Q1. How do I create a 10 article reading list for a PhD student considering a research project in Passive Haus?

Q2. What are the best tips for searching with Google?

Q3. How can I read a journal article and bring in good stuff from the web?

Q4. What is ORCID?

Q5. What is Copyright?



A1. The best resource for this kind of reading list is Web of Science.

  • Type "passive haus" in the search box. Make sure you put the subject in quotation marks and that you have selected topic from the dropdown box on the first line.
  • Select OR from the dropdown box on the 2nd line and enter passivhaus in the second search box. Make sure to select Topic from the dropdown box at the end of the second line.
  • Run the search. This particular search will give you 87 results.
  • On the results page use the Sort By dropdown box on the right to sort by Times Cited...Highest to Lowest. The first page of results then gives you the top ten most cited articles using either the term passive haus or passivhaus.
  • You can refine the results by using the Refine Results/Search Within Results option and include more words in the search. If you want to ensure you find the plurals put an * at the end of the word.



1. Site

Include the site:command in your search to focus on a particular kind of site. If you want an academic site in the UK, type You can also use this to exclude sites from your search. For example a search for statistics on Wales kept coming up with Australian sites mentioning New South Wales. Including -site:au gets rid of these.

2. Verbatim

Google automatically looks for variations of your search terms and sometimes drops terms from your search without telling or asking you. Quotation marks around phrases or individual words do not always force an exact match or inclusion in the search. If you want Google to run your search exactly as you have typed it in, click on "Search Tools" in the menu above your results, then click on the arrow next to "All Results" and from the drop down menu select Verbatim.

3. Asterisk*

Use the asterisk between two words to stand for 1-5 words. This is helpful if you want two of your keywords close to each other but suspect there may often be one or two words separating them. For example solar*panels will find solar photovoltaic panels, solar water heating panels and so on. Placing an asterisk between a keyword and the word report can significantly improve the quality of results when looking for official information or industry/research reports.

4. Date

Use the date option in the menus at the top of the results page to restrict your results to information that has been published in the last day, week, month, year or your own date range. Click on "Search Tools", then "Any Time" and select an option.

5. Usage Rights for Images

If you are looking for images that you can reuse then use the usage rights options on the Image Advanced Search Screen as a filter. First run the search in Google Images. On the results page click on the cog wheel in the upper right hand area of the screen and select "Advanced Search". Towards the bottom of the advanced screen there is a "usage rights" box. Click on the downward pointing arrow for a list of options that include 4 free to use licences. Select the relevant licence and Google will limit your search accordingly. Do double check that the licence applies to the image you want to use. Go to the original web page that contains the image and make sure the licence is associated with that particular image and not with a different image on the same page.

6. Image Reverse Search

If you already have an image and want to search for different sizes or images that are similar to it, then use the reverse image search. THe Google image search box has a camera icon to the left of the search button. Click on the camera and you will be given the option to either paste in the URL of the image or upload an image.

7. Google Main Indexes and Supplementary Index

Google does not automatically search everything it has. It first searches the main index and only goes on to the supplementary index if it thinks the number of results is relatively low. Increasing the number of search terms and using the Verbatim facility or any of the advanced search commands seems to force Google to search both indexes, which explains why you sometimes see more results as you try to refine your search.

8. Google Art Project

This is a collaboration between Google and more than 150 galleries. Tou can take a virtual tour of a gallery and zoom in on a painting to see the brushstrokes. You can view paintings and drawings by artist.

(Written by Karen Blakeman and based on a Google workshop).


A3. Sometimes a very clever piece of software can prove very useful to the busy researcher. is just one of those things that can help. Utopia Documents v2.4.4 is a PDF reader that connects the static content of scientific articles to the dynamic world of online content. Currently this software is free and there is a short video introduction here where you can also download the program.


A4. ORCID is an acronym for Open Researcher and Contributor ID and it is a personal identifier for an individual researcher. ORCID is an open, non-profit, community based effort which evolved as a response to the need to eliminate name variants and to ensure that the right publications are connected to the right researcher for their whole career. Common names are a problem. How do you distinguish one John Murphy from another John Murphy for example or how do you deal with the fact that  half the population in Korea have the surnames Kim, Lee or Park? To alleviate the problem if you are John Murphy you might decide to use the initial of your middle name so you become John A. Murphy which you use for the paper you are currently writing. But this name change is not retrospectively applied so it does not gather together all the material you published as John Murphy. This will mean that in the bibliometrics databases there will be two entries for you and nobody will be clear who you are.

As an individual researcher you can register for an ORCID ID free of charge at This identifier will then be permanently attached to you and is unique to you. If you change institutions your ORCID identifier goes with you. You can add details about yourself such as employment history, link to past items you have written and manually add items also. Many funders are now requesting ORCID IDs for applicants, many publishers are including it with the author’s name and many journal publishers now look for an ORCID ID. It is also included in the Web of Science and Scopus  bibliometrics databases  but not yet for Incites.


A5These guidelines are intended as a general introduction to the complicated area of Copyright Law in Ireland. They are not an authorative interpretation of the law.

The Act governing this area is the Copyright and Related Rights Acts, 2000.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a legal right protecting the economic interests of people/organisations that create works of various kinds in their work. This right cannot be taken away from them nor can their works be used in any way without their permission.

Copyright is also a moral right which includes the right to be identified as the creator of a work, not to have works falsely attributed to you or have your work falsely attributed to someone else. It also means that your work cannot be changed or adapted without your permission.

This means that if you create the work, generally you own the copyright, and unless you give it away to another person such as a publisher, you retain that right for your lifetime and, depending on the format of the work involved, for a specified time afterwards. The owner of the copyright is referred to as the Copyright Holder.

Do I have to do anything to be declared the Copyright Holder?

Copyright is established automatically by the fact of creating the work and is international.

Who is normally the Copyright Holder?

The copyright holder is normally the creator of the work such as the author, editor, publisher, producer, director, photographer, artist, sculptor, database compiler and so on. If the work is created in the course of your job, your employer will normally be the copyright holder. This can vary from institution to institution so should be checked with your Research Office. Always check that any employment or research contract clearly states what the copyright policy of the employer is in this regard.

What are the exclusive rights of the Copyright Holder?

The copyright holder is the only person who has the right to use and gain economically from the use of the work. Any other use must be with the permission of the copyright holder and if required, must include a payment to them. Subject to exemptions in the Copyright Act the copyright holder has the exclusive right to undertake, or allow to undertake certain actions such as reproduction, making works available (broadcasting, lending), adaptation (translations from one language to another, conversion to electronic formats).

What kind of work is protected by Copyright?

Any expression of ideas or facts, once they are fixed in some way has copyright protection. They are "fixed" in many kinds of ways such as writing it down, filming, recording it, printing it, painting, performing, broadcasting, and inputting on a database. So for example copyright will attach to literary works, scholarly works, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer programs, databases and websites. Within the law there is no definition of what is a work but normal common sense dictates what it is and there should also be awareness that the situation may be more complicated than it seems. For example the bringing together of a number of individual works may result in a database which will attract its own copyright. To be included in a collection without your permission is a breach of copyright.

How long does Copyright last?

Generally, copyright lasts for the creator's lifetime plus 70 years. Remember that in many formats there may be several copyright holders simultaneously, for example, an author and a publisher can have different rights in the same published edition at the same time. Remember, if a book is out of print it may still be in copyright.

Sound recordings, broadcasts and the typographical arrangements of published works are protected by copyright for a period of 50 years.

Where material is published in volumes/parts or broadcast in episodes the period of copyright protection starts from the day on which the individual part was made available.

While the content of the work may be out of copyright if the author has been dead more than 70 years, the publisher will continue to have copyright in the typographical arrangement (actual print layout of the book) in any published edition of that book for 50 years.

Sound recordings and broadcasts are protected by copyright for 50 years.

If someone makes a work available to the public for the very first time after the original copyright has expired they may acquire rights equivalent to the author's for  period of 25 years. This will only happen if it has never been available before.

What is breach of Copyright?

The Act states "Copyright is infringed by a person, who without licence of the copyright owner undertakes or authorises another person to undertake acts restricted by copyright".

Copyright can be infringed in many ways and if in doubt, always seek permission of the copyright holder.

Are there any exemptions?

The Act allows for limited use of copyright works without licence or payment. There are 3 main exemptions:- Fair Dealing, Education, Libraries and Archives.

Fair Dealing

There is no legal definition for fair dealing. It is intended to strike a reasonable balance between the economic interests of the copyright holder and the information needs of the user. So reproduction of copyright material for research and private study is allowed, although there is no exact definition of how much you can copy. It is allowed if it is as the Act states "for a purpose and to an extent that will not unreasonably prejudice the interests of the copyright holder". Under fair dealing you are not allowed to make a copy and photocopy it so that it can be made available to more than one person. This may be covered in the Educational Exemptions and in the terms of the ICLA (Irish Copyright Licencing Agency) licence.


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