Sadly, I can’t find who actually said this for the first time… I got lost in an endless trail of people quoting other people quoting others until I realised I was procrastinating, because I’m not quite sure how to sum up #ScholComm19 in a blog post.
First of all I would like to say “Thank you” – to the speakers, to the delegates, to the programme committee – to everyone who contributed to a fantastic, supportive, relate-able, useful event. The feedback we have had, on email, on twitter, in person and on the forms has been overwhelming. To those of you who weren’t able to make it, we’re sorry (And hopeful for year 2!). We do now have a mailing list – get in touch if you’d like adding – to continue the conversations started at the event.
How did we end up here… where next?
When I first moved into this role, the number of events was staggering – events focused on particular groups (research administrator, librarians, publishers) or responsibilities (metrics, data, repositories and so on) but nothing that tied together the diverse range of roles, responsibilities and foci of things badged “Scholarly Comms”. When Josie started in her role, she asked if there was one event she should go to… and there wasn’t. Not knowing whether this was because no-one else had thought about this, or whether the academic events calendar was so packed in this area that there was no capacity for another event, we decided to give it a go. We were given funding to hold the event but on an incredibly tight time scale – the response staggered us! We had paper submissions coming in less than a day after the call for papers went out, delegates registering before we had a programme and the week before the event we were worried about capacity.
Next week we will be sharing the slides, the ways in which we promoted diversity at the event (It will be interesting to see how many you spotted…) and the sustainability side. We are also very happy to share documents, financial details and so on with anyone who would like to host #ScholComm20.
Three things really emerged from the event – the sense of community, that the response to challenges is often individual and that we don’t know where we’re going… but it won’t be boring (With apologies to David Bowie!).
The sense of community
- The number of talks that referenced shared community documents, that gathered data from community surveys or events was incredible – working with people who are willing not only to innovate within their role, but to share their experiences so that the sector as a whole can innovate from a position supported by data instead of individual anecdote is invaluable.
- There is a tendency for us as individuals to feel we have nothing to offer or contribute, that the innovation in Scholarly Communications is coming from a few leading institutions, but more than anything this event showed us how each of us responding to our institutional priorities and researcher needs are contributing to a global scholarly comms environment.
The response to challenges is often individual
- There is a danger of grouping people and organisations under a banner ‘Researchers’, ‘Institutions’ ‘Publishers’ and making blanket approaches as a group. Through a more nuanced, individual approach, there was greater engagement with projects, initiatives and ideas.
- The value of communication… not email! We heard about posters, infographics, meetings, drop ins… and, of course, coffee… but not once did anyone mention how effective their email was.
We don’t know where we’re going…
- While there may be a high level vision, we work in a field that is changing all the time – funders, regulators, researchers, institutions, governments change the ‘next step’ frequently – a year ago, no-one had heard of Plan S, this time next year we (may/should) have implemented it.
- There are new tools, systems and infrastructure emerging all the time (Tinder for Open Access?.. ok, I know it is really called The pocket library for open content, but still) to improve reach, discovery and openness.
- We work in a global environment – and innovation comes from everywhere.
But it won’t be boring…
If you write anything from the event, do let us know or send it to the list so we can all see – we are also very happy to publish things here, if you have something you’d like to write about.
Finally… if anyone does know who originally said the quote, do let me know so I can credit them!
- Adapting and evolving; Overcoming challenges in the arts / Isabel Benton, Leeds Arts University
- Avoiding alphabet soup / Fredd Flagg, University of Leeds
- Balancing the role of Research and Open Access Librarian as a job share / Jane Belger and Anna Lawson, University of West England
- CRediT where credit is due / Simon Kerridge, University of Kent
- Current practices in research data management and sharing / Ian Carter, Carter Research Navigation Limited
- Enhancing researcher profiles with social media / Kirsty Wallis, University of Greenwich
- From acceptance to publication and steps in between / Nicola Barnett, University of Leeds
- Grow your own library research support team / Kate Russell, University of Plymouth
- How to invest time efficiently to improve research data quality and enhance the university profile / Silvia Dobre, University of Kent
- Humanising Open Access / Cassie Bowman, London South Bank University
- Managing the monograph; Developing local strategies for open access book chapters / Suzanne Atkins, University of Birmingham
- Pocket library for open content; Improving the discoverability of Open Access research / Nataliia Sokolovska, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin and Felix Melcher, Research Center for Information Technology, Berlin
- Scholarly Communication and UK Copyright / Chris Morrison, University of Kent
- Supporting researchers in Higher Education / Catherine Parker, University of Huddersfield
- The Impact Game / Georgina Parsons and Emma Turner, Cranfield University
- UBIRA eTheses repository : Which journal should I publish in? / Patricia Herterich, University of Birmingham
- Why researchers get copyright so copywrong / Julie Baldwin, University of Nottingham