Below you will find the answers to some of our frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you need here or elsewhere on the site then please emails us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Resource FAQs
If there is something you need that is not available through SHU- for example a book we don’t have in our collection, or an article from a journal we don’t subscribe to- you can request a copy through the Document Delivery Service. You can find details about this service and a link to the request form here – https://students.shu.ac.uk/shuspacecontent/lc/access-books-journal-articles-unavailable-shu
Articles will usually be sent in an e-mail as a secure PDF. Books will be sent to the library you request for collection. It is important to return books on the date given, as these books cannot be renewed.
You can also join other university libraries through the SCONUL scheme. Usually this will give you access to the library where you can use the books for reference. More details of the SCONUL scheme can be found here – https://students.shu.ac.uk/shuspacecontent/lc/borrowing-other-libraries-0
The library service supports Refworks for reference management. You can find detailed advice and guidance is available here- http://libguides.shu.ac.uk/refworks/refworks
EndNote is available, but can only be installed in a SHU PC or laptop. If you want to use EndNote you will need access to the machine on which the software is installed. More advice on EndNote is available here- http://libguides.shu.ac.uk/endnote
There are many other reference management systems available, and you are of course free to use the system which suits you best. You can find guidance on comparing systems here – http://libguides.shu.ac.uk/refworks/software
Open Access FAQs
In order to be eligible for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), the final peer-reviewed manuscript of any article in a journal or conference proceedings with an ISSN published after 1 April 2016:
- must be deposited in SHURA
- must be deposited with three months of the date of acceptance
You must also provide proof of the date of acceptance, usually in the form of an email from the journal editor or conference organiser.
For more information please see our pages on Open Access and the REF or contact email@example.com
For journal articles and conference papers, it is the author’s final, accepted manuscript (or post-print) which should be added to SHURA. The article should have been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. The accepted manuscript is not the same as the copy-edited, typeset or published paper — these versions are known as ‘proofs’ or ‘versions of record’ and publishers do not normally allow authors to make these open-access.
Find out more about HEFCE Open Access Requirements on our Open Access and the REF pages.
The date of acceptance for a journal article or conference paper is the point at which the author is notified that:
- their output has been reviewed by the journal or conference (normally via peer review)
- all academically necessary changes have been made in response to that review
- the article is ready to be taken through the final steps toward publication (normally copy-editing and typesetting).
By this point, the paper should have been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. At this stage, the journal editor or conference organiser normally notifies the author that their paper has been ‘firmly’ accepted (as opposed to any earlier point of ‘provisional’ acceptance e.g. conditional on major or minor revisions being made) and the paper is ready for copy-editing or typesetting; it is the date of this notification that should be taken to mean the date of acceptance.
The journal editor or conference organiser will normally notify you by email when you article or paper has been ‘firmly’ accepted. At the same time as you have add your article or paper to SHURA please forward this email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When publishing ‘gold’ Open Access, publishers may request an Article Processing Charge. If there is a justifiable need for ‘gold’ Open Access, there may be different funding routes available to you, see Funding for ‘gold’ open access.
If you are publishing a book through the University and would like an ISBN, please contact the LIS Acquisitions Team. You will need to provide the full details of the book and be ready to provide at least one copy for the Library.
Research Data Management FAQs
The SHU Research Data Management policy
is in line with RCUK and EPSRC requirements. It asks for all publicly-funded research projects to
- draft a data management plan before the project commences
- store all active research data on the University networked storage system, for example on the Research Store (Q:\Research)
- make arrangements for the long-term preservation of datasets that underpin a publication, are of potential long-term value, and/or support a patent application
- register all preserved datasets in the SHU Research Data Archive (SHURDA)
- share datasets where this is required by any funders or where it will be beneficial for the research community
- include a statement in any publication on how to access the supporting data
- formally cite any third party data that you use
This is mandatory for all publicly-funded research projects, and considered good practice for all other research projects.
A data management plan (DMP) is evidence of your committment to value the research data that is generated by your project. It also ensures that you, as a researcher, and the institution will meet the requirements of our research funders.
A typical research data management plan provides information on (a selection of) the following topics
- data collection
- documentation and metadata
- ethics and legal compliance
- storage and backup
- selection and preservation
- data sharing
- responibilities and resources
There are useful data management planning checklists available from the Digital Curation Centre and from the UK Data Service.
Some of the benefits of planning the management and sharing of your research data as early as possible include that it helps you to
- identify issues and strategies early in your research project
- ensure that you have documented your compliance with institutional and funder policies and ethics approval requirements
- make sure that your data remains useful and is stored securely during the lifetime of your project and beyond, so that you can find and understand your data when you need to use it, so that you avoid data loss or data corruption, so that there is continuity if project staff leave or new researchers join, and to avoid unnecessary duplication by re-collecting or re-working data
- think about data sharing and reuse opportunities of your research data
For more information, see Data management plans.
All RCUK funders require a Data Management Plan to be submitted as part of a funding bid, except EPSRC. EPSRC does not require the submission of a DMP, but assumes a DMP has been drafted when you apply for funding.
For more information, see Funders’ requirements.
Many research funders, including all UK Research Councils, have data policies that specify what is expected from their grant holders, and require studies they support to be made freely available. The Research Councils have a set of Common Principles on Data Policy
. Each council also has its own policy
JULIET is a database of open access and data archiving policies of a large number of funding organisation.
SHU’s Research data management policy
states that a Data Management Plan needs to be in place before a research project commences. This is mandatory for all publicly-funded research and considered best-practice for all other research.
Yes. The rules apply to all types of research data, whether quantitative or qualitative.
If you are applying for RCUK funding, any anticipated costs that you incur for preparing and ingesting the data into a repository or archive can be directly costed into you grant proposal. You should provide adequate justification for the costs. Also keep in mind that any expenditure must take place before the actual end date of the project.
For more information, see Preserving.
The University provides research data services through all stages of a research project
There is further help and support throughout the lifecycle of your research data
- a One Stop Shop website with guidance and signposting to relevant SHU services and external resources
- a blog to keep you up-to-date with the latest developments around RDM
- a LIS-based, manned RDM Advisory Service (email@example.com) for all your queries about planning, managing, keeping and sharing your research data
- a program of Events and workshops, both as part of existing CPD and induction programs, and tailored workshops on request
It is recommended to store the master copy of your live data on the SHU Research Store (Q:\Research). There is no cap on the amount of storage a specific research project can use; data will be backed up automatically to several locations on a daily basis, and are securely kept for a period of 90 days. The Research Store is conveniently accessible from wherever and whenever required, and access can be granted to students and third parties when required.
For more information, see Storing and backing up.
Confidential data can be safely stored on the SHU Research Store (Q:\Research) under the condition that you set access rights appropriately.
For more information, see Storing and backing up.
The safest option is to use open formats (such as comma-separated values or CSV) and not proprietary formats, although some proprietary formats (such as SPSS, PDF, Excel and Word) are widely used and likely to be accessible in the long term. Formats that enable long-term preservation and sharing of data are listed in the table with Recommended formats
from the UK Data Service.
For more information, see Preserving.
If you return to your data in a month, or a year, or several years’ time, will you be able to understand your data and re-use it? Would another research be able to? Documentation and metadata should help with the long term usability of your data.
Metadata are strcutured information about the data. A repository may ask you, for example, to supply information in dedicated fields about your work (project title, creator) or any other information that would be required to allow a complete understanding of the data and the context within which it was created.
For more information, see
No. Not all data can be shared (e.g. non-anonymised personal data) and not all data is useful to share. The selection of data that you make available to third parties depends on
- why you make the data available (for example for validation of research outputs or to allow further analysis of your data)
- what data must be kept because of policies and regulations
- what data should be kept because it is of long-term value
For more information, see Selecting.
Usually the answer would be yes, because third parties will not be able to make sense of your data without the instruments you used to collect the information.
Research data are hard to define. There is no consensus on a definition. What constitutes research data depends on the discipline, the research funder in question, and the context in which a definition is required.
In the case of Research Data Management, data may be usefully defined by its purpose, which could be
- to produce original research results
‘Research data refers to any type of data created, collected or generated in a digital or non-digital form that is analysed to produce original research results.’
SHU’s research data management policy
- to allow validation of research findings
Research data is defined as recorded factual material commonly retained by and accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings; although the majority of such data is created in digital format, all research data is included irrespective of the format in which it is created.’
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
If you are lost in terminology, there are a number of useful data management glossaries available