Consent and commercialisation: negotiating the open data agenda whilst protecting participants and intellectual property

An increasing number of funders and publishers are supporting the open data agenda by requiring researchers to openly share the data that underpin research publications. Yet, the culture of open data sharing and opinions about the benefits of data sharing vary widely between and within disciplines in higher education. There are numerous discipline-specific data repositories listed on re3data for the social sciences and life sciences, but relatively few for engineering.


The Library Research Data Service runs courses on all aspects of data management and provides 1:1 advice to researchers. A common theme in questions raised by researchers is how to share data whilst protecting study participants or intellectual property. It is clear that, whilst the benefits of data sharing are understood, and generally accepted, there is some anxiety surrounding the ethics of data sharing, and concerns around the ability to maximise the academic and commercial value of the data by those who have created them.

There a number of actions that you can take throughout the data lifecycle to ensure that you are able to comply with funder and journal requirements whilst protecting your study participants and intellectual property. These are:

  • Ask your study participants for consent to preserve, share and re-use their anonymised data;
  • Negotiate the terms of data sharing with industrial and academic collaborators at the start of the study;
  • Anonymise data at the end of your study using the UK Data Service guidelines;
  • License your data at the time of deposit in a data archive or repository;
  • Deposit your data to a research data archive at time of publication but embargo access until you have registered patents, or otherwise protected intellectual property that can be commercialised;
  • Restrict access to sensitive data to bona fide researchers, and share data subject to data sharing agreements.

Funders and publishers will generally accept justifications for restricting data sharing for sensitive data, or delaying sharing for the protection of intellectual property. However, they will expect that these justifications will be provided within the data access / sharing / availability statements in papers.

If you would like more advice on data sharing you can contact the Library Research Data Service:

Alison Nightingale, Research Data Librarian

January 2019

Posted in doctoral students, open access, postgraduates, publications, research | Leave a comment

Library Research Services Week 2019

Following on from the success of our event last summer, the Library Research Services team would like to let you know that we are having another ‘Library Research Services week’ for 2019 and this will be held on 28th January – 1st February. The aim of this week is to raise the profile of Library Research Services to staff and students at the University.

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As well as a series of training and drop-in sessions (listed below), we will be setting up a stall at the bottom of the Claverton Dining Room stairs for the whole week. Guides to all our services will be available to pick up as you pass by.

Also look out for daily posts on the Library’s blog, as well as daily posts highlighting treasures from our Archives and Research Collections to the Library’s Instagram account. Other activities that are taking place during the week include:

Lunchtime training sessions



Choosing a Data Archive: Creating Impact from Data Sharing, Monday 28th January, 12:15-13:05 (Students click here to register, Staff click here)



A Quick Guide to Submitting your Thesis in Pure, Wednesday 30th January, 12:15-13:05



Beyond Impact Factor: Choosing Where to Publish, Thursday 31st January, 12:15-13:05 (Students click here to register, Staff click here)

Open Access Drop-In, 1st February


LRSweekopenaccessFor anyone keen to check the open access status of their research outputs, then please come along to our drop-in session with the Open Access Team on Friday 1st February (10am-4pm, Library 4.12, no need to book, just turn up!).

We can take a closer look at your research outputs in Pure and make sure that any open access requirements are being met – something that might be useful as we approach our next REF Readiness Exercise.

If you have questions about paying for open access we can help with that too!

For any questions about the week please contact Hannah DeGroff, Scholarly Communications Librarian (ext. 5114, or the Subject Librarian for your Department or School can point you in our direction.

Posted in archive & research collections, doctoral students, events, open access, postgraduates, publications, REF, research, Research Portal | Leave a comment

Country Life Magazine Archive 1897-2005

countrylifeWe have just acquired the Country Life magazine digital archive which features content from the very first issues in 1897 up to 2005. These are fully searchable in ProQuest’s database platform, which also includes several other architecture magazine archives we purchased in the last year – including online back issues for Architectural Review; The Architects’ Journal; The Canadian Architect, Apollo and more.

Country Life (formerly Country Life Illustrated) is a fantastic resource for 20th Century rural living, with a lot of detailed articles for those interested in architecture and landscaping, antiques and fine art, leisure and lifestyles, agriculture and much more. For those studying the conservation of historic buildings, the high quality images of historic interiors are a fantastic resource in themselves, many being rare or unique.

countrylife2The magazine is still going strong. In addition to our print back issues our longstanding subscription includes all subsequent content (2005 onward), shelved on Level 3 of the Library at PER 72. The most recent issue can be found in the associated Current Journal display in the North East corner of the floor.

Images provided by and used with permission of ProQuest LLC.



Posted in engineering & design, journals, new resources | Leave a comment

Silent & quiet study during revision and exams

quietPlease be considerate to your fellow students during the revision period by keeping noise to a minimum on the quiet floors (Levels 3 and 4) and maintaining silence on Level 5.

Quiet and silent study space is very popular at this time of year. As a result, students have requested that unattended personal items left in order to reserve Library desks are removed to allow others to use the space. Please be aware that Library staff may remove unattended personal items and take them to Security for safekeeping.

For more information on Library spaces, Learning Commons and other study venues around campus see: study areas and bookable workrooms. The University is again making additional spaces available to students for study. Dates and times of rooms available are listed by week (7-25 Jan).

Good luck with your exams!
The Library

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Quiet Study Rooms for assessment period now available.

To support student revision during the January assessment period, the University has timetabled a number of study rooms to be available at various times in the coming weeks.

You can find all the information about which rooms will be available and when you can use them from the Timetabling webpage

The Library will print out these times for each week for display in the Library foyer.

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Library refurbishment work during Christmas vacation

Level 1 unavailable, 13 Dec 2018 – 7 January 2019, during refurbishment

You may have noticed the lighting in the Level 1 training room has just been upgraded.  During the vacation, we’re going to be working to bring the technology and décor up to spec.

From 13th Dec to 7th January Level 1 will be inaccessible, while equipment is moved and the  training room, adjacent study space and main corridor to the floor are all fully refurbished. New carpets, AV equipment (projectors and microphones) signage and artwork will all be added.  While work is underway during this period, the public lift will not go down to Level 1.

Level 5 Postgraduate workroom temporarily unavailable 14 December – c.21 December 2018

The Level 5 Postgraduate workroom and desks between the workroom and staff lift will be temporarily unavailable while the study area  is recarpeted and refurbished.  New  desks and seating will be added to the East side of level 5 on Tuesday and Wednesday 8th – 9th January 2019, creating 14 additional study spaces with power sockets.

PCs Level 3 and Level 5

The PC areas at the front of both Level 3 and Level 5 will be unavailable on 17-18 December whilst Computing Services install new all-in-one stands.  The work will complete this year’s upgrade to the PCs, with modern, height-adjustable and compact stands fitted for all the new machines installed during the summer vacation.

We apologise for any disruption during these essential works over the Christmas period.  Study spaces, including PC and quiet areas, will remain available on floors 2 to 5 throughout this time.

If you have any questions, please contact library staff:

Posted in downtime, engineering & design, events, humanities & social sciences, management, space, study areas | Leave a comment

Christmas Vacation Loans

In line with past years, the Library will attempt to automatically extend user loans on library stock from the subject floors so that books can be borrowed during the Christmas vacation period without being due for return between Saturday 8 December to Wednesday 9 January when many students will be away from campus.

For full details and advice the renewal of loans the Christmas vacation and when your books will be due for return or renewal please visit our Vacation Loans webpage.

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