What is SHURA?

This is part of a regular series of articles exploring some of the terms used in e-learning (view other articles in the series).  We’ll do our best to break down the jargon and explain what things are from a basic perspective.

SHURA screenshot

SHURA screenshot

This article continues our look at some local Sheffield Hallam terms by explaining what we mean by SHURA, the Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive.  SHURA is an open access repository containing research outputs and publications of researchers at the University.  Material in it is freely available to anyone with an Internet connection.  You can list your publications and, copyright permitting, make the full text available in the repository.  If you cannot make the full text available, you should be able to link to the online version so those with a subscription can still access your work.

Open access repositories benefit individual researchers and institutions alike.  They make freely available the research outputs of publicly funded research so that others can share, cite and develop them.  Most universities have an open access repository and these can be a good source of material that might otherwise be inaccessible without a subscription.  You can take advantage of this by looking for copies of articles we do not have subscriptions to in other institutional repositories.

Depositing your research or journal articles in SHURA offers a number of benefits:

  • improves visibility of research outputs, leading to more downloads and increased citations
  • helps free research outputs from access barriers and subscriptions
  • promotes your work within the university and to the wider research community
  • speeds up the research sharing process
  • a permanent and stable place to centrally store all your research outputs
  • access to usage statistics for individual papers
  • groups paper by research areas, facilitating collection of research outputs and bibliographic data for the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Once research or articles have been deposited in SHURA they are often more visible in Google and Google Scholar search results than otherwise, so it’s another way of increasing access to your research.

Picture of a panda being fed a bottle at a research base for pandas

Panda Research Base (by Wilson Loo)

What can be deposited?

You will need to check with your research centre or group, but the following are likely to be suitable: peer reviewed articles, research reports, conference papers, books, book chapters, PhD theses, art artefacts.  Typically conference PowerPoints and most student work are not suitable for SHURA, with the exception of student doctoral theses.

Want to know more?  
See the staff intranet pages for more information about SHURA, including how to add a paper and copyright advice (you will usually need to submit your final author version not the publisher pdf).

You can email us at shura@shu.ac.uk with any feedback or questions.  We are always happy to come and talk to you/your research group about SHURA and help you with the process of uploading your research or articles, including addressing copyright concerns.

For further information about open access repositories in general see the guide Open Access for UK Research – JISC’s contributions 

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