Monthly Archives: January 2018

In Conversation with the Wellcome Trust – sharing & managing research outputs

In July 2017, the Wellcome Trust updated their policy on the management and sharing of research outputs.  This policy helps deliver Wellcome’s mission – to improve health for everyone by enabling great ideas to thrive.  The University of Cambridge’s Research Data Management Facility invited Wellcome Trust to Cambridge to talk with their funded research community (and potential researchers) about what this updated policy means for them.  On 5th December in the Gurdon Institute Tea Room, the Deputy Head of Scholarly Communication Dr Lauren Cadwallader, welcomed Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research, and David Carr, Open Research Programme Manager, from the Wellcome’s Open Research Team. 

This blog summarises the presentations from David and Robert about the research outputs policy and how it has been working and the questions raised by the audience.

Maximising the value of research outputs: Wellcome’s approach

David Carr outlined key points about the new policy, which now, in addition to sharing openly publications and data, includes sharing software and materials as other valued outputs of research.

An outputs management plan is required to show how the outputs of the project will be managed and the value of the outputs maximised (whilst taking into consideration that not all outputs can be shared openly).  Updated guidance on outputs management plans has been published and can be found on Wellcome’s website.

Researchers are also to note that:

  • Outputs should be made available with as few restrictions as possible.
  • Data and software underlying publications must be made available at the time of publication at the latest.
  • Data relevant to a public health emergency should be shared as soon as it has been quality assured regardless of publication timelines.
  • Outputs should be placed in community repositories, have persistent identifiers and be discoverable.
  • A check at the final report stage, to ensure outputs have been shared according to the policy, has been introduced (recognising that parameters change during the research and management plans can change accordingly).
  • Of course, management and sharing of research outputs comes with a cost and Wellcome Trust commit to reviewing and supporting associated costs as part of the grant.

Wellcome have periodically reviewed take-up and implementation of their research outputs sharing and management policy and have observed some key responses:

  • Researchers are producing better quality plans; however, the formats and level of detail included in the plans do remain variable.
  • There is uncertainty amongst stakeholders (researchers, reviewers and institutions) in how to fulfil the policy.
  • Resources required to deliver plans are often not fully considered or requested.
  • Follow-up and reporting about compliance has been patchy.

In response to these findings, Wellcome will continue to update their guidance and work with their communities to advise, educate and define best practice.  They will encourage researchers to work more closely with their institutions, particularly over resource planning.  They will also develop a proportionate mechanism to monitor compliance.

Developing Open Research

Robert Kiley then described the three areas which the dedicated Open Research Team at Wellcome lead and coordinate: funder-led activities; community-led activities and policy leadership.

Funder-led activities include:

  • Wellcome Open Research, the publishing platform launched in partnership with F1000 around a year ago; here Wellcome-funded researchers can rapidly and transparently publish any results they think are worth sharing. Average submission to publication time for the first 100 papers published was 72 days – much faster than other publication venues.
  • Wellcome Trust is working with ASAP-Bio and other funders to support pre-prints and continues to support e-Life as an innovative Open Access journal.
  • Wellcome Trust will review their Open Access policy during 2018 and will consult their funded researchers and institutions as part of this process.
  • Wellcome provides the secretariat for the independent review panel for the com (CSDR) platform which provides access to anonymised clinical trial data from 13 pharmaceutical companies. From January 2018, they will extend the resource to allow listing of academic clinical trials supported by Wellcome, MRC, CRUK and Gates Foundation.  Note that CDSR is not a repository but provides a common discoverability and access portal.

Community-led activities

Wellcome are inviting the community to develop and test innovative ideas in Open Research.  Some exciting initiatives include:

  • The Open Science Prize: this initiative was run last year in partnership with US National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. It supported prototyping and development of tools and services to build on data and content.  New prizes and challenges currently being developed will build on this model.
  • Research Enrichment – Open Research: this was launched in November 2017. Awards of up to £50K are available for Wellcome grant-holders to develop Open Research ideas that increase the impact of their funded research.
  • Forthcoming: more awards and themed challenges aimed at Open Research – including a funding competition for pioneering experiments in open research, and a prize for innovative data re-use.
  • The Open Research Pilot Project: whereby four Wellcome-funded groups are being supported at the University of Cambridge to make their research open.

Policy Leadership

In this area, Wellcome Trust engage in policy discussions in key policy groups at the national, European and international level.  They also convene international Open Research funder’s webinars.  They are working towards reform on rewards and incentives for researchers, by:

  • Policy development and declarations
  • Reviewing grant assessment procedures: for example, providing guidance to staff, reviewers and panel members so that there is a more holistic approach on the value and impact of research outputs.
  • Engagement: for example, by being clear on how grant applicants are being evaluated and committing to celebrate grantees who are practicing Open Research. 

Questions & Answers

Policy questions

I am an administrator of two Wellcome Trust programmes; how is this information about the new policy being disseminated to students? Has it been done?

When the Wellcome Open Research platform was announced last year, there was a lot of communication, for example, in grants newsletters and working with the centres.

Further dissemination of information about the updated policy on outputs management could be realised through attending events, asking questions to our teams, or inviting us to present to specific groups.  In general, we are available and want to help.

Following this, the Office of Scholarly Communication added that they usually put information about things like funder policy changes in the Research Operations Office Bulletin.

Regarding your new updated policy, have you been in communication with the Government?

We work closely with HEFCE and RCUK. They are all very aware about what we aim to do.

One of the big challenges is to answer the question from researchers: “If we are not using a particular ‘big journal’ name, what are we using to help us show the quality of the research?”.

We have been working with other funders (including Research Councils) to look at issues around this.  Once we have other funders on board, we need to work with institutions on staff promotion and tenure criteria.  We are working with others to support a dedicated person charged with implementing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and identify best practice.

How do you see Open Outputs going forward?

There is a growing consensus over the importance of making research outputs available, and a strong commitment from funders to overcome the challenges. Our policy is geared to openness in ways that maximise the health benefits that flow from the research we fund.

Is there a licence that you encourage researchers to use?

No. We encourage researchers to utilise existing sources of expertise (e.g. The Software Sustainability Institute) and select the licence most appropriate for them.

Some researchers could just do data collection instead of publishing papers. Will we have future where people are just generating data and publishing it on its own and not doing the analysis?

It could happen. Encouraging adoption of CRediT Taxonomy roles in publication authorship is one thing that can help.

Outputs Management Plans

How will you approach checking outputs against the outputs management plan?

We will check the information submitted at the end of grants – what outputs were reported and how these were shared – and refer back to the plan submitted at application. We will not rule out sanctions in the future once things are in place. At the moment there are no sanctions as it is premature to do this.  We need to get the data first, monitor the situation and make any changes later in the process.

What are your thoughts on providing training for reviewers regarding the data management plans as well as for the people who will do the final checks? Are you going to provide any training and identify gaps on research for this?

We have provided guidance on what plans should contain; this is something we can look at going forwards.

One of the key elements to the outputs management plan is commenting on how outputs will be preserved. Does the Wellcome Trust define what it means by long term preservation anywhere?

Long term preservation is tricky. We have common best practice guidelines for data retention – 10 years for regular data and 20 years for clinical research. We encourage people to use community repositories where these exist.

What happens to the output if 10 years have passed since the last time of access?

This is a huge problem. There need to be criteria to determine what outputs are worth keeping which take into account whether the data can be regenerated. Software availability is also a consideration.

Research enrichment awards

You said that there will be prizes for data re-use, and dialogue on infrastructure is still in the early stages. What is the timeline? It would be good to push to get the timeline going worldwide.

Research enrichment awards are already live and Wellcome will assess them on an ongoing basis. Please apply if you have a Wellcome grant. Other funding opportunities will be launched in 2018. The Pioneer awards will be open to everyone in the spring and it is aimed for those who have worked out ways to make their work more FAIR.  The same applies to our themed challenges for innovative data re-use which will also launch in the spring – we will identify a data set and get people to look at it.  For illustration, a similar example is The NEJM SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge.

Publishing Open Access

What proportion of people are updating their articles on Wellcome Open Research?

Many people, around 15%, are editing their articles to Version 2 following review. We have one article at Version 3.

Has the Wellcome Trust any plans for overlay journals, and if so, in which repository will they be based?

Not at the moment. There will be a lot of content being published on platforms such as Open Research, the Gates platform and others. In the future, one could imagine a model where content is openly published on these platforms, and the role of journals is to identify particular articles with interesting content or high impact (rather than to manage peer review).  Learned societies have the expertise in their subjects; they potentially have a role here, for example in identifying lead publications in their field from a review of the research.

Can you give us any hints about the outcome of your review of the Wellcome Trust Open Access policy? Are you going to consider not paying for hybrid journals when you review your policy?

We are about to start this review of the policy. Hybrid journals are on the agenda. We will try to simplify the process for the researcher.  We are nervous about banning hybrid journals.  Data from the last analysis showed that 70% of papers from Wellcome Trust grants, for which Wellcome Trust paid an article processing charge, were in hybrid journals.  So if we banned hybrid journals it would not be popular.  Researchers would need to know which are hybrid journals.  Possibly with public health emergencies we could consider a different approach.  So there is a lot to consider and a balance to keep.  We will consult both researchers and institutions as part of the exercise.  There is also another problem in that there is a big gap in choice between hybrid and other journals.

If researchers can publish in hybrid journals, would Wellcome Trust consider making rules regarding offsetting?

That would be interesting. However, more rules could complicate things as researchers would then also need to check both the journal’s Open Access policy and find out if they have an approved offset deal in place.

Open Data & other research outputs

What is your opinion on medical data? For example, when we write an article, we can’t publish the genetics data as there is a risk that a person could be identified.

Wellcome Trust recognise that some data cannot be made available. Our approach is to support managed access. Once the data access committee has considered that the requirement is valid, then access can be provided. The author will need to be clear on how the researcher can get hold of the data.  Wellcome Trust has done work around best practice in this area.

Does Open Access mean free access? There is a cost for processing.

Yes, there is usually a cost. For some resources, those requesting data do have to pay a fee. For example, major cohort studies such as ALSPAC and UK Biobank have a fee which covers the cost of considering the request and preparing the data.

ALSPAC is developing a pilot with Wellcome Open Research to encourage those who access data and return derived datasets to the resource, to publish data papers describing data they are depositing.  Because the cost of access has already been met, such data will be available at no cost.

Does the software that is used in the analysis need to be included?

Yes, the policy is that if the data is published, the software should be made available too. It is a requirement, so that everybody can reproduce the study.

Is there a limit to volume of data that can be uploaded?

Wellcome Open Research uses third party data resources (e.g. Figshare). The normal dataset limit there is 5GB, but both Figshare and subject repositories can store much higher volumes of data where required.

What can be done about misuse of data?

In the survey that we did, researchers expressed fears of data misuse. How do we address such a fear? Demonstrating the value of data will play a great role in this.  It is also hard to know the extent to which these fears play out in reality – only a very small proportion of respondents indicated that they had actually experienced data being used inappropriately.  We need to gather more evidence of the relative benefits and risks, and it could be argued that publishing via preprints and getting a DOI are your proofs that you got there first.

Published 26 January 2018
Written by Dr Debbie Hansen
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Developing the staff of the future: training librarians in 2017

2017 was an exciting year for training our library community. As well as continuing to cover the basics of research support, the OSC was able to introduce new topics and new methods of delivery to ensure that Cambridge library staff have all the information they need to support the research community. In this blog post our Research Support Skills Coordinator Claire Sewell reflects on the successes of the past year and her plans to make 2018 even better.

This time last year I was reflecting on my first full year in my role, having started in November 2015. After more than two years in the role some things have remained constant but there have also been a great many changes in training, so it seemed like a good idea to stop and reflect again.

The OSC runs two parallel professional development schemes for library staff: Supporting Researchers in the 21st Century and the Research Support Ambassador Programme. Supporting Researchers is open to all library staff and offers a regular programme of training in areas related to research support throughout the year. The Research Support Ambassadors programme is a more intensive programme which runs every summer and is designed to create a library workforce who feel confident in helping researchers with their queries.

Supporting Researchers in the 21st Century

The world of the academic library is changing and it’s important that institutions work to equip the staff with the knowledge they need to take advantage of these changes. The Supporting Researchers programme offers a range of training opportunities from general talks to in-depth workshops which are designed to help staff keep on top of the rapidly changing world of scholarly communication.

In 2017 we ran twenty-three training events catering to the needs of over four hundred staff. In addition to covering some of the expected areas such as Open Access and Research Data Management we looked at some new areas such as Text and Data Mining and predatory publishing. These sessions proved to be a hit with attendees, with 70% of those attending rating the sessions as ‘excellent’. They were also enthusiastic in their feedback:

Excellent session on predatory publishers. We’ve started to get a lot of questions in this area and knowing more about it came at the perfect time

It was really engaging and a perfect introduction to the topic. I only had a vague idea at the outset as to what predatory publishing is but by the end of it I felt really well-informed (and in a short space of time!)

In order to help staff plan their time and attendance we experimented with forming sessions into mini programmes which resulted in our Librarian Toolkit sessions on Helping Researchers Publish and Open Access. This seemed to be successful so it’s something we’ll be continuing in 2018. By far our most successful session was How to Spot a Predatory Publisher, which was delivered in direct response to demand from staff who were getting a lot of questions from their users on the topic. It was so successful that we’ve gone on to produce some local guidance and a webinar which has over 300 views to date.

Research Support Ambassador Programme

In 2017 the Research Ambassador Programme ran from August to October and attracted eighteen participants from across colleges, departments and the University Library. We tried something a little different this year by making most of the training available online. Librarians are notoriously busy people and coupling this with summer holidays and the introduction of a new library management system meant that it would have been impractical to schedule in a host of face-to-face sessions. The initial introductory workshop ran as an in-person session to allow Ambassadors to meet each other and put faces to names but all other sessions were delivered as interactive webinars.

Although formal feedback is still being collated, initial responses have been positive:

I feel much more confident now that I have a good overview of all the issues confronting researchers and I will be able to know how to train researchers and who to refer them to for more information

Thanks for the programme. The content was really interesting and delivering via webinar was helpful as I didn’t have to leave my desk. I feel much more confident in dealing with researcher questions now.

Now that we have three cohorts of past Research Ambassadors in Cambridge it’s time to expand the programme for those still wishing to be involved. It’s hoped that this will create a community of research support librarians and strengthen it into the future as new staff take part in the programme.


Introducing a new training format is always a challenge but in the case of OSC webinars it’s one where the hard work has paid off. Many library staff have commented over the past two years that although they would like to attend training session they can’t due to issues with library staffing and other commitments. Repeating sessions and varied scheduling helps to some extent but we felt that more could be done. Having attended many webinars myself I knew they were a great way to attend training without having to leave my desk, especially if recordings could be accessed at a later date.

Over the course of 2017 the OSC delivered a total of nine webinars for library staff. Feedback on the format from library staff was positive:

Working in a small Library where most staff are part time makes it difficult to get out of the Library to attend training so being able to take part online was great.

I really enjoy the ability to listen back at a convenient time; I often cannot leave the library at short notice due to lack of cover, or unforeseeable research enquiries that overrun and unfortunately take precedence over courses etc.

Nice and flexible – can watch from anywhere!

As a result of this success, the webinar format is now being used for additional training for both the research community and an audience beyond Cambridge.

Moving beyond Cambridge

It’s also been a busy year for training library staff outside Cambridge. In May I went to talk to CPD25, the staff development programme of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries on Making the Modern Academic Librarian and gave a presentation on the Librarian as Researcher to CILIP in Kent in November. I was also lucky enough to visit Salzberg to talk about the skills librarians can bring to the support of Text and Data Mining. The OSC has also been involved in talking to other interested stakeholders about the wider need for research support training for library staff which has led to some exciting progress.

We’ve also been busy talking about Cambridge initiatives to the wider world. In April 2017 I went to LILAC – the major information literacy conference for librarians – in Swansea and gave three presentation including a poster on the Supporting Researchers in the 21st Century programme, a presentation on the Research Support Ambassador programme and a workshop on Engaging Students with Research Data Management. This has led to a wider interest in these programmes and the issue of research support training more widely.

Perhaps the biggest impact we’ve had has been the publication of an article on the Research Support Ambassador Programme in the New Review of Academic Librarianship. To date this has had over two thousand views and was the most read article published in the journal in 2017. I was very excited to discover this week that it has its first citation and that it has been chosen to receive a cartoon abstract as part of the launch of the publisher’s new librarian platform this year. Lots to look forward to!

Future plans

So, what next? Plans for the Research Support Ambassadors are moving forward and we have several interesting sessions lined up for our librarians already. There has also been a lot of interest in offering training to a wider audience starting with a session on Moving Into Research Support in February and more to come. Hopefully there will also be more publications in the future and of course updates on this blog. The OSC is very much looking forward to working with our library community throughout 2018 and beyond to bring them more exciting training opportunities.

Published 26 January 2018
Written by Claire Sewell
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2017 – That was the year that was

The fact that we are sending this out in the fourth week of January reflects how busy 2018 is already shaping up to be. But it is important to take stock and reflect on the achievements of the past year.

In many ways 2017 was a year of numbers for the Office of Scholarly Communication. Some of them were large – we celebrated 1000 datasets deposited to the repository and 1 million downloads of items in the repository in 2017. Other numbers were enormous, like the overwhelming tide of people who tried to access Professor Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis when we released it, and the very impressive Almetrics score of over 1500 for his thesis because the release “broke the internet”. There were some small but significant numbers too, including farewelling a few integral members of staff.


The OSC held a celebration in September to mark 1000 datasets in the repository. It was supposed to be a ‘garden party’ but inclement weather put paid to that! Apollo now contains the largest body of datasets of any UK HEI and downloads from the site account for a 36% (27,346) of all dataset downloads from 132 UK HEI repositories in 2017, according to IRUS-UK.

Our Repository Integration Manager, Dr Agustina Martinez was a joint winner of a 2017 Professional Services Recognition Award.  The judges used their discretionary powers to make this award that did not fit into the given categories. The award was for a “particularly successful cross-departmental team partnership” between the OSC, the Research Office, and the University Information Service for “preparing, implementing and evaluating the synchronisation of two internal research systems, a complex and challenging project that succeeded because of effective collaborative working”.

This is a prestigious achievement and we are very proud of her.

Open access activity

The Open Access Team within the OSC processes a huge number of articles, datasets and theses into the Apollo repository to ensure the University is compliant with various funder requirements. Over the past few years this work has been a primarily manual process, causing significant backlogs for the team.

A huge 18 month project has been the linking of our DSpace repository to the University’s CHRIS system, Symplectic Elements. In June 2017, the OSC successfully launched a new deposit system for article manuscripts for the research community, with new workflows eliminating the manual uploading of information to the repository.

The Request a Copy function was very popular, with 3108 requests in 2017 alone. The vast majority of these were for articles (1599) and theses (1282). Currently these requests are manually processed and forwarded to the authors manually, a very time consuming process.

Theses fun and games

During 2017 the team developed a new deposit form for theses which has allowed current and past students to easily upload their theses. The University introduced a new policy for PhD students to provide digital versions of their theses and the number of theses in the repository is now increasing exponentially.

In Open Access Week we opened up access to Professor Stephen Hawking’s thesis Properties of expanding universes. The response was incredible, with over 22,000 access an hour at one stage and the story that this thesis had ‘broken the internet’ hit the world news. Over a million unique IP addresses hit the page during and over the weeks after Open Access Week. There were over 42,000 accesses of Professor Hawking’s thesis in December alone.

Possibly off the back of that huge publicity, our (relatively) quiet call to alumni to also share their PhDs openly online has been met with enthusiasm and we continue to receive regular queries from our alumni community.


We are now half way through our Open Research Pilot Project which has identified primary issues in this area as a lack of sustainable support for infrastructure and a lack of reward and incentive to work openly. The participants agree that having the dialogue is helping the participating researchers exchange ideas and the Wellcome Trust develop new services and policies.

We started investigating Text and Data Mining in 2017, with a meeting of interested library staff in February. This was followed up with a workshop at the RLUK conference which identified the fact that we do not have any Service Level Agreements with our publishers. Within Cambridge, our colleague James Cauldwell prepared a TDM libguide for our research community. In July we hosted an extremely well attended Text and Data Mining symposium which showcased many experiments and methods. The presentation slide decks and some of the recordings of the presentations are available on our website.

The Data Champions programme has been the subject of considerable interest worldwide and the website has been updated to be more useful to visitors. Regular meetings and training fora were held in 2017.

Training of the library community

Part of the work of the OSC is to develop the skills and knowledge of the large Cambridge library community in scholarly communication issues. Our Research Skills Support Coordinator Claire Sewell had an impressive 403 attendees at 23 events with a 70% rating of ‘excellent’. Claire launched successful online webinars in 2017 in addition to her face to face programme delivery. An example is ‘How to spot a predatory publisher’.

Claire has also been involved with Danny Kingsley on a sector wide project that is looking at the broader issue of training provision in scholarly communication. This project arose from a workshop held at UKSG in April. In 2017 the group, which includes representatives from Jisc, SCONUL, ARMA, RLUK, UKCORR, Vitae and CILIP, had its first meeting in June and will continue work this year.

Outreach to the research community

In 2017 the OSC consolidated its training provision for PhD students and Early Career Researchers to create a termly programme each for HASS and STEM. We have worked with other libraries across Cambridge to share our training capabilities, an approach that has been very successful.

We ran several very popular events, and in keeping with our philosophy of opening up our work to the widest audience, filmed events which are publicly available on our website and livestreamed where possible. Events included “How to get the most out of modern peer review”, a Text and Data Mining symposium and several “Helping Researchers Publish” events. We ended the year with a large event at St Catherine’s College called ‘Engaging Researchers in Research Data Management’ in conjunction with Jisc and SPARC Europe.

As a follow on from that event we are encouraging those involved in data to pitch for some funds to develop an idea to further the engagement of researchers with data. Information about the project can be downloaded.

Some events fed into further research. A popular January event to discuss Electronic Lab Notebooks then morphed into a trial of ELNs amongst our research community at Cambridge. This trial completed towards the end of 2017 and the findings and advice are now online with a link to what is already becoming a useful online discussion resource.


We continue to blog through Unlocking Research and the new Open Research- Adventures from the Frontline blog. Between the two we published 45 blogs in 2017, all of which received hundreds of visits. The most visited blog was Milestone -1000 datasets in Cambridge’s repository with 1300 visits. Looking at the most popular blogs it shows a wide range of topics that have grabbed the imagination of the readership which seem to alternate between interest in the processes and assessment of Cambridge’s scholarly communication services:

and discussions about the politics surrounding policy in this area:

Interestingly, the second most visited blog in 2017 was one published in February 2016 – What does a researcher do all day?, demonstrating the usefulness of this as a communication resource.

We continue to send out our two newsletters. The KaleidOSCope newsletter now has over 1100 subscribers of which just over 50% go to a Cambridge email address. The readership of the Research Data Management newsletter, with over 2200 subscribers, is more Cambridge focused, with approximately 77% having a Cambridge email address.

We also launched our new logo in 2017 – with the dandelion motif – to symbolize dissemination. As one of our team mentioned, they are a weed, but they are also very effective at spreading themselves around. We are not sure what that says about us.

Review of the Office of Scholarly Communication

After two years of operation, the Office of Scholarly Communication was the subject of a Review by the University. The actual Review took place in mid July, after a lead in requiring considerable work to reflect and summarise the work that has been done in this initial stage of the Office.

The process did represent a significant amount of extra work for the team in document preparation, and there is no denying this was a very stressful period. But it was extremely edifying to have such a high level endorsement of the approach the OSC has taken, with the Panel commending the team “for a highly creative and professional approach to setting up the service, and for achieving rapid growth in awareness, engagement and compliance in open access throughout the University”.

The Panel noted they had received “very positive feedback from service users who had responded to the consultation, and from external stakeholders”.

The Panel also commented on a “pro-active stance towards external engagement and advocacy for scholarly communication, being recognised as an internationally renowned and pioneering leader in the field of scholarly communication”. The blogs here on Unlocking Research are an example of this work.

Generally the OSC staff have continued to contribute to professional activities within and outside the University to help develop robust policies and services in the area of scholarly communication.

The first recommendation of the Review of the OSC was that a Working Party should be convened to “clarify the University’s needs and expectations in relation to Open Research”. This will be an important piece of work for the OSC with the University throughout 2018.

Staff changes

In April 2017 the Cambridge Library community welcomed Dr Jess Gardner as the University Librarian. In October last year Professor Stephen Toope was admitted to the office of Vice Chancellor at Cambridge University. These are significant leadership changes for the Library and the University.

Locally, scholarly communications was further embedded in the fabric of core business for the Library with the creation of a new Directorate in Scholarly Communication and Research Services, which Dr Danny Kingsley is heading in her new role as one of the Deputy Directors of the Library. Drs Lauren Cadwallader and Arthur Smith moved into Acting Deputy Head roles for the OSC.

The OSC said farewell to two members of the Research Data Management Facility. In April Rosie Higman moved to a new role at Manchester University and in July, Dr Marta Teperek moved to a role at Delft University in the Netherlands. This has been a big loss for the OSC team, although we maintain a strong working relationship with them both and have now been able to extend our collaborations across institutional and country lines.

On the other side of the ledger, we welcomed several new people to the team. In January, Dr Andre Sartori joined the Open Access Team. In May, Dr Marta Busse started work as our Research Data Coordinator. Dr Melodie Garnier joined the team in a Scholarly Communication Support role. We have had Tony Malone working with us, undertaking a wide range of support across our activities. Most recently, Zoe Walker-Fagg has joined as our Project Manager and lead on the thesis work.

There were some internal changes from within the Cambridge library community as well. Dr Matthias Ammon moved to a new role in a departmental library. Katie Hughes and Lucy Welch joined the team on secondments from other areas of the library network to cover some of the internal movement resulting from those staff who had left. For a team of 17 people, this movement within one year (four out, seven in) has been substantial.

We continue to need to consolidate the contractual and funding arrangements for the staffing of the OSC, and while the situation is considerably more stable than it was at the beginning of 2017, there is still some significant work to be done.

Looking ahead

There are some large projects underway in 2018. We are consulting with our research community and continuing to refine the thesis requirement policy.  We are working with Cambridge Digital Humanities and Cambridge University Press on a Text and Data Mining “Test Kitchen” to explore techniques, corpus and copyright issues. We are also looking to understand better how our research community interacts with the published literature.

On the technical side, one of our biggest challenges this year will be to automate our Request a Copy service and start promoting this more actively. We have some interesting plans for engagement including a competition for researchers to have their work explained by a professional storyteller for the Cambridge Science Festival.

The outcome of the University’s work on a position statement on Open Research will affect the direction of the OSC into the future. Regardless, we will continue to support and innovate in the area of scholarly communication with our local community while contributing to the discussions and activities nationally and globally. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose sums it up nicely.

Published 22 January 2018
Written by Dr Danny Kingsley
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