Training and resources

Open Research

The University of Aberdeen is committed to open research, ensuring there are no barriers to sharing knowledge.

Open Research Direct to You

Contact the Open Research Team to arrange a one-to-one chat or a tailored session for your school on the open research issues you are most interested in.

Training and resources

On this page you can find our current and past training and events and other useful e-resources.

Follow us on Twitter @OpenResearchUoA to keep up to date.

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials

Join the Open Research Team for our ExplORe: Open Research Essentials training series. To view information on and sign up to future sessions (internal only) please see the course booking system

Explore Session: The Philosophy of Avatars: Avatars that represent real humans: Cancelled - to be rescheduled.

In this session, our guest speaker Dr Paula Sweeney, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, will shed light on a captivating and thought-provoking topic: Avatars.

At her 40th birthday party, Kim Kardashian was presented with an incarnation of her deceased father in hologram form. 'Ghostbot' avatars provide one example of a rapidly expanding avatar market in which products present as being specific persons. Traditionally, avatars were representations that stood for a person. But modern avatars also stand in for a person, effectively becoming the person's proxy.

Paula will discuss the avatar/human representation relation, who is responsible for an avatar’s actions, who should own the avatar once it is created and the impact an increase of avatar representation will have on society.  

Microsoft Teams meeting

To be rescheduled - check back for more information


ExplORe Session: Preparing Your Thesis for Submission (Recorded Session)

Join our Library colleagues who will offer advice on formatting your thesis and how to submit. We'll also give some tips on copyright. 

Suitable for all students submitting thesis as part of their degree. 

View the slides 

View the recording on YouTube




Explore Session: Demystifying Research Publication Metrics (Recorded Session)

Metrics: there seems to be no escaping them in academia. But what do they measure? Are they good indicators of scholarly worth? Can they be useful, or should we avoid them altogether?

This session will introduce and demystify the most common research metrics used to assess the impact of authors and research publications. These include metrics such as the h-index, citation counts, journal impact factors, and Altmetrics. We’ll explore what they measure, their usefulness and their limitations. We’ll also consider the responsible use of metrics, as advocated for by initiatives such as DORA - The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment.

View the slides

View the recording on YouTube

ExplORe Session: Introduction to Open Access Books (Recorded Session)

Join Ewan Grant, one of the Library’s Information Consultants, for a session on the evolving landscape of publishing. Explore the rise of open access books and how they fit into our library collections. Ewan will spill the beans on finding and utilizing open access books, sharing insights on how the library supports these collections.

View the slides

View the recording on YouTube


Research Bites Session: Overview of the Open Research Service (Recorded Session)

Joanna Adams and Lesley Macrae from the Open Research Team gives an overview of the Open Research and how the Team can help University of Aberdeen Researchers.

View the slides

View the presentation on YouTube

ExplORe Session: UKRI Open Access Requirements for Longform Publications (Recorded Session)

The UKRI open access policy extended to include long form publications published from 1st January 2024. This session will provide an overview of the open access requirements for long form publications, including monographs, chapters and edited collections. 

View the slides

View the presentation on YouTube

ExplORe Session: Data Management, Governance, and DMP online (Recorded Session)

You’ve begun a research project and have now been tasked with writing a data management plan, or a DMP for short. But where to start? What is a DMP and what do you need to know?

This session is an introduction to data management, governance, DMPs, and DMPonline. Here, we will look at what you need to know before you start, where to start building your DMP, and what information to include. The session will also go over what support is available for you at the University of Aberdeen. There will also be time for questions at the end of the session.

View the slides

View the presentation on our YouTube Playlist

ExplORe Session: Overview of peer review for academic publication and research grants (Recorded Session)

Peer review acts as the gateway and quality control for academic publication and research grants. Knowing how to write, receive and respond to peer reviews is an essential academic skill in every discipline and at every stage of the research process.

In this webinar, we will discuss:

·       The changing nature of peer review in open access publishing

·       How panels read and review grant applications

·       How peer reviewers assess an article or monograph

·        How to receive and respond to a peer review of your work

·        How peer reviewing can help to develop your academic career.

Whether you're a new PGR or an established academic, this session offers a valuable overview of the process.

Book your place on course booking now.

Tuesday 6th February 2024 2pm-2.45pm

View the slides. 

View the presentation on our YouTube Playlist.

ExplORe Session: A quick guide to ORCID (Recorded Session)

ORCID is a unique digital identifier that distinguishes researchers and scholars across disciplines.  

This session is a quick guide through the straightforward process of creating and managing your ORCID profiles, emphasizing the significance of this identifier in streamlining academic workflows. You will gain insights into how ORCID enhances visibility, ensuring accurate attribution of your scholarly contributions and fostering collaboration within the global research community.  

The session will look at the benefits of maintaining an ORCID profile, along with practical tips on linking it to different systems to keep your information up to date with minimal effort. 

Tuesday 23rd January 2024 9:15-10am

View the slides

View the presentation on our YouTube playlist.


ExplORe Session: The Benefits of Using Preprints for Researchers (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team

In this session, we put the spotlight on preprints and their potential advantages for researchers. Join us as we delve into the various ways you can harness the power of preprints to enhance your research journey. 

View the presentation on our YouTube playlist

View the slides

ExplORe Session: Navigating Journal Selection: safeguard your research from scams (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team

Conducting research takes much effort and once it is ready to be published, it becomes crucial for researchers to have the ability to choose a suitable journal, as this choice might affect the integrity, visibility, and impact of their research. 

In this webinar, we will discuss: 

  • The importance of making an informed decision when selecting a journal. 

  • Journal metrics, what information do they give us? 

  • Identifying and avoiding predatory journals 

  • Resources available for journal selection


View the presentation on our YouTube Playlist

View the slides


ExplORe Session: Open Data/Research Integrity/Reproducibility (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team.

We will look at the benefits  and process of making data open. We will also cover reproducibility and show how data sharing can safeguard research integrity. 

In this webinar we will explore: 

  • Funder requirements and benefits of data sharing 

  • How to share data 

  • Where to share data 

  • Data licensing 

  • Research integrity 


View the presentation on our YouTube Playlist

View the slides


ExplORe Session: Discovering InCites: a tool to unveil your research potential (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team

InCites benchmarking & analytics is a research analytics tool from Clarivate, the company that owns Web Of Science.  

In this webinar, we are going to explore InCites' main functionalities by conducting a live demonstration of the platform and step-by-step guidance on using its features. The session includes: 

  • Overview of Research Performance Metrics 

  • Collaboration analysis 

  • Research areas and emerging topics 

  • Benchmarking against peers 

View the presentation on our You Tube Playlist.

View the slides.

ExplORe Session: Introduction to Rights Retention (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team.

Discover why it’s important to retain the rights to your accepted manuscripts. Join our short session to learn why rights retention matters for authors and how to practically implement it in your own research journey.  

View the presentation on our YouTube Playlist

View the slides

ExplORe Session: Introduction to Publisher Open Access Agreements (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team

Join us for an overview of the open access agreements accessible to UoA researchers. This session will cover: 

  • the fundamentals of open access 

  • the publisher agreements at your disposal 

  • the mechanics of these agreements 

  • how the agreements help you fulfil funder and REF open access requirements 

Whether you're a seasoned researcher or new to the field, this session offers valuable insights into enhancing your research impact through open access. 

View the presentation on our YouTube playlist

View the slides


ExplORe Session: Guide to Open Access Research Publications (Recorded Session)

ExplORe: Open Research Essentials is a new series of training sessions from the Open Research Team.

Unlock the world of open access for your research publications and gain valuable insights into the following: 

  • Understanding the routes to open access: publisher and repository-based options 

  • Navigating funder open access policies effectively 

  • Meeting REF open access criteria 

  • Securing your rights: Exploring rights retention 

  • Publishing open access through our publisher agreements 

  • How to get your work into Pure/AURA 

This session is designed for all researchers contemplating their next publication. Don't miss out on maximizing the reach of your research findings! 

View the presentation on our YouTube playlist.

View the slides.


Open Research: Who Are We and What Do We Do? (Recorded Session)

An introduction to the Open Research Team delivered by Susan Halfpenny (Head of Research & Learning Information Services).

View the presentation on our YouTube playlist.

ExplORe Series: Citation Impact: What is it and how to measure it? (Recorded Session)

Learn about citations, how they are measured and where they are counted. This session will give an overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of citations, including:

  • Citation impact: definition, limitations, and relevance
  • Citation indicators
  • Tools that capture citations
  • Citations and League Tables
  • How to enhance your research visibility and make sure that your citations are captured in citation databases

View the presentation on our You Tube playlist.

View the slides. 

ExplORe Series: Making Data Open: What you need to know. (Recorded Session)

 The session will cover: 

  • The reasons for making data open and benefits of reproducibility.
  • Show how to go about making data open and provide information and resources for making your data FAIR.
  •  The session will also cover choosing and using repositories for making data available
  •  Will look at the importance and practicalities of licensing your data and code

This session is aimed at all levels of researchers interested in learning more about open data

View the presentation on our You Tube Playlist.

View the slides

ExplORe Series: Open Licences for Publications and Data. (Recorded Session)

Find out more about Creative Commons and open licences. Tim Riley, copyright and licensing advisor, and the Open Research team will give an overview of open licences and copyright for publications and datasets. 

View the slides

View the presentation on our You Tube Playlist

ExplORe Series: How to identify potential research collaborators using Web of Science and other tools: a quick guide. (Recorded Session)

Research collaborators play a crucial role in the advancement of research. Through collaborations, researchers bring together their diverse skills and perspectives to tackle complex problems and develop innovative ideas, while enhancing the quality and impact of research.  

This session will show how to use different tools, with a particular emphasis on Web of Science, to identify potential research collaborators.

View the slides

View the presentation on our You Tube Playlist

ExplORe Series: Essential Guide to Pure Profiles. (Recorded Session)

In this ExplORe session our colleague Nykohla Strong from Research & Innovation gives an overview of how to get the best out of your Pure research profile. Including the different ways to add information to your Pure profile and connect with the research portal and other public facing webpages.

View the slides

View the presentation on our You Tube playlist


ExplORe Series: Overview of Funder Open Access Policies. (Recorded Session)

This session will give a brief overview of funder open access policies.

We will cover;

  • open access publishing requirements
  • rights retention
  • how to make your research publications open
  • open data responsibilities
  • tools to help you check funder and publisher policies

View the slides

View the presentation on our You Tube playlist

Explore Series: Looking after your digital wellbeing. (Recorded Session)

Digital technologies enable us to form a global network to further our research, analyse large data sets and communicate research in new interactive and engaging formats. However, they also blur the boundaries between our personal and professional lives, with many of us juggling multiple social media profiles, working on and off campus and connecting to work activities via personal mobile devices. This digital ubiquity is both a blessing and curse: it's great to be able to connect on a global scale but it can also feel like we are 'always on'. 

In this ExplORe seminar, we will consider the impact of digital technologies on our wellbeing. We'll reflect on some of the positive and negative impacts of technology, identify strategies for balancing online/offline activities and discuss approaches to dealing with information overload. 

View the slides

View the presentation on our You Tube Playlist 

Open Research Enlightening Forum

The first Open Research Enlightening Forum was held at the Foresterhill Campus on 29th November 2022. 

Open Research Enlightening Forum 29 November 2022

Aimed at all researchers at the Foresterhill campus but of particular interest to Postgrad Research Students and ECRs; arranged by the Library's Open Research Team.  This event was an opportunity to hear about on the ground research and the benefits and problems encountered by researchers in the pursuit of Open Research.

Speakers were:

Prof. Abbe Brown, Dean for Student Support, Vice Principals and Professor in Intellectual Property, Law - slide pack

Dr. Jess Butler, Analytical Lead/Research Fellow, Other Applied Health Sciences - slide pack

Prof. Jonathan Pettitt, Personal Chair, Medical Sciences - slide pack

Also featured were lightning talks by our Open Research experts on open data:

Lesley Macrae & Francesca Soldati, Open Research, Library Services - slide pack

Katie Wilde, Head of Digital Research, Research & Data Management - slide pack


Open Access e-Resources

Books, Chapters, Journals, Articles and more
  • AURA The University of Aberdeen institutional repository provides full text access to the University’s research outputs
  • BASE A search engine for academic web resources. BASE provides more than 150 million documents from more than 7,000 sources 
  • CORE An aggregate database of all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide
  • F1000 Research OA platform An open research publishing platform for the sciences offering rapid publication of articles and other research outputs
  • JSTOR - Open and free content on JSTOR and Artstor, a not-for-profit multidisciplinary digital platform
  • Knowledge Unlatched KU facilitates open access publishing and makes scholarly content freely available to everyone
  • OpenAire One of the largest open scholarly record collections worldwide
  • Open Community Collections from Jisc feature freely accessible primary source materials in a wide variety of subjects contributed by libraries, museums, and archives
  • Open Humanities Press Access to peer reviewed journals and books published by the Press
  • Open Knowledge The official open access repository for the World Bank
  • UCL Press Launched in 2015 UCL Press is the UK’s first open access university press publishing both high quality books and journals

If you are unable to access an article you want to read you could always send a request to the corresponding author – many authors are open to receiving requests for articles via social networking sites or their personal website.

  • Directory of Open Access Books DOAB aims to promote the discoverability of open access books and provides access to many titles from academic publishers
  • OAPEN Online Library A collection of open access books
  • Open Book Publishers As well as publishing in traditional formats Open Book Publishers provide free online editions of every title in various formats
  • Directory of Open Access Journals DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals
  • Open Library of Humanities University of Aberdeen is a supporting institution of OLH, a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing high quality peer reviewed journals
  • PubMed Central PMC is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)
  • Wellcome Open Research Useful for medical sciences this is a platform for Wellcome funded researchers to rapidly publish their research
  • DART DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses
  • EThOS Search over 500,000 doctoral theses via the British Library and get instant access to digitised theses or scanned copies at no charge from participating institutions
  • PQDT Open Read the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge
  • Primo Access to University of Aberdeen thesis
Quick Tools to Find Open Access Articles and Chapters
  • Unpaywall Download the ‘Unpaywall’ button to Chrome or Firefox browsers to instantly find free, open access, versions of articles or book chapters
  • Open Access Button Allows you to search for open access, free of charge, versions of journal articles and book chapters
  • EndNote Click (formerly Kopernio) a browser plugin that helps you quickly access full-text PDFs by connecting you to your library's subscriptions as well as open access content
  • Find preprints and other freely available versions on sites like SSRN, and discipline-specific preprint servers
Open data e-Resources

See Open Knowledge International's The Open Data Handbook for guidance, case studies and other relevant resources.