Session 1

Session 1: Libraries in the Research Landscape

Wednesday 6th July – 14.45-16.15

Chair: Giannis Tsakonas, Library & Information Center, University of Patras, Greece

1.1 Partners and pioneers: The role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research, Matthew Greenhall, Research Libraries UK, United Kingdom

This paper will present the results of a major piece of collaborative research between Research Libraries UK and the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Undertaken between January and June 2021, the research considered the extent to which academic libraries are partners in, and leaders of, academic and scholarly research. The project explored fundamental questions regarding the role of libraries as research institutions and their role as catalysts and conduits of cross-disciplinary collaboration. 
 
The project addressed four fundamental questions: 
 
1. What is the current role of academic and research libraries as partners and leaders of research? 
 
2. What is their potential role as partners and leaders? 
 
3. Do they experience any barriers in undertaking research? 
 
4. If so, how might these be overcome? 
 
This was a cross-sector project and included contributions from large numbers of academic and research libraries, Independent Research Organisations, academics and scholars, research managers, university leaders, and research funders. Each brought their own perspectives regarding the role of libraries as research organisations and these views were explored through a series of well attended townhalls, workshops, and focus groups. Although focused on the UK, the project’s discussions and findings were placed within an international context through a series of interviews and case studies from the international library community. It benefited from over 320 detailed survey responses, over 300 responses to ‘in event’ polls, 73 qualitative interviews, 6 focus groups, and produced 10 detailed case studies available online. 
 
This presentation will describe the origins of this research, its motivations, and its key findings and recommendations. It will consider the changing role of academic and research libraries as partners in research, the barriers which are sometimes experienced, and the ways in which libraries are overcoming these. Importantly, it will also provide an overview of how RLUK, the AHRC, and the wider library community are translating the recommendations of the report into action. It will include an overview of two major programmes of work that have emerged from the project: a joint AHRC-RLUK Professional Practice Fellowship for academic libraries and a Research Engagement Programme through which library colleagues will be supported to develop their research capacity, capability, and confidence. Finally, it will consider the importance of building bridges of active dialogue between the academic library, scholarly, and research management communities to continue to emphasise and showcase the role of academic libraries as partners in, and pioneers of, research. 
 
The results and recommendations of the scoping are available here: https://www.rluk.ac.uk/ahrc-rluk-scoping-study/  

1.2 Engaging with researchers about Open Science at université Paris Dauphine-PSL (France) : the Open Science Bingo, Christine Okret-Manville, Université Paris Dauphine-PSL, France

Since Open Science has developed to affect every step of the research process, librarians strive to give researchers information on the possibilities it offers to improve research methods, accelerate scientific communication and eventually advance science. Still, barriers to the uptake of Open Science remain, among which prejudices. 
 
In Paris Dauphine-PSL university an Open Science Reflection Group has been set up, bringing together researchers of various disciplines and librarians to draft a roadmap to foster a better openness of scientific practices. To raise awareness about these issues in the research community and ensure support for this roadmap, the library has tried different formulas, from serious formats like talks to lighter ones like serious games, with mixed results. 
 
Starting from the idea that face-to-face discussions are the most effective way to proceed, this communication presents an original tool to engage with researchers on this matter: an Open Science Bingo. Based on a crossing of Advent calendars and bingo gameplays, the Open Science Bingo adresses prejudices about open access to publications and research data and provides an ice-breaker for discussion. 
 
Shared on Zenodo, this tool is technically easy to reproduce, its contents are adaptable to fit in local situations. It allows exchanges between librarians and research communities, including PhD students, who can express fears and hesitations about Open Science issues, and starting from negative notions, helps create a more positive discourse. 
 
Launched in Paris Dauphine-PSL, this Bingo has been translated and adapted by the YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network) Ad hoc Working Group on Open Science to put online an Advent Calendar on Open Science in December 2021. Its contents are also being used in the preparation of a brochure against prejudices in Open Science to be published by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. 

1.3 The evolving research librarian: Emerging roles and responsibility in support of reproducible science, Birgit Schmidt, Goettingen University, Germany, Andrea Chiarelli, Research Consulting, UK Jeroen Sondervan, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Between 2020 and 2021, Knowledge Exchange (KE) has investigated the publication of reproducible research outputs, with support from a group of international open science experts. The output of this work was a public report, which was based on an extensive review of almost 130 sources and a mix of interviews and focus groups with 51 stakeholders from 12 countries. In this landscape review, we have considered stakeholders at the micro, meso and macro level based on the KE Open Scholarship Framework, including researchers and research groups, their disciplinary communities and institutions, academic libraries, publishers and infrastructure providers, research funders and policymakers. 
 
Our presentation at LIBER 2022 will seek to untangle the growing intricacies in the research reproducibility landscape, which is evolving as the convergence of the open access, open data, open source and open infrastructure discussions. In this context, we will discuss the important role of research libraries when it comes to research reproducibility, which includes not only the advice they ‘traditionally’ provide, but also an ever-broadening range of tools and workflows that span from choosing an online repository to preparing research compendia. The evolution of research libraries also comes with innovative roles, such as the ‘data librarians/stewards’ that are becoming more common across Europe and the ‘reproducibility librarians’ that are emerging in the USA and operate at the interface between the various facets of open science. 
 
The role of libraries and research support services with regard to reproducibility is also changing in terms of digital infrastructures. Researchers require more and more support in navigating the fast-paced world of technological solutions emerging to support open science practices, thus leading to uncertainty and a constant need to upskill both support staff and the researcher base. Whether internally or in partnership with external providers, research libraries also continue to develop institutional repositories, which can be interconnected with a web of digital objects to enable reproducible research to take place. 
 
Finally, the broader context of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of research reproducibility in enabling trust in the published record. Research libraries can play a dual role in this regard, as they can be both the custodians of research objects and advisers to local academics who seek to work in a reproducible way and enhance the quality of their institution’s publications. 
 
Our presentation will provide a coherent narrative and case studies to help the LIBER community join the dots between changing disciplinary practices, policies, incentives and technologies, aiming to showcase how libraries can continue to have an impact on the research and innovation landscape for the benefit of the global research enterprise.

51st LIBER Annual Conference