A major ebook platform is due to close at the end of this month. If you use it, here’s what to do…
Dawson Era, one of our ebook suppliers, has recently gone into administration and as such, the platform will close after 31st July 2020.
The good news
There will be no loss of access to the electronic titles we have with Dawson Era. We have already arranged alternative access through other suppliers without exception, so you can continue to find the ebooks on Discover More and access will continue.
What you (may) need to do
What will be lost is any notes or annotations you may have made on the Dawson Era platform. If you have any such notes and you wish to keep them, please transfer these to other locations before 31 July. For example, if you use referencing software like RefWorks or EndNote you can add notes from Dawson Era there, attaching them to the record for the relevant book or chapter.
We apologise for not being able to give you more notice and hope this does not cause significant inconvenience.
To support staff with challenges such as moving teaching and learning online or effectively disseminating your research, we have developed a series of materials to enhance your digital skills and provide a greater awareness of the resources, services and support available to you.
What development is on offer?
The topics we cover include reading lists, research support, online & blended teaching, a Careers toolkit and more. A new package of materials is released every week, starting today with Reading Lists and Careers. The aim is to provide a suite of development resources which you can engage with at a time to suit you.
Live online sessions
Alongside the interactive materials, we will offer synchronous online sessions, making our session leads available at specific times to support you and answer any questions.
Even with Edge Hill’s library subscriptions, sometimes you’ll find the perfect online source only to hit a ‘paywall’ and will be asked to pay. Don’t do it! Here we introduce a resource to help you get past paywalls.
Accessing the books, journal articles, and more can be very complicated right now. One one hand, lots of publishers have temporarily opened up free content and made it easier, but on the other hand we’re all off-campus now, and can’t reply on the University IP address.
One thing is for sure, you will hit a paywall eventually! When you do, and you know signing into the University hasn’t helped, try the tools and services here:
This is a handy free web browser extension you can add to Google Chrome or Firefox. When you reach a page that looks like a paywall, Unpaywall automatically runs some checks for you and shows a coloured padlock. If it’s green, then success! Just click on the padlock to access. If it’s grey, then Unpaywall can’t find a free version and it’s time to move onto a different option.
Another browser extension, this works in a different way to Unpaywall. Highlight text with the article’s title, press the Google Scholar button, and the tool will try and find the PDF for you. Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the title of the article into the Google Scholar website.
Provided by Library and Learning Services, this is a one-stop service that includes Inter-library Loans and the former ‘Add a Book’ facility. Tell us what you need using the online form and we will work with our suppliers to get it, either buying a book for the library collection (you get it first!) or delivering the article straight to you electronically.
It can typically take a few days for an item to arrive, and longer for a hard copy book to be added to stock. It is not possible to process hard copy items right now due to the situation with COVID-19 and our suppliers may also be affected, so please bear this mind.
Email to ask the author
Many people use this as a last resort, but it can be very effective. Generally speaking, authors want their work to be read and cited, and so will often be happy to help you. This can often be done in accordance with copyright policies too, removing a potential barrier. It doesn’t work as well for older works though, as the author may be difficult to reach or no longer with us.
To sum up
There are now lots of effective, legal ways to get round a paywall and access the items you need. Why not give a few a try and see how you get on?
Keep on top of the literature without endless searching
What is BrowZine?
An alternative to search engines, BrowZine allows you to easily find, read, and monitor scholarly journals available using Edge Hill’s library subscription. You can add your favourite journals to a personalised bookshelf which automatically updates when new content is avilable. From here, directly check the table of contents or link straight through to the article PDF.
What’s the best way to use it?
BrowZine isn’t for systematic literature searching. For this, a tool such as Scopus would be better. Instead, BrowZine takes you straight to your trusted sources, keeping you up to date without the need for repeated searching.
BrowZine’s other major strength is the mobile app. This syncs with the desktop site meaning you can continue reading on the go. Some publishers like EBSCO offer their own apps, restricted to in-house content, but BrowZine spans all publishers including smaller ones who don’t offer such services.
How can I get started?
Start using the desktop version or download the free app for Apple or Google Play. After downloading the app, find Edge Hill University in the list and enter your university username and password.
Come to our ‘Publishers on campus’ event and get a free lunch while you’re at it!
Emerald and IEEE will visit the Tech Hub on Wednesday 26th February to deliver talks on how to publish with them and answer any questions you have about which journal to choose, how peer review works, what editors are looking for, and more.
The first talk by Emerald will focus on the social sciences and humanities, whereas IEEE will approach the topic from a STEM context. Everyone is welcome. You can attend either talk or both, and everything is free, including the lunch.
Date and time: Wednesday 26th February 2020, 12-2pm Venue: Tech Hub Lecture, Ormskirk Campus Programme: 1200-1215 Lunch 1215-1300 Emerald: ‘Getting Published’ 1300-1345 IEEE: ‘How to get published with IEEE’ 1345-1400 Presenters available for questions
——-*STOP PRESS* The trial has now been extended to 31 March——-
You’ve been sharing your thoughts on Sage Research Methods – here on trial until 13 February. Here’s a summary of the best feedback.
Sage Research Methods is an online platform with authoritative case studies, ebooks and videos on different methodologies. Also included are tools spanning the research process like the Project Planner. See our post from December to learn more.
Written by academics, these demonstrate “how methods are applied in real research projects”. Among the experts, Edge Hill lecturers have authored several cases including Clare Woolhouse (Faculty of Education) and Paul Simpson (Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine). One author in the participant observation & mixed qualitative methods series told us how the cases are aimed at both students and experienced researchers, and that Sage encourages authors to write accessibly
Little Green Books
The Little Green Books are a series covering quantitative applications in the social sciences, great for taking your research in a new direction. One person noted, “The Little Green Books look extremely useful to me as a PhD student, as I will be performing analyses on my data that I still need to learn”. Little Blue Books meanwhile, are short and accessible texts on a range of qualitative methods.
The Project Planner
Another PhD student tweeted us to say how this resource has helped plan her research project through each stage, going into the project registration process. Key steps like defining a Topic, reviewing the literature, developing research questions, etc are introduced, explained, and plotted along your timeline. This would apply equally well to an undergraduate or Masters dissertation.
Some respondents noted that downloading resources can sometimes be troublesome, but overall there has been lots of praise for Sage Research Methods. Here are a few comments:
I would certainly use this for teaching and research purposes. If it’s updated at regular intervals, it might make keeping reading lists up-to-date that bit easier
A lot of the content is very advanced, I strongly believe it can be incredibly useful to other students like me that are eager to advance the researching skills and hope to work in a research setting in future
I think this is a brilliant, comprehensive resource (that includes methods-related innovation) for staff and students across the Faculty as well as in social sciences, arts and humanities.
There’s still time to try it!
The trial finishes on 13 February. After this, Library and Learning Services will assess feedback and usage levels, and decide whether to purchase a subscription to specific parts of the platform. Even if you don’t have time to check it out fully, be sure to download any interesting cases, chapters, etc for later while you can!
Some tips for promoting your research online and tracking how it’s doing
After doing the research and getting your outputs published, it can feel like the dissemination will surely take care of itself – you can tweet it, make it open access on Pure (if the publisher allows) and let your networks do the rest right? This works to an extent, but there are some great tools out there to push it even further.
Set up in 2019, Edge Hill Figshare is a home for any research materials worth sharing that don’t have a home elsewhere such as datasets, figures, conference presentations, or posters. These can be added to Pure in some cases, but Figshare visualises them an brings them to life. For example, by sharing a poster in Figshare like this PhD student has done, you can connect it to a global community, give it a DOI, and track any views, downloads, or altmetrics activity. This exposure also provides an opportunity direct traffic back to your research outputs. To get started, just go to the site, log in and share something. Learning Services can provide, help, advice, or training sessions.
Altmetrics track research impact via social media channels, websites, policy documents, blogs, Wikipedia, etc. They demonstrate impact far quicker than citations, and can track engagement beyond academia. For example, one 2019 study about how the human gaze can deter seagulls swooping to take food like chips received global exposure across news media, and this is reflected in the altmetric count, but in academica it has yet to accrue many citations.
Workshop: ‘Promoting Research Using Social Media’
On 25 March 2020, Dr Costas Gabrielatos from English, History and Creative Writing is running this workshop. It discusses the combined use of academic networking websites (e.g. Research Gate, Academia) and social media to make reseach visible and accessible. All staff and research students are welcome – either book via MyView or email email@example.com.
‘Maximizing dissemination and engaging readers: The other 50% of an author’s day: A case study’
This paper has some great tips for disseminating research across and beyond our regular bubbles echo chambers. This includes harnessing the power of influencers and taking the opportunity of conference hashtags.
Definitely worth trying, this platform enables researchers to work with journalists to present their research for broader audiences and reach new readers. The company is coming on campus in February and March and you can book a one-to-one with one of their highly expereinced editors.
Using Altmetric data, we can get a picture of the most-mentioned research from Edge Hill in terms of news media, policy, bloggers, social media and more. Here are the top results, broken down by faculty.
Altmetric is a company which provides an ‘attention score’ for research, measuring the number of times an article, book chapter, conference paper, etc is mentioned in government policy, on Twitter, in the news, or even in Wikipedia articles. In calculating the score, some sources have greater weighting than others – news mentions score higher than tweet for example. The score is visualised using a spiral, sometimes called an Altmetric ‘donut’:
In the above example, the Altmetric donut is blue and red – the blue part represents the number of tweets, and the larger red area represents news media.
In this excercise, the top 50 Altmetric scores for Edge Hill University research from November 2018 – December 2019 were recorded. The top three scoring research outputs for each faculty are presented below.
Faculty of Education
Research by Tim Cain, Karen Boardman and Annabel Yale received the highest scores. The primary source of attention for the research was via Twitter users, so the Altmetric ‘donuts’ display a blue colour. Professor Cain’s article benefitted from being free-to-read for a short period of time, which many education professionals sharing the access link.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Research by Linda Kaye, Gray Atherton & Liam Cross and Andy Sparks received the highest scores. Dr Kaye’s research benefitted from broad news outlet coverage – it was mentioned by The Telegraph, Yahoo, and many others and generated headlines such as ‘Spending a Lot of Time on WhatsApp May Actually Make You Feel Less Lonely And Boost Your Self Esteem‘. The next highest scoring research was ‘The Animal in Me…’ which received most of its attention via Twitter (193 tweets) and like the paper by Dr Sparks, is open access.
——-*STOP PRESS* The trial has now been extended to 31 March——-
We have a trial to Sage Research Methods, a resource to answer all your research methods questions until 13 February 2020.
Sage Research Methods is an online platform with ebooks, videos, and tools that provide authoritative information on how to perform hundreds of research methods. The material is perfect for academic work, and is definitely worth using in your bibliography!
Use the Methods Map to learn about the features of a particular research methods and link through to relevant ebooks and videos:
Access over 1000 searchable ebooks to give an edge to your work such as ‘Corrupt Research’:
There are over 125 hours of videos, including tutorials and expert videos. Each video includes a trascript which auto-scrolls, allowing you to follow it through playback.
The trial lasts until 13 February, but if you want us to keep Sage Research Methods let us know! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how you feel.