Members of the Library Research Services team (Will and Merinne) recently attended the first face-to-face meeting of the RLUK Open Strategy Network (OSN). RLUK OSN is a professional peer network for RLUK members leading Scholarly Communication, Open Science, Open Research, Open Scholarship and related activities within RLUK member libraries.
Working and delivering services and tools in the complex & fast moving areas of open scholarship and research means that working and networking with our communities helps with both personal development, sharing and learning about best practice and common challenges, and helps inform our future service planning & prioritisation.
I asked Will and Merinne if they could reflect on their visit, which was held in the stunning Cambridge University Library (I have been before, and definitely an iconic building within beautiful surroundings).
Reflections from Will and Merinne
Cambridge University Library were our very accommodating hosts. The Library is a huge 1930s building designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, reminiscent of Tate Modern (which Scott also designed). We were lucky to be literally next door to their current exhibition on the artist Raymond Briggs. It was fantastic to be able to see the original artwork for The Snowman, Fungus the Bogeyman and other classics of children’s books and animation. The exhibition is on until 26 August 2023.
It was great to attend my first RLUK event, in person, at the University of Cambridge Main Library. The day began with an activity in which colleagues worked in pairs to discuss the main challenges they faced in relation to promoting open research, and offering each other suggestions and solutions. I put my challenges around fully leveraging our institutional subscription to ORCID to the network, and received several helpful suggestions around implementing APIs within our existing systems (repository, CRIS, staff pages) that could increase the benefits of ORCIDS to our staff.
There was then a presentation from Dr Sam Moore entitled “Engaging the Open Research ‘Vanguard’: a strategy for behavioural change”. Sam told a really optimistic story of what can be achieved in an institution with a strong community of engaged researchers across the disciplines, acting at a grass roots level to effect cultural change. Elements included a full time Open Research Community Manger post, a Rights Retention pilot (to which 500 members of staff signed up!), an open invitation to researchers to contribute to the open research blog, and a series of workshops to create a researcher-led strategy for openness. Despite these advances, Sam also sounded a note of caution, saying that although the cadre of keen academics has enabled a rapid rate of transition, it was still important to ensure the whole community was engaged, and that dissenting voices were listened to and accommodated.
The event wrapped up with groups working together to outline the potential outcomes of a range of working groups – I was in the group looking at Reward and Recognition. Outcomes of the workstream, we envisaged a survey of current practice, defining a set of indicators of openness to be recognised/rewarded, and assemble a pack of resources for the community.
Overall, a really useful networking event, and a great opportunity to hear from others who are looking at similar service priorities as us, including the importance of cultural change and community when driving forward the open research agenda.
Any queries on anything related to open research and scholarship, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org we are always happy to chat about anything related to open research, especially if coffee and cake are on the table!
All images copyright Dr William Farrell