Sharing your research using academic social networks

There is a plethora of academic social networks which make sharing research with others very easy. The benefits include increased discoverability of the research and public engagement with it. Some care is however needed when using these platforms

SSRN_logo       ReserachGate_logo        Dissemin_logo       Acaqdemia_logo        figshare icon

The best known and most frequently used sharing platforms are ResearchGate, and SSRN but new sites spring up all the time, as is the case with a

How these sites are referred to by publishers

Checking your publisher’s contract, you may find a variety of terms used for these platforms, including:

  • Academic social networks
  • Scholarly collaboration networks
  • Networking sites
  • Scientific social networks

How it works

The academic networking sites make it very easy to share the research with others but don’t always make their policies and terms and conditions easy to find. There is a difference between uploading research to an institutional repository, at City this is City Research Online (CRO) and to an academic networking site.

Uploading publications to institutional repositories is safe as in most cases (including uploading publications to CRO) the repository team will check each publication and will ensure that

  • The uploaded version of the publication can be openly shared
  • The publication is easily discoverable by others using variety of ways (mainly using search engines)
  • Sharing the publication doesn’t breach the publisher’s copyright.

The academic social networking sites do not have the safety net of dedicated team to check the shared publication is not breaching your contract with the publisher.

How to share your research on academic social networking sites

Check your publisher’s contract agreement carefully – your contract may specifically prohibit sharing your research on academic social networking sites or, more likely, impose conditions upon it.

Things to look out for:

  • The version of the publication which can be shared (most likely you will be permitted to share your accepted manuscript or a pre-print versions)
  • When you are permitted to share your publication (you may be allowed to only share your publication some time after it has been published, this is known as an embargo period).

The sharing policies of individual publications can also be checked using SHERPA/ RoMEO service and our library guide contains a useful summary of the main points to look out for.


ACT on ACCEPTANCE: make the REF 2021


What is Act on Acceptance?

From 1st April 2018, changes to HEFCE’s open access policy require researchers to submit their work to City Research Online within 3 months of acceptance to be eligible for the next REF.

As soon as you know your research will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, or conference proceedings, Act on Acceptance and make your research open access.

What do you have to do?

  • Upload your publications to your Publications profile as soon as possible after they have been accepted for publication.
  • Make sure it’s the accepted manuscript and not the published version: the accepted version is peer-reviewed but not typeset for publication.

What happens next?

The Publications Team will check your deposits to make sure they are compliant with the HEFCE policy, and the publishers’ terms and conditions regarding copyright and embargo periods. Once these checks are complete, they will make them available in the City Research Online repository.

What if you need help?

If you need help with depositing papers, or have questions about the open access policy, you can consult the City Research Online and Publications library guides.

Alternatively, you can contact the Publications Team who will:

  • Answer enquiries by telephone and email.
  • Meet with you in one to one appointments.
  • Help you understand the HEFCE open access policy.
  • Help you upload your papers to your publications profile.

ORCID: how to set up a unique researcher identifier

What is ORCID?

ORCID – which stands for ‘Open Researcher and Contributor ID’ – is a system whereby researchers are given a unique digital identifier, which distinguishes them from other researchers. This can be very useful when you share the same name with other people!

In addition, by using an ORCID ID during the publishing process and other professional activities (e.g. grant applications), this will facilitate automatic linking of these activities and published works.

How to set up an ORCID ID and link it to City Research Online

Setting up your ID is free and easy to do.  The best way to do it is through the City Research Online Publications database, because having an ORCID can help with managing your publications and professional activities in the database. Lenka Shipton, the Digital Repository Librarian, has created a handy guide to setting up and linking your ORCID.


Other ways you can use and publicise your ORCID

Your ORCID can be used in many ways. Here are some suggestions:

The benefits of ORCID

To sum up, the benefits of an ORCID include:

  • Having a unique identifier which distinguishes you from other researchers.
  • It is an identifier which you can keep with you, even if you move institution.
  • It can save you time by linking your grants and publications together. By adding your ORCID to the City Research Online Publications database, this will help the Publications database to pull in the outputs which have your ORCID attached to them. But please always remember to do a manual check of the Publications database, to make sure that all your publications have been recorded correctly.

If you have any questions about ORCID, please do not hesitate to contact your Research Librarian.


City University London Library: Everything under one ‘roof’

Some research tips:

paperclip houseExplore the Library website

Search for some articles on City Library Search

Find book and journal titles on the Library Catalogue

See our brand new Library Services: a guide for research

Explore our subject guides and our researcher and social media guides.

Find some new databases and electronic journals

Work smarter: do research on the way home  on your smartphone, iPad/ device and use apps to conduct research store outputs Pocket, EvernoteDropbox, Feedly,

Download our great new journal browsing app BrowZine

Make friends with a reference management tool

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Visit the Library and meet our staff

Listen to a research podcast in the Square.

Explore  impact and bibliometrics

Enhance your copyright awareness.

Find articles and etheses from City staff and students and see what research our departments are conducting on the University research database City Research Online

Enhance your skills by attending a Library training workshop  such as:  Introduction to Library Services, literature searching, systematic reviews, employability and much more..

Refresh your citing and referencing skills and avoid plagiarism with Cite Them Right Online

Join the British Library and other University Libraries (SCONUL Access) 

BLRead blogs for your subject such as the Thesis whisperer;  create your own blog using WordPress

Ask the Library to order some  books with  More Books  or  Read for Research  and mention us on Twitter  #readforresearch

Follow us on Twitter  @Citylibresearch @CityUniLibrary


Research resource of the week @CityUniLibrary = City Research Online

This week’s resource is open access, so everyone can use it.

City Research Online (CRO) is the institutional repository of City University London. It includes research outputs (such as article, etheses and datasets)  created by members of City University London  staff and research students.  Where possible versions of  full text articles and theses etc are made available. City Research Online’s mission is to:

  • Provide open access to full text research, as permitted by publishers and copyright law.
  • Be a reliable source of information on the research publications of City staff.
  • Share openly its information with internal and external services, such as other areas of City’s web presence, Google, Bing, Google Scholar and other web services and search engines.
  • Access City Research Online.


Open Access

Open Access is about making research outputs freely available on the Internet at the point of access, as opposed to a traditional publishing model which places research published online behind a subscription or paywall. Open Access takes the results of research that has already been paid for and makes it freely available online. It includes journal articles and other types of research such as theses, conference papers and research reports etc.

How can an author make his/ her research open access?

There are 2 routes to OA: green and gold.

Green OA : This can be done by depositing an article published in a subscription-based journal in an institutional (such as City Research Online) or discipline-specific repository such as the SSRN or RePEc. or ArXiv

Gold OA: Gold open access is also known as the author pays model (usually the author’s institution will pay to deposit the article). A fee is paid to make the content available to everyone not just subscribers on the publisher website. In the case of articles, this is known as an Article Processing Charge (APC).

Many publishers are making open access content available eg. Sage Open, SpringerOpen . Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, among many others, also offer hybrid model, allowing authors to have their articles on open access within subscription journals for a fee. See the City Research Online and open access guide here. You can also check for yourself prior to choosing where to publish, using the Sherpa Romeo database (to check publisher copyright and self-archiving policies).

Benefits of open access?

The author benefits from increased visibility and potential for maximising impact outside of the academic community or internationally, the wider research community benefits from access to research findings regardless of their institution’s capacity to subscribe to a journal, society benefits from access to publicly funded research outputs and the journal in which the article was published will still benefit from citations and increased coverage. There is also central storage and preservation.

Additionally, many funding bodies now mandate or actively encourage research they have funded is deposited in a repository or made open access via another route.

The Sherpa Juliet database contains a summary of policies given by various research funders as part of their grant awards.

How is the Library supporting researchers and open access?

City Research Online is City University London’s institutional research repository. It contains a selection of research outputs created by City University London staff and researchers, mainly journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. Many universities have repositories to store their research output.

Rather than searching a number of repositories to find relevant research, harvesters such as OpenDOAR and ROAR have access to subject-based and institutional repositories, including City Research Online.

City Research Online content is also discoverable via City Library Search.

Hunting down grey literature: finding theses

I was talking to a student recently about locating other peoples’ theses.

Yesterday, I was looking at the OpenDOAR website. Some electronic theses (often more recent ones) can be found in repositories. There is a list of UK repositories mainly from Universities including the City University London one City Research Online (CRO)
There is a Google search box and I searched for a specific item in CRO and it did find it. Searching in CRO itself, there is an option to limit the search by theses.

Another option is the Ethos service from the British Library
This works well when someone has already requested the dissertation and it is available for immediate download.

Index to Theses should indicate where a thesis is held and it may be available in a university repository or via Ethos. Sometimes, it may be necessary to visit the Library concerned.

Proquest Dissertations & Theses
is a comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world offering full text for graduate works added since 1997, along with selected full text for works written prior to 1997.