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Library Research Support

Access to resources after graduation

Once you have graduated, you will not be able to access resources such as electronic journals via SHU. If you’ve secured a job in another university, or in an institution with its own access, this won’t be a problem. But what if you haven’t, and still want to keep up with the literature and news in your field?

There are are number of options outlined below. For more details, contact the team.

Associate SHU access and walk in membership

You can join SHU’s library service as an Associate Member. This will give you access to the walk-in database services. For more details see the guide to Associate status and the guide to the walk-in service.

Application for extended access - writing a book from your thesis

An extension of a doctoral student's network login can be granted under exceptional circumstances to allow the student to write up their PhD as a scholarly monograph directly after graduation. Extensions will be decided on a case-by-case basis via a formal process. The maximum extension is a year since the date of conferment (ie the date mentioned on the certificate).

Because of licensing issues, this arrangement cannot be invoked once a student has left the University. In case a former student needs access to Library resources, the Library offers Associate Membership to all former students which grants walk-in access to certain resources. There is a list of resources that the Library can legally offer walk-in access.

Criteria for eligibility

  • Extensions can only be granted to doctoral students already registered at SHU
  • For the sole purpose of writing up their thesis as a publishable scholarly work (such as a commercially publishable scholarly monograph)
  • If there is a clear indication that the student will produce a publishable scholarly work within one year
  • And if there is a demonstrable need to access University resources to achieve this, eg if the student is not expected to have access to these resources via a new employer such as another HEI

Application process

A formal process is needed to identify students who might qualify for this exception and for approval of applications. This process is as follows:

  • The Director of Studies (DoS) submits a request to their Head of Research Degrees (HoRD)- this request will include
    • a rationale, addressing the criteria for eligibility
    • an indication which Library resources the student in question is most likely to use
    • a specification of networked storage that the student will need access to (eg existing datasets stored on the Research Store) if applicable
  • The Head of Research Degrees authorises the request if it meets all above mentioned criteria for eligibility, keeping in mind that these requests can only be approved as an exception, not as a rule
  • The Head of Research Degrees will communicate their decision (if favourable) to:
    • IT Help 
    • Library Research Support 

The student will have continued use for a period of one year since the date of conferment of: (1) online Library resources, (2) and any networked storage specified in the request.

To ensure the student has uninterrupted use of their login, the DoS / HoRD are advised to inform IT Help / Library Research Support at least one month before the date of conferment.

It is expected that on publication students will donate a copy of their book to the Library.

Open Access tools and search engines

There are a number of Open Access search engines and tools you can use to find Open Access versions of publications. A few are listed here.  Search for open access repositories; can also search for publications  List of OA journals; can also search for articles

Preprint servers and Open Access sites

Many fields now have a dedicated pre-print server, and there is also an increasing number of open access platforms. A selection is listed here.  Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics Biomedical Biology Mainly Biology and Medicine Engineering Chemistry Life sciences Psychology Social Science Social Science Humanities Humanities Multidisciplinary Multidisciplinary Multidisciplinary

Professional organisations

If you are a member of a professional organisation, it is worth checking to see if they provide access to publications- many offer access to important journals.

Social media and news feeds

It is worth following organisations, publications, and authors on social media and /or subscribing to their website feeds- they will often post details of new work, tables of contents, etc.

Reference management software

You will continue to have access to RefWorks after you graduate. Remember to change the email address you use to a non-SHU address.

If you use another system, such as Mendeley or Zotero, your access was never linked to SHU membership and will remain the same after graduation.

It’s important to remember that suppliers of software can vary the conditions of access.

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