All about… ROS Theses Repository

Heriot-Watt University’s Theses Repository, ROS, has over 30,000 items and contains full-text copies of all Heriot-Watt University PhD theses awarded from 2009 onwards.

The top downloaded thesis was submitted in 2015, and has over 24,000 downloads:

Molwus, Jurbe Joseph (2014) ‘Stakeholder management in construction projects : a life cycle based framework‘, PhD thesis, Heriot-Watt University.

Stats on theses downloaded can be obtained from a service called IRUS-UK, which aggregates statistics from UK repositories.

The visualisation below shows downloads by country in September 2018.  With a large downloads of theses in the areas of construction and energy production, Heriot-Watt’s reputation as a global university with a strong engineering and technical focus is borne out by the usage of our research.  For more information, contact

Download by country

Open access – what you need to know

Open Access Week

Open Access Week is an international celebration of the benefits of Open Access to scholarship.  The theme this year “reflects a scholarly system in transition. While governments, funders, universities, publishers, and scholars are increasingly adopting open policies and practices, how these are actually implemented is still in flux. As open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community.”

Although a recent major driver to open access is the requirement for the next REF, that accepted manuscripts should be deposited in an institutional repository (Pure) no more than three months after acceptance, examples of good open access practice can be found in many places:  depositing preprints in repositories such as arXiv;  creating and publishing Open Access journals, such as the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity (IPED) journal, published by the School of Social Sciences and using Open Journal Systems software; and creating and sharing open research data.

The Research Support Team in Information Services provides support to research staff and students on making their research more openly available.  We provide advice via webpages and Power Hours, and individual tailored advice. We can help you:

  • maintain your research profile in Pure, including adding publications
  • publish your research outputs as Open Access, to meet REF Open Access Compliance
  • with advice on article processing charges (APCs) and open access requirements for all funders
  • with research computing solutions
  • manage your research data – data management planning, data storage and sharing
  • publish open data, including obtaining dois for data
  • copyright and licensing

Throughout this week, we will post on different aspects of open access: how to create unique identifiers (ORCID IDs, digital object identifiers (dois)), how to publish open data, meet REF Open Access compliance, and on digital theses.

We are keen to hear your experiences, questions and opinions on what open access means for you and your research.  There will be a competition with a prize!

The first resource we are sharing is the film Paywall: the Business of Scholarship, a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. 

Get in touch

OAThe Research Support team in IS is:

  • Linda Kerr, Research Support Librarian
  • Lesa Ng, Research Support Assistant (pictured)
  • Marko Mlakar, Research Support Assistant (pictured)
  • Jose Manuel Menendez Montes, Research Computing Manager

We can be reached on

For advice on Pure –

For advice on open data –


Open Access Week – create/link your ORCID ID and win some OA prizes!

oa week 2017Heriot-Watt Research Support This week is Open Access Week, an international event to promote the benefits of open access.

To promote scholarly communication, we would like to invite all researchers and post-graduate research students to register for an ORCID ID, let us know, and enter into a prize draw.  If you already have an ORCID ID, did you know you can link your Pure and ORCID profiles?

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher, and through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automatic linkages between your professional activities.

Create an ORCID ID

Academic staff can create an ORCID ID from within Pure – see video – or synchronise your ORCID and Pure profiles.

Please let us know of your new ORCID ID: email or tweet us @OpenResHWU

All entries by 30th October 2017.

More information


Heriot-Watt Research Support

Workshop: Publishing with IEEE. Thursday 25th May 2017, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, 25th May 2017
Time: 11.30 am – 1.00 pm
Location: 2.01  Post-Graduate Centre,  Edinburgh Campus

Book here 

A not-for-profit organization, IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology. Members and customers around the world rely on IEEE as a source of technical information.

This practical workshop, aimed at new and early career researchers and postgraduate students in engineering, computing, medical and technology related areas, will provide an overview of publishing with the IEEE.

The session will be introduced by Prof. Stephen McLaughlin, Head of School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

The ‘Publishing with the IEEE’ Workshop will cover:

  • Overview of IEEE, technology areas and quality of content
  • The University’s publishing activity on IEEE Xplore
  • Choosing the best fit periodical or conference for your paper
  • What editors look for
  • Why papers may be rejected
  • Paper structure
  • Ethics
  • Open Access options
  • Impact factor
  • Importance of through literature reviews and support available
  • Submission and review process
  • Tools available to support publishing
  • Tips
  • Key contacts and support

This event is open to all University staff and students.

It’s Open Access Week! New Power Hours: learn about OA and the REF.

Act on Acceptance!

Open Access Week is an annual, international event to promote open access to research publications and data as a public good.  Openly accessible publications reportedly achieve a greater number of citations, and are viewed more often than those behind a paywall.

Many authors do already make their research available via e-print archives such as arXiv, institutional respositories such as Heriot-Watt’s Research Gateway, and data archives such as Dryad or the UK Data Service.

However, most funders now require publications and data to be openly accessible as a condition of the grant.

Open access and the next REF

All researchers should be aware that in order for a paper or conference paper to be submitted to the next REF, their publication must comply with the UK HE Funding Bodies Open Access Policy.   You must deposit your accepted manuscript in Pure no more than three months after acceptance.  The Policy applies to all journal articles or conference proceeding (with an ISSN) accepted for publication after 1st April 2016.  The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is the version of the paper after peer-review but before any typesetting or proof-reading process has been carried out.


Support and guidance

Heriot-Watt University Information Services Research Support Team, based in the Library, can support you when you wish to make your paper, data or other publication open access. We are running sessions this week and in November at the Edinburgh Campus to answer your questions and provide key information. Sessions for other campuses will be timetabled in November.    We also have support pages.

Understanding Open Access
The session will covers funders’ policies on open access publications and data , including the OA policy for the next REF. 
 12:15 – 13:15, Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Anderson Room, Edinburgh Campus Library

Open Data and the Impact on your Research
In this session we will: consider the challenges and opportunities that the open data agenda presents, discuss how best to meet these challenges and explore the support available to researchers at Heriot-Watt.

14:15 – 15:15, Friday, October 28, 2016
Anderson Room, Edinburgh Campus Library
Presenter:          Dr Rob Daley

Open Access and the REF
This session concentrates on the REF and on how to add your publications to Pure.
15:15 – 16:15, Friday, October 28, 2016
Anderson Room, Edinburgh Campus Library

Understanding Open Access
 15:15 – 16:15, Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Anderson Room, Edinburgh Campus Library


Applying for open access fees/APCs.
As a reminder, if you are RCUK-funded,   any paper resulting wholly or in part from that funding should be made open access by either the Gold (by paying an open access fee) or Green (self-archiving in a repository) route.   The Library looks after the RCUK Open Access Grant.  Get in touch with us via  before you submit your paper to request funding.

You can check if your funder has open access requirements using the Sherpa Juliet service.

For more information see the open access support pages   or contact

2014 Open Access Week

Open Access Week 2014

This week is International Open Access Week.   Open Access publications are those which are free to read and free to re-use.  The Open Access movement arose out of a desire to make research and scholarship more widely available. Open Access Week is an annual event designed to increase awareness of open access publishing.

Heriot-Watt recently approved a Research Publications Policy, which promotes open access by asking researchers to deposit a copy of their Author Final Version manuscript of papers and conference proceedings in Pure.

This week we will be blogging about how to upload your paper to Pure, and the RCUK and Funding Councils Open Access policies.  If you have any comments or questions open access policy or support at Heriot-Watt, or would like to request a information session for your School/Institute, please feel free to get in touch with us: or see Support for Open Access.

New online resource: Scopus database trial – 4th November – 3rd December

The Scopus database is available on a trial basis from the 4th of November – 3rd December 2013.

Scopus is one of the largest abstract and citation databases of peer-reviewed literature.  Produced by Elsevier, Scopus has over 19,000 titles from over 5,000 publishers worldwide and is a rival database to Web of Science.  Broadly speaking, compared to Web of Science, Scopus has greater international coverage, includes more unique journals of more recent provenance than Web of Science but includes lower impact journals. Scopus also only includes citation data from 1996.

We are interested in your feedback on which is your preferred database based on the current trial or past experience. As Elsevier also provide the software underlying the University’s Research Gateway, Pure, we are interested in exploring the option of subscribing to Scopus as well as or potentially instead of Web of Science.

The Scopus Information site is available on the web at  It contains a wealth of resources including:

  • User guides and tips
  • Title lists
  • Quick tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Access to Scopus is restricted to the Heriot-Watt IP range.  If you need any assistance using Scopus, please contact your Subject Librarian.

A guided trial presented by representatives from Elsevier will be held on Friday 15th November at 10.30 am (Cameron Smail Library). If you would like to attend, please contact Linda Kerr.  Academic and research staff will be given priority.

For an in-depth comparison between Scopus and Web of Science, please see this recent paper

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