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!

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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.

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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!

Open Access Week: Wrap-up

This is our final post for Open Access Week 2017, and we’re using it as a bit of a wrap-up to go over our activities this week.

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Unfortunately we did not get cake. We will have to address this next year!

On Monday we published our new Open Access Benefits poster, which highlights all the benefits that publishing your work open access brings to the author, journal, and readers.

On Tuesday we recounted the story of one UWE Bristol academic who generated huge buzz around her project and reached social work practitioners by publishing her article open access.

On Wednesday we showed you what the most downloaded works from the Research Repository were for each faculty – all of which could not be accessed by so many readers if they were only hidden behind paywalls.

And yesterday we showed you a really interesting opinion piece from an Early Career Researcher about why they believed that open research was so important.

We’ve also been busy on Twitter, using #OAWeek (or #OAWeek17 or #OAWeek2017 on Monday) and #openaccess to talk about open access topics.

We’ll leave you with a comment from Professor Martin Eve, which originally concluded the first event in our Open Research Series.

You don’t know your audience sometimes. I really get quite cross when people tell me “there’s no audience for my work” or “everyone who needs to know about this gets to know about it because I’ve published it in this top journal.” I get letters, emails from people, saying “I’ve just read your article on Theoretical Aspects of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and it was really interesting to me, I just had a university education.” Out of the blue someone wrote to me “I don’t have access to these other journals but I read this because it was openly available, I thought it was really great. I’ve had a lot to drink, its 2 AM, thanks a lot.” [Laughter] I mean, there’s a humorous side to it that makes me smile whenever I get them, but on the other hand…especially in my field I’m writing about human culture and literatures – what’s the point of doing that if the people who read literature can’t read it? We’re just talking to ourselves the whole time.

Happy Open Access Week everyone – now let’s start thinking about #OAWeek2018!


Image: “Open Access Week 2013” by SLUB Dresden is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Open Access Week: Open research – what’s in it for you?

The benefits of open access for the public good are well documented. The increasingly educated public should be able to access the research that they have paid for through taxation and various funders, such as RCUK mandate this.

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Why open access by Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown, under a CC-BY license

However, is there any real advantage for researchers?  Laurent Gatto (2017) gives his view, as an early career researcher, on why research should be open wherever possible. He argues that open scholarship is “not only the right thing to do, but is also the best thing to do”. He explains that open access articles really do get more citations and making your data open facilitates reproducible research, which enables the continuity of your work and build reputation.

Check out the full blog post, and links to other useful articles, at:

Gatto, L. (2017) An early career researcher’s view on modern and open scholarship. Laurent Gatto [blog]. September. Available from: https://lgatto.github.io/EPFL-open-science/ [Accessed 17 October 2017].

Open Access Week: Faculty number 1s

As part of Open Access Week we took a look at the most downloaded items of all time (aka March 2010 when the Research Repository was established to October 2017) for the four faculties at UWE Bristol – Arts, Creative Industries and Education (ACE). Business and Law (FBL), Environment and Technology (FET), and Health and Applied Sciences (HAS). All figures are correct as of 23 October 2017.

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ACE –  The sociology of education is a book section. It is otherwise only available to read by purchasing the book, or by borrowing from a library with a copy. It is the second most downloaded item on the Research Repository, and has been accessed by readers from the UK, USA, Germany, Zambia, and India (among others.)

FBL – The ‘work group’: Redressing the balance in Bion’s Experiences in Groups is a journal article published in the journal Human Relations. The article is otherwise only available to read if the reader’s institution is subscribed to the journal.

FET – A health map for the local human habitat is a journal article published in The Journal for the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, and has been referenced in two policy documents.

HAS – Using thematic analysis in psychology is without question the ‘big daddy’ of the Research Repository, having been downloaded almost twice as many times as the other nineteen items in the all time top twenty combined.* It also has 14,700 citations in Scopus and is in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric.

By being made available through green open access on the Research Repository, all of these researchers have allowed people from across the globe to access and use their research without the need for an institutional affiliation or prohibitively expensive subscriptions.


*The other nineteen items in the top twenty have been downloaded 271,538 times combined as of 23 October 2017.