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Archive for the 'General' Category

Digital accessibility

RobertDrinkall11 July 2019

As you may already be aware, new legislation applying to the accessibility of websites and mobile applications was introduced in 2018.

A UCL Digital Accessibility Task and Finish Group has been established to co-ordinate the implementation of this legislation across UCL, and within Library Services a working group has been set up to develop a working plan for Library compliance.

More from the group will follow, but in the meantime, if you’d like to read up about what’s involved, please see ISD’s Creating accessible content web pages, which also outline face-to-face sessions you can attend.

For web authors who edit content for the public library website, please note that the Web Team is already checking for any accessibility issues as part of the web page approval process.

Launch of SMT Surgeries

RozzEvans11 July 2019

The Library’s Senior Management Team (SMT) has been considering feedback from colleagues concerning the perceived lack of visibility of the team and a desire for a greater understanding of what the SMT does. We are aware that it would be helpful for colleagues to engage directly with by meeting and talking with SMT colleagues in order to raise issues of concern or suggest ideas for improvement.

As a first step we have refreshed the SMT information on LibNet and added more information about individual responsibilities as well as including photos and contact details. Feedback on the revised information on LibNet is welcome.  We have made sure that the last three months of minutes from SMT’s monthly meetings are available and will continue to ensure these are up-to-date.  Notes from earlier meetings are available on request from Noel Caliste, who is Paul’s Executive Assistant (n.caliste@ucl.ac.uk).

SMT have also decided to set up a series of Surgeries, modelled on those offered by MPs to give individuals and small groups the opportunity to meet members of the SMT face-to-face and raise issues of concern.  At least two members of SMT will be present at each surgery. This will be a pilot, and we will be asking for feedback from colleagues throughout the pilot so that we can see if this is something that is useful, or whether there is a better way to improve two-way communication.

Where possible, Surgeries will be held in non-library spaces.  They are going to be held on different days and times of the week to enable as many colleagues as possible to attend.  They will be timed to occur in-between SMT meetings, and issues and feedback raised by staff at the Surgeries will be discussed at the next SMT so that staff can be assured that issues will be followed-up.

While the pilot Surgeries are all located in Bloomsbury, there will be the option to Skype or phone in.  If the pilot is successful, we will ensure that they are offered outside the Bloomsbury campus if there is demand.

The dates and times for the Surgeries will be publicised on LibNet as soon as they are available, along with information for booking.

WHEN conference

GillianMackenzie8 July 2019

I am a member of the Astrea committee, the UCL network for women in professional services and recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN) conference at 1-19 Torrington Place.

WHEN is multi-institutional, and is for women working in academia and professional services. The title and theme of 2019 conference was ‘Who am I supposed to be?’, and many of the discussions and workshops looked at labels that we give ourselves or are given to us by others, and the impact these can have.

Members of Astrea at the WHEN conference


The joint keynote speech was delivered by Professor Kalwant Bhopal from the University of Birmingham, followed by Yasmine Bouidaf, who works at UCL and is also the founder and CEO of the company Serious Datum. Professor Bhopal gave a powerful, thoroughly researched account on the experiences of women of colour working in higher education, which included alarming statistics on the low numbers of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff working at higher levels across UK institutions.   This included the fact that only 8.4% of professors across the UK are BME, with a total of 85 who are black, and only 26 of which are women. She suggested a number of ways forward, including drawing on existing networks of support and creating new ones; ensuring an inclusive sisterhood, where differences were recognised but similarities were also identified; and highlighting that failure to acknowledge racism and white privilege result in a failure to act.

Yasmine Bouidaf talked about her research, looking into some of the micro-aggressions women experience in the workplace, including seemingly ‘small’ behaviours which they do not necessarily report, such as being talked over or ignored in meetings. She looked to address unconscious biases, beginning by collecting data from women through interviews and surveys, and analysing the results. She then used the findings to develop a virtual reality game as an intervention which allowed users to experience gender discrimination in the workplace in order to understand what problematic micro behaviours feel like.

The day also included Pecha Kucha talks on the theme – who am I supposed to be – and a panel discussion, where subjects covered included being your authentic self, situational judgement and being labelled by ourselves and others. In summary, the panel were asked to give a few words of advice for conference attendees to take away to improve the world we work in, which were as follows:

  • Call it out
  • Don’t second guess yourself
  • Adopt a tone which doesn’t isolate yourself
  • Unpick your stories and find your power
  • Use your difference as a super power
  • Insist on yourself, never imitate and do it with power

WHEN conference panel

Over lunchtime, I also made use of the career surgeries being offered by Perrett Laver, where we could access short-but-sweet, personal recruitment advice, and in the afternoon, I attended two workshops – Overcoming imposter syndrome with Dr Terri Simpkin, and Embracing your identity with Alice Chilver.  In the first workshop, I learned about the ways imposter phenomenon can affect me at times, and the session also highlighted how this could impact others I work with at UCL, particularly in my role as a line manager.

WHEN imposter phenomenon session with Dr Terri Simpkin

Embracing your identity was an extremely ambitious, illuminating workshop, which invited us to think about the high and low points of our careers, and map a timeline as a means to identify patterns which helped to reveal more about our personal priorities, interests and strengths.

The WHEN conference was an inspiring, motivating day, full of interesting discussions, advice and practical sessions, and gave me the opportunity to learn from others and network with colleagues across UCL and other HE institutions. You can find out more about WHEN here, and if you want to know about UCL Astrea events and news across UCL, you can sign up for the Astrea mailing list. We’d love to see you at an event soon!


Claim your cash back : iExpense process

Sandra IEnwesi2 July 2019

Ever had to travel to another location for training but have paid from your own pocket? How many times have you needed to claim back for some money but didn’t know how? Have you logged into Myfinance and proceeded to submit a claim but halfway through the process confusion strikes and you abandon it altogether, what in the world is a project code I hear you say? Why won’t it let me?

We at library Finance get emails daily from library staff asking for guidance when it comes to claiming back expenses on iExpense and in a recent survey run by the library finance team, out of 75 responses, we found that 14% used iExpense 5 or more times in the past year, 7% have had claims but don’t know how and 10% of you found the process extremely difficult.

This is why we the library finance team have decided to run a help session  to help staff with iExpense, this would cover the major aspects of how to raise an iExpense claim this could be seasons ticket loans, expenses , travel fares etc.

This session would be run by Jean Munroe, she will be on hand to answer any questions relating to iExpense, so you are encouraged to come along , bring your question or issues and we would do our best to iron these issues out.

If after the session you still find it unclear or daunting, there would be a drop in half a day session where you will be assisted by a member of the finance team with your claims.

The date and time would be communicated within the next couple of weeks, so watch this space!


Finding out more about systematic review support at UCL

Iona FPreston19 June 2019


Academic papers in a pile

Literature Road Mapping by Raul Pacheco-Vega via flickr.com (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

UCL staff and students are increasingly carrying out a specific form of literature review called a systematic review. Systematic reviews started out in health research and this is still the area where they are most common, but they are becoming increasingly popular in other areas such as education, social science, psychology, architecture, environmental science, business and more.

Across UCL libraries, there is already a variety of support and training for academic staff and students happening, but to get a clearer picture of systematic review support across the service, training for library staff, and interest in joining a community of practice around systematic reviews, we have designed a very short survey.

We’d be interested in hearing from all staff who provide any kind of support for staff and students, and you don’t need to be supporting systematic reviews to answer the survey. The survey closes on 19th July.
Access the survey.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about systematic reviews and the library service’s role, there is a Summer School session running on July 18th from 2.00-3.30pm, which you can book a place on by emailing libraryskills@ucl.ac.uk

What IS this? A library for ANTS?

Scarlett WParker18 June 2019

UCL research data repository publishes its first outputs

TinaJohnson14 June 2019

UCL researchers can now publish, archive and share data, code and other outputs supporting published research in UCL’s new institutional research data repository (RDR).

research data repository

UCL’s new research data repository

First repository dataset published 5 June

On 5 June, UCL researchers, Library Services, ISD and Figshare staff celebrated two years’ preparation and the launch of the new university repository.  The very first upload: an mp4 laparoscopy video of Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica is part of an interdisciplinary Special Collections – Digitisation Suite collaboration.

Main features of the service

The UCL research data repository (RDR) service is free, open access and cloud-based with UCL single sign-on, and offers 10 year preservation in almost any file format.

Other features include embargo and integration with GitHub – and UCL Research Publications Service later this year, saving effort on REF submissions.  The institutional repository offers additional features over the commercial Figshare service: greater storage (50GB for individuals and 100GB for groups), larger file uploads (5GB), team project collaborations and metrics analysis and reporting.

The secret to a fast and painless repository experience

Testers found the repository intuitive: easy to log in, browse, and find, view and download items.  Uploading and describing an item takes minutes once the files and metadata are ready.  The trick is to prepare in advance:  good file names, a summary description, co-authors and their ORCIDs, keywords, the grant code, URLs or DOIs of linked research, and copyright licence codes.  A quick guide, detailed guide and FAQs are available on the Research Data Management webpages.

Once checked and approved (within 3 working days), each published item receives a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to make it easy to share, discover and cite.

Researchers are responsible for compliance with funder policies, intellectual property/copyright and GDPR leglisation.  Personal data is not accepted in the repository at present unless completely anonymised or pseudonymised.

The Research Data Repository service is supported jointly by:

More guidance is available on the Research Data Management Repository webpages and in the Research Data Repository FAQs.

Contact: researchdatarepository@ucl.ac.uk for questions, support, comments and feedback.

Data sharing is necessary for reproducible researchFAIR data and major funder compliance.  The new UCL research data repository is part of the university’s investment in infrastructure to enable Open Science practice across the university.

Join the UCL reproducibility mailing list for news and updates, invitations for input and training.

Further reading

‘One PS’ – developing a vision to align our Professional Services

Benjamin G MMeunier12 June 2019

The Chief Operating Officer (Fiona Ryland) is proud to present ‘One PS’ for discussion and engagement across UCL.

‘I’m delighted to be able to present to colleagues ‘One PS’, a vision for aligning UCL Professional Services. I sincerely believe that the quality of our Professional Services can provide us with a competitive advantage in the future, making UCL the obvious choice for students, staff and the community, not just because of its academic strength but its sector leading services.’

‘One PS’ is a vision for Professional Services (PS) colleagues across UCL, encouraging them to work together to tackle challenges, solve problems and continue to make UCL a great place to work, study and learn.

UCL Library Services is part of the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research). It reports to him and is accountable to the whole UCL community via UCL Library Committee, chaired by the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs). You can find more information on the place of Library Services within UCL structures on LibNet. The Library makes a strong contribution to the work of professional services across UCL and, as such, I am a member of the Professional Services Leadership Team along with the Directors of Operations from Faculties and with central Professional Services leaders.

‘One PS’ objectives:

Professional Services (PS) are distributed across UCL, and although significant effort has been put into building cohesion there is still more work to do. There is currently no common purpose and vision, and it is suggested that by creating one there are significant advantages to be had. The objectives for ‘One PS’:

1. Build alignment amongst key members of UCL’s professional services leadership community
2. Understand shared values and ways of working required to achieve vision
3. Create a common purpose and vision
4. Define priority themes and goals
5. Develop a specific action plan of next steps

Key themes from our discussions:

Since December discussions have been taking place across UCL to understand how we turn the ‘One PS’ objectives into action. Four clear themes became apparent from those discussions.
1. One approach will add value
2. Simplicity and clarity are key
3. We must work together on a few critical things
4. Our work must lead to action, and be supported by clear roles and responsibilities

The discussions also led us to the following draft vision:

‘To make UCL a great place to work and study, where what I do enables our people to do amazing things, everyday.’

Next steps for ‘One PS’:
The work now needs your feedback. Managers are encouraged to talk to their teams about ‘One PS’ and to share common themes and ideas with the ‘One PS’ team. It is essential that in creating this, all staff (from the centre, faculties and VP Offices) have an opportunity to say what they think. Hopefully feedback will have been generated by the PS Conference (June 24).

‘One PS’ Engagement Pack – Presentation

If you think what we are doing is great, or not, we want to hear from you. Please email onePS@ucl.ac.uk.

If you want to get involved in shaping what our future vision looks like please email me (benjamin.meunier@ucl.ac.uk) or Ian Dancy (I.Dancy@ucl.ac.uk), who is a member of the ‘One PS’ team.

ALLEA humanities open data consultation

TinaJohnson11 June 2019

Input needed on data sharing in the humanities

All European Academies (ALLEA) is seeking contributions from humanities researchers and professionals on its draft Recommendations for Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities.


Deadline: 15 July 2019

More details can be found on the UCL Research Data Management blog and the ALLEA E-Humanities Working Group homepage.

UCL is committed to supporting its staff and students to engage with open research as outlined in the League of European Research Universities LERU Roadmap for Cultural Change 2018.

Further reading


Steps to progress – diversity and the literary canon

Sarah MBurn5 June 2019

Steps to Progress, an installation project by English PhD candidate Harvey Wiltshire, has recently been installed in the Main Library entrance staircase.Main Library stairs

Back in February Harvey issued an open call to the UCL community to suggest texts which reflect the diversity of UCL and the communities in which we live and work. He received around 100 suggestions and then had the unenviable task of selecting the final titles to be included in the installation.

If you are inspired to read any (or all?) of the works I am pleased to say that all of the titles included in the installation are now available from UCL Libraries. Special thanks to Paul Amies and his colleagues for ensuring the new books reached the shelves in time for the opening.