18 Library Resources

In this section:

18.1 What is the service statement of the Library?
18.2 Who do I contact if I need library assistance with my research program?
18.3 How do I manage my citations?
18.4 What is open scholarship?
18.5 How do I assess and measure research impacts and outcomes?
18.6 What is Laurier’s strategy for data management?
18.7 What are persistent identifiers (Researcher IDs)?
18.8 What research tools are available through the library?

If you are unable to find the answer you are looking for in this section, please contact us here.

18.1 What is the service statement of the library?

The Library supports the research enterprise and mission of the University through the provision of diverse and critical resources and services. The Laurier Library aids and empowers faculty within all aspects of the research life cycle. We provide access to scholarly information resources, personal research consultations and research support through specialized services such as research data management (RDM) services and hosting Open Access publication hosting. 

18.2 Who do I contact if I need library assistance with my research program?

Each Faculty/Department/program has a Subject Liaison Librarian assigned to support faculty and students. For listing by subject, see: https://library.wlu.ca/about/people/subject

A subject librarian is the primary point of contact between faculty, students, and the library. Their job is to support your research needs. Librarians are assigned to subject areas based on their skills and experience. They provide in-depth research assistance, teach classes in library and research instruction, and acquire resources that support your areas.  Some Liaison Librarians are able to provide assistance to researchers for scoping or systematic literature reviews.

18.3 How do I manage my citations?

Information on citation management tools available through the Library can be found here.

18.4 What is open scholarship?

Open science, sometimes referred to as open scholarship, encompasses all disciplines with an aim to remove barriers and create opportunities for sharing access to research methods, tools, resources and outputs. The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science presents a framework for adoption of open science policies around the world. 

18.4.1 What is open access?

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of many copyright and licensing restrictions. In addition to removing access barriers, OA should be immediate, rather than delayed, and should apply to full texts, not just abstracts or summaries.

The impact of an Open Access (OA) item is the information, data or document being available online at no cost to the user, which allows readers who may not able to pay for the information or does not have access to library research databases to access and read the information.

Allowing research output to be disseminated widely increases the impact and value of the information as shown by its visibility and how often it is cited by other researchers. Researchers who have negotiated to keep their information open access may have it published in peer-reviewed journals and still be permitted to share it with other researchers, students, or post it to their website, all without contravening copyright.

18.4.2 What are some models of open access?

  • Hybrid Open Access - A subscription or paid access journal or book in which some of the articles are open access at point of publication. This usually requires an Article Processing Charges (APC) (see below)

  • Gold Open Access - The publisher version of a publication is immediately and permanently freely available for anyone with internet access to read or download from the publisher site at the point of publication

  • Green Open Access - A type of open access where a version of a publication is freely available via an institutional or subject repository, or other web-accessible digital archive, that is compliant with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)

18.4.3 Does Laurier have an institutional repository to support open access publications?

Yes, Scholars Commons @ Laurier provides public access to the intellectual, creative, and academic work of the Laurier community, including graduate theses and dissertations, faculty scholarship, conference and symposium materials and online journals. Its purpose is to make the university output accessible to a wider audience than traditional forms of distribution. Anyone may access full items free of charge, with the exception of journals requiring subscriptions or when embargos have been placed on publications. By sharing content globally through the Internet, the university supports open scholarly communications, collaborative research, and lasting visibility and recognition for scholarship at Laurier.

18.4.4 What other open access repositories are there?

  • Arxiv - e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance, Statistics, Electrical Engineering and Systems Science, Economics
  • Cogprints - Psychology, Neuroscience, Linguistics and Computer Science
  • CORE - MLA Open Access Repository for the Humanities
  • Disciplinary repositories - List of subject repositories from the Open Access Directory
  • Engrxiv - Open archive of Engineering
  • OpenDOAR - Directory of Open Access Repositories
  • RePEc - Research papers in Economics
  • SportRxiv - Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity-Related Research
  • SSRN - Social Science Research Network

18.4.5 What are article processing charges?

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are charges levied by a publisher to an author (or their funder or institution) to publish an article. Such charges may include but are not limited to APCs, page charges, publishing charges or fees and/or submission charges.Through agreements with specific publishers, discounts are available to Faculty and Staff. Please see the Library website for the current discounts.

18.4.6 What are predatory publications? 

Predatory publications and conferences are difficult to define as they are evolving. Predatory publishers previously reached out to researchers for publications and conflated article processing charges (APC) and open access with legitimate publications. The for-profit publishers use deception or fraud to dupe researchers into giving them money for publication. Researchers have learned to detect these publications over time and the publishers have moved on to predatory conferences. Be wary of unfamiliar publications or conferences. Check with your librarian to find the best place to publish your research. The Committee on Publication Ethics offers more information on predatory publications.  

18.4.7 What are pre-prints?

Preprints are a version of an article published before peer-review. Usually published online for quick dissemination. See here for a list of preprint servers.

18.4.8 How do I find open access publications?

  • Sherpa-Romeo - Searchable by publisher or journal title, this site provides information on publisher permissions related to the self-archiving of journal articles
  • Sherpa-Juliet - ULIET provides a summary of funder policies related to grant awards. It provides information related to requirements for open access archiving, open access publishing and data archiving
  • Ulrichs Database
  • Think Check Submit – choose the right journal for your research

18.4.9 How do I comply with the Tri-Agency open access policies?

The federal granting Tri-Agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the  Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)) have adopted a policy to mandate open access for the outcomes of funded research, including research publications and, for CIHR funded research, publication-related  research data. Compliance with this mandate can take either the Gold, Green or Hybrid OA publication routes (though researchers are encouraged to deposit in the University’s institutional repository - Scholars Commons), and may involve embargo period for up to 12 months from point of publication.

18.5 How do I assess and measure research impacts and outcomes?

Research assessment is intertwined with research outcomes and research impact. Scholars from different disciplines have a variety of research outcomes. However, research assessment has mostly focused on research metrics, which resides in disciplines with quantitative citation tracking. Newer research metrics try to incorporate a broader range of tools. Research impact is challenging and nuanced. Check out the list of tools below for assessing research impact:

  • Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) - recognized the need to improve the mechanisms for which research outputs are evaluated
  • The Metrics Toolkit – general guidance on the many ways to measure research 
  •  Citation Based Metrics or Bibliometrics
    • Google Scholar Citations - produces an H-index and other measures but is often unreliable due to conflagrating many different authors outputs together - https://scholar.google.com/
    • H-index - arbitrary quantification of research outputs graphed against the citation count as a proposed measure of quantity of papers and quality proxied through citation counts
    • Impact Factor (IF) - calculated over a 2-year window looking at number of papers published in a journal divided by the number of citations
    • SCIMago Journal Rank (SJR) - the weighted average citation count over a 3-year period divided by the journal articles published in a year
    • Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) - number of citations in a year to the number of publications from the past 3-years which is normalized to correct for differences in scientific fields 
    • CiteScore - from Elsevier through SCOPUS, a free journal metric based on citations and publications which can be inputted into the algorithm
  • Broad Based Metrics (sometimes considered alternative metrics or alt-metrics)
    • Altmetrics- tracks mentions through social media mentions producing a wheel of colours associated with each type of media, YouTube, Twitter, Mendeley, etc.  
    • PlumX - captures metrics for types of scholarship and calculates usage or mentions 
    • Impact Story - tracks and ranks social media outputs, free for Twitter users and uses ORCID (see Persistent Identifiers)

18.6 What is Laurier’s strategy for data management?

As part of its commitment to research excellence, Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) recognizes the positive impact that research data management (RDM) brings to the research enterprise. Research data are a critical research output that enables data synthesis, data reproducibility, and the dissemination of knowledge. The management of research data is guided by RDM best practices, subject-matter knowledge, and a policy landscape that includes universities, grant agencies, publishers, Indigenous communities, researchers, and data management professionals. Laurier is committed to promoting research methodologies and providing institutional support that include established RDM best practices.  These include:

  • Developing and operationalizing Data Management Plans (DMPs), which describe how research data will be organized, described, stored, shared, and archived during the life of a research program and after its completion.

  • Providing reliable, secure data storage infrastructure for data processing, storage, and backup.

    Note: This is dependent on ICT capacity and dedicated, funded resources. This capacity does not exist in the current state but continues to be worked towards for the future.

  • Curating research data for reuse through data description, metadata enrichment, and documentation

  • Honouring and complying with ethical and legal obligations to the collection, use, and sharing of sensitive data, including data associated with Indigenous peoples

  • Publishing shareable research data and other outputs in open repositories for access, distribution, and archiving

You can find our Data Management Strategy here.

18.6.1 What is research data management?

The Laurier Library provides a variety of research data management (RDM) services that support the research mission of the University. Research Data Management refers to “the organisation of data, from its entry to the research cycle through to the dissemination and archiving of valuable results. It aims to ensure reliable verification of results, and permits new and innovative research built on existing information.” (Whyte & Tedds, 2011). RDM is concerned with the handling of data through the entire research lifecycle, from project planning, through the active phase of collection, analysis and publication, to archiving and dispossession.

Good RDM practices can improve data collection, curation, security, archiving, publication, and dispossession activities according to widely known principles and standards such as the FAIR principles of data management (i.e., practices to ensure data is findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) and the First Nations Principles of OCAP (i.e., ownership, control, access, and possession), as well as data-related principles in TCPS2 and protocols and procedures within the wider research and RDM ecosystem. This is in keeping with the Tri-Agency expectation that research be “conducted to the highest professional and disciplinary standards, domestically and internationally.  These standards support research excellence by ensuring that research is performed ethically and makes good use of public funds, experiments and studies are replicable, and research results are as accessible as possible. Research data management (RDM) is a necessary part of research excellence” (Tri-Agency statement). 

The Laurier Library offers a number research data management services to the University research community.   These include Data Management Planning (DMPs), Data Deposit and Curation, as well as Training and Consultation. The Library is a significant collaborator and supporter of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (“Alliance”) expert groups and services as well as with Scholars Portal Borealis. Our staff contribute to policy and service development and are active stakeholders in the growth of RDM practices and culture in the Canadian research enterprise.  Please contact researchdata@wlu.ca to discuss our services.

18.6.2 What data management planning services does the library offer?

A data management plan (DMP) is a living document that identifies strategies, practices, and tools to manage research data during and after the life of a research project. DMPs are tailored to meet the needs of the research project and usually identify data collection, documentation, and protection plans; data sharing, access and security regimes; stakeholders, roles, and responsibilities; as well as ethical, legal, and financial constraints and obligations.  DMPs are often developed as part of a collaboration between a researcher and campus RDM specialists. 

Many Canadian and international grant opportunities require that a DMP be submitted with a grant application. In Canada, Tri-Agency’s 2021 RDM Policy requires all grant applicants to include methodologies that reflect RDM best practices in applications.  For some funding opportunities, the agencies require that methodologies be formalized within a distinct DMP. DMPs must recognize Indigenous data sovereignty: any data management plan associated with research conducted by and with Indigenous partners should co-developed with these partners in accordance with RDM principles or DMP formats they accept.

The Laurier Library provides DMP services with the DMP Assistant, the data management planning tool developed by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. The DMP Assistant helps researchers determine their RDM priorities and gaps in critical areas such as data collection, documentation and metadata, sharing and reuse, backup, preservation, as well as their RDM-related roles and responsibilities. Researchers can work with a standardized template or use specialized forms developed for some research domains (e.g., qualitative health research, water quality, digital humanities).

The Library provides one-on-one DMP consulting to Laurier researchers with the DMP Assistant. Depending on your need, as we advise or collaborate in the development of your DMP. The DMP Assistant can be used in a self-serve manner, but researchers will benefit from the Library’s depth of knowledge in RDM and DMP practices when undertaking a collaboration.  To book a consultation, contact researchdata@wlu.ca

18.6.3 Does the library have a data repository?

Yes, the Library provides data deposit and data curation services to the University community with its Borealis platform.  Borealis is a standards-based research data repository that will provide a home for your data findings and meet your Tri-Agency data deposit requirements.  Research data submitted to Borealisis curated by our specialists, provided a DOI, and made findable on both public and scholarly search engines.

Researchers associated with Laurier may submit data to our Borealis repository. This includes processed findings, data associated with publication, historical data, and data associated with PhD dissertations and Master’s theses. Borealis can also be used by research labs to strengthen their data legacy by creating a repository of its data. Data must be open, but researchers retain their copyright. Files must be under 3GB and cleared of sensitivities. Unlike many other repositories, there is no direct cost to researchers.

For more information on depositing your data into Borealis, contact researchdata@wlu.ca

18.6.4 What data management training and consultation does the library offer?

The Library offers training and consultation services for research data management.  These take the form of individual and group meetings, as well as workshops and in-class seminars.  We tailor our content for groups including research labs, graduate students, departments, and administrative units. Open seminars for graduate students are routinely run as part of the ASPIRE program, and a suite of webinars for all audiences is held each term.  Seminar and workshop topics include:

  • Introduction to Research Data Management
  • The Tri-Agency Research Data Management framework
  • Data Management Plans (workshop can include writing the DMP)
  • Data Deposit and Data Archiving
  • Data Curation
  • Formatting Data in Excel
  • Developing a Data Policy

 For more information, contact researchdata@wlu.ca

18.7 What are persistent identifiers (Researcher IDs)?

Persistent identifiers (PIs) represent a long-lasting mechanism or PERMAlink using metadata to link to a permanent URL. PIs are classified by a controlled vocabulary of content types like articles, equipment, organization, etc.

Contributor Identifiers or Researcher IDs:

Object Identifiers:

Organization Identifiers:

Related Systems and Services:

  • Google Scholar - you can create a unique profile which includes your publications
  • ResearchGate - an unsecure professional networking service for faculty
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - specific to North American for collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to industries 
  • Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) or Global Unique Identifiers (GUID) - used as a 128-bit code identifier in computer science and offered as a PI through the Open Science Framework (OSF), a collaborative platform for research, projects, and publications (see research tools below)

18.8 What research tools are available through the library?

Alternative Searching

Citation Management

There are a variety of systems designed to create a database of your own citations that you can share and integrate into Word for writing. For a comparison of these systems see.


  • Author rights- Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) author rights and tools 
  • Creative Commons License - tools give the creator the ability to set licenses for open content  

Journal Selector and Submitter Services

Knowledge Evidence and Systematic Review Tools (see your librarian)

  • Abstractr - Semi-automated screening using machine learning
  • ASR Review - Utilizes active learning 
  • Colandr - Machine learning, natural language processing, and text-mining functions to partially automate screening
  • Distillr - Includes AI feature to help rank screening. Predict screening time with time averages. Free for students
  • Rayaan – free systematic review tool
  • Revtools - revtools is an R package to support researchers working on evidence synthesis projects 
  • RobotAnalyst - designed for searching and screening reference collections obtained from literature database queries. It combines search engine functionality with machine learning and text mining 
  • Sysrev - helps facilitate screening, collaborative extraction of data from academic articles and abstracts, PDF documents, and uses machine learning. The free platform supports open access/public projects only. Fee for privacy settings.

Open Access Tools