Searching the Library: OneSearch overview and time-saving tips


Thanks to those who came to the Searching the Library session and contributed their questions.

The recording is available now available for you to view if you missed it, or would like to revisit what was covered:


Questions & Answers

Q: Does OneSearch include grey literature? OneSearch includes some conference proceedings, and theses from Lancaster University research students, and the EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) from the British Library. More advice about searching grey literature can be found in the ‘Searching the literature’ guide, and the theses and dissertations pages.

Q: Do I need an Athens username and password for accessing resources off-campus? The credentials you will need for the vast majority of resources is your University username and password. The Library website gives you more information about using OneSearch off-campus.

Q: Can I format citations and bibliographies in OneSearch? You can preview examples of citation in 3 different styles by clicking on the ‘Actions’ menu in the items details, and choosing ‘Citation’. OneSearch doesn’t have reference management functionality, but you can export your search results to EndNote Web, RefWorks or in other formats.


Q: Which reference management software does the University support? The University supports EndNote desktop software. There is advice on using EndNote on the Library website. There are many other services available for managing your referencing.

Please add your comments to this post.


November sessions

Image credit freevector/

Research Bites is back in November, and this time we will offer tea or coffee and a cake! So join us for a break, as well as the opportunity to spend half an hour or so learning something that could help you become a more effective researcher.

There’s no need to book, so just turn up at 12.

Searching the Library: an overview of OneSearch and databases
Friday 7th November, 12.00. Bowland North SR 10
Find out how to get more out of OneSearch and databases when searching the literature.
Tanya Williamson, Assistant Librarian, Library

What is Pure and why should I use it?
Wednesday 12th November, 12.00. Bowland Nth SR 19
Get an overview of Pure, the University’s research information system.
Sarah Brown, Research System Administrator, Research & Contracts Support Office

Updating your Pure profile and CV
Thursday 13th November, 12.00. Bowland Nth SR 24
A short demo about how to manage your profile on the University’s research information system.
Sarah Brown, Research System Administrator, Research & Contracts Support Office

Adding publications and activities to Pure
Friday 21st November, 12.00. Bowland Nth SR 09
Improve access to your research by learning how to add your research outputs to Pure, the University’s research information system.
Sarah Brown, Research System Administrator, Research & Contracts Support Office

You can always see what’s coming up on in Research Bites on the Library website.

Research Bites session in November

Research Bites will be returning in November featuring new talks and demos on topics such as:

  • Research data management
  • Pure – the University’s research information system
  • Literature searching
  • Research funding

The new programme is broadly mapped against the Researcher Development Framework (RDF), developed by Vitae®, to make sure that sessions are varied and relevant to researchers.


Once all of the November sessions are confirmed, they will be posted on this blog and on the Research Bites events area on the Library website.

Your identity as a researcher – ORCID

Thanks to everyone who come along to this session last Friday on how registering for an ORCID ID can help with the problem of name ambiguity for researchers, and its potential uses in glueing together your research identity, funding, outputs and impact.

You can view the slides here:

Please feel free to add your own questions or perspective on ORCID to this post.

Beyond the Impact Factor: Altmetrics

Many thanks to Hardy Schwamm for today’s Research Bite introducing altmetrics, and also to those of you who came along and contributed your questions and thoughts to the discussion.


In the context of huge increases in publication output, the Altmetrics manifesto claims that we need new ways to filter for quality. The development of altmetrics is also an attempt to catch up with the changes in scholarly communication. Altmetrics are a reaction to the fact that the impact factor is often incorrectly used to assess the impact of individual articles, when in fact it just evaluates the impact of the journal. Altmetrics also acknowledge that research outputs are broader than just journal articles, and encompass datasets, software, blog posts, presentations and so on.

Altmetrics are:

Metrics based on the social web

Among the most promising and influential Altmetrics services are:

  • Altmetric – UK based, not affiliated to a publisher, focusing on article-centric or article level metrics
  • PlumX – gather metrics on different ‘artifacts’, but also on individuals, groups and institutions
  • ImpactStory  – focusing on individuals

The key audiences are:

  • Individuals can use altmetrics to understand their own impact, or influence.
  • Publishers can use it to inform readers, marketing and identify strengths
  • Institutions can use it to gauge impact, inform REF and funding bids and recruitment?

Not everyone is happy with incorporating the Almetric score. Can you really compare across disciplines? Is an article with a score of 2000 really that much ‘better’ than one scoring 25? Altmetric does include percentile information when you click through to the detail. This ability to click through to the detail, and actually delve into those ‘mentions’ is a useful feature.


How do they track your output (e.g. article)? Altmetric use the DOI (Digital Object Identifier), PubMed ID and ArXiv ID to track mentions.

Does it count mentions of your name? Altmetric just looks at articles, not the identity of the researcher. ImpactStory and PlumX do focus more on the individual, but it would be in association with a particular work, as far as we understand. So an appearance on TV wouldn’t be counted (unless the broadcaster had a link on their website too).

Does it only measure positive mentions? No. There’s no discrimination, so like traditional citation counts, others could be denouncing your research, but you’d still benefit from the stats!

Is there going to be an institutional licence to the product? The Library and RSO are aware of altmetrics and inviting providers to visit and tell us more.

Hardy: Would this kind of product be useful? Is the score useful? Participants: It’s all ‘grist to the mill’. If you can provide your line manager with some data like this it could contribute to them understanding your performance. The score seems pretty meaningless though. It’s good to have a service which aggregates all this data in such a timely way. Citations can take a long time to accrue. It bridges the gap between informal discussions and citations in journal articles. Though it can never be a complete measure. Altmetrics could inform the REF in terms of impact of research in the community or public engagement outside of the academy.

Is it just a snapshot in time (i.e. does it only provide data from Twitter for 30 days?) It appears that it is not just a snapshot in time, but a record of mentions, though data collection would presumably have to start somewhere, so may not be accurate for older papers (by older, I mean pre-2011!).

Do altmetrics cover patents? Plum covers citation in US patents.

What’s our definition of impact? Is it just getting your research out there and generating a buzz? Some disciplines view this kind of attention as public engagement. Impact is making a change to the world, e.g. through policy change or a technological advance. Altmetrics contribute to a multi-faceted view of impact, including non-academic engagement.

Can you track the geographic element? Yes, with Altmetric. When you click through to the detailed data. e.g.


Is it performing as a filter? Ranking efforts and scores like in Altmetric are difficult to interpret and shouldn’t be compared across disciplines. However, if you see that an article was discussed in the (social) media it might be worth seeing why it got mentioned so often.

Won’t it be open to scholars artificially inflating scores? Yes, just like traditional citation practices! It also favours researchers who are active on the social web.

The Altmetrics manifesto disagrees:
Some have suggested altmetrics would be too easy to game; we argue the opposite. The JIF is appallingly open to manipulation; mature altmetrics systems could be more robust, leveraging the diversity of of altmetrics and statistical power of big data to algorithmically detect and correct for fraudulent activity.

This post was amended on 24/09/2014 following feedback from Hardy.

Filing a Patent, and Intellectual Property Rights sessions

Research Bites have benefitted from the expertise of Gavin Smith, the University’s Intellectual Property (IP) Officer, over the last 2 weeks. He has delivered two useful sessions, which I’ll summarise. If you picked up on any points which I haven’t included, please do share them in the comments box below.

Filing a Patent on you invention and commercialising it, 4th Sept 2014

Patents are an intervention by the state into markets and a formal way of protecting your intellectual property.
The Intellectual Property Office is a comprehensive source of information, and the source of the following definition:

Your invention must:
  • be new
  • have an inventive step that is not obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject
  • be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry
  • not be:a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or methoda literary, dramatic, musical or artistic worka way of performing a mental act, playing a game or doing businessthe presentation of information, or some computer programsan animal or plant varietya method of medical treatment or diagnosisagainst public policy or morality.

from IPO’s What is a Patent?

There is a process that needs to be followed when filing a patent, which involves making a very specific claim for what you want to protect. This includes a description containing enough detail to allow someone else to replicate your invention.

Patents operate on a ‘First to file’ basis, so the speed at which you prepare your claim is important. A patent examiner, who is an expert in the field, would then conduct a search report to see whether there is any ‘prior art’ (including your own previous work) which would prevent your patent being considered as new. They also examine your claim to make sure it is compliant and may ask technical questions about your invention.

The inventor is classed as the person with idea, not necessarily the person who made the invention. You do not need to have a working prototype in order to file a patent.

Non-patent Intellectual property, 12th Sept 2014
This session covered:

It’s useful to consider the name of a product or business to make sure it is not already being used in your field of work. Includes registered trademarks and internet domain names.

Copyright is an unregistered right, you don’t need to apply for it, or pay a fee for it. The medium of the creative work doesn’t matter. You don’t have to apply the © symbol, but it does serve to remind people who owns the rights to the work. Copyright does not protect the idea behind the work, just the manifestation of the idea.

At the University, copyright is owned by the creator of the work, for example a journal article or book, except for teaching materials which have been developed. Copyright does give you the power of redress if someone uses your work improperly.

A Design right protects the three-dimensional form e.g. coca cola bottle of an object, or the ‘two-dimensional ornamentation’ e.g. the logo, not the function. So if there is value in your design in terms of the way it looks, then it is worth considering registering a design right.

Trade marks
Anyone can use a name and the ™ symbol, but this doesn’t give you any formal rights. However, registered trade marks give you right to stop someone using your brand. If your brand’s name is considered to have value, and be known in association with the product or service, then it is worth registering.

Registered trademarks can be in different classes, i.e. the same name can be trademarked for different types of products, e.g. Polo mints, Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, VW Polo etc.

A recent dispute between Interflora vs. Marks and Spencer, where M&S had bought the Google AdWords for ‘Interflora’ so that their own florist service ranked higher in Google search results, was considered to infringe Interflora’s trademark rights, and is no longer possible to do.
Continue reading Filing a Patent, and Intellectual Property Rights sessions

Choosing a Creative Commons licence recording and Q&As

Thanks again to Lorna for an excellent session looking at how to choose a Creative Commons (CC) licence for your digital output. The recording is now available.

We had a few questions during the session, which I’ll summarise below for anyone that couldn’t make it.

How can I find CC licenced material? You can use Google’s Advanced search features to search for materials with a particular licence e.g. allow reuse. Find Google Advanced search options under Settings from the Google homepage.


An alternative is to use ‘rights cleared’ images from an image bank such as Britannica Image Quest, which the Library subscribes to.

How will I know which CC licence has been applied to a piece of work? You may see the CC logos on the work, or just the abbreviated reference to the licence, e.g. CC-BY-SA for Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike.

How do I choose? During the session Lorna referred to a clear flowchart produced by Creative Commons Australia which guides you through the options. A similar tool from also generates some machine readable code to embed into your website.