Tag Archives: Research Support

Research Support Ambassadors – a progress update

On Thursday 19th November the participants of the Research Support Ambassadors programme presented their work to date. This blog from Yvonne Creba, a member of the Research Data Facility team in the Office of Scholarly Communication, summarises these presentations of their progress so far.

A good start

Attending the Research Support Ambassadors programme presentation I can only say how impressed I was with the amount of time and effort contributed by the participants of each group. This is even more notable considering that the following was achieved outside of their normal working hours. Each of the groups produced an informative and interesting session on each of the topics.

What is the Ambassadors programme? It’s an opportunity for interested library staff to receive specialised training, to allow them to become the local ‘go to’ person on some scholarly communication issues. The programme is intended to develop a team of Ambassadors who feel confident and able to assist researchers with queries about publishing processes, data management, open access/open data policies and research sharing options, to name but a few.

The Ambassadors programme aims to provide ‘what the researchers want, where & when they want it’.  To start, the Ambassadors have embarked on development of training and information materials on the following four topics: Research Lifecycle, Research Support Services, Managing your Online Presence and Open Access to theses. Below are some of the highlights from their presentations.

Open Access to theses

The Ambassadors team assigned to this project – Matthais Ammon, Phillipa Grimstone, Charlotte Hoare, and Stephanie Palek – aimed to develop guidance materials on how to make PhD theses Open Access.

There is a need for a one-stop webpage for PhD students to answer basic questions about making their theses Open Access and the need for thesis submission to the institutional repository (now called Apollo) to be clarified in terms of Open Access.

The team  have already developed an impressive amount of resources and collated information about Open Access to theses and the advantages for PhD students, challenges with Open Access to theses and (traditional) publishing, copyright concerns and patenting & sensitive data. They referred to some of the material they have found in their research such as ‘Benefits of making theses available online’.

The team is now trying to answer how theses fit into the Open Access research landscape, the potential impact of making theses available online, fulfilment of funder requirements.

Managing your Online Presence

This team, consisting of Andrew Alexander, Céline Carty, Kasia Drabek, Agnieszka Drabek-Prime, Agnieszka Kurzeja and Brendan King, initially discussed and brainstormed this subject, as it is a large area and they wanted to define the scope of support to be offered.  The team’s strategy was focused on creating a potential outline for a session that the Ambassadors could run.

The group presented a demonstration on the creation of an ORCiD ID. ORCiD stands for “Open Researcher & Contributor ID” and it is a free, unique, individual, global, permanent identifier ideal for researchers and scholars to help them keep track of their research outputs. The group proposed some ideas on how to attractively present ORCiD to researchers.

The group thought that those who attend the session will be asked to bring along their laptops, so that after a short demonstration on how to create an ORCiD each participant will actually create their own. This will provide a tangible output of the session.

Research Support Services across the University

The idea for this topic was to provide clear signposts to the range of help on offer, rather than reinventing the wheel by creating something new. The group working on this topic are Colin Clarkson, Lindsay Jones, Mary Kattuman and Claire Sewell. There is a great deal of support available for researchers, both within the University and outside but there’s no one place where everything is listed in an accessible format.

The research doughnut available on the Office of Scholarly Communications (OSC) website has a nice, intuitive graphical display, hence the idea to use this format to present the services of the research lifecycle. The group hopes to make keywords within the cycle into clickable links, which will thus allow users to find related information and resources.

One of the sources that were highlighted in the directory was the LibrarySearch. Rather than just including a link to the static LibrarySearch interface, the group thought it would be a good idea to create a predefined search on various stages of the research process. That way the researcher can just click on a link and go straight to the required search results.

The group suggested promotional activities including a pop-up presentation of a maximum of ten minutes which could be included at the start or finish of other taught sessions. Something that will briefly introduce the concept of the site and showcase what it contains. This could be delivered by any Research Ambassador and would be a ‘presentation-in-a-box’ that people could just pick up and deliver.

One of the first things the group intends to do is to improve the general look and feel of the site and they intend to do some user testing with researchers to see how they use the site and get their feedback about the content.

Research Lifecycle

This is intended to be a web resource using the Research Lifecycle with links out to information about each of the points in the cycle – presented by Clemens Gresser, Jo Milton, Veronica Phillips, Meg Westbury.

This team reviewed the Research Lifecycle from the perspective of a researcher. They have looked at existing websites to see what information is already available and reviewed the graphical displays used by different universities – to look for content which is accessible in a user-friendly manner.

Ideas provided by the group on reaching the required audience were to plug into orientation sessions, advertisements by faculty librarians and plugging into sessions on managing an online presence.

The group also suggested that having a glossary of various terms related to the Research Lifecycle would be useful. The group is still reviewing what type of information to put up for the cycle and which format would be the most fit for purpose to best suit researchers in Cambridge.

Published 14 December 2015
Written by Yvonne Creba and Dr Danny Kingsley
Creative Commons License