OpenAIR@RGU – monthly update (no.2 – February 2017)


Welcome to the second monthly update on OpenAIR@RGU – RGU’s open access institutional repository. Please direct any queries to the team at


We have made two improvements to the repository service this month:

  • In response to requests from RGU staff, we will now send out e-mails to notify when an item on OpenAIR comes out of embargo.
  • The OpenAIR policy has been updated. The full document is available to view here.


The repository currently contains 2,017 records. Some examples of recent additions to the repository include the following outputs:

  • = GARBA, A. and KISHK, M. 2016. A techno-economic comparison of biomass thermo-chemical systems for sustainable electricity in Nigerian rural areas. In the Proceedings of the 5th IET International Conference on Renewable Power Generation (RPG), 21 -23 September 2016, London, UK. New York: IET [online]. Available from:
  • = TODD, N. and EZEANI, E.C. 2016. Adjudication costs under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996: the attractions of Singapore’s Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2004. Juridical Review [online], 2016(4), pages 315-336. Available from:
  • = CLEAR, T., MCDERMOTT, R., PARSJÖ, E., CAJANDER, Å., DANIELS, M. and LAGERQVIST, N. 2016. A framework for writing learning agreements. In the Proceedings of the IEEE Frontiers in Education 2016 Conference (FIE 2016): the Crossroads of Engineering and Business, 12-15 October 2016, Erie, USA. Piscataway: IEEE [online], 8 pages. Available from:

Each School currently has the following number of records on OpenAIR (research data is in a separate diagram):




This month, there have been a total of 8,145 downloads from OpenAIR. The most downloaded items include:


  • = TOURISH, D. and HARGIE, O. 2004. Communication audits: building world class communication systems. In OLIVER, S. (ed.) Handbook of Corporate Communication and Public Relations: Pure and Applied. London: Routledge, pages 131-144. (79 downloads)
  • = GULARI, M.N., FAIRBURN, S. and MALINS, J. 2013. Assessing the effectiveness of design-led innovation support for SMEs. In Crafting the Future. Proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference [EAD 10]. 17-19 April 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden. Lancaster: European Academy of Design [online]. Available from: (74 downloads)

The most downloaded theses this month include:

  • = VISWANATHAN, A. 2005. Using Orthogonal Arrays to Train Artificial Neural Networks. Robert Gordon University, MPhil thesis. (308 downloads)
  • = SSENDI, L.B. 2013. Entrepreneurship Activities in Rural Tanzania: Understanding Women’s Micro Business. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis. (126 downloads)
  • = ROBERTSON, D.M. 2012. Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in New Graduate Occupational Therapists: a Phenomenological Study. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis. (65 downloads)

The above data was correct at the time of writing (21.02.2017).

Open Access Week 2016: representing projects on OpenAIR


Our final blog post for Open Access Week 2016 showcases a new feature on OpenAIR. The new feature is project collections. These offer an innovative way of grouping items that might otherwise be dispersed elsewhere on the repository, enabling users to view links to all outputs associated with a single research project on a single page. They are accompanied by an image, which helps to develop a visual identity for the project. These images are either taken from among the project outputs, or from open access resources. A project collection also features some summary text, which gives a brief background to the context of the research.

We currently have three examples of project collections already on OpenAIR (see screenshots below), and several more are being developed. The full set of existing project collections can be viewed here. If you are interested in getting some of your projects represented on OpenAIR, contact the team at and we will be happy to help.





Open Access Week 2016: researcher spotlight – science and technology

Today’s blog is the last of our researcher spotlights, featuring three contributions by RGU researchers from Computing, Engineering and Pharmacy.

PROFESSOR SUSAN CRAW (; ORCID is Professor of Computing at RGU, whose research  covers case-based reasoning, data- and text mining, knowledge discovery, recommender systems and intelligent information systems.crawphoto

“As a Computing Scientist I have used digital tools throughout my research career and so was an early adopter of OpenAIR when it was launched almost exactly 10 years ago. By uploading copies of papers that are recently accepted for publication, I firmly believe that I have raised the profile of my work in my research communities and beyond, and enabled more people to access my papers.

In this digital age, people naturally source research papers by using the title as a search term in Google or some other search engine − the OpenAIR copy is normally the top hit! When a paper is easy to find then it is more likely to be read and then cited in related work. My paper with the highest number (800+) of OpenAIR downloads in the last year, is also my most cited (450+) on Google Scholar: De Mantaras et al., Knowledge Engineering Review, 20:215-240, 2005 (

There are now several research databases and networks (e.g. Google Scholar, Research Gate, Scopus, CiteSeer) that proactively assemble publications to add to researcher profiles. So now OpenAIR offers new publications that Google Scholar adds to my profile (, and the OpenAIR version can be downloaded directly from my Google Scholar profile. Other researchers can now more easily discover my work.

OpenAIR offers a legal way for me to enable downloading of papers directly from my webpage ( by including the link to the OpenAIR article, as well as published versions via their DOI. I’ve even started embedding these links in reference lists; e.g. track records on EPSRC proposals.

Earlier this month I gave a keynote at the BCS Real AI Day in London. Several of the industry contacts I made said they would be searching for ‘Susan Craw RGU’ on Google, and I knew they would find OpenAIR links for the papers I had mentioned in my talk! Craw, Horsburgh & Massie, Best Paper at ICCBR in September 2015 ( already has 100 downloads. My latest (still to be published!) paper − Mbipom, Craw & Massie, Best Technical Paper at BCS AI in December 2016 – has its title and abstract in OpenAIR ( and, even though its PDF is still under embargo from the publisher, it has already generated enquiries and requests for access!

OpenAIR was a very early open access repository at a university, putting RGU at the leading edge of what we know now as Green Open Access publishing. The repository will also play an important role in the next REF.”

PROFESSOR EDWARD GOBINA (; ORCID is the MEMS Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering.gobinaphoto_1

“I have over 25 years’ experience in catalytic processes, oil and gas process integration and membrane reactor-separators. I have successfully supervised 11 PhD and over 100 MSc students as PI since 1998 and published over 300 scientific articles in both traditional and open access journals, newsletters, reports, patents, book chapters, books and conference proceedings. I have also won several awards for my cutting edge research endeavours such as the Scottish Enterprise PoC (Rounds 1 and 2 respectively), Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Fellowship awards, Carbon Trust awards, Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) award and the KTP Certificate of Excellence award. I was recently confirmed winner of the 2014 Global Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation’s (CCEMC) Grand Challenge for innovative carbon uses, involving 244 applicants across four different continents. I have also been responsible for three University spin-out companies including GAS2 Ltd, who have generated over £17 million in inward capital investments.

The four major factors that I considered before deciding whether to publish on OpenAIR were cost, visibility, prestige, and rapidity. Publishing your article on OpenAIR costs nothing, but the visibility and prestige are high and the process is rapid, meaning that colleagues can get up-to-date developments through the Internet, which therefore means it is unnecessary for them to waste valuable time in the library stacks; the information they require to refine their research is available on their personal computers and even on their mobile phones. The fact that OpenAIR costs readers nothing to use is also very helpful, as this would be unthinkable if the articles were published only in traditional journals, who charge readers high fees for content access. By publishing in journals that support Open Access and which are indexed in either Scopus or Web of Science, I now have the opportunity to also add my articles to OpenAIR. This, coupled with the fact that my papers are in high-profile publications with high impact factors, affords the best of both worlds: the high visibility of OpenAIR and Open Access combined with the prestige of publishing in well-established, traditional journals. To date I have made 32 peer-reviewed high-impact publications on OpenAIR.”

Professor Gobina has also suggested the following as examples of high-profile publications on OpenAIR: = KAJAMA, M.N., SHEHU, H., OKON, E., ORAKWE, I. and GOBINA, E. 2016. VOC oxidation in excess of oxygen using flow-through catalytic membrane reactor. International journal of hydrogen energy [online], 41(37), pages 16529-16534. Available from: = NWOGU, N.C., ANYANWU, E.E. and GOBINA, E. 2016. An initial investigation of a nano-composite silica ceramic membrane for hydrogen gas separation and purification. International journal of hydrogen energy [online], 41(19), pages 8228-8235. Available from: = KAJAMA, M.N., SHEHU, H., OKON, E. and GOBINA, E. 2015. Preparation and characterization of inorganic membranes for hydrocarbon separation from N2 for environmental applications. Energy and environment research [online], 5(1), pages 110-120. Available from: = NWOGU, N.C., KAJAMA, M. and GOBINA, E. 2015. A study of gas diffusion characteristics on a micro porous composite silica ceramic membrane. Composite structures [online], 134, pages 1044-1050. Available from:

PROFESSOR DEREK STEWART (; ORCID is Professor in Pharmacy Practice within the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.stewartphoto

“Rapid and efficient dissemination of research findings is paramount if the findings are going to have any impact. Within my area of pharmacy practice, and more generally health related practice research, our goal is that the research is disseminated widely and the findings used by academics, professionals, policy makers, patient groups etc. across the globe to review patient care and professional practice. Having research available via Open Access at the point of publication can facilitate achieving our goal.”

Professor Stewart has suggested the following as examples of key recent papers on OpenAIR: = ALQUBAISI, M., TONNA, A., STRATH, A. and STEWART, D. 2016. Quantifying behavioural determinants relating to health professional reporting of medication errors: a cross-sectional survey using the theoretical domains framework. European journal of clinical pharmacology [online], 72(11), pages 1401-1411. Available from: – (an example where the findings may lead to enhanced patient safety). = AL SHEMEILI, S., KLEIN, S., STRATH, A., FARES, S. and STEWART, D. 2016. A modified Delphi study of structures and processes related to medicines management for elderly hospitalised patients in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice [online], 22(5), pages 781-791. Available from: – (an example where the findings may prompt a review of medicines-related processes in secondary care). = STEWART, D. and KLEIN, S. 2016. The use of theory in research. International journal of clinical pharmacy [online], 38(3), pages 615-619. Available from: – (an example of an invited paper, which could increase the rigour and robustness of research).

Open Access Week 2016: researcher spotlight – management

Today’s blog features further contributions by some of RGU’s most well-represented researchers on OpenAIR, this time working within Information Management and Entrepreneurship.

PROFESSOR RITA MARCELLA (; ORCID is Professor of Information Management and the former Dean of Faculty for Aberdeen Business School.marcellaphoto

“Open Access means helping to overcome barriers to information exchange. As an information scientist by discipline, I am hugely committed to the twin concepts of enabling access to information for all and freedom of information. In our field we believe that helping people to access information empowers them and improves society. In my view, we therefore have something of a moral duty to share our knowledge and research with others; yet it should not be forgotten that this also immeasurably benefits us as researchers by removing barriers to our own publications and hopefully enabling our research to become more impactful for other academics and practitioners. However, in order to ensure the impact on practice beyond academia, open access repositories like OpenAIR need to become more visible, obvious and attractive to other audiences beyond the academy, which is a transition that may take a little time – though it is already ongoing. Google Scholar is one of the mechanisms that can assist in achieving high visibility, since it helps to expose repository content; it’s therefore important that we all have a public profile on Google Scholar.

As an illustration of the power of Open Access, I received a few weeks ago an e-mail from an old friend and highly esteemed Professor of Information Science, who had just come upon a study of mine from almost twenty years ago, which had been made open access on OpenAIR in 2008 ( = MARCELLA, R. and BAXTER, G. 1999. A national survey of the citizenship information needs of the general public. Aslib Proceedings [online], 51(4), pages 115-121. Available from: This paper detailed the results of a survey of the information needs and information seeking behaviour of a national sample of the UK population, and had been fairly high profile at the time, being part of the Citizenship Information project funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre. This experience illustrated for me not only the extent to which research may be rendered invisible by being too closely guarded within the confines of the refereed research journal, but also the extent to which even those au fait with the discipline (and presumably highly expert at retrieving information, in this particular instance) may fail to find your work.

In this regard, it is not just open access that is important; as academics, we should all ensure that the titles and keywords we assign our published output maximise its potential for retrieval. We should also grasp all of the opportunities which exist to network with our peers – through networks such as Google Scholar, ResearchGate, and others – since these help to direct readers to your site and your publications.

Intrigued by the request to reflect on Open Access, I decided to explore OpenAIR@RGU and to have a look at my own papers there – in particular the paper cited above. Interestingly, despite being almost twenty years old, this paper seems to be being downloaded fairly frequently and, frankly, more often than I might have anticipated; for example, it was downloaded almost forty times in February 2016 alone. It’s very satisfying to be able to find this out, and to have a much clearer sense of the impact and use of one’s works. Of course this is a crude measure on its own, but it sets one reflecting – never a bad thing for a researcher to do!”

“Information wants to be free.” – Stewart Brand, author of the Whole Earth Catalog.

PROFESSOR ALISTAIR ANDERSON (; ORCID is Professor of Entrepreneurship within the Aberdeen Business School. Among RGU’s current academics, Professor Anderson has the highest number of outputs on OpenAIR, which may well contribute to the fact that, according to Google Scholar, he is also RGU’s most cited researcher.andersonphoto

“I am a fan of OpenAIR for a number of reasons which I will explain below. However, I can sum these up as the usefulness of OpenAIR as a way of generating interest in papers that I have published.

Publishing itself is important for both personal and institutional reasons. We become known in the academic world through papers we have written, but only when these are actually read! Our individual reputation is set in the context of our institution’s reputation and publishing interesting papers is a good way to enhance how our institution is known. Having papers readily available for others is one way of helping this process along. Moreover, when we write and submit an article the process is interactive; we correspond with the editors and reviewers. In many ways this links us in real time to the academy. Yet paradoxically when a paper is accepted this conversation stops. The finished paper stands on its own two feet- for better or worse. Reputations are forged in how people interact with the paper, but they will only do so if they actually read it.

Regardless of whether our motivation is to share our ideas, our thinking or even a lofty ambition to influence thinking, this can only work when the article is read. Consequently any mechanism that makes our papers more widely available has to help this process along. Critics might see this as all a bit vain and perhaps that is part of why we write. I claim a nobler view, that it is our academic responsibility to share what we have found. Of course this opens up critiques of our findings ad claims, but surely that is how knowledge is formed, in the thesis and anti-thesis of discussion and argument?

Consequently I see OpenAIR as an important part of knowledge production through wider dissemination. The paper may stand on its own two feet but the platform of OpenAIR gives visibility a boost. In turn we remain connected to the paper. At the very least we know that somebody somewhere has taken an interest!

Alongside from this reputational work and even the significance of advancing knowledge and understanding, I have noticed how research in the academic world has changed. The image of spending days in the library no longer works; the practice of burrowing and browsing in worthy tomes is no longer valid. We are all champions, or perhaps we are victims, of ICT. We now search for interesting stuff by keywords and associations. However, we are too easily deterred from reading a paper if our library doesn’t subscribe to that journal; we move on to find an easily downloaded paper. OpenAIR, at least after any periods of a publisher’s embargo, makes our work instantly available through simple and easy systems like Google Scholar. In fact, for better or worse, these systems do much of the browsing on our behalf. Indeed in line with the apparent trend for instant gratification, OpenAIR presents our papers and makes a version instantly available.

Another change I have noted is a widening interest in bibliometrics. Where we used to have to rely on experts to tell us which papers were read or most cited, systems like Google Scholar and OpenAIR inform us in real time (or almost real time) who has downloaded, read and even who has cited our work. I think we must be careful not to assume that high levels of downloads or even citations is a hallmark of quality. Nonetheless these offer a quick, perhaps even a quasi-objective count of something that might stand close to quality. We can expect our peers and probably our bosses to use this as a measure of what we do. Moreover, having a paper publically available, as open access, is, I believe, now a condition of the Research Excellence Framework.

Speaking more personally, I have been fortunate (i.e. very lucky!) in having some papers published in well ranked journals. As you might expect, these tend to be well cited. Yet I am not convinced that these papers represent my ‘best’ work in the sense of challenging existing wisdom. These ‘best’ journals are very cautious about publishing pioneering ideas. The gatekeepers of editors and reviewers may be concerned about (overly) protecting the journal’s reputation from what they see as too different, too challenging and decline this sort of work. I am an editor of such a journal and am guilty too. On the other hand, less ‘prestigious’ journals may be more likely to be interested in publishing provocative papers that are challenging. Rather than dismissing new ideas as unconventional or even rubbish, (some of my stuff may well fit that category,) such editors will take more of a chance with ‘different’ papers.

The problem of course is ‘impact’; that less prestigious journals don’t attract as many citations as the biggies, and many such papers are harder to find and less likely to be readily available. The dilemma for an author is whether to write only ‘sound’ papers for higher ranked journals and hence forget about that bright new idea that could change the field. Alternatively; to write an interesting paper for a journal that is not widely read. OpenAIR seems to offer a solution, or at least that is my experience.

When asked to write this, I asked which of my papers were most downloaded from OpenAIR. Intriguingly it was not the biggies in the grand journals that were most downloaded. The most downloaded were exactly the sort of papers I described earlier- a bit challenging, not mainstream and often theoretical. I speculate that because these papers are not easily available from the publishers, because fewer libraries subscribe to the less well ranked journal, scholars used OpenAIR to read the paper. I have no scientific way of checking this, but I have noticed that citations to these papers are very healthy. Certainly the level is higher than I would expect for publications in those journals.

I can offer an example, (OpenAIR ref Anderson, A. R., Dodd, S. D. and Jack, S. L., 2012. Entrepreneurship as connecting: some implications for theorising and practice. Management Decision, 50 (5), pp. 958-971. This is an entirely theoretical paper with no data whatsoever. It is radical in that we argue for a totally different conception of entrepreneurship and challenges much accepted theory. Consequently, the paper was very unlikely to appeal to a 4* journal. Yet we were convinced that there was some theoretical purchase in the idea of entrepreneurship as a sort of dynamic and the editor was willing to publish the paper. Management decision is a 2* journal, very respectable, but not seen as world class. Consequently we were delighted to see it published, especially because it was so novel and radical.

To date, Google scholar credits this 2012 paper with 81 citations which is pretty good by any standard; but excellent for a very conceptual paper in a 2* journal. One explanation for this impact is that last year, the paper was downloaded 664 times from OpenAIR. Now you know why I am a fan of OpenAIR.”

Some of Professor Anderson’s other highly-downloaded works on OpenAIR include: = AVNY, G. and ANDERSON, A.R. 2008. Organisational culture, national culture and performance in International joint ventures based in Israel. International journal of business and globalisation [online], 2(2), pages 133-145. Available from: = ANDERSON, A.R., JACK, S.L. and DRAKOPOULOU DODD, S. 2005. The role of family members in entrepreneurial networks: beyond the boundaries of the family firm. Family business review [online], 18(2), pages 135-154. Available from:

Open Access Week 2016: researcher spotlight – architecture and art

Today’s blog is the first of our Open Access researcher spotlights, featuring contributions by some of the most prolific researchers on OpenAIR. Here, we highlight two RGU researchers working in the areas of Architecture and Art.

PROFESSOR RICHARD LAING (; ORCID is Professor of Built Environment Visulaingrichardalisation within the Scott Sutherland School.

“The value of OpenAIR@RGU comes in terms of being able to widely publicise and make available our research, and to the widest audience possible. Sites including Google Scholar now tend to link back to University repositories, so it provides a way for people to read full research papers, without needing to hold subscriptions. It would be good in the future if we start to see a wide range of research work represented, and OpenAIR@RGU has been a good platform for this, including with design and other work.”

Professor Laing has also suggested the following as examples of publications which have accumulated a fair number of citations since being uploaded to OpenAIR: = LAING, R. 2013. How to save a theatre: the Orpheum, Vancouver. Structural survey [online], 31(5), pages 355-367. Available from: = LAING, R., CONNIFF, A., CRAIG, T., GALAN DIAZ, C. and SCOTT, S. 2007. Design and use of a virtual heritage model to enable a comparison of active navigation of buildings and spaces with passive observation. Automation in construction [online], 16(6), pages 830-841. Available from: = LAING, R., DAVIES, A.-M., MILLER, D., CONNIFF, A., SCOTT, S. and MORRICE, J. 2009. The application of visual environmental economics in the study of public preference and urban greenspace. Environmental planning B: planning and design [online], 36(2), pages 355-375. Available from:

PROFESSOR ANNE DOUGLAS (; ORCID is Research Co-ordinator and Research Degrees Co-ordinator within Gray’s School of Art.douglasphoto

“OpenAIR, an open repository for research, is a secure and reliable means of storing and disseminating research output within a single space. In the context of Art and Design, OpenAIR is able to cope well with the complexity of material and offer this in an engaging, lively and informative way to an end user. The new ‘project’ collections can interlink different kinds of material, combining different media such as video and photography as well as text, and resulting in a clear and appropriate research narrative for creative disciplines. These also have the potential and added value of collating evidence that demonstrates impact. It therefore becomes possible to interconnect a single output, such as an exhibition or article, with an experience of the body of artwork itself – such as a series of paintings or performances, the critical thinking or discourse surrounding the work in terms of associated papers and workshops, critical reviews and further developments, funding information, related doctoral studies and so on. Incorporating the wider context from which an output emerges creates a degree of accessibility, makes that output meaningful within and beyond academe.

Of particular importance to academics is the support provided by RGU librarians, who quietly and discretely seek the necessary permissions to be able to republish work while maintaining a comprehensive awareness of Research Excellence Framework guidelines. This is significant support, as is their openness to collaborate and explore the capabilities of the system to its maximum use value. With time it might even be possible to imagine that OpenAIR, with its user-friendly interface, will link effectively with other important research repositories such as ORCID and Research Fish.”

Professor Douglas has also suggested the following as good examples of her work on OpenAIR: = DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2016. Inconsistency and contradiction: lessons in improvisation in the work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. In Brady, J. (ed.) Elemental: an arts and ecology reader. Manchester: Gaia Project Press. = DOUGLAS, A. and GULARI, M.N. 2015. Understanding experimentation as improvisation in arts research. Qualitative research journal [online], 15(4), pages 392-403. Available from: = PRICE, J. 2016. The discourse of cultural leadership. PhD thesis. Aberdeen: RGU. Held on OpenAIR [online]. Available from: – (co-supervised by Professor Douglas and one of the most highly-downloaded theses on OpenAIR).