Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Bridging the Skills Gap: Developing Innovative Library Support for Researchers

Sussex Uni, The Early Hours

Oh yeah. I just remembered this blog was supposed to be a record of professional development. This one's about the Developing Innovative Library Support for Researchers conference at Sussex Uni on Tuesday 8th June 2010. It's rough and ready but here's my record (largely taken from Tweets so apols for the grammar)...

Bob Allison, Stephane Goldstein, Alison Mitchel

Bob kicked off with a reminiscence of Philip Larkin while he was an undergraduate  at Hull and a tale about graffiti in the library - but on a more serious note he recognised the role that libraries and librarians play in research with a reflection on a conversation with a librarian after a successful RAE in 2001. The librarian felt part of the research process and was glad that the RAE was a success, something which stuck with Bob. There was also some mention of the fact that library buildings and spaces are changing to accommodate researchers and that libraries are one of the most rapidly changing areas of HE at the moment.

Stephane Goldstein, with the 1st keynote highlighted some of the work of RIN. RIN look at the interface between researchers and information - including looking at researchers behaviour - they've found that digital literacy is often inadequate. RIN's main study "mind the skills gap" http://ow.ly/1VwwY found that a gap between researchers perceived info skills and their actual skills. Researcher Development Framework is an opportunity to coordinate joined up approach to research support. A JISC call for proposals to promote data management training, funding 6 projects, was also mentioned.

Alison Mitchell delivered the 2nd keynote on researcher development. Expressed importance of researcher's information skills being transferable to jobs beyond HE. Vitae aims are about developing researchers skills rather than geared towards specific research. Roberts funding is now coming to an end - now it's up to institutions to decide how research is embedded in the organisation. There's a need to develop the marketability of researcher's skills in the employment market and info. skills are part of that skillset. On the Vitae website the "rugby team impact framework" (http://ow.ly/1VwWd) includes a tool for measuring the impact of training workshops. The good practice part of Vitae site will include examples of training materials. Alison mentioned a 100K "Innovate" fund for innovative ideas for researcher development projects.

Gearing up for e-thesis
Isobel Stark - I didn't go to this session.

MI512: Information support for researchers at LSE library
Rowena Macrae-Gibson spoke about MI512: Information Literacy tools for researchers - (blogs of the breakouts are on the ning site). The MI512 researcher information literacy programme is non-credit bearing - researchers use their own research subjects so have useful outputs. The programme integrates skills e.g. the referencing and citation workshop is linked to endnote session and they help to make sense of each other. Referencing is one of the most active, and best attended sessions. NB: orcid (sp?) open source version of researcher id. LSE decided not to include their federated search tool in MI512 as they believe it isn't useful for phd level searches. MI512 was judged to be a success - good numbers of research students are booking onto programme - despite it being non-credit bearing. Good example of cross-departmental working (IPE element?). It is important to measure impact of training and good feedback from researchers helps to maintain management support for programme.

The Research Liaison Team at Sussex: an innovative model
Joanna Ball, Helen Webb

Waving and definitely not drowning!: Offering library support for academic research in a Google world
Annamarie McKie - i didn't go to this session.

Supporting the REF at the University of Brighton
Suzanne Tatham, Helen Woodward
Suzanne Tatham, Helen Woodward Spoke about supporting the REF at
Brighton (actually they changed the title from REF to Research in light
of recent news). They found that one of the biggest challenges is
getting message of what's available e.g. workshops/tutorials etc. over
to researchers.Their information skills workshops are administered by
the university wide workshop booking system and appear alongside IT,
numeracy and all other workshops - so researchers have one place to go
for all of their skills. Another benefit is that admin/ bookings are
done by the training admin team. All workshops are also available
online for those that can't make it in person. As part of their
researcher skills offering, Brighton run a bibliometrics workshop. It's
attended by staff, research students, RA's, librarians. One comment
from bibliometrics workshop was that some didn't know what a "citation"
was. Can't assume prior knowledge of basic researcher skills. Scemago
(sp?) was mentioned as an open access alternative to scopus - also
Ulrich's show's where journals are indexed if they are not in WoS.
Brighton's workshop booking system includes online form for session
feedback - can email form to all attendees. Brighton also do a Google
Scholar for citation analysis for subjects not well covered by WoS or
Scopus - they highlight the downsides but also that it covers books/
conference proceedings etc. There followed some interesting comparison
of different results for no's citations using WoS, Scopus and Google
Scholar. In the questions at the end, the common need to support researchers
with which journals to publish in and making sense of the REF for
researchers were identified as challenges.

Information skills training for researchers: the Surrey experience
Gill Downham, John Baxter
Gill Downham and John Baxter on "Information skills training for researchers: The Surrey perspective". The organisational structure at Surrey includes 2 teams - Researchers development team, Institutional repository team and Academic liaison team. The space is also important - Surrey cleared a floor of print journals to make flexible learning space for researchers and undergrads. Use tried and tested methods for developing researcher info skills: new student inductions, specific workshop sessions, 1-2-1's. Surrey's experience is that students arrive with a diverse range of skills. Their generic induction for research students - includes a recommendation that students make an appointment to see their AL librarian for a 1-2-1. Surrey include a presentation on using their repository for increasing citations in their "Getting Published" workshop - so that use of the repository is grounded & in the context of research support.

Kitty Inglis summed up... key message thatlibraries and librarians play central part in research - huge potential to collaborate & collaboration is essential in a climate of having to do the same or more with the same or less. The event evaluation was done using clickers - which was more fun than filling in a form.

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