New Open Research Exeter blog!

Although, sadly, the Open Exeter project has come to an end, our work will still continue! And we will be letting you know what we are doing via our new Open Research Exeter blog!

The Open Access and Data Curation Team will carry on supporting researchers and postgraduate research students at the University of Exeter with Open Access (OA) and research data management (RDM).

We manage the institutional data repository, Open Research Exeter (ORE), to make University of Exeter research more visible, reusable and citable. ORE provides long-term storage for all types of research data, research data and PGR theses.

We also deliver training and guidance for researchers on OA and RDM and the Team can help you to develop your own research group level policy on these issues or advise on data management plans.

We will be blogging on topics to do with Open Access, research data management, repositories, open research, big data, transparency, altmetrics, how to make your research more visible and anything else we think may be of interest to Exeter’s research community!

So this will (probably!) be our last post on the Open Exeter blog. We hope to hear from you soon on our new blog or via  or . And remember if you have any OA or RDM queries, please visit our Open Access or RDM webpages or contact us directly on the above emails!

Posted under News, Open Access, ORE, PGR students, Research, Useful links

This post was written by Hannah Lloyd-Jones on August 14, 2013

Open Exeter Research Data Management: Find us on Storify.

  You can now view a timeline of the Open Exeter project on Storify.  Storify provided us with a useful way to illustrate the progression of the project and to chronicle the work which has been undertaken since the beginning, especially as it facilitates the inclusion of social media such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, among others. You can find information about our workshops and conference posters, tweets from our followers, videos of our Holistic Librarian training, as well as links to our PGR training, promotional materials and conference presentations.

Posted under News, Open Access, Useful links

This post was written by Megan Hunt on June 3, 2013

Writing up your research with Scrivener

As I was looking for an application that would allow me to use my Ipad as a writing device, I randomly came across this fantastic software called “Scrivener” by Literature and Latte. While there is no Ipad application available yet, my first experience with Scrivener was so convincing that I dropped google.doc and word (PC and iPad versions) to write my thesis directly in the software.

Here is a description taken directly from the Literature and Latte website:

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

For years, my writing process has been as follows: I would normally use a mind mapping software to plan my project outline and subsections. I would then create a distinct document for each chapter or relevant subsection (either in Word, or more recently Google.doc/Google Drive for remote access, collaboration, and automatic backup). While my structure was very clean and organised at first, my system did not handle structural changes very well such as moving, adding or removing content. Unless I would constantly manually update my mindmap plan, it would soon become obsolete and I would tend to lose track of the “big picture”. Furthermore, when I wanted to retrieve snippets of work that needed relocation, I often had to switch between documents and search within the text manually or with the “find” function.

With Scrivener, all my texts are in the same project “binder”, broken down in navigable and malleable folders and subfolders. These are also found listed in a ubiquitous left panel table of content. This sort of “dashboard”, allows me to find my bearings in the ever-evolving/transfigured thesis structure, as well as to keep a conducting thread while writing.

These are some of the Scrivener features I find particularly relevant to my thesis work:”:

Research Folder: I drop my important annotated articles, reading and supervision notes in there, as well as relevant web links;

A snapshot function: Allows you to “clone” the text before undertaking important  structural changes, avoiding irreparable mistake and loss of prior versions;

A synopsis feature: Can serve as an helpful reminder of the intent/aim of a section to be written;

A compilation function: Allows you to “mount” in part or in whole  your text and exports them in different formats such as doc, pdf or html;

A virtual cork board: Enables you to pin ideas to be further developed or evaluated;

I also enjoy the auto-save/automatic backup functions as well as the text tagging/labelling and text annotation features.  And the list goes on…

It is possible to try Scrivener for free (Windows or Mac OS X versions) for a 30 days period. The trial period is based on actual use – meaning you can try Scrivener for several months (and potentially get “hooked” like me) before having to purchase it. After that, the software is available for about £25 for an educational license (depending on your operating system).  If you are tempted by Scrivener, I highly recommend investing a couple of hours in undergoing the full interactive tutorial which will walk you through some of its unusual but very handy features.

I am hoping however that they will come to develop both an Ipad and a cloud-based version (so to facilitate remote access and collaboration). At the moment, I am using dropbox for remote access and sharing.

Posted under PGR students, Research, Useful links

This post was written by Annie Blanchette on October 10, 2012

Survey questions

Following on from Sian’s comment on my previous blog I have shared the survey questions we asked in our survey. We used Bristol Online Surveys to create it.

Although we did proof read it numerous times (and asked our PGR students to have a look) a couple of typos slipped through the net so apologies for this!

As before, any comments gratefully received. We tried to make the survey so that it wouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to complete… This meant that compromises had to be made and we weren’t able to ask all the questions we would have liked to. In retrospect, one question we should have asked was “Do you use a PC or a MAC?”.

Posted under Online survey, Useful links

This post was written by Gareth Cole on April 16, 2012

Department for Business Innovation and Skills – Research Strategy and Open Access

I thought I would post a quick link to this BIS Strategy from December 2011. Section 6 reaffirms the government commitment to Open Access for publically funded research.

Posted under Useful links

This post was written by Gareth Cole on January 3, 2012