Open in order to…

The theme of this year’s International Open Access Week, which runs from 23rd-29th October, is “Open in order to…”. This year the focus is on thinking about possibilities are opened up by making research outputs open access.

Win a £30 Amazon voucher: follow the library’s Twitter account @sgullibrary to enter our competition on this year’s OA week theme “Open in order to…” – tell us why you think ‘Open’ is good. (For terms and conditions, and how to enter, see the end of this post.)

Open in Order to Open Access banner for 2017

Here are some reasons why research is made “open in order to…”

…improve public health

Breakthroughs in medical science are frequently in the news, but the research publications underpinning the headlines are often locked away behind a publisher’s paywall. For example, the research article referred to in this recent article from the BBC  is currently only available to subscribers to the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and many publications cited in the recent award of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics are not publicly accessible. By contrast, a recent study by SGUL researchers on meningitis in children was published in an open access journal, meaning that the full article can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.

Open access research allows anyone who is interested to read and evaluate the research for themselves. This might include:

  • Medical professionals wanting to improve patient care;
  • Members of the public wanting to learn more about a condition they have;
  • Journalists wanting to report more accurately on the story;
  • Policy makers;
  • Researchers whose institutions don’t subscribe to the journal the research is published in, or who are operating outside an institution.

Opening up research helps improve public health by increasing access to academic research.

 

…raise the visibility of my research

Studies1 have consistently shown a citation advantage for open access publications over closed access ones. Depositing your work in a repository increases the avenues by which your research can be discovered, as well as helping readers to follow your research from paper to paper more easily by collecting them all together.

 

…enable global participation in research

Making research open enables all researchers to access it and removes the financial barrier for those working in less well funded institutions, as well as independent researchers working outside institutions. Making your data and publications accessible for free and licensing it under terms which allow for reuse means that other researchers can pick up on and build on your research, benefitting the global research community as a whole.

 

…find new collaborators

Making your work open helps researchers on related topics find it and identify possibilities for collaboration. Open access can also promote cross-disciplinary working by making it easier for researchers to access work outside their own discipline.

1 The Open Access Citation Advantage Service, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Accessed 19 October 2017

 

How to enter:

Follow @sgullibrary on Twitter and complete the phrase “Open in order to…” using the hashtag #openinorderto and @sgullibrary’s Twitter handle.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. The competition will run from Monday 23 October 2017 until Sunday 29 October 2017.
  2. The prize draw is open to anyone with a valid SGUL ID.
  3. Winners will be chosen from all valid entries once the competition has closed on Sunday 29 October 2017.
  4. Winners will be contacted via Twitter. Be sure to check your account.
  5. The prize can only be collected in person from St George’s Library on production of a valid ID card.
  6. Prizes must be collected within two weeks of notification.
  7. The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.
  8. Photos of the prize winners will be taken to be used in publicity on Library media channels.
  9. One prize winner will be selected, unless the prize is not collected by the deadline, in which case the uncollected prize will be reselected (once only).
  10. Your tweets may be reused by St George’s Library for future promotional or informational purposes.
  11. Entries must contain the hashtag #openinorderto and must tag the library’s Twitter account @sgullibrary.

 


To find out more about open access, contact openaccess@sgul.ac.uk or visit the Library open access webpages.

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App Review: BNF & BNFc

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BNF logo

Name: BNF BNFc

Content producer: BNF Publications

Operating system: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later 160mb) and Android (4.0.3 or later 116mb)

Available from: iTunes and Google Play

Tested on: Samsung S7

Price: Free

Type of Information: The BNF and BNFc are the primary sources for information on prescribing and medicines licenced in the UK.

For: The publishers say…The BNF & BNFC App is aimed at prescribers, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals who need sound, up-to-date information about the use of medicines.”

Main pros:

  • Contains all of the content from BNF and BNFC in one app
  • Easier to navigate with a more intuitive design and enhanced features around search and interactions checking
  • New evidence grading feature

Main cons:

  • Takes up much more space than the previous two apps combined
  • Loss of some features such as bookmarking

A new BNF and BNFc app launched over the summer is set to replace the old NICE BNF and BNFc apps. With the new app combining BNF and BNFc content into a single app it aims to be faster, easier to use and access than the previous apps which will both be withdrawn later this year, users of the old apps will see a banner notifying them of this nearer the time. NICE are encouraging users of their apps to migrate across to the new app and have announced that as of July 2017 the old apps will no longer be updated[1].

The new BNF and BNFc app comes from BNF Publications, the publishing arm of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society. The app is free to download and, unlike the old apps, is purpose built for iOS and Android. The app features offline browsing and searching so users can use the app in settings where there is no internet or Wi-Fi connections. A connection is only required during the initial download and for updating the content monthly.

Information is organised into six sections: Drugs, Treatment summaries, Medical devices, Interactions checker, Borderline substances and Wound care. Users navigate the sections by accessing the menu icon in the top left hand corner of the screen. To alternate between the two formularies users must access the menu and select the drop down arrow at the top to select the formulary they wish to view. The app will remember the formulary selected, even when the app has been closed, until the user changes it.

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The app opens onto the Drugs browse page, the current formulary selected and the section being viewed is always shown at the top of the screen and the app will briefly display the month and year of the content being viewed at the bottom of the screen.

Drugs information can be found by browsing or searching. Users can browse by drug / medicine name by tapping the relevant letter on the a-z list or can search by name using the magnifying glass at the top to reveal the search bar. The search feature has an autocomplete function with suggestions shown as soon as the user starts typing.

Each record contains the same content found in the print and online versions of the BNF and BNFc, with information arranged under the same headings as the print and online versions. Full range monograph information on dose, interactions, side-effects, and cautions are included, as well as information specific to patient groups or profession-specific prescribing.

Treatment summaries are also included in the app and are arranged by the body system they relate to. However, users can also search for treatment summaries by clicking on the magnifying glass at the top of the screen to access the search bar.

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The interactions checker tool allows users to check interactions for one drug or for two or more drugs. Although, each drug record contains full interactions information the interactions checker tool allows users to discover interactions between different combinations of multiple drugs. This tool can be accessed from the main menu or from within a drug monograph via the three dots.

Some of the features which have not been brought across on this app include the bookmarking option. And while the new app has a fresher, simplier colour-scheme, the different formulary branding colours in the previous apps did make it easier for users to differentiate between the two. The app also takes up more space than the previous two apps combined and the clinical content updates are a bit harder to navigate to, as there are now a couple of menu steps to perform to locate them instead of the What’s New tab on the old app.

However, one new feature not available on the older apps is evidence grading. Evidence grading has been in use in BNF Publications since 2016 to reflect the strength of the recommendation to support clinical decision-making based on the best available evidence. At the moment only a small number of clinical recommendations have evidence grading applied, but the publishers promise that more evidence grading will appear with each monthly update. The evidence grading feature can be switched on or off in the settings part of the main menu.

On the whole the app performs better and is easier to navigate and unlike the NICE apps an OpenAthens account is no longer required for the app to work, although the publishers do make it clear that the app is for NHS users only – for those interested in eligibility please see the T&C Section 14, Definitions: NHS Users. More information can be found at BNF & BNFc App FAQs.

All posts on this blog are subject to the St George’s Library Disclaimer, please take the time to read it carefully.

[1] https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/new-improved-bnf-and-bnfc-app-launched

A Million Decisions

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Every day more than a million decisions are made across the NHS and healthcare sector. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, there is a responsibility for health services to ensure use of evidence obtained from research  to inform these decisions.

#AMillionDecisions is a campaign from CILIP and Health Education England, calling for decisions in the health care sectore to be fully evidence based.

During #Librariesweek, we’re highlighting how we can help make those #amilliondecisions evidence-based for our NHS colleagues.  At St George’s Library, we provide a wide range of  free services to support St George’s NHS staff, from access to relevant e-resources and training on how to search for and critically appraise information, to CARES, our Clinical and Research Enquiry Service.

Join the campaign by sharing your thoughts and experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #AMillionDecisions

 

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St George’s announces new research data repository

The Research Data Management Service has launched a research data repository for use by St George’s researchers, including our doctoral student researchers.

Figshare homepage screengrab for blog

Powered by figshare, the repository is the first phase of a pilot project to develop a shared research data management infrastructure for UK higher education. The pilot is headed by Jisc, and St George’s is proud to be one of just 13 higher education organisations included in the project. More information about this can be found on the project website.

The SGUL data repository is a digital archive for sharing, storing and preserving research content produced at St George’s. It was acquired to enable our researchers to better engage in Open Science and to respond to funder and publisher requirements for data sharing and preservation.

Researchers can use the repository to share research data, source code, posters, PowerPoint presentations, images, videos, electronic lab notebooks and a range of other digital research outputs. The repository can also be used to catalogue and link to items that are already in the public domain, but are difficult to discover, cite and measure for impact. Each deposit in the repository is provided with a persistent identifier, which allows items to be uniquely identified, cited and measured for impact.

All items deposited with us will be preserved for the lifetime of the repository.

Depositing to the repository is easy. All research staff and doctoral students are automatically registered for the service. Just log in to the repository using your institutional credentials and deposit your items following figshare’s normal deposit procedures. All deposits will be checked by a member of the research data management team before your research is published, giving you added peace of mind.

It is advisable to contact the Research Data Management Service if you intend to deposit your data in the repository to avoid any delay in publishing your research.

Gruesome and Ghostly: Tales from St George’s Archives

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Come along to a spooky special event with exhibits from the archive. Archivist Carly Manson will delve into St George’s weird and wicked past in two afternoon sessions on Halloween. Expect tales of body snatching and ghosts that haunt St George’s, letters and lectures from the past with bloody intent, and images showing the fascinating history of St George’s.

Halloween Tuesday 31st of October – 2 sessions available

First session: 1.30pm – 2.15pm

Second session: 2.45pm – 3.30pm

Students and staff of St George’s University of London and St George’s Hospital are welcome to attend this free event. To book your place, or for more information, email archives@sgul.ac.uk.

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App Review: DynaMed Plus

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DMP logoName: DynaMed Plus

Publisher: EBSCOhost

Devices: Any iPhone® or iPad® or iPod touch® running iOS 9.3

or higher. Any Android device running Android 4.4 or higher.
The app requires at least 500MB of memory.
Can be authenticated on up to 3 devices per activation link.

We’ve tested this app on an iPhone 6 and an iPad Air2.

Available from: iTunes App Store or Google Play

This app is available to NHS staff and SGUL staff and students.

*Details on how to download and authenticate the app are included at the end of the post.*

Price: Free to download

Type of information: Clinical decision making support tool.

For: doctors and other healthcare professionals at point of care, and healthcare students.

Main Pros: Similar in design, layout and functionality to the web-based version. Content available offline after initial download. Links to full-text supporting articles and guidelines within topic summaries where available.

Main Cons: Requires around 1GB of storage space depending on device. Link to calculators not available on home screen of the app, unlike the web-based version, requires a separate search to access them.

An in-depth look

The DynaMed Plus app is the app version of a point of care resource that St George’s Library subscribes to. It provides access to over 3,400 clinical summaries covering a broad range of specialties and is designed to support healthcare professionals in clinical decision making. It covers the same content as found on the web-based version of DynaMed Plus, with the added benefit of being accessible offline. However, the content can require a fair amount of storage space on your device. The publishers recommend to have a minimum of 500MB free, but in our testing we’ve found the App has required around 906 MB on iPad Air 2 and 1.16GB on an iPhone 6. Presumably this will likely increase as more content is added and updated over time.

In terms of functionality the app is really simple to use and fairly intuitive – it is almost identical in layout and design to the web-based version which presents a nice continuity of usage. The home screen presents you with a search bar and in the top-right hand corner you’ll find a Bookmark icon which houses your previously saved pages, and search history. There is also a settings icon that allows you to change the text size, check for updates to the app and search the help pages, which does require an internet connection.

The search function has an intelligent auto-suggest feature, which will show you your results in the form of topics and searches that match your terms as you type. You can then either review the topic summary directly, or view the search terms instead. Once you are viewing a topic you can scroll through the entire summary as you would a web page, or you can browse by section. How you do this depends on how you are holding your device. In landscape view the section headings can be found on the left of the summary, allowing the user to dip in and out of the topic sections. Holding the device in portrait forces the section headings into a separate bar at the top – you can navigate these by selecting the magnifying glass icon that will appear on the top right of the screen, next to the topic summary heading. There are also other icons in the bottom right of the page that allow you to bookmark the summary, email or print the topic, or make notes if required. If you do any notes to the summary, the empty notepad icon will fill with lines to indicate you have done so.

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Many of the topic summaries provide external links to webpages and supporting articles which will display the article abstract or full-text article if available through an institutional subscription (OpenAthens or St George’s, University of London). Again, despite the app content being available offline you will need to be connected to the internet to access anything linked outside of the app.

Despite being very easy to use, some of the resource’s most useful features are buried within the app somewhat, which is unfortunate. The calculators and decision trees have a direct link in the title bar of the web-version, but no counterpart within the app. They can be found by searching for them, which isn’t as user friendly as a link or icon. This can also be said for the thousands of supporting images the resource has – they can be found and browsed in your search matches, but we felt that embedding them in their own section within the topic summary would make them much more identifiable.

Available to SGUL staff and students

PDF for how to download DynaMed Plus App for SGUL staff and students

Available to NHS Staff

How to download and authenticate the DynaMed Plus app for NHS Staff:

1. Access DynaMed Plus via NHS OpenAthens or the Hospital intranet page

2. Click on the Mobile use – Get the DynaMed Mobile App link under Spotlight.

dmp screenshot
3. Enter your email address and click send.

4. An authentication link is emailed to you.

5. Open the email from your device and follow the links to download the app via the iTunes Store or Google Play.

6. When prompted, authenticate the app via the OpenAthens link- look for the Athens link at the bottom of the authentication page.

Note: If you do not tap the authentication link in the email within 48 hours you will need to request a new authentication key from within DynaMed Plus.

7. The DynaMed Plus App opens on your device and begins the initial content download.

Note: It is recommended that you are on a Wi-Fi connection for the initial download of DynaMed Plus content as well as when updates become available. Initial download can take up between 10-30 minutes.

Getting more help

DynaMed Plus have produced this useful video to get you started with DynaMed Plus.

If you need support with your OpenAthens account please contact Stephen Reid sreid@sgul.ac.uk

NHS Staff who are eligible for an OpenAthens account can register here: https://openathens.nice.org.uk/

For training or if you have any questions about access to DynaMed Plus please contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk

 

 

Changes to downloading e-books from Dawsonera *revised*

The process for downloading e-books from Dawsonera is changing. You may
have already noticed this change for some Dawsonera e-books and it will
apply to all Dawsonera e-books from 31st October 2017.

From a SGUL desktop computer or laptop

We advise you to use the read online option if you are
using a university computer or library laptop to access Dawsonera e-books.

From your own computer or mobile device

If you want to download a Dawsonera e-book onto your own desktop computer,
laptop, or mobile device, you will need to install free software as
described below.

  • To download Dawsonera e-books to your own desktop or laptop, you will
    need to install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE).
  • To download Dawsonera e-books to an iOS (Apple) or Android device, you
    will need to first download the BlueFire Reader app, which is available from the Apple and Google play stores.
  • How to download ADE or BlueFire Reader and access your Dawsonera e-book:
    1. Create an Adobe ID if you don’t already have one. Visit theAdobe website, click “ Sign in”, then “Get an Adobe ID”. Fill in the online form to sign up for an ID.
    2. Download ADE or BlueFire Reader, and authorise the software with your Adobe ID.
    3. Access the e-book on Dawsonera as normal, and choose to download to
      either Adobe Digital Editions or BlueFire Reader as appropriate.
  • Adobe have also provided this clip on how to create an Adobe ID