Open access tools

This post is based on a presentation from a recent development afternoon about open access, led by the Library Research Support team. Part of this afternoon was demonstrating some of the tools that are available to help locate open access papers – something our colleagues found very interesting.

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Repository downtime and practice changes


The Research Repository and Research Data Repository will be switched off for 24 hours this Wednesday, the 12th of December. This is to allow for essential maintenance and upgrade work to EPrints, the repository software. The repositories will be back online on Thursday the 13th of December, with no significant changes. Users will not be able to upload items to, or download items from, either repository during this time. The Repository team will also be unable to edit any records during the downtime.

Due to this, and future planned update work, the team are introducing some changes to existing practice that may affect you.

What you need to know:

  • Review times will be longer and we will prioritise items that need to comply with the REF policy
  • You will now need to inform us when an in press item that you have uploaded to the repository has been published. We will not be checking this on your behalf.
  • We will only send one email to authors whose REF eligible items are not compliant with the policy, rather than multiple emails.

For more details on the changes, or the repository downtime, please contact the repository team (

The Research Support team will be out of the office on Wednesday but will answer any queries on Thursday the 13th of December.

Photo by Fernando Arcos from Pexels

Our favourite open access resources

Open Access Week 2018

We (obviously) love to use open access resources so we are always on the lookout for public domain or creative commons licensed resources. These are the ones that we use most often:

  • CC Search for images can be used to search several sites at once in order to find creative commons licensed material.
  • You can also use the original CC Search to search sites individually (like Flickr) or to search for other types of material, like music or videos.
  • Keep an eye out for website licenses and re-use statements. For example xkcd comics are licensed under a creative commons license – CC BY-NC 2.5 to be precise – meaning we can use them on our blog and in presentations. Which we do, frequently.
  • I use A guide to the best free sites for CC0 art and stock photography, a blog post by Ned Potter, every time I need to find stock photos. This is also a list of museums and galleries that have made their collections open access, in case you are looking for art, sculpture, or illustrations.

Failing all that, you can always make your own!

Most frequently downloaded Repository items this year!

Open Access Week 2018

The Repository isn’t just a tool for the REF! As well as journal articles, we have a variety of different items types, such as videos, musical compositions, and artist’s books. The poster below shows the most frequently downloaded item, for a variety of different item types, this year (January – September 2018). You can access the repository records by clicking on the poster below, and then clicking on the individual hyperlinks.


Open Access Week 2018

Open Access Week 2018

It’s that time of year again – Open Access Week 2018 is here (22-28 October). If you are new to open access, or want to brush up on your knowledge, now is the perfect time to do so!

Spotlight: AMHARC


Today’s spotlight, AMHARC, is a creative work by Teresa Dillon. The piece is made from recycled cardboard, recycled tetra pak, and ultraviolet paint, and calls on images of CCTV cameras, anti-bird spikes, and anti-bird gels.

AMHARC (pronounced arc) is a call to recognise the non-human affects surveillance architectures have on other creature’s habits and ecologies.

You can view the sculpture on the Research Repository, along with a description from Teresa about the influences and intentions of the creative work.

UWE campus visits


The Library Research Support team is based at Frenchay campus. We make monthly visits to other campuses, and can travel over by request as well.

The monthly visits are an opportunity for researchers and PGRs to drop in with any questions about the REF 2021 policy, data preservation, the UWE repositories, open access publishing and funding, and much more. If you prefer, we can also arrange for appointments in advance – just contact us to arrange a time.

Glenside campusAnna is based in Glenside library on the first Thursday of each month. Enquire at the library helpdesk for more information.

City campusCharley is based at Bower Ashton campus on the last Thursday of each month. She can be found in the open learning zone opposite Traders.