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New Open Science resources

Paul Ayris27 September 2022

Open Science strides forward

For the start of the academic year, the UCL Office for Open Science has prepared two outputs which can be used for training. These will be of interest to those starting on their Open Science/Scholarship journey and for early career researchers.

The first is a video, produced with funding from Research England, which introduces the concept of Open Science/Scholarship to those new to the idea. It lasts for some 40 minutes and describes the 8 pillars of Open Science, by which the concept of Openness is defined in Europe. The video can be seen on our Open Science web pages. Each section is introduced by a member of UCL staff. At the end of the video is a short Quiz, which we invite all viewers to take, to test their knowledge and understanding of Open Science/Scholarship. The Quiz returns a score for you at the end of the session, which is confidential to the individual viewer. I encourage you to watch the video and then to take the Quiz as part of your in-house training. The whole session would take just 40 minutes.

The second resource which the UCL Office for Open Science is providing is a Guide to Open Science/Scholarship for early career researchers. It has been produced with input and a scholarly Preface from the UCL Doctoral School. The Guide is closely based on a French original, which has been adapted with permission to suit the UK Higher Education sector. It is a remarkably clear introduction, easy to grasp by research students and early career researchers, librarians and Professional Services staff, at whom it is aimed.

Webinar

Finally, today (27 September) was the day I helped deliver chapter 38 of the series Focus on Open Science webinars, once again with funding from the Cities Programme from UCL Global Engagement.

Today’s webinar was conducted in partnership with the University of Nanterre in Paris. I spoke for 20 minutes about the UCL Office for Open Science and how we co-ordinate activity in UCL across all 8 pillars of Open Science.  The extended Q&A session at the end of the day offered many questions on the undoubted success of UCL Press, which I gave as an exemplar of change at a European level. The University of Lorraine is converting its traditional Press into an OA Press. I look forward to exchanges with them on Best Practice in OA publishing as their work progresses.

I wish all my colleagues in LCCOS (Library, Culture, Collections, and Open Science) the best at the start of the new academic session. I am proud and privileged to be here and working with you all.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost LCCOS

UCL East Count Down – Special Collections activity

Joanna C Baines22 August 2022

Over the next few weeks we will be posting updates about our steps to prepare for the opening of our service at One Pool Street on the new UCL East Campus. Today we’re taking a look at Special Collections’ presence and projects they’ve been working on.

Photograph of UCL East under construction, Spring 2022. Pool Street is visible on the left of the river with Marshgate on the right.

Photograph of UCL East under construction, Spring 2022. Pool Street is visible on the left of the river with Marshgate on the right.

Content

Initially Special Collections will have two full-time members of staff based at UCL East: myself (Academic Liaison Librarian / Archivist) and Anna Fineman (Outreach Programme Manager). I am leading all academic teaching and related projects at East; Anna is expanding and developing our brilliant Outreach programme, working with communities in the four neighbouring boroughs to campus (Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest). We’re currently recruiting for an additional Conservator and a Teaching and Collections Assistant who will also be based at Stratford.

Special Collections is heavily involved in the new Public History MA which begins at Pool Street this autumn; we’re leading sessions, developing group projects for students to work on and supporting all areas of delivery of this course. It’s a really exciting degree, exploring history in non-academic contexts and we’re ready to learn as much from the students and activities as we can.

Collections

A big part of our presence at UCL East will be engaging with our collections in lots of innovative ways, and getting to know the material we hold is crucial. We’re currently identifying items that will likely be used in teaching and outreach and working with our brilliant conservation and digitisation teams to get everything as ready as we can. We’re also meeting staff working in the new spaces at Pool Street (the Urban Room and Memory Workshop) and Marshgate (Culture Lab) to figure out logistics and opening projects.

Collaboration

UCL East is a big melting pot of academic ideas and departments – especially for Special Collections who will be based in spaces led by the new School for Creative and Cultural Industries (SCCI). I am spending a lot of time meeting academics to talk about how Special Collections can support the many new courses starting at East over the next few years – it’s really exciting starting from the ground up, even if it does involve a big spreadsheet to track it all! Anna is also collaborating with our East Bank partners, building on the incredible work the Outreach team has already been doing at East for a while.

If there’s anything you’d like to know about or would like to collaborate with Special Collections with, please do get in touch! We’re always happy to hear from you.

Photograph of One Pool Street under construction.

Photograph of One Pool Street under construction

Library Communications in Term 3

simon.bralee.1530 May 2022

Updates about comms from across Library Services.

We are continuing to deliver the ”locally-delivered, centrally-coordinated communications model” through our annual communications calendar and sub groups as outlined in the Library comms strategy.

Comms Calendar

Please check the Library comms calendar and get in touch if there is anything coming up in your sections over summer.

We will make a call for Term 1 2022-23 in late August.

Campaigns in Term 2

Assessments

Library Services have been promoting resources to help students completing exams and final projects. We’ve highlighted the following resources on social media:

  • Dissertations and Final Project Guides,
  • Virtual Learning Spaces
  • Exam Papers
  • 24 hour opening and additional study spaces

A big thank you to everyone across Library Services who was involved in this work.

Study Tips Tuesday

During the assessments period Library Services and Student Support and Wellbeing Team have been trialling a weekly social media campaign highlighting services and resources to help students study successfully while they are at UCL. We are reviewing whether to continue into Term 1 next year.

NHS Knowledge and Awareness Week

The Campaigns Group are organising a campaign to run across all NHS site libraries and libraries who support NHS users.

If you missed it?

UCL Psychology student Kevin Halil reviewed three Library sites: the Student Centre, the Main Library and IOE Library. (Thanks to UCL’s social media team for organising this).

Coming up over summer

  • LCCOS Public Launch
  • Celebrating CSE Assessment success
  • LCCOS Strategy
  • UCL East Opens

Updates from the sub-groups

Three sub-groups help coordinate comms activities across Library Services.

Open Days Group

  • Beginning work on creating a dynamic short video promoting Library Services to prospective students.

Campaigns Group

  • Alongside the work outlined above, the group will begin outlining plans for the next academic year.

Social Media group

  • Work continues on six projects. The group have set up a new Library TikTok account (following careful planning), started work on social media guidance for Library staff to complement existing UCL guidance and are researching effective hashtags.

At a glance updates from Term 2 (2021-22)

Most read ‘Library News’ articles

  1. 1-19 Torrington Place review
  2. Books to celebrate International Women’s Day
  3. Library Services during the Easter Break
  4. Senate House Hub – Review
  5. Break the Bias: International Women’s Day 2022

Library Services on Twitter

  • 698 Tweets sent
  • 421,621 Total impressions
  • 604 Impressions per tweet

(Based on responses from 15 accounts)

Top Tweet

Sadly the invasion of Ukraine was on everyone’s mind last term. The SSEES Library quickly created a guide of resources to help people discover and access reliable information about the ongoing crisis. This shows the importance of Libraries for members of the UCL community and beyond.

If you have any questions about comms, please get in touch with Simon Bralee.

Meet the Team: Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science (LCCOS)

Benjamin Meunier19 May 2022

In early Spring, Prof David Price facilitated a series of virtual “Meet the Team” events to help colleagues in different parts of Research, Innovation and Global Engagement (RIGE). One of these events, held on 10 March via MS Teams, focused on our work in Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science (LCCOS), to familiarise colleagues in other parts of RIGE with the role of LCCOS.

In order to provide all staff in LCCOS with an overview of our department, this blog post provides a short summary of the session. The slides are available at LCCOS Meet the Team.

Martin Moyle, Director of Services, opened the event, explaining that the LCCOS presentation would comprise a very brief overview of LCCOS and Library Services, followed by five short presentations highlighting specific areas of LCCOS likely to be of particular interest to RIGE colleagues.

He then gave a short introduction to LCCOS, which since December 2021 has brought together Library Services, UCL Culture, Research Integrity, Research Culture and Open Science.  He highlighted the size of the new  department – with 440 staff, by far the largest constituent part of the RIGE portfolio.

Martin went on to introduce Library Services, highlighting the fact that with 4.8 million annual visits to our libraries, UCL is the busiest university library service in the UK. He also emphasised UCL’s internationally important collections, the innovative services which Library staff provide (for instance ‘Click and Collect’ introduced during the pandemic) and the sheer scale of both physical and digital resources. We hold over 2 million print items and provide access to over 1.1 million e-books, plus 86,000 e-journals and 800+ databases! On Special Collections, Martin presented the team’s role in managing, conserving and making accessible 10,000 linear metres of rare books, archives and records. He emphasised that we hold one of the foremost collections of such material in the UK, and emphasised that they are not simply kept under lock and key, but are well used for teaching, research and outreach.

Charting the Library’s performance, Martin presented key metrics (National Student Survey, Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, Postgraduate Research Experience Survey) which showed how UCL has outperformed other UK libraries in supporting users during Covid, although our NSS scores dropped to 79.9% from 88.5% pre-Covid. Surveys shows consistent high satisfaction with the online library and lower scores for the physical library, which we know is due to historic under-investment in physical spaces and ongoing challenges in providing enough study spaces for our ever-growing student cohorts.  He also highlighted the latest UCL faculty compliance with REF OA Policy at 88-96% as a measure not only of the OA Team’s success, but as a mark of successful partnerships across RIGE.

June Hedges, Head of Liaison and Support Services, amplified Martin’s introduction with a more in-depth overview of Liaison and Support Services, which includes Open Science, Research Data Support, Bibliometrics Support and Research Integrity as well as Academic Engagement, Library Skills, Teaching and Learning Support and Open Access Services. In essence, Liaison and Support Services are all about enabling the learning and research of the UCL community, whether that is introducing new undergraduate students to UCL’s libraries and our services during the induction period, or providing support for seasoned researchers when they come to publish their outputs. Teams within Liaison and Support Services. The teams within the group vary greatly in size, from a “team” of one supporting bibliometrics, to the many in the Open Access Team, but all of them actively collaborate and work with colleagues across RIGE and the whole of UCL. June briefly introduced each team and pointed to more information about their work (via web links).

Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost (Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science) then presented on Open Science, setting the international context and outlining UCL’s strategy and the role of UCL’s Office for Open Science. Paul set out the 8 pillars of Open Science, and described how LCCOS was able to support all of these through leadership, advocacy and engagement. Detailed information on the Office for Open Science and Scholarship is available at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/open-science-research-support/ucl-office-open-science-and-scholarship. Paul also illustrated UCL’s position as a leader in Open Access since 2000, based on a chart showing research output and the percentage of OA publications within each institution in the Russell Group. UCL has consistently topped this chart over two decades, with Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial jostling for the remaining top 3 places. Finally, Paul presented UCL Press as an example of the impact of Open Science: with over 5m downloads from 246 countries, the research published through the UK’s first fully Open Access university press is reaching a truly global audience. The success story of UCL Press contributes to UCL’s leadership role in Open Science and LCCOS will continue to develop this agenda over the coming years.

Frank Penter, Director of Operations (UCL Culture) gave a sweeping overview of Museums, Collections, Public Programme, Theatre and UCL Engagement. The team manages 8 cultural venues, including 3 accredited museums and the Bloomsbury Theatre as well as collections which encompass over 160,000 objects ranging from Ancient Egyptian dresses to Jeremy Bentham’s head! Frank presented how UCL collections are embedded in teaching, with over 5,000 student uses of collections per year (and 3,100 specimens used in the Grant Museum in term 1 only!), and in research. For instance, the Petrie received 32 researchers from 5 different countries in Term 1 of this academic year.  Pre-Covid around 1,300 research visits were handled annually.  In addition to these ‘standard’ research support activities, the team also work on a number of funded projects with external and internal partners. Frank also explained that the Bloomsbury Theatre is actively used for student co-curricular activity, UCL academic and research activity as well as its range of commercial productions. Frank explained the work of the Programmes and Exhibitions team and their role in working with academics to develop activity and exhibitions in our museums and the Octagon/Cloisters. Frank presented UCL Engagement, who are here to spark connections between people and ideas. Frank illustrated what the team can help with, including advice and support, training (such as an Online Public Engagement course, or Public Engagement Skills and Practice for researchers and PhD students) and funding (such as Beacon Bursaries, Train and Engage, or Listen and Learn funds).  Finally, Frank presented the ground-breaking work of the Co-production Collective.

Emma Todd, Head of Research Culture, then presented work she has been leading on a wide-ranging transformation project. Research culture describes the environment in which research and innovation happens. It is made up of the expectations, values, attitudes and behaviours of our research communities and it shapes how research is created, how it’s stored, shared and the outputs that are delivered. Emma explained that there is an increasing focus on Research Culture within the sector – from Government and funders and also across peer institutions. Culture really does eat strategy for breakfast, as the famous quote goes from management consultant and writer Peter Drucker. If the culture isn’t right, we can’t fully deliver on UCL’s ambition. It is widely accepted in the sector that current research culture is not effective in helping sustain research excellence or the wellbeing of the people who deliver the research. Emma noted that there are also financial and reputational reasons why it’s important – funder requirements (including for quality-related research (QR) funding through REF) and our ability to attract the best researchers depends on UCL doing more to enhance its research culture. Wholesale change will require research organisations, funders, publishers and government to coordinate and consistently apply practical actions across the research community. But in the meantime, this complexity should not stop UCL from making progress on an institutional basis. Emma described what we’re doing at UCL, broken down into 3 parts. The first part between April – Aug 2021 was consultation with the research community. Part 2 is ongoing short term action in the form of a 6-month £1m+ Enhancing Research Culture Programme – ERCP (Feb-Jul 2022). Finally, Part 3 will be to develop a roadmap for cultural change (Apr – Sep 2022). Emma explained that she and her small temporary team (currently funded until 31st July) will deliver this project by working across UCL, with Faculties, colleagues in RIGE and in central Professional Services, and by integrating existing activity – of which there is a lot. A Research Culture Operations Group will oversee the ERCP and roadmap development and  report into RIGE Committee, which will have strategic oversight.

Finally, as Director of Operations, LCCOS, I spoke briefly about space strategy, focusing on library spaces. Whilst further work would be needed to establish a space strategy after UCL’s institutional strategy was more clearly defined, I indicated that libraries and learning spaces would aim to provide a range of interrelated learning environments, offering spaces with a clear identity, fostering sense of belonging for students (for postgraduate students, for instance), but also encouraging cross-disciplinary working. I added that space would also be develop to help extend the shared services model based on hubs, the Student Centre and UCL East approach, creating a local hub for students, e.g. within each Faculty​. I also noted that, as noted in previous Strategic Operating Plans, LCCOS would explore the feasibility of concentrating print stock in fewer sites to allow world-class user experience (24-hour opening, faculty identity, access to specialist services and resources including unique print collections) and improve financial and environmental sustainability. This could be complemented by Library-managed learning spaces​. This piece of work would follow from the UCL strategy and Estates masterplan, when those institutional plans are developed. I highlighted the ongoing work to establish a UCL Special Collections facility to exploit the exceptional institutional assets, particularly for cross-disciplinary research work. This could be linked to a wider Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences hub​, potentially in partnership with other academic institutions in London. Finally, I outlined potential for developing libraries further as portals between UCL and local communities​, which presents a great opportunity to work with colleagues in museums, collections, public engagement and Open Science.

UCL Press books exceed 6 million downloads

Alison Fox16 May 2022

We are delighted to announce that UCL Press books have been downloaded more than 6 million times, just 8 months after celebrating the milestone of 5 million downloads.

Since launching in 2015, we’ve published more than 240 academic books – including monographs, edited collections and textbooks. Downloads have taken place in 246 countries and territories across the world, reaching readers in countries as far afield as Afghanistan and North Korea! You can see the full details of exactly what has been downloaded where here.

Selected highlights

  • Our 6 millionth download was Cash Flow: The businesses of menstruation by Camilla Mørk Røstvik, which tells the riveting story of commerce and menstruation from the twentieth century to today.
  • The most popular title on our list continues to be How the World Changed Social Media by Professor of Anthropology Daniel Miller and a collective of eight other esteemed global anthropologists. The English-language edition has been downloaded more than 650,000 times since it was published in March 2016 and has been translated into four languages.

Self-guided Campus Tours

Benjamin Meunier22 April 2022

I found out today about self-guided tours which UCL Communications have produced for prospective students, available at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/campus-tours/self-guided-campus-tours.

The tour consists of a digital map of campus, with videos of some of the university’s landmarks. It focuses on the central Bloomsbury campus, featuring the Front Quad and the Portico, and has a marker for the School of Pharmacy. Whilst it doesn’t showcase many of our libraries, it does feature the Main Library (with a video of the Flaxman Gallery), the Cruciform Hub, the Student Centre, the Institute of Education Library and UCL Special Collections as well as views of SSEES Library. It also includes links to the Bloomsbury Theatre, the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL Art Museum and the Petrie Museum.

According to the website, the tour should take between 45 to 50 minutes. This might be a useful resource for first-time visitors to UCL, and I thought it would be useful to share since I don’t think these virtual tours have been promoted much internally.

Opening data & code: Who is your audience? Thursday 28th October 4-5pm 

Alison Fox20 October 2021

Join the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship and the UCL eResearch Domain to explore opening data and code.

Date: Thursday 28th October
Time: 4-5pm
Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/opening-data-code-who-is-your-audience-tickets-172935283087?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=escb

To achieve the potential impact of a particular research project in academia or in the wider world, research outputs need to be managed, shared and used effectively.

Open Research enables replicable tools to be accessible to a wide audience of users. The session will showcase three projects and discuss the potentials of reuse of data and software and how to adapt to different types of user.

Join our speakers and panel discussion to:

  • understand the potential of sharing your data and software
  • learn about how projects share their software and data with different audiences and how they tailored their open data & code to different audiences appreciate the needs of different types of user (e.g. industry based, policy maker, citizen scientists)

Confirmed speakers:

This event is part of UCL Open Access Week 2021

Please register online.

New UKRI Open Access Policy Briefing, 26th October 2-3pm

Alison Fox18 October 2021

Join the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship, UCL Press and UCL library Services in a policy briefing about the new UKRI open access policy.

Date: 26th October 2021
Time: 2-3pm
Register: https://ucl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TG1jEr6DSfOKIQQFE3emFw

The new UKRI open access policy announced in August 2020 affects academics publishing work that acknowledges UK Research Council funding. The policy requires open access on publication under the CC BY licence (or, exceptionally, CC BY-ND) for articles and conference papers submitted on or after 1 April 2022. It also requires open access no later than 12 months after publication for monographs, book chapters and edited collections resulting from a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, published on or after 1 January 2024. The UKRI policy will inform the open access policy for the next REF.

In this first UCL briefing session on the UKRI policy, Catherine Sharp (Head of Open Access Services) will set out the key policy points and compliant routes to publishing in journal articles and conference papers. Lara Speicher (Head of Publishing, UCL Press) will explore the details of the new UKRI monograph requirements, and their implications for authors. Professor Margot Finn (UCL History and immediate past President of the Royal Historical Society) will also join the session to discuss these changes and the implications for authors of monographs in the humanities and social sciences in particular.

Given the importance of the UKRI policy in shaping UK open access requirements, all researchers who publish are encouraged to attend a briefing on the UKRI policy, and to bring questions from their own disciplines.

Please register online.

UCL Press Textbook webinar- Oct 27th, 2-3pm

Alison Fox14 October 2021

Join UCL Press during open access week to find out more about their new open access textbook programme and how UCL academics can get involved.

Date: Wednesday October 27th
Time: 2pm
Sign up: https://ucl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SvPKEH_JTv2ziahZTCMmEA

The debate over access and affordability of eTextbooks is high on the agenda for many institutional libraries and publishers and many are calling for an open access solution.
In response, UCL Press is currently developing a new programme of open access textbooks, for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and modules, across disciplines. The new textbook programme will be the first OA textbook list in the UK and builds on the success of the Press’s publishing output and the significant increase in requirements for digital resources, in a changing teaching and learning environment. The programme offers the Press an opportunity to showcase and promote teaching excellence across a broad range of fields and contribute to the open culture UCL is continuing to build.
In this webinar we will discuss in more depth, why and how UCL Press are creating their open access programme and the opportunities, practicalities, and benefits of committing to, publishing and disseminating home-grown textbooks.

We will also focus on other initiatives and projects from UCL and from around the world to provide a forum for lively discussion about open access textbooks and education resources more broadly.

We encourage you to join us to hearing more about this programme and other OA initiatives.

Sign up: https://ucl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SvPKEH_JTv2ziahZTCMmEA

UCL Press exceeds five million book downloads

Alison Fox11 October 2021

We are delighted to announce that UCL Press books have now been downloaded more than 5 million times. You can see the full details here.

Since launching in 2015, we’ve published more than 200 academic books – including monographs, edited collections and textbooks. Downloads have taken place in 245 countries and territories across the world, reaching readers in countries as far afield as Afghanistan and North Korea!

To celebrate, we’ve produced a video- enjoy!