Staff Library checklist

This checklist highlights Library advice, information and resources designed to support you as a member of staff at The Open University.

A PDF file of this checklist is available for you to download and view offline at your convenience The Open University Staff Library checklist (pdf).


Look out for training sessions offered by the Library and Library Research Support Team​

The Library offers a number of training sessions that run periodically and cover topics such as "Reference management tools - an Introduction" and "Smarter searching with library databases".

The Research Support Team offers a range of training sessions across different areas designed to support researchers. This includes sessions on research data management, open access publishing, ORCIDs, and data sharing. Sign up to one of our sessions

Visit the Library website to explore library resources

The Library website is your gateway to the extensive library content provided by The Open University. Use the Library Search box to start searching for resources such as ebooks, databases, journals or journal articles. Alternatively, use the Library Resources tab to browse for resources. Most of our content is available online.

Learn about Library Helpdesk and our 24/7 Chat to a Librarian service

Find links to contact the Library Helpdesk on every page of the Library Services website, including details of our webchat service if you need assistance with library resources or services. 

Discover key services for researchers

The Services for postgraduate researchers page on the Library website contains links to relevant information and services to all OU researchers.

Visiting the Library building and accessing services

Opening hours and support

The Library building is open from Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00. During this time, you can access our collections, borrow items, and use study areas and meeting spaces. Library staff will be located on the ground floor to welcome and assist you with any library-related enquiries you have. PGRs will have access to the PGR Common Room, located on the ground floor, 24/7 with swipe card access.

How to join the Open University Library

Find out how to join the Library and borrow, renew, and return items at Walton Hall. You will need to activate the barcode on your staff ID card.

Suggest new titles

Can't find a book in our Library collection? Open University staff may suggest new titles for the library stock. 

Set up Google Scholar to link to full text resources provided by Library Services 

Instructions for setting up Google Scholar are available on the Library website. 

Check out LEAN Library and BrowZine tools

The LEAN Library access browser extension will alert you whenever you are on a website that The Open University has a subscription for, helping you to find the content you want with a single click!

BrowZine offers Library users a different way to browse content by subject across a range of journal publications, allowing you to build a personal bookshelf of favourite journals, and also to save articles to other services such as EndNote and Dropbox.

Find out about our Document Delivery and Inter-library Loan services

You can use the Document Delivery and Inter-library Loan services to get items that the Library doesn’t have in stock. You will need to join the Library before accessing this service.

Learn about tools that will help you manage your references

See the Bibliographic management page, and take a look at our tips and tricks guides to Mendeley and EndNote.

Data management

Get help with your data management plan (DMP)

Visit our pages on data management plans to find out what a data management plan (DMP) is, learn what research funders expect from a DMP and find guidance on writing a DMP. You can also contact us to request that we review a draft DMP for you. 

Read about the potential benefits of sharing your research data

There is lots of information and guidance on data sharing on the Library Research Support website.

Open Access

NEW FOR 2023/24 - join our new Open Research Community on Viva Engage

The Research Support Team have just launched a new Open Research Community on Microsoft Viva Engage (formerly Yammer). This will be a forum for posting relevant news, developments, and policy updates and for prompting questions, debates, and discussions on the direction of Open Research; as well as for sharing services and tools to support researchers in navigating this fast-paced world. This will be an inclusive, supportive, and active community for researchers and research support staff across the Open University to interact, discuss, share knowledge, and encourage good working practices to embed a culture of Open Research. Why not join the conversation today by joining the Open Research Community.

Find out about Open Access publishing

Open Access aims to make the research process more transparent and published outputs from research accessible to all. Making research outputs Open Access can increase their readership and impact. Research funders increasingly require research data and published outputs to be made Open Access. If your research is funded, please check our list of funder's requirements.

Check out our deals and discounts on Open Access publishing fees

Library Services has deals with certain publishers, meaning you can publish your research Open Access without any direct costs to you. We also have discount deals. Visit our page on publishing deals for full details, including terms and conditions.

NB: deals are only available to current OU-affiliated research staff and postgraduate research students (excluding visiting researchers and ARC students).

Familiarise yourself with Open Research Online (ORO)

Open Research Online (ORO) is The Open University’s open access repository of research publications. The University Code of Practice for Research states that all applicable research publications should be deposited on ORO. ORO disseminates the outcomes from our research, helping to facilitate its impact, influence on policy and practice and ability to change lives for the better. As an Open University researcher you are automatically pre-registered as a user of the repository and can self-deposit your research papers and other research outputs. Ideally the full-text of the item should be deposited, however if this is not possible or appropriate then please supply bibliographic details and an abstract.

Find out about Open Research Data Online (ORDO)

Open Research Data Online (ORDO) is The Open University’s research data repository, where Open University researchers can upload their data for long-term preservation and, where appropriate, sharing e.g., at the end of a project or supporting a publication. Data stored in ORDO will be kept for a minimum of ten years after project completion. Published data will be given a DataCite digital object identifier (DOI), providing a permanent, citable web link.

Investigate tools that help you find Open Access versions of research publications

Take a look at Open Access Button and Unpaywall. There is also CORE and EndNote Click, formerly known as Kopernio.

Set up ORCID

ORCID is a unique digital identifier that helps ensure you get credit for your published work.

Securing approvals for your research project

For guidance and advice on securing the required approvals for your research project join us at a Research Approval Advice Drop-in. Use this link to join on the 3rd Tuesday of every month 11:00am - 12:00pm, hosted by Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), Information Rights, Library Research Support and Student Research Project Panel (SSRP).

Stay connected



Contact us

Library Research Support team