April 11, 2016, by Radoslaw Pajor

University of Nottingham Library Research Week Symposium

Between 29 February and 4 March 2016, Libraries, Research and Learning Resources (LRLR) hosted Library Research Week. The highlight of the week was the first ever Library Research Week Symposium, held on Wednesday 2 March.

The excellent line up of speakers included Professor Dame Jessica Corner DBE Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, and representatives from HEFCE and Research Councils UK (RCUK). Our speakers discussed topics including Open Access (OA), Research Excellence Framework (REF), Research Data Management (RDM) and the recent Nurse Review of research councils.

Dame Jessica acknowledged the key areas of support for research (OA, systematic reviews, RDM, training for PGRs, etc.) that Libraries can provide. Dame Jessica talked about our new mediated deposit service which launched in February, over 100 items have been already successfully deposited, good early progress but a long way to go to reach the 5000 submissions achieved by the University for REF 2014.

A special mention was given to the RDM pilot in Pharmacy initiated by LRLR, during the speech. Dame Jessica concluded with her thoughts on the challenge for libraries to increase the visibility of our assets, services and support to research areas.

Professor Jeremy Gregory, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, was the second speaker of the day. He recognized the importance of archival research in supporting the History sub-panel positive comments received for University of Nottingham on the last REF.  The PVC for the Faculty of Arts also highlighted the key role of extensive resources in the University’s special collections underpinning the research at the University of Nottingham.

Our first external contributor, Alexandra Saxon, Associate Director of Policy and Analysis, RCUK, provided an overview of RCUK open access philosophy, policy and activities. She emphasised that although we are still awaiting more details on the proposed formation of Research UK as an overarching body for the research councils, the latter will still exist going forward.

From the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Professor Jon Ball, Director of Research discussed the relationship and dependence of quality research on quality libraries. In his talk, he gave an overview of how researcher behaviours changed as resources have become increasingly available in digital form, and how libraries had to adapt over time.

Ben Johnson, Research Policy Advisor HEFCE gave the final presentation of the day, touching on several hot topics in OA, eg  different institutional responses to higher journal costs, concerns raised of the UK introducing mandated open access as REF requirement, as well as reiterating the general aims and principles of HEFCE.

The presentations were followed by a short panel discussion and a pleasant opportunity for networking over lunch.

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