Please see below and note that from now any amendment made should be using version 1.6 of the document.
‘What: An updated amendment tool has been released for use when submitting amendments for health research studies
Who: All researchers and sponsors
When: Released 6 December
We’ve also made some other changes to the amendment tool to make it easier to use including:
- improved guidance in the submission tab
- changes to the radio selection buttons to make it clearer to complete and view once converted to a pdf
- changes to help users avoid common mistakes
You can get all details on the changes we’ve made in the Change Record in General Guidance tab on the tool. Please start to use the new version (1.6) for all new amendments from 6 December 2021. We will continue to accept amendments using version 1.5 for two weeks. We will not accept amendments submitted on V1.5 after 20 December 2021.’
Please see this link for further information.
The process of peer review is widely recognised as the key element of quality control in academic publishing and the scientific community more generally. Peer review is the critical appraisal of one’s work by fellow scholars, who read and comment on your manuscript and offered a verdict on its quality, rigour, originality, style, completeness, etc. etc.
Peer reviewers are typically experts in your field, if not your topic, or who have expertise in the methods you applied or the population or are you studied. They are also academics often with busy day jobs, who act as unpaid peer reviewers, and as journal editors for that matter. Peer reviewers are with full-time jobs who give up their free time to review for academic journals. A recent article by Aczel and colleagues (2021) reported that reviewers across the globe spent over 100 million hours on peer reviewing for free in 2020, the estimated value of this equated to nearly £300 million in the UK alone. This quantifies in some of my feelings I wrote about a decade ago now in a BU Research Blog with the title ‘Peer review and bust academics’.
However, with the ever-growing number of health and social science journals the requests for reviewing seem to grow relentlessly. This month alone (November 2021) I received twenty or 21 requests to review. I have reviewed three manuscripts for Birth, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, and The Journal of International Development, but I had to reject or ignore many more (see Table 1). I usually do my reviews over the weekend. One weekend this month I could not review because I had to prepare materials for the external auditor who came to visit Bournemouth University for a project recently completed, and this weekend I could not find the time because I’m proof-reading two PhD chapters (and writing this blog).
I leave you with some food for thought: academics spent time applying for research funding, then apply for the ethical approval, do the research, we write up the findings, and write blogs about the process!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
Aczel, B., Szaszi, B., Holcombe, A.O. (2021) A billion-dollar donation: estimating the cost of researchers’ time spent on peer review. Res Integr Peer Rev 6, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-021-00118-2.
At the Health Research Authority’s ‘Make It Public’ conference held on 3rd and 4th November a new toolkit to help researchers and participants stay in contact throughout the duration of a study was launched by Parkinson’s UK.
The Staying Connected Toolkit was created through co-production with people affected by Parkinson’s, Health Care Professionals and researchers.
The toolkit master guide can be found here and provides further links to resources such as a newsletter template and how to put together a podcast.
This guide is useful for all types of research, whether clinical or not.
Dr Constantina Panourgia and Dr Sarah Hodge from the Department of Psychology, in collaboration with Dr Annita Ventouris from the University of West London carried out a research project during the pandemic and published a paper on teachers’ views on how use of technology affects children and young people’s (CYP) emotions and behaviours in the International Journal Of Educational Research.
During the lockdown the use of technology among CYP was increased raising concerns and questions related to their mental health and wellbeing. Previous research findings on the effects of technology on CYP’s emotions and behaviours are contradictory. Parents/guardians and educators may feel uncertain as to how to integrate technology in CYP’s lives in an effective and healthy way, emphasizing the necessity for consistent and evidence-based guidelines and policies. The researchers, decided to focus and investigate teachers’ perspectives considering their vital role in supporting CYP’s wellbeing and learning. Although there is a lot of evidence on technology use in schools, there is little to no research on how teachers view the use of technology by CYP and how it affects their emotions and behaviours.
The findings of this study showed teachers viewed technology as an important learning and teaching tool, when applied in a balanced way. Teachers also recognised the negative consequences of the ‘digital divide’ (from access related to social economic status) on CYP’s emotions and behaviours. However, they expressed contradictory opinions on issues related to the impact of technology on socialisation/isolation and self-esteem.
The findings of this study can provide insights into how technology can be used effectively in the classroom and for supporting CYP’s mental health and wellbeing; they also indicated training needs for educators and the need for the implementation or modification of relevant practices (e.g. technology training within teacher training) and policies (e.g. addressing the digital divide). It is suggested that future studies should explore the views of teachers working in deprived areas and in Special Educational Needs schools so that the implementation of current policies and practices is reassessed. As well as, parents/guardians and CYP’s perceptions need to be explored to complement teachers’ perceptions and lead to the development of educational practices based on the stakeholders’ experiences.
View the full paper here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666374021000510
The good news is that a lot of BU’s academics are bidding for external research funding. Our numbers of bids in preparation is up by 20% on pre-pandemic levels. This is helping BU build a healthy and sustainable pipeline to good quality research.
If you’re planning to submit a bid, you’ll need to be aware of the application timeline and the various processes involved in the submission of a bid. Please ensure you read the application timeline when considering what to apply for (in addition to RDS, the following BU teams may need to be involved: UET, Legal Services, Finance). In short, a fully completed intention to bid form must be received by RDS at least four weeks before the funder call deadline.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume being processed at present (and staff shortages), we will be unable to accommodate any bids under the notice period.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to ensure a smoother process and good quality bid:
- Please read the funder guidance to ensure that you are eligible to apply, the deadline is doable, and that the funding provided will be financially acceptable to BU (the costing and pricing guide for R&KE activity will help, as will the fEC thresholds);
- If partners are involved, you need to ensure you have these in place as their costings will need to be included in the bid. If they are international or industrial, due diligence may need to take place at pre-award stage and so a longer lead time will be needed (we’ve produced a Leading an external research application guide, which will be useful to you when partners are involved);
- Ensure your intention to bid (ItB) form is fully completed before submitting to RDS. This saves on multiple email exchanges to finalise the form (we’ve created sample costs to help you get an idea of budget and whether what you need to complete your research is achievable with the funding on offer);
- Finally, run your ideas/draft bid past your peers, research mentor, or Head of Department. Constructive criticism will help improve the quality of your bid and reduce the need for last minute changes. If you have a long lead in time, an RDS Research Facilitator may be able to help review your bid content, or one of our External Application Reviewers (EARs) may be able to critique it (please see here for more information on which bids are eligible for an EAR).
Good luck and thanks from all in RDS.
Please see below for an update from the HRA –
Changes to the way you submit your final report
The Health Research Authority has implemented changes to final study reporting requirements. The changes apply to all studies across the UK which require ethics approval and which have not yet submitted a final report.
The Make It Public strategy set out our commitment to make transparency easy, make transparency the norm and make information public. We have now developed a standard dataset on research transparency which will be collected in the study final reports. Coupled with changes we have already made to help you plan at the start of a study how you will inform participants at the end, these changes are steps towards fulfilling that commitment.
In the future we will be able to see more clearly what proportion of studies are fulfilling transparency requirements, including information about study registration, publication of results, informing participants of the outcome of the study and the sharing of data and tissue (if applicable).
In standardising the information we request from you and the form for collecting this, we hope it will be easier for you to know what is expected.
Please see below for the following training opportunity:
Date: 15 September 2021
Funded and hosted by the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) South Central, discover how to move from thinking about doing research to taking your first steps in the getting support, dedicated time and funding to actually do it. Sign up to the workshop on Eventbrite.
New eligibility criteria for standalone student research go live today (1 September 2021). These changes are designed to ensure that students’ experience of research reflects how modern health and social care research is conducted.
This new criteria encourages innovative approaches to student research like group research, mock Research Ethics Committees (REC) or shadowing a range of people in an existing project.
The changes mean some master’s students will now be eligible to apply for approval to carry out their research.
To help students plan their research we have created a new student research toolkit. The toolkit has been designed to pull together the resources a student will need to understand what approvals are required and whether they are eligible to carry out their research in the UK. It contains links to existing decision tools as well as some new ones developed especially for students. It uses a simple question and answer format and will provide answers to the following questions:
- Is my study research?
- Is my research taking place in the NHS and will it need NHS approval?
- Do I need NHS REC review?
- What type of NHS ethics review do I need?
- Can I carry out my research?
Completing the tool will provide students with an understanding of what activities they can do and ensures that they do not waste time applying for approval for research that they are not able to carry out under the new student eligibility criteria. Through completion of the toolkit, students can access supplementary declarations that need to be completed by their academic supervisor, confirming that they meet the criteria for the type of approvals they need for their research. There are three separate declarations depending on the approvals needed – the toolkit guides the student to the right one based on their responses.
Please share this update and new resource with colleagues and students who might benefit. Further details about the new eligibility criteria can be found on the HRA website.
Please see our question and answer section for further information. If you have any other queries about the eligibility criteria, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Suzy Wignall, Clinical Governance Advisor in RDS if you have any queries or concerns.
UKRI announced its new open access policy in August 2021.
This policy applies to publications which need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from:
- the research councils
- Research England
- Innovate UK.
It aims to ensure that findings from research funded by the public through UKRI can be freely accessed, used and built on.
The policy applies to:
- peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
- monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.
Please see this link for the full policy document and other related information and details –
The Health Research Authority have published some questions and answers in relation to student research – this is in relation to the recent update regarding the upcoming changes to eligibility criteria.
You can find the Q&As here.
If you have any queries please contact Suzy Wignall, Clinical Governance Advisor in Research Development & Support.
In the recent months, Bournemouth University have been in negotiation with Taylor and Francis through JISC to sign up to the latest JISC Read and Publish deal and last week, the process was finalised and Bournemouth University officially became a member of this deal.
In theory, this means that Bournemouth University authors can now publish for free in any of the Open Select Taylor and Francis titles. However, due to a recent ruling by the HMRC on the publisher, all HEIs are being charged 20% VAT for every article that is approved for publication.
The implication of this is that if you are looking to publish in an Open Select title with Taylor and Francis, and you wish to make your article Open Access through this deal, you will still be required to submit an application to the BU Open Access fund through the normal route. This is due to the fact that BU will still have to cover the 20% VAT incurred from each article; we therefore need to ensure that we have the funds to cover these articles before approvals can be processed.
For more information and author guidance on this latest deal, please see the link below:
Alternatively, if you have more questions about this deal, please email OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk.
BRIAN (Bournemouth Research Information and Networking)
According to BU’s Publications Policy and Procedures, on acceptance of publication by the publisher, all BU authors should record all research outputs in BRIAN immediately, and no later than three months after this point. For journal articles and conference proceedings, to comply with the REF Open Access policy, all BU authors should ensure that the author-accepted-manuscript (full text) is also deposited in BRIAN at the same time, and no later than three months after this point.
To do so, after you’ve created your publication record, click on the blue arrow up icon to deposit your full text –
You will then be directed to a page where the terms and conditions associated with the deposit will be made clear, before you proceed with choosing your file to be uploaded –
After you’ve uploaded your full text, it will then go through a review process by one of the Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO) team members with the Library and Learning Support Team. This is to ensure first of all, that the correct version of the full text has been uploaded; and depending on the publisher copyright policy, an embargo period may be imposed on the full text before it is visible to the public. If there are any problems with the deposit, one of the BURO teams members will contact the author directly to resolve the issue.
BURO (Bournemouth University Research Online)
Once the full text has been reviewed and processed by the BURO team, it will then be deposited into our institutional repository (IR), which is Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO) and you would have complied with BU’s open access policy. In BURO, you will find all full texts deposited by other BU authors and you can browse the content by year, group or author (surname); and if you’re interested, you can also view the repository statistics in terms of the number of total outputs deposited, their breakdown by type, or you can even check out the most downloaded items from our repository!
BU Staff Profile Page
After your full text has been deposited into BURO, if you have a BU Staff Profile Page, the link to the full text will also appear under your publication record on your Staff Profile Page and it will look like this –
Any visitor to your Staff Profile Page can then click on the link and be directed straight to your full text in BURO read all about your research.
If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to email either BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk, BURO@bournemouth.ac.uk or OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk
Open access is a broad international movement that seeks to grant free and open online access to academic information, such as publications and data. A publication is defined ‘open access’ when there are no financial, legal or technical barriers to accessing it – that is to say when anyone can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search for and search within the information, or use it in education or in any other way within the legal agreements.
Open Access Funding @BU
Bournemouth University is unfortunately not a current recipient of the UKRI Open Access block grant. However, there is a small centralised BU Open Access Fund that BU authors can get access to on a competitive basis. Due to a very limited budget, application for funding is extremely competitive, and the selection criteria are stringent. In the past years, through the centralised open access fund, Bournemouth University has been able to support open access outputs from various impactful key research, including Epibentic and mobile species colonisation of a geo textile artificial sur reef on the south coast of England, Dignity and respect during pregnancy and childbirth: A survey of the experience of disabled women, Seven Characteristics Defining Online News Formats, Applied screening tests for the detection of superior face recognition, and many more!
Open Access Funding through Transformative Deals
Through the UK JISC Agreements, Bournemouth University currently has Read and Publish open access transformative deals with publishers such as BMJ, SAGE, Springer and Wiley, which means that BU authors can publish open access for free in the journal titles covered under the deals, subject to their terms and conditions. Each transformative deal and what it covers varies from one another. For example, the BMJ transformative deal only covers original research articles from research funded by UKRI, British Hearth Foundation, Blood Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinsons UK, Versus Arthritis or the Wellcome Trust. As for the SAGE transformative deal, there is no such restrictions; however, you can only publish open access for free under a select list of journal titles.
In order to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from these transformative deals, do head over to the Bournemouth University Library and Learning Support guide for more details and information!
Green Open Access @ BU
Green Open Access, also referred to as self-archiving, is the practice of placing a version of an author’s manuscript into a repository, making it freely accessible for everyone. The version that can be deposited into a repository is dependent on the funder or publisher. You can make use of the Sherpa Romeo online resource to check the copyright policies of your target journal or publisher. At Bournemouth University, the self-archiving process is done through our current research and information system called BRIAN (Bournemouth Research Information and Networking); and all successfully reviewed and deposited manuscripts will be housed in our institutional repository called BURO (Bournemouth University Research Online).
Stay tuned for the next segment where we’ll be talking more about “Open Access @ BU & how it works!”
Do you want to know more about what open access publishing means at BU and how it works? The Bournemouth University Library and Learning Support LibGuide provides a single source of information where you can find relevant topics on open access such as ‘Depositing your research’, ‘Copyright and Licenses’, ‘Open Access Funding’, ‘Predatory publishers’, so on and so forth.
So head over to the page now, and learn more about open access publishing @ BU!
We have been informed that the Wiley Jisc read and publish agreement overall fund has been drawn down more quickly than initially projected. As a result, Wiley has estimated that restrictions will need to be introduced at the end of June 2021 which limits OA publishing to UKRI/Wellcome funded articles only.
This has not yet been confirmed, and Wiley will continue to monitor the fund but this is an early warning that some sort of restrictions will be placed on the Wiley-Jisc read and publish agreement later in the year.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has re-launched key resources and guidance that support patient and public involvement in health and social care research. The resources help patients and the public learn more about the benefits of involvement and how to get involved, and also provide advice for researchers and professionals on involving patients and the public in their research projects.
The resources were originally produced by INVOLVE and have been brought up-to-date, made accessible and rehomed. As the INVOLVE website is due to be retired, this means everyone can have continued access to key guidance on involvement.
All of the updated resources can be found on Learning for Involvement. In addition, many of the resources have also been embedded in the NIHR website to provide essential guidance to people applying for funding, managing projects or looking to get involved with research.
You can read more here.
The NIHR Research Design Service South East is hosting an event to discuss and explore what is meant by equality, diversity and inclusion in research and the importance of thinking about it when planning your health or social care research project.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations East Midlands and Centre for BME Health, will talk about his recent research on COVID-19 in ethnic minority populations. Dr Esther Mukuka will talk about her new role as the Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the NIHR, and the increasing emphasis being put on those that apply for any NIHR funding to demonstrate their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and a healthy research culture more generally.
The presentations will be followed by informal workshops to look at different case studies demonstrating the application of equality, diversity and inclusion principles in research.
The event is open to anyone with an interest in applied health and social care research.
Sign up online