skip to content


The OSC is pleased to offer a series of handy guides on key topics in research support with titles on everything from how to spot a predatory publisher to dymystifying the peer review process. Although these guides are aimed at the library community they can also be used as handouts for researchers to reinforce the message at training sessions. More titles are forthcoming but we are open to suggestions so if there is a guide you would like to see then please get in touch via

Using the guides

The guides below are all available to download and print under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. There are two options for printing:

  1. PDF - this will print large A4 versions of the guides.
  2. Word - this will print A5 booklets with content on both sides. If using this version remember to set your printer to print on both sides, flipping on the short edge. This will print the guides with the correct orienation.




Publication lifecycle handy guide

Publication lifecycle [PDF]

Publication lifecycle [Word]

Although it varies between discipline and output, the stages of the publication lifecycle are broadly similar. This guide takes you through the basic steps involved in getting works formally published.

Choosing a publisher handy guide

Choosing a publisher [PDF]

Choosing a publisher [Word]

The number of publishers and publishing options is increasing and this can be overwhelming for those new to research. This handy guide includes a checklist to help researchers select the right publisher for their work.

Decoding publication agreements handy guide

Decoding publication agreements - COMING SOON

Researchers are often faced with publication agreements to sign at the end of the research process but what do they actually mean? This guide outlines some of the common features of publication agreements for book and journal articles.

Predatory publishers handy guide

How to spot predatory publishers [PDF]

How to spot predatory publishers [Word]

Predatory publishers are increasingly becoming a problem for researchers looking to publish their work. Librarians and researchers can use this handy checklist to make their own decision about whether a particular journal is appropriate.

Demystyfing peer review

Demystyfying peer review [PDF]

Demystifying peer review [Word]

Peer review is often a mystery to those new to publishing but is it as bewildering as people think it is? This handy guide aims to demystify the peer review process for both researchers and librarians.

Download copies of the publication Guides here

Data management


RDM recap handy guide

Research Data Management recap [PDF]

Research Data Management recap [Word]

Good data management is the foundation of a successful research project but how do you make sure to start in the right way? This handy guide outlines the basics of good data management for researchers.

DMP handy guide

Data management plans [PDF]

Data management plans [Word]

Data management plans are required by many funders and an increasing number of institutions. This guide outlines the most common areas found in plans and how researchers can address these.

Download copies of the data management Guides here

Open Access


Basics of OA handy guide

Basics of Open Access [PDF]

Basics of Open Access [Word]

Open Access is one of the most visible elements of research support but where do you start? This handy guide recaps the basics of Open Access, its benefits and some key terminology.

Plan S factsheet handy guide

Plan S factsheet [PDF]

Plan S factsheet [Word]

Confused by Plan S? You're not alone! This handy guide outlines what Plan S is, how it will impact Open Access and the key areas librarians and researchers need to know about.

Mystery of mirror journals handy guide

Mystery of mirror journals [PDF]

Mystery of mirror journals [Word]

Mirror journals are being promoted as one way of solving the lack of interest in Open Access but what are they? This handy guide outlines the history of mirror journals, the problems they can solve and those they potentially cause...

Download copies of the Open Access Guides here


Anatomy of a CC license handy guide

Anatomy of a Creative Commons license [PDF]

Anatomy of a Creative Commons license [Word]

Creative Commons licenses are the most popular open license and are used by researchers around the world to share their work. This handy guide outlines the basics of a CC license and how these can build into a bespoke copyright statement for a piece of work.

Fair dealing fact sheet handy guide

Fair dealing fact sheet [PDF]

Fair dealing fact sheet [Word]

Fair dealing is a term that is often used but do you really understand what it means and how it applies? This accessible guide outlines what fair dealing is and when it can be used.

Download copies of the copyright Guides here



Responsible metrics handy guide

Responsible metrics [PDF]

Responsible metrics [Word]

There are growing calls to use assessment metrics in a more responsible way in academia but what does this actually mean? This guide outlines the key developments in the responsible metrics movement and how librarians can best advise their research community.

Download copies of the metrics Guides here

Promoting research


Academic social networks handy guide

Academic social networks [PDF]

Academic social networks [Word]

Social media is a great way to promote research but how do researchers know which sites are best suited to their work? This handy guide outlines the benefits and pitfalls of promotion on some of the most common academic social networks.

Download copies of the promoting research Guides here





Open Research Newsletter sign-up

Please contact us at to be added to the mailing list to receive our quarterly e-Newsletter.

The Office of Scholarly Communication sends this Newsletter to its subscribers in order to disseminate information relevant to open access, research data management, scholarly communication and open research topics. For details on how the personal information you enter here is used, please see our privacy policy