Open Access Week is a busy time of year for us all in Research Services, hence why I (Steve, Research Services Librarian) am writing this blog post on the Monday after Open Access Week has ended. I thought it would be worth writing something anyway, to reflect on the last few months, but also to advertise a new exciting event that we’re planning for next month (scroll to the bottom of the post if that’s what you’re here for).
The biggest, and most obvious, change to how we do things in Research Services has been the transition to working remotely. We’ve all been working from home since the end of March and, without wanting to blow our own trumpets too much, the transition has been a pretty smooth one. While service users can no longer get us on the phone, we are still available via all the usual channels plus we’re now available via the Library’s Library Chat widget. Just navigate to the Researcher Services webpages and, when the widget pops out, type in your question.
You can ask us anything about any of our services and we’ll do our best to give you an answer immediately. If that’s not possible, we’ll be able to put you in touch with someone who can help.
At the end of March, we suspected that the amount of work coming through the service would start to drop at some point, with researchers not being able to access labs, or conduct interviews, or anything else that involved leaving the house. That hasn’t happened, however. In fact, if anything, our services have only gotten busier as the months have passed.
Open Access Week 2020
This year’s Open Access Week was a low key one here at the University of Manchester. We did deliver two open access related My Research Essentials workshops during the week, though. We even attempted to live tweet our popular Open Access in 5 Simple Steps workshop for those who weren’t able to make it.
We’re going to try something new with today’s Open Access in 5 Simple Steps session. While @UomLib_Lucy is doing a great job of presenting, @UoML_Steve is going to be attempting to live tweet. So if you can’t make it, keep an eye on this thread for a serialisation of the content. https://t.co/qGbtlLmBqt
— UoMLibResearch (@UoMLibResearch) October 21, 2020
Being at home and using video calling apps all the time provided us with the excuse we needed to record our own open research podcast. Whether that was a good thing or not is up to you. If you’d like to listen to the episodes that have been released so far, you can find us on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcast platforms.
Open Research Exchange
If I’m being totally transparent, this entire blog post has been written primarily to give me somewhere to announce our first Open Research Exchange, which is coming up on Wednesday November 18th. We’ll be hosting an online exchange of experience, where we’ll be hearing all about how University of Manchester researchers are embedding open research practices. We’ve got an exciting lineup of speakers to talk about their experiences, but we’d also love you to come along and share yours too.
You can find out more about the event, and book yourself a place, via our Eventbrite page. It’s free and online and open to anybody who wants to come along.