Open Access Theses in RADAR

To celebrate #thesisthursday for Open Access Week 2018 we thought we would look at the open access journey of our theses collection in RADAR.

Since 2014 the GSA has required all postgraduate research students to deposit a digital copy of their PhD or MPhil thesis in the institutional repository RADAR. Students can choose to make their thesis open access, embargoed or restricted from public view.

We currently have 131 thesis records in RADAR, 109 of these were completed at the GSA and you can browse the collection here: http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/view/theses/

How open is the collection?

How open is our theses collection

56 theses are open access*[1]

45 are metadata only

30 are restricted to repository staff only

Over the past few years we’ve been working in collaboration with our colleagues in GSA’s Learning Resources to make more of our pre-2014 theses open access. In 2017 we wrote to authors of theses with restricted files which were deposited in RADAR before our 2014 thesis policy was introduced. By the end of the project we were able to make 16 out of the 28 restricted records we had identified open access.

EThOS: a good news story!

In October 2016 GSA joined British Library’s e-thesis online service (EThOS).

EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service which aims to maximise the visibility and availability of the UK’s doctoral research theses.

Since joining we’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number of downloads of GSA theses from RADAR! Before we joined EThOS our average monthly downloads of Theses were 46, since we joined in October 2016 we’ve seen our average monthly downloads increase to 312.

You can see the steady increase of our theses downloads in the chart below:

RADAR theses downloads
RADAR theses download statistics, source: IRUS UK

Our total number of theses downloads from RADAR is 9836.

Below you can see an infographic showing the top 5 downloaded theses from RADAR:

Top 5 downloaded theses

You can access the theses listed above with the links below:

  1. Al Shueili, Khalfan (2015) Towards a sustainable urban future in Oman: problem and process analysis (Muscat as a case study).
  2. Watterson, Alice (2014) Engaging with the Visual: Re-Thinking Interpretive Archaeological Visualisation
  3. Rutherford, Henry Roan (1996) Public sector housing in Scotland.
  4. Fung, Janice (2008) The unintended negative consequences of decision-making in Glasgow’s social housing sector.
  5. Gracie, David (2015) Subversive Art as place, identity and bohemia: The San Francisco Bay area 1945-1965.

If you’re a former PhD student and interested in making your PhD open access on RADAR please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!

Dawn Pike

October 2018

 

 

 

[1] *At least one file attached is openly available.

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GSA authors: Have you seen your RADAR download stats this month?

In the past few months we have seen a marked increase in the number of deposits in RADAR – and a big thank you to everyone who has deposited!  In fact between March – May 2016, a total of 336 new research outputs have been made live in the repository.

What’s even better is that 42 % of the items that have been added to RADAR in the last few months have files attached, that are openly accessible to the public to view and download.

chart 1

Interestingly, we have also noticed a huge spike in our download statistics, which can be seen in the chart below:

chart 2

 

As you can see from the chart, the number of outputs whose attached files have been downloaded (not just viewed) has vastly increased: from 2,221 downloads in March, jumping to 7,500 in April, and up to over 12,000 in May!  And we’ve had confirmation from our Jisc colleagues at IRUS (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics UK) that these download numbers look to be genuine – i.e.  they have not been downloaded by robots, for example.

So why have RADAR’s downloads increased so much?

The truth is that we can’t be 100 % sure why there has been such a dramatic increase, but one possibility is that the recent addition of so many new items has attracted more users to RADAR, and has led to more items being downloaded.  RADAR’s content also seems to be indexed better by search engines, and we can see that Google is where most of RADAR’s visitors are referred from.   So RADAR – and your research outputs – are getting noticed!

Have you seen your own download statistics recently?

The RADAR statistics aren’t just about overall figures for the repository, they can also be filtered by author, and this is a good way to measure the usage of your outputs.

To check your own download statistics, click on the following link:  http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/cgi/stats/report

STATS

Once on the statistics page (shown in the image above), you can begin to drill down to your stats. To view statistics for outputs that have been authored/created by you, click on ‘Filter Items’ and choose ‘Author’; you will then be able to scroll through a list of GSA authors and select your own name.

In the image below, you can see an example of statistics for items by Craig Mulholland:

mulholland 1

You can also filter by date, if you are interested in your statistics over a certain period.  In the image below, Craig’s download statistics can be seen for the period 1st-31st May 2016:

mulholland 2

 

We’re really pleased to see RADAR helping to promote GSA authors’ research outputs to the wider world in this way, and hope that you will be able to take advantage of the RADAR statistics tool!

 

Dawn Pike, Research Information Co-ordinator

July 2016