So, what is it really like to work in research support and scholarly communication?

Followers of this blog will remember various posts over the last year about the OSC’s work as part of the Scholarly Communication Professional Development group. This group of interested parties from across the information sector aims to look at the training needs of those working in (or wanting to work in) scholarly communication and how these can best be met.

Although it’s an expanding area of academic librarianship with a rapidly growing number of roles, those hiring for these positions often report that it can be hard to recruit from within the library community. Too often those from a library background, both new and more established professionals, don’t know enough about these roles and the skills needed to be successful in their application (or even to apply at all!). These roles are actually a great fit for the library and information skill set but the terminology used in advertisements is not consistent and it can be hard to marry existing skills to what is being asked for.

One of the goals of our group is to demystify the range of jobs available in scholarly communication.  Obviously the exact nature of the role will vary between both countries and institutions but we hope that by using the combined power of the community we can cover most areas. This is where you come in…

Inspired by the 23 librarians programmes which took place across the UK a few years ago we would like to offer those who are working in scholarly communication and research support a chance to share their thoughts with us in the form of short vox pop video interviews. Designed to be no more than two to three minutes in length these videos would outline what your role is, the core tasks of your job and the skills you wish you had developed prior to working in this area. We will host these videos online and over time build up a useful resource for the community at large and those looking to work in this area. Videos can be filmed on phones, tablets or anything else you have to hand.

We are aiming to launch the first wave of vox pops during Open Access Week 2018 (22 – 28th October) but the contributions don’t need to be restricted to those working in Open Access roles. We welcome contributions from anyone who considers that they work in any aspect of scholarly communication or research support, whether this is in a library or a different environment. To help you we have put together both a sample video and a list of questions below.


What are the core tasks of your job? Tell us about one thing which surprised you about your current role?
What are the skills you need to do this job well? What is the best part of your role?
How did you develop these skills? What is the most challenging part of your role?
What do you need to do this job that you didn’t learn at [library] school? What advice do you have for others wanting to work in this area?

Don’t feel that you have to answer all of the questions – just choose two or three which you feel you would like to answer. Alternatively, if there is something else you would like to share about your role then this is your chance! The only thing we ask is that you give your name, job title and place of work at the beginning of your video. If you would prefer to write your answers rather than record a video we would also welcome your contribution.

You can contribute to the project here:

We will share these interviews during Open Access Week so watch this blog for further details.

Published 02 October 2018
Written by Claire Sewell
Creative Commons License

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