Support for students’ English writing and referencing skills

Academic English support and Campus Norrköping library cooperate in supporting international master students in their academic writing skills. We offer five lunch time workshops on English writing and one on citation techniques and references. Swedish speaking students are of course also welcome to learn more about writing in another language. Almost everyone doing an essay have to provide an abstract in English so come and get some advice on how to do it.  See the full programme for the spring 2020. 

Alumni information seeking in working life

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Finding information in your working life

As a recent or not so recent LiU Alumn you have already noticed that all the fantastic information resources that the University library makes accessible to you is no longer as easily available to you outside of our campuses. Do not despair, there are ways to reach freely available resources of high quality.

If you are still in Sweden, all Swedish university libraries, and their resources in the form of journals and databases, are open to the public on a “walk-in-basis” once you have registered for a library card.  If you don’t have a university nearby your local public library can  help you get an inter-library loan from a university library.

If you don’t have time to leave your office there are other solutions and the Survival guide below can be your map.
                                                                                                                                                                One way to access publications is to install Unpaywall which helps you localize free versions of articles you find using Google scholar. Depending on your discipline search in PubMedCentral or Arxiv.

LiU’s repository DiVA, where our researchers register and publish the results of their research, is still available to you of course. In the national version of DiVA you can find research results from most Swedish universities and some research institutes such as Sw. Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sw. Environmental Protection Agency, Sw. Transport Administration and Sw. National Road and Transport Research Institute.
Everything published and printed in Sweden is registered in the national catalogue Libris where you also find reports and publications from government agencies and research institutes often as pdf:s in full text.

Kajsa Gustafsson Åman, Senior librarian, head of Campus Norrköping library

Openly accessible Nobel laureates

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Have you read anything by this year’s Nobel laureates? If you have not read Olga Tokarczuk or Peter Handke, you’re in good company. The good news is that – if you want – you can read other Nobel laureates today. Free of charge!


We have looked at two of this year’s Nobel laureates, one in medicine (William Kaelin) and one in economics (Abhijit Banerjee) and examined accessibility to their publications.

Most publications by Kaelin and Banerjee can be accessed immediately, for free, since they are available open access. At the library we often and gladly tell about open access – OA – and its importance in making research reachable to everyone.

We based the analysis on the publication lists the researchers themselves have posted at Harvard (William Kaelin) and MIT (Abhijit Banerjee) respectively. We examined which and how many publications we could access without using a library login. We installed a free plug-in – UnPaywall – which marks with a green padlock if an open access version of the article is available. (Clicking on the padlock takes you to the open access version of the publication!)


What did we find?

Nobel laureates do not necessarily have long publication lists, judging by these two. Kaelin has on average published 5 articles per year, Banerjee on average 3.2. Quantity is not necessarily quality!

The vast majority of their publications can be accessed without using library subscriptions. 81% of Kaelin’s publications can be accessed, 100% of Banerjee’s. These are exceptionally high numbers. By comparison, LiU is the best in Sweden in parallel publishing with 54.3 percent. However, we only looked at two Nobel laureates: maybe it is a coincidence that the proportion of OA is so high?

Not all OA is equal. Both researchers had created links to the publications from the publication lists. Most of Kaelin’s links went to PubMed and on to OA versions via the UnPaywall-green padlock. Banerjee’s links went directly to the publication, and in many cases to rough OA: the publications we accessed were copied from books, obviously downloaded via library subscriptions etc and there were no cover pages indicating publication venue. Maybe Banerjee acted in violation of the contracts he signed with the publishers?

What does your publication list in DiVA look like? At LiUB, we check if and when you can post your publications on DiVA without breaking your contracts with the publishers. If you have uploaded a full text in DiVA, we include a cover page stating where the text was originally published.

Admittedly, we have only looked at two Nobel laureates, but still: do as the Nobel laureates: publish with quality and with open access!


Written by Johanna Nählinder, co-ordinator of research support, LiUB.


How did we do it?

We chose the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and The Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, believing these prizes have candidates from disciplines with different publication patterns. We took the first laureate (alphabetical order) and googled the name + “publication list” and ended up on the publication lists at their respective HEI. The lists were copied down into Excel. We followed the links of the publications in the publication lists and noted which publications received a green padlock in UnPayWall and which had direct links.




Kill two birds with one stone with Wikipedia

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This blog post is not about Wikipedia as a source. Rather, I will focus on Wikipedia as a channel for research communication.

Studies indicate that Wikipedia can be an effective tool for research dissemination. For example, Wikipedia is a source frequently consulted by physicians and medical students.[1] Wikipedia is a universal encyclopedia, and its open source software allows everyone to contribute content.  Researchers can contribute by writing about research results in an accessible way and by providing references to their publications. For researchers, Wikipedia offers a venue for popularizing science and scholarship, and at the same time making their own research more visible, thereby killing two birds with one stone.

The structure of a Wikipedia article

There are a few elements common to all Wikipedia articles. Here is an example:

– The title of the article [1].

– The body text [2] has its first words written in bold. In this example, there are many references to other Wikipedia articles. These headwords are only hyperlinked the first time they occur in the text.

– External links (for example, to a publisher’s website) are listed under this heading [3].

– Under [4], references that occur in the text are listed.

– An often-forgotten feature is the categorization of articles [5]. This is a way to contextualize the article, which is of value to both readers and contributors.

– At the bottom of the page, the applicable Creative Commons license is given (CC BY-SA). Content on Wikipedia can be redistributed freely, if the source is referenced and the CC license is retained. (The CC BY-SA license has also been given to this blog post, as indicated at the bottom of the text.)

– At [7], you can edit the article.

– If you want to have a look “behind the scenes”, you can go to “View history” [8]. Here you can view earlier versions of the article, and when and by whom the article has been edited. In some cases, this can prove interesting reading indeed!

– At [9], it is indicated if you have logged in to Wikipedia or not.

The varying quality of Wikipedia articles

Some articles on Wikipedia are not very good. Others, on the other hand, are of high quality and well substantiated. By viewing the history of the article and its talk page (see Thomas Piketty) you will get a good indication if the subject matter is controversial or neglected (Paternopoli=not updated for a long time). This is one way of assessing the quality of the article. Other parameters to look at: does the article have references (Irpinia – good) or footnotes (even better)? Are referenced sources scholarly (Hofstede’s cultural dimensions)?

Wikipedia as a tool for research dissemination

As a researcher, you have a unique opportunity to help make Wikipedia better, and at the same time make your own research more visible. Before we go into how to do this in a smart way, remember to:

1. Never create an article about yourself. If you are important enough to have an article on Wikipedia, someone else will write one.

2. Never create a whole new article about your research. This is especially important if you are not a seasoned contributor on Wikipedia.

3. Never look at Wikipedia as a channel for marketing your own research. Try instead to enrich and nuance existing articles. If you approach Wikipedia in a humble way, it is more likely your contributions will last.

Instead, start with enriching an existing article

Locate an article related to your research field, add a few sentences with relevant information and reference an already published academic source. If you have published research on the subject, you have the opportunity to reference that. If you have written a press release, a popular account or a leaflet about your research this will help you write your Wikipedia article. Make sure to reference your own research publication!

If you get hooked and go on to create new articles, there are a few other things to keep in mind. Make sure to link the article to other articles in Wikipedia. Don’t create an “orphan” article, they are more likely not to survive. Put some extra effort in adding categories to your article – look at how similar articles have been categorized.


Learn to write in a new genre

Different audiences mean different uses of language. The style on Wikipedia is very different from that of a scholarly article. The best way to learn is by reading other Wikipedia articles, and begin practicing on a small scale. If you follow the advice above and start by enriching existing articles, you will likely not run into any problems. You will automatically fall into the style of existing content.

The technical aspect of editing will not present many difficulties. Edit the article in the text editing mode [7].

If you become a frequent contributor to Wikipedia, I recommend that you create your own account. If you only make a few edits a year, there is no need to have an account.  If you have an account, you can interact with other Wikipedians through your own user page and you get your own sand box to develop your articles. You can also create your own watchlist with articles that you are especially engaged with.

You are not the one in control!

If you think of Wikipedia as an endless project that is constantly being revised, it is easy to imagine that you own edits might not survive. Don’t lose faith if your contributions are deleted. Ask yourself why this happened, and try to learn from experience the next time you edit an article on Wikipedia.

Learn more

Which LiU researchers are Wikipedia editors? Swedish Wikipedia has 128 articles that have been edited by LiU researchers, the English version 42 (11 November, 2019)

Help: Wikipedia editing for researchers, scholars, and academics

Is your research already referred to at Wikipedia? Altmetrics holds the answer. The colour black on your ”Altmetric donut” indicate that your publication has been cited on Wikipedia. The easiest way to check this is through your DiVA publication list (create it here).

Want to learn more? We will gladly come to your department to hold talks or workshops!

By Johanna Nählinder, senior coordinator of reseach support, Linköping University Library, under CC BY-SA. Translated by Peter Igelström.


[1] Metcalfe, D. & J. Powell (2011) Should doctors spurn Wikipedia J R Soc Med 104(12): 488-489.

“Dubbelkvart” current research and teaching issues

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“Dubbelkvart” about current research and teaching issues comes to Campus Norrköping

“Dubbelkvart” is the name for the university library’s short, open lunch talks on current issues and tips that facilitates work for our researchers and teachers.

“Dubbelkvart” at Campus Norrköping will take place in the lounge in Utsikten, Kåkenhus, so bring your sandwich and coffee  (BYO) and come to listen.

The programme for the spring semester 2020 will cover the following issues: Bibliometrics, Plan S and Open Science, Disseminating your research, Planning teaching with the library and Information literacy of alumni. See the full programme below.

Kerstin Annerbo or  Britt Omstedt at Campus Norrköping library can answer any questions you may have.