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February 06
Photoregister released across Brighton Business School

A Photoregister tool has been developed allowing staff to record which students attend, have authorised absences or are absent from seminars and workshops. Reports are available for staff and the attendance data is also used for learning analytics.

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The tool is available from within studentcentral modules for all undergraduate modules in Brighton Business School. 


To find out more about the Photoregister tool and see a video of it in action, view this blog post:


The tool will be further developed ready for wider roll out at the university in 2018/19.

February 05
studentcentral - removal of students from module areas is now active

​Students are added to studentcentral module areas overnight via a feed from SITS (based on the SMO records). Historically, students have never been automatically removed from studentcentral modules in case work is mistakenly lost. However it causes confusion to see students still registered on a module they are no longer taking and leads to unnecessary emails and notifications.

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As of this morning, we have implemented a way to automatically mark students as 'disabled' on a module in studentcentral when they are removed from the module in SITS (ie the SMO record is marked with a DNS or WD RTS code). This means students will no longer see modules listed that they are not taking, nor will they appear in the Grade Centre. The students will also no longer receive module emails or announcements from the module.


No content is deleted which means if the student is later added back to the module they will have access with their work restored the following morning.


For school staff this will mean that as long as SITS module information is up to date, the students will see a more accurate record of what they are taking which in turn should reduce the number of queries you receive from students.

Please note: You should never need to manually add or remove students to modules in studentcentral, it is important that the SITS record correctly records which students are registered on a module instance. e.g. if a student is repeating a module they require a SMO record on the current years instance in order to submit work.

If you mark a record as DNS the student will lose access to the studentcentral module and you cannot add them back via studentcentral. In this case, contact the Systems and Data team to correct the SITS record to restore access.

If you have any questions about SMO records or need advice on when a student should have a SMO record, contact the systems and data team via SystemsandData@brighton.ac.uk  in the first instance.

Next steps: We will now look to develop a similar method to manage course and school enrolments for students who have changed course or left.

January 15
Even more eBooks.....again

​Following the success of last year’s eBook evidence-based acquisition (EBA) agreement which resulted in the purchase of 300 new eBooks from Cambridge University Press chosen by academic staff and students, Library Services has invested £35,000 in a new EBA agreement for 2017/18.  During this time, over 11,000 titles published by Springer Nature will be accessible through the library catalogue and OneSearch - contents include recent titles in Biomedical and Life Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law.  Usage statistics will again inform our purchasing decisions at the end of the year.

December 07
Information Services Customer Service Excellence certification “continues to be justified and well deserved”.

Following our re-assessment in November, the Information Services department continues to meet the requirements for the Customer Service Excellence Standard.

The assessor’s report confirmed that staff demonstrate an excellent understanding of their student groups and a clear and very strong commitment to putting the customer first that is consistent with the University's promise that “students are at the heart of all that we do and we take an active role in their learning experience”.   He also praised the department for its strengths in working with partners, seeking to include the hard to reach and disadvantaged students, the high level of staff professionalism and that staff deliver what they promise.
Nine elements of the 57 that make up the standard, continue to merit Compliance Plus ratings.
Customer Service Excellence is a Government standard licensed by the Cabinet Office and is an independent validation of an organisation’s delivery of services  that are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering.
December 05
2017 Burning of the Apps

​The Burning of the Apps will be held on Wednesday the 20th December at Falmer – at the Explore Studio (Checkland D132).  A day-long event that you are welcome to attend by dropping-in or by participating online. We will showcase the best of our current academic practice using apps, web applications and other technology to support learning and teaching.

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As with last year's event we will live-stream the interviews from our various sites, showcasing the work of our talented academic staff. This event considers and cherishes the ways in which academic staff have utilised technology in their teaching to enhance learning at the University in 2017.

Find out more at http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/burningapps/

November 28
Fines for overdue laptop loans slashed by 60%

From Monday 27th November, the fines rate for late return of laptop loans will reduce from £5 per hour/part hour to £1 per 30 minutes = £2 per hour for a trial period. The maximum fine remains the same = £20

Ebun Azeez (VP Academic Experience) and Amy Jaiteh (VP Welfare and Campaigns) raised the high fine rate as a concern for students and worked with staff in Information Services to agree the new reduced rate. The service will be monitored over the coming months to ensure that there is no negative impact on availability of laptops as result of the reduction.


November 01
We are launching a new Wi-Fi service, but we don't want you to use it!

In September 2017 Information Services launched Wi-Fi Guest, a free-to-use public Wi-Fi service, primarily to support the British Science Festival. Following this successful trial, we would now like to promote Wi-Fi Guest as a service for visitors, but we have hit a snag.

Due to an unexpected problem with eduroam at the start of term, some staff and students discovered the trial Guest service and started using it. The eduroam problem was resolved within a few days, but anyone that connected to Wi-Fi Guest will find that their device remembers and connects automatically to this service and does not attempt to connect to eduroam. Why is this a problem?

  •  Eduroam has 100 times the capacity of Wi-Fi Guest and offers unlimited connections. If you are connecting to Wi-Fi Guest you won’t have access to the best Wi-Fi service on campus
  • If Wi-Fi Guest is ‘Full’, we have no service to offer visitors. Wi-Fi Guest has a limit of 500 concurrent connections, which is more than enough for our visitors, but not enough if our own staff and students use it. 

What you should do: 

To ensure you and our students get the best Wi-Fi s​ervice through eduroam, we are asking you to Remember to forget Wi-Fi Guest

1.  When you are on campus, we’d like you to check all your wireless devices (phones, tablets, laptops..) to make sure they are connected to eduroam and not Wi-Fi Guest. 

2.  If you find you are connecting to Wi-Fi Guest, you should instruct your device to ‘forget’ this network. If you don’t know how to do this, see instructions here.

3.   Help spread the word. Encourage other staff and students to check their devices and make sure they are getting the best possible Wi-FI service.

4. Try not to select Wi-Fi Guest again. If you do, you may have to forget it again!

When the number of devices connecting to Wi-Fi ​Guest has been reduced, we will be able to promote it as a service to visitors including contractors, conference delegates and your guests.

Meanwhile, here are even more reasons to use eduroam …

  • Eduroam is a global Wi-Fi service available in over 70 countries. 
  • There are 1700 eduroam locations in the United Kingdom. 
  • If you set up your device to use eduroam at Brighton you can enjoy free Wi-Fi at other universities around the world.
  • The bandwidth of eduroam is 10 Gbps (10,000,000 bits per second)
  • The bandwidth of Wi-Fi Guest is 100 Mbps (100,000 bits per second)
For the best Wi-Fi experience on campus, staff and students should use eduroam.
Visitors who don’t have access to eduroam can use Wi-Fi Guest.


When you connect to eduroam, remember that your eduroam username is your university username plus the university’s domain name in this form:

October 27
Day Five : Top Tips for Open Access publishing


Check journal compliance using Sherpa Romeo

Sherpa Romeo is a database of publishers' policies on copyright and self-archiving and is the starting point for finding out the Open Access policy for a journal.  The database lists around 22,000 journals, but if you have trouble locating a specific title be sure to exclude 'The' at the start of the title and alter the search setting to 'starts with' or 'contains' instead of 'exact title' which is the default setting.


Check out the impact factor of the journal using Scopus

It's important to know how journals compare to each other if you're an author looking to submit an article, and Scopus uses journal metrics to help academics, editors and Librarians evaluate the role of specific titles in the context of scholarly publishing.  This article describes how you can easily find out the SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) to see the ranking for journals within a certain discipline

"SJR weights citations based on the source they come from.The subject field, quality and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the value of a citation. SJR also normalizes for differences in citation behavior between subject fields."  - Journal Metrics in Scopus: SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)


Use CORE to locate Open Access publications

Core.ac.uk is an aggregator of openly accessible research, drawn from repositories and other sources around the world.  Use the search box to find research articles online, searching across nearly 80 million open access journals from over 6000 journals.


How to spot predatory Open Access journals, don't be fooled!

Predatory Open Access journals are titles that invite authors to submit articles for inclusion, charging a large Article Processing Charge (APC) (in itself not actually unusual) but without any kind of peer-review or even editorial oversight.  Content is acquired often through unsolicited emails to unsuspecting researchers, often early career researchers may be targeted.   

What to look out for if you receive an unsolicited email inviting contributions to a journal you may not have heard of:

  • No publisher address, just an email address on the journal website
  • No evidence of an editorial board
  • An editorial board that seems to be made up of very prominent researchers who would be unlikely to spare their time for an unknown title
  • There may appear to be an excessive number of 'partner' or publisher logos on their website
  • a lack of deatil about the peer review process or editorial guidelines 

This recent article in the Times Higher Education may be of interest.


Sign up for an ORCID ID

Having an ORCID ID enables researchers to have be uniquely identified, the website states

"​ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other contributor and supports automated linkages among all your professional activities."

It integrates with many systems, including some university and funding systems.  Currently researchers are most likely to come into contact with ORCID through the publishing process.  Over 3000 journals collect ORCID IDs through manuscript submission systems.  Registration is free and fast, and available to all researchers, sign up here!

Attend an Open Access workshop at a campus near you

As the REF, the Research Councils and other key funders adopt Open Access publishing requirements, it has become essential for academic authors to understand how to make their work Open Access. Since April 2016, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, journal articles and conference proceedings (with an ISSN) must have been published Open Access and deposited in Converis within 3 months of publisher acceptance.

Information Services are running two workshops as part of the Research and Enterprise Development Programme 2017/18, which will cover the key principles of Open Access publishing and how the Converis system is used to make your research outputs Open Access through the University Repository.

You can view all workshops and sign up to attend them here


And, don't forget the
Open Access pages on the Information Services website. As well as finding lots of resources and tools, there's also a very handy researcher decision chart to guide you through the options when deciding where and how to publish, information on paying APCs and some FAQs for that quick answer when you're just not sure. If you don't find what you're looking for then you can always ask your Information Adviser - contact details here. 


October 26
Day Four : Open Access Myths Exposed

The purpose of Open Access is in itself, quite simple. It is to make the outcome of research freely accessible to all. However, common misconceptions, seemingly complex publishers rules, as well as meeting the requirements of funders and HEFCE, amongst other things, can all make Open Access seem complex. Below we explore some of the common misunderstandings surrounding Open Access and how making your research freely accessible is not as difficult as it first may seem. 

Open Access myths


Myth 1 

Open Access journals are not peer-reviewed

  • OA journals tend to go through the same rigorous peer review process as journals that operate on a subscription based model
  • You can check here: Directory of Open Access Journals

Myth 2

Open Access journals don't benefit the author

  • By publishing OA, authors achieve maximum visibility for their work
  • This often leads to increased citations, and greater impact
  • This can help to increase an author's profile and reputation

Myth 3

Open Access journals are not as prestigious as traditional subscription-based titles

  • Citation metrics indicate that some OA journals rank very highly within their subject areas - see the examples below
  • Some OA journals are run by very prestigious publishers, who are leaders in their fields - again there are examples below

Myth 4

You can only publish Open Access if you pay an Article Processing Charge (APC)

  • The green route to OA (advocated by the UoB OA Policy) allows authors to publish in any journal and then self-archive a version of their article/paper (including changes resulting from peer review).  The self-archived version becomes freely accessible (Open Access) following any embargo periods stipulated by the publisher

Myth 5

It violates copyright to make an article Open Access without paying to do so

  • Many OA journals allow the author to retain copyright of their work by publishing under a Creative Commons licence.  Most publishers also allow authors to self-archive via the green route (see above), which is free and doesn't violate copyright.

Open Access facts

Fact 1

The University of Brighton has a policy on Open Access

You'll find the policy on the University's Open Access pages here

The policy states that:

Staff should deposit all research outputs, including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and non-text based outputs in the University of Brighton Research repository (UBR), subject to publishers' copyright permissions 


Fact 2

HEFCE now requires research outputs to be made Open Access

  • The policy states that, to be eligible for the next REF, authors' final peer-reviewed manuscripts must be submitted in an institutional or subject repository within 3 months of acceptance.
  • UoB staff use Converis to upload their research outputs to the University of Brighton Repository

Fact 3

It is the author's responsibility to make sure they are compliant

  • Help is available should you need it.  For any questions, or help debunking other OA myths, speak to your Information Adviser


Highly ranked Open Access journals          across disciplines 


Art and Humanities (Language and Linguistics)

Computational Linguistics, published by MIT Press has a Scopus CiteScore* of 3.56 and is the top ranking journal within the Arts and Humanities subject area and is ranked 6th out of 582 journals in the Language and Linguistics subject area (this ranking includes hybrid journals, OA and subscriptions based titles).  All articles in this journal are published under a CC BY 4.0 license


Business, Management and Accounting

BRQ Business Research Quarterly, published by Elsevier is the 6th highest ranking OA journal within the Business, Management and Accounting subject area, with a Scopus CiteScore of 1.40.  The journal offers a rigourous double blind peer review process, and in 2016 journal content was cited 88 times. 


Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (Chemistry)

Nature Communications, published by Nature Publishing Group is the highest ranking OA journal within this discipline and has a citation count of 92,807 for 2016 and a Scopus CiteScore of 11.80.  This title is also ranked 8th within the Chemistry category out of all journal types and not just OA. 



The journal IEEE Access is the 2nd highest ranking journal within the Engineering subject area and is ranked 4th out of 265 journals of all types, within the Engineeringcategory and has a Scopus CiteScore of 5.13.  The submission to publication timeframe is around 4-6 weeks and also operates a peer review process for submissions.


*Scopus CiteScore is a way of measuring the citation impact of journals.  for more information see here


October 25
Day Three : Open Access Week 2017
This short video from the Research Office, takes you through the basic principles of Open Access - what is it, why it's important and what you need to do about it. It's aimed at all research and enterprise active staff at the University of Brighton.

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Note: when prompted enter your University of Brighton username and password.

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And, don't forget the Open Access pages on the Information Services website. As well as finding lots of resources and tools, there's also a very handy researcher decision chart to guide you through the options when deciding where and how to publish, information on paying APCs and some FAQs for that quick answer when you're just not sure. If you don't find what you're looking for then you can always ask your Information Adviser - contact details here. 


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