At the recent UKSG19 conference, Taylor & Francis attended several sessions, hosted their own roundtable event, and recorded interviews with librarians on some of the big topics being discussed in the library community.
Scroll down to discover the key themes that emerged from selected sessions, responses from the roundtable event, and video interviews with librarians.
Takeaways from Selected Sessions
Open Access and Plan S
Plan S has forced OA into the mainstream, and the future of OA is much closer than we think. Libraries are still very much in a reactive, not adaptive, mode to Plan S and not yet in a position to plan and act as they continue to learn as much as publishers are. We all need to find a pathway through using collaboration, consultation, and perspectives – it will be a complex journey. There are different needs within disciplines, authors, faculty, career levels – and we need to bridge gaps between these communities.
Proactive and Cooperative Researcher Support
To break down silos within institutions, researchers and faculty need to be brought together to promote and support research excellence. For example, librarians at Liverpool John Moores University run sessions called Ready Steady Publish (about sharing best publishing practice) and the Research Café, an informal faculty lunch where participants from different departments take it in turns to speak about their research.
There are also challenges around ECR publishing: they have little stability and often work short and part-time roles in teaching and as research assistants. Research fellowships are hard to come by. ECRs need advice from their librarians and from publishers around REF and OA as well as one-to-one support on how to get published, resources on the publishing process, help in identifying sources of funding, access to resources and advice to make their research visible.
COUNTER Release 5 Reports
There’s a big appetite for COUNTER Release 5 support. The new reporting changes make usage analytics more detailed and more useful. COUNTER 5 will have a big impact on SCONUL usage for researchers.
How much of your role is in supporting researchers?
- Research support is an increasingly substantial part of a librarian’s role, with many librarian jobs now focusing primarily on supporting researchers.
- In some institutions, the role of the librarian is becoming more functional, supporting the payment of Open Access grants and monitoring funding. However, the primary aim is still to support students and faculty and efforts are still dedicated to the teaching side of content provision.
Which skills do you think will be needed by librarians to support researchers in the future?
- Supporting the process of publication and being able to advise academics on where to publish, funder mandates and bibliometrics, as well as APC payments. It is also important to build relationships with publishers and understand how their business works, so librarians can support people from their institution who are working as or with part of that publishing business.
- Librarians will need to be adaptable to new technologies; such as technologies being used by publishers, the evolution of library-based apps, and the ability to advise researchers on the best (and safest) resources to use on the internet.
Are there any trends in academic librarianship that concern you?
- Decreasing budgets and diminishing staffing are concerning prospects for many librarians. Staffing levels are not being increased to meet demand which is creating knowledge silos and a lack of personal and professional development.
- Discoverability and patrons’ reliance on Google are ongoing concerns. Librarians are having to adapt to this trend; raising awareness of resources and focusing on how to publish information in a way that allows people to interact with it through Google.
How can publishers support you?
- Publishers need to understand the importance of accessibility. The priority for librarians is that their patrons can easily access the content they are looking for. There is a need for standardization between platforms, as many users are having to navigate multiple platforms that work in different ways.
- Publishers could provide librarians with materials that they can adapt and disseminate to students and faculty, not just promoting the resources that are available to them but making those resources easier to use.
Librarian Insights on Video
Simply click on the links below to watch the interviews!
The Researcher of the Future: What do your Library Patrons ask you About?
We asked librarians about the areas in which they are seeing the fastest increase in demand from their faculties.
The Librarian/Publisher Relationship
What is the importance of the relationship between Librarian and Publisher and the knowledge we can exchange?
How Does Taylor & Francis Support the Knowledge Community?
Librarians at UKSG19 discuss the wide-ranging ways that Taylor & Francis supports the researcher, librarian and author communities.