Research Support – issues and practice Clare Boucher, Swansea University Kate Bradbury, Cardiff University Re-skilling for research “An investigation into the role and skills of subject and liaison librarians required to effectively support the evolving information needs of researchers” Re-skilling for research • Identifies many familiar skills considered essential for Research Support: bibliographic, information literacy, information discovery, citing & referencing, marketing, knowledge of data sources • We will focus on a few of the areas identified in the report where we are involved in new services at Swansea & Cardiff Skills & Knowledge set “Understanding of research impact factors and performance indicators and how they will be used in the REF, and ability to advise on citation analysis, bibliometrics etc” RLUK p38 Bibliometrics training - Cardiff Training session & workshop (following a workbook) including citations, impact factors but also Open Access issues and improving visibility. Offered to all staff on HR programme, plus tailored option for schools. SciVal trial • Cardiff University has SciVal on trial for 4 months to assess its value in identifying research strengths at Cardiff. • SciVal is being used nationally - For example, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills report International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base - 2011, used SciVal (amongst other sources) to assess the UK research strengths. • Collaborative effort between University divisions. • Library’s role is to retrieve & present data from the database to fully assess its value for institutional research assessment. • May also trial InCites for comparison. “Understanding of the national and local research assessment processes and the requirements of the REF” RLUK p37 REF support - Cardiff Online Research @ Cardiff (ORCA) institutional repository – used as database to supply REF outputs. Major effort going in to ensure all REF outputs are in ORCA. Close liaison with Planning & other divisions to ensure REF requirements are identified and met. Data mapping – every piece of data required for REF listed & source is identified. Subject librarian support – details of outputs; impact evidence; final collation of outputs; advice on citations, improving visibility & scholarly communications; plus getting records into ORCA. As much full text into ORCA as possible: increase readership increase citations? Individual/personalised “Ability to gain an appreciation of individual researcher/project needs, including effective listening skills” RLUK p37 Researchers’ Needs • “Support needs to be based on a close understanding of the researchers’ work, its patterns and timetables.” (RIN, 2009, p6) • Researchers crying out for customised information support. (CILIP Update, 2009) • Personalising library services in HE (Due out in Aug. 2012) Personalising Services for PhDs and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) Swansea • Feelings of isolation amongst this group (Blake & Wright, 2010) • Anonymity of library support and need for a “known contact” (Syvälahti &Nevalainenn, 2011) • Swansea’s Health & Medicine Subject Librarians piloted the idea of a “personal librarian” for each new PhD student/ ECR in Health Sciences. Dear PhD student.... SUBJECT LINE: Library Support during your PhD studies Dear Sarah Jane As a new PhD student, you have been assigned a specialist subject librarian, Susan Smith, to act as your main point of contact with the Library. We are trying to link each new postgraduate to an individual librarian. This can be a boon for you because you have someone you know you can contact directly for advice and queries. After meeting with you, your link librarian will be aware of your area of interest and may often come across items that may be of interest to you. Susan has numerous years of experience as a librarian in the fields of Health & Medicine, and will be able to advise you on search techniques, databases, using EndNote to manage references and other resources to support your research. Susan will be writing to you shortly to introduce herself and arrange to meet up with you at a convenient time..... Proactive Personal Engagement • Not easy with more established researchers • Vital if we are to “gain an appreciation of individual researcher/project needs” Future Skills gaps identified by RLUK report – nine areas which are considered to be of increasing importance in the future, but over 50% of respondents indicated that they have limited or no skills or knowledge: Future • • • • • • • • • Preserving research outputs Data management and curation Complying with mandates of funders Data manipulation tools Data mining Metadata Preservation of project records eg correspondence Sources of research funding Metadata schema & advise on discipline/subject standards & practices for individual research projects http://www.rluk.ac.uk/content/re-skilling-research p3 Further reading Blake, M. and Wright, N.(2010) Postcards from the (research) edge: staying in touch with students throughout their PhD travels. SCONUL Focus, 49 . pp. 33-35. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29631/ Priestner, A. and Tilley, E. (forthcoming) Personalising Library Services in Higher Education: The Boutique Approach. Ashgate http://personalisedlibraries.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/personali sing-library-services-coming-soon.pdf RIN & British Library (2009) Patterns of information use and exchange: case studies of researchers in the life sciences http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/using-and-accessing-informationresources/patterns-information-use-and-exchange-case-studie RLUK (2012) Re-skilling for research http://www.rluk.ac.uk/content/reskilling-research Syvälahti, K. and E. Nevalainen (2011). Knotworking as a means to strengthen information skills of research groups. LILAC. London.