What role do university librarians play in access to research? – live chat (UK)

With open access changing the ways research is disseminated, how can libraries make the most of resources and what support do they need?

Librarians have numerous roles to play in the growing digital environment, with the move towards open access prompting a profound change in the way university libraries manage their scholarly communications – not least in how they use online repositories for publishing and opening up access to research.

In light of the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) – which seeks to give funding to those universities showing the greatest impact on research over the past six years – how can university libraries make the most of their repositories and ensure they are contributing not only towards better access, but also demonstrating value in terms of research impact?

As Simon Bains, head of research services and deputy librarian at the University of Manchester commented on a recent network blog, “libraries are central to development of services in [the] research area – especially for funders and others interested”. But among so many competing priorities, should research access top the agenda for librarians? And if librarians aren’t managing this content, then who will?

The Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is one of many institutions where the responsibility of uploading research to the repository falls to academics themselves. Kevin Lalor, editor of Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies and head of school of social sciences and law at DIT, says this has been achieved through a huge change of culture. But success depends on the support of librarians and senior management, he adds.

As debate swirls around the wider higher education sector over the relative merits of the ‘green’ versus ‘gold’ open access models, one of the biggest challenges faced by libraries, says Stephen Barr, president of SAGE International, will be the “shift from content ownership which works at the level of an individual institution, to providing services which can only be created and delivered on a larger scale.”

What, in your view, are the responsibilities of the university library and librarian when it comes to university research access? How can librarians continue to add value through research repositories? And what support and collaboration do they need from their own institutions and the wider higher education sector?

Ann Rossiter is the executive director of Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL). She has spent the majority of her career working in public policy, including as a researcher at the BBC and in Parliament, in consultancy; as director of a think-tank, and most lately as special adviser to Rt. Hon John Denham MP. @SCONUL

Jane Harvell is head of academic services at the University of Sussex library. She is also a on the main committee of UKSG @uksg @jharvell
Natalia Madjarevic is the research support services manager at LSE. She is responsible for providing services to enhance research support in the library including overseeing LSE’s online collection of research and providing open access and research impact advice. She is also the academic support librarian for the department of economics and LSE research lab. @nataliafay

Martin Wolf is the humanities faculty librarian at the University of Liverpool, where he has recently taken responsibility for coordinating the library’s support for open access. He is also the reviews editor of Journal of Information Literacy. @LivUniLibrary

Julie Allinson is the digital library manager at the University of York. She assists with York’s research publications and e-theses repositories (WRRO and WREO) and is part of the research data management group. @julieallinson

Jo Webb is deputy director of library and learning services at De Montfort University.
She is also head of learning and research services where she leads academic liaison, collection management, learning development, repository and open access advocacy. @jwebbery

Kevin Lalor is head of the school of social sciences and law at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). He is the editor of the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies and a member of the editorial boards of Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal and Children, Youth and Environments.

Monique Ritchie is a research librarian at Brunel University where she coordinates the library’s research support strategy.
She is currently running a project to see how research data is created and managed by Brunel researchers. @res_librarian

Source: to read live chat Guardian Professional http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/2013/jan/23/university-libraries-open-access-publishing