor structural and visitor-related changes to the monuments.
  • Mayssa Jallad gave us an overview of the work of the Institute for Global Prosperity and the RELIEF Project that trains local people as Citizen Scientists in neighbourhoods in Hamra (Beirut) and Mina (Lebanon).
  • Kate Jones followed up with a completely different project, truly highlighting the variety of applications of Citizen Science. The Bat Detective Project used volunteers to collect and then later identify audio recordings of bat sonar, which was used to train a machine learning algorithm for the next stage of the project.
  • Danielle Purkiss was our final speaker, talking about the Big Compost Experiment, which is a truly massive undertaking, with numerous participants all contributing to a research experiment looking at compostable and biodegradable plastics in their own back gardens!

This event was recorded and it and all of the slides are available on MediaCentral

Wednesday afternoon and Thursday were dedicated to drop in sessions from both the UCL Press and Research Data Management teams. The teams had some good conversations with researchers. The UCL Press Q&A focused on prospective authors, and commissioning editors were available to answer questions about the benefits of publishing Open Access. The RDM Team was available to discuss data management planning and answer questions about managing, publishing and archiving all kinds of data and supporting evidence from research.

These sessions were not recorded but the teams are both available to answer questions by email. The RDM team also has FAQs and training available online.

Friday gave us our third and final webinar, this time hosted by UCL Press and entitled ‘Author Experiences of Publishing Open Access books’. This session featured in-depth interviews of two authors who have published with UCL Press, Prof Eleanor Robson and Prof Bob Shiel. Their publications with the press were distinctly different but both were able to share insights from the process and give a brilliant behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the press. The entire discussion provided a really positive look at the importance of Open Access presses, and challenged lots of this misconceptions people have about them.

This event was recorded and is available on MediaCentral.

We’re delighted that so many colleagues from inside the university and from around the world were able to join us at these events. We’re also looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on how the Office for Open Science and Scholarship can support researchers, colleagues and students here at UCL. All of your feedback will be used to develop the next events that we plan, so please do get in touch with us here by commenting below, by email, or on Twitter.

Introducing the new UCL bibliometrics policy

Kirsty26 August 2020

UCL has recently launched its new bibliometrics policy, which sets out principles for the use of citation metrics in research assessment across the university. It aims for sensible, fair, and balanced use of metrics in research assessment that values research and researchers on their own merits, moves away from some of the more inappropriate methods like focusing on the impact factor of journals or the h-index of authors, recognises diversity in research practice and outputs, and emphasises that the use of citation metrics is not mandatory.

This is an important step in supporting the use of Open Science and Scholarship across UCL. A key aspect of the open science movement has been in challenging traditional ways of disseminating research – whether that be through publishing in Open Access journals, opening up peer review, disseminating work at an early stage via preprints, or a range of other methods.

Many of these approaches, however, do not fit well with traditional methods of assigning credit using citation metrics.

For example, a relentless focus on the impact factor was a barrier to early adoption of open access journals. Newly created Open Access journals – which did not qualify for an impact factor – were seen as lower quality than the established journals, deterring authors from submitting to them. Similarly, megajournals, which did not cherry-pick papers for “significance”, had impact factors substantially lower than more selective titles – an author who was being judged on impact factors would be less keen to publish there.

In addition, limitations of the citation databases can penalise supporting material like data or code, which are often not indexed properly – if they are cited at all. This makes them appear less significant than they are. Similarly, preprints often get the majority of their citations before they are “published” – and these may not be tracked or credited accurately.

Factors like this mean that a focus on using traditional metrics can actively deter people from adopting Open Science approaches for their articles or their data. It is of vital importance that the ways we assess research do not discourage people from being able to conduct their research in the way that is best for them, and best for the wider research community.

Our new policy tries to move away from traditional uses of metrics, emphasising that citation-based metrics are not always appropriate and we do not have to use them if they’re not generally accepted in the field. Where they are used, we should avoid trying to impose a one-size-fits-all model, and consider all works in context.

Alongside the policy, we have provided detailed guidance for using alternative metrics, going beyond the impact factor or simple citation counts to assess citations in the context of other comparable work. We have also created the video below, and a Moodle module to walk you through the key elements.

 

Open Access Week highlights

Catherine Sharp25 October 2019

It’s nearly time to say farewell to Open Access Week 2019. The Open Access Team would like to thank all the academic and library staff who’ve come to our training sessions and retweeted us. In case you haven’t been following us this week, we’ve been celebrating UCL academics’ open access achievements, and encouraging everyone to learn about Plan S in preparation for new UKRI and REF open access policies in 2020. We’ll be updating our webpages, tweeting and offering training sessions once the new policies are announced, but get in touch with us if you’d like to know more now.

If you haven’t already downloaded the OA Button and Unpaywall browser extensions or added your ORCID ID to RPS, we’d like to suggest that you try this today. It’ll only take a few minutes, and will help you find open access outputs, and make your own work open access.

Here’s a quick reminder of this week’s highlights, with many thanks to our communications and publicity colleagues for all their help!

Open Access Week 2019

Patrycja21 October 2019

This year’s Open Access Week runs from 21-27 October under the theme “Open for whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”. This is a direct follow up on last year’s theme “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge” and an invitation to deepen our conversations about inculsivity and to turn those conversations into action.

The pace of the transition to new forms of sharing knowledge accelerates: in 2019 alone there were more than 22,000 outputs uploaded to UCL Discovery, UCL’s institutional repository, contribution to the total of 83,000 outputs in the repository. Also this year UCL Discovery reached the milestone of 20 million downloads, while UCL Press, the UK’s first fully open access university press, reached 2 million downloads. This is a lot to celebrate, but also it is a good moment to consider this year’s theme, to think about strategies for opening knowledge and widening participation in research communication.

Follow #OAweek on Twitter to find out what UCL and other institutions are doing to celebrate this year’s Open Access Week. You can also attend one of the events that we’re running for UCL staff and students during the week:

Open access: a brief introduction

Start: Oct 22, 2019 12:15
End: Oct 22, 2019 12:45

Location: Science Library, room 106

This is an introductory session on open access, addressed mainly to UCL students. The session will introduce available options for making research outputs open access, and explain differences between different routes to open access. It will also provide an overview of open access services at UCL. Booking is available here.

Open publishing: sharing results and ideas

Start: Oct 23, 2019 14:00 
End: Oct 23, 2019 15:00

Location: Darwin Building, B05

Open science approaches are bringing major changes to scholarly communication, not only changing the process by which research is published, but what form it is published in, and what type of material is made available. The aim of this session is to introduce researchers to the various elements of open scholarly communication, helping them make more informed decisions about what to publish, how to go about it, and where to do so.

Further details and registration available here.

The Work of the Open Access Team – training session for library staff

Start: Oct 24, 2019 14:00 
End: Oct 24, 2019 15:30

Location: Science Library, room 417

This training session is for UCL Library staff who would like to find out more about work of the Open Access Team, open access in general, the REF open access policy, and the newest developments in scholarly communication. The session will explain research funders’ open access policies, the REF open access policy and how the Open Access Team helps UCL authors to comply with funders’ and REF requirements. The session will describe the work of the team and will take you through the team’s daily and weekly tasks.

If you would like to book contact the Library HR Team.

RPS and the REF open access policy training session

Start: Oct 24, 2019 11:00 
End: Oct 24, 2019 12:00

Fully booked – contact UCL’s Open Access Team for November dates.

Location: Malet Place Engineering Building, room 1.20

This training session will explain the REF open access policy and what to do to comply with its requirements. Using RPS, we will show you how to:

  • set up name-based search settings
  • use all the advantages of RPS’s automated claiming tool (including linking RPS to your ORCID ID)
  • record a publication
  • upload a file

This session will be a good opportunity to ask questions about RPS and the REF open access policy.

We’ll also be running some sessions about Plan S in departments. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about them, or to arrange a talk or discussion in your department.

UCL Open Science Day 2019

Patrycja9 May 2019

Last year in June UCL held the first Open Science Day, attended by over sixty people. This one day workshop provided an opportunity to ask for practical advice and to discuss different aspects of Open Science in a greater detail. Following its success, booking is now open for the second Open Science Day that takes place on Thursday 23rd May, at UCL Institute of Education (Logan Hall).

This one day workshop will explore the facets of Open Science and how these are, or could be, pursued by UCL researchers. In the morning speakers will discuss different aspects of and perspectives on Open Science. Afternoon workshops will offer practical advice on Software Carpentry, Citizen Science, GDPR and Open Education. There will also be opportunity to discuss the steps UCL should take to support Open Science.

Morning sessions include:

  • Open Pharma – Prof. Matt Todd, UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Research Evaluation and DORA – Prof. Steven Curry, Imperial College
  • Reproducible Research Oxford – Dr. Laura Fortunato, University of Oxford
  • Digital Science – Speaker TBC

The afternoon workshops will cover:

  • Scholarly Communication: megajournals and measuring impact – The recently-launched UCL Press megajournal is an an example of how new models of publishing can be used to support open science. This workshop will outline the work done by the megajournal and some of the issues around measuring the impact of open publications, with contributions from members of the editorial board.
  • Software Carpentry. Taster session – Software Carpentry is a project dedicated to teaching researchers basic computing skills such as like program design, version control, testing, and task automation. This is a short taster session to introduce the program and give an idea of what is available.
  • Citizen Science discussion – Citizen Science is a fundamental element of many open science programs, and is part of a broader move to link research with wider society. Universities are having to develop new ways to support this work, with new processes and services.
  • GDPR and opening data – One of the biggest issues surrounding making research data openly available is the protection of personal information. This workshop, delivered by the UK Data Archive, will discuss how the goal of openness can be balanced with the need for protection, particularly in the light of new and more stringent regulations.
  • On the Trail of Open Education Policy Co-creation – This workshop looks at developing policies which can be used to support open education and open science, considering different issues and contexts, and the various interested parties.

And close with a discussion on building open science communities, with UCL researchers Isabelle Van Der Vegt, Dr. Sandy Schumann, Dr. Ben Thomas, and Dr. Vaughan Bell.

This free event is open to all and is delivered by UCL Library Services with support from UCL Organisational Development.

You can register via Eventbrite here.

For any questions please contact lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk

Spring dates for RPS and the REF open access policy training sessions

Patrycja26 March 2019

Booking is now open for training on RPS and the REF open access policy in April. Last term’s training sessions proved very popular, and feedback received was extremely positive: respondents found sessions very useful (65%) or useful (35%).

All UCL authors are required to maintain a list of their publications in UCL’s Research Publication Service (RPS). To comply with the REF open access policy, they must also upload the final accepted manuscript version of their research articles and conference proceedings to RPS. This needs to be done no later than three months after first online publication. The Open Access Team review the manuscript and make it open access through UCL Discovery, UCL’s open access repository.

Our training sessions will explain the REF open access policy and what to do to comply with its requirements. They will also show you how to, in RPS:

  • set up name-based search settings
  • use all the advantages of RPS’s automated claiming tool (including linking RPS to your ORCID ID)
  • record a publication
  • upload a file

The sessions will be a good opportunity to ask questions about RPS and the REF open access policy, and they are open to all UCL staff and interested research students. New members of staff, and anyone who is unsure about any of the features mentioned above, are strongly encouraged to attend. Regular reports on compliance with the REF open access policy, and on academics’ use of RPS, are sent to Faculty Deans and Heads of Department. 

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, 4th April, 14:00 – 15:00
Foster Court, room 132

Tuesday, 30th April, 11:00 – 12:00
Foster Court, room 235

To book, and if you have any questions, please email: open-access@ucl.ac.uk
Also let us know if you would like to organise group training or drop-in sessions in your department.